Meal Prep 101: A Beginner’s Guide
Writer: Farah Karim
Ever had those days where you just don’t want to cook but have nothing in your fridge? If you want to save time in the kitchen or make healthier food choices, why not try meal prepping? Tons of people are doing it and it makes life so much easier.
It’s easy, simple and saves you a lot of money!
What is meal prepping?
Instead of cooking and preparing one meal at a time, what you’re doing is basically preparing all of your meals ahead of time! The idea is that once you start meal prepping, you’ll spend less time cooking in the kitchen and more time doing other things. Not only does it save time, but also helps to ensure your food is healthy and proportioned. It’s easier to track how much you eat, what you eat and when you’re eating. You won’t have to worry about your meals except for every few days when you’re doing the actual meal prep.
How do I start?
It can be a bit daunting changing your routine of either buying food for every meal or cooking every meal. But don’t worry, with meal prepping, not much has to change.
You can start by picking a day when you want to meal prep and for how many meals you’re cooking for. This way, you can mentally prepare and shop for your next meal prep whether it may be a few days after your initial cook or an entire week after. Usually, Sundays and Wednesdays are the popular choice to cook and prepare meals for the week. Using these two days allows you to split up the prepping into two days.
Choose recipes you’re familiar with. Do the same as you usually do but instead of cooking one portion, maybe try cooking for five. This way, you’ll have five meals worth of food, for example.
Meal prepping all three meals is rather difficult so start with meal prepping for one meal. If you want, you can use the same recipe for all three meals although you might get bored eating the same thing three times day. When choosing recipes, think about how you want to balance your meals and the kind of food that goes into it.
Another problem some people have is “How do I store all this food?”. Easy, use proper containers. Make sure you divide each meal accordingly and make sure the container you choose is air tight. Using bento-styled containers is ideal as the food stays separated and doesn’t become a bowl of mush. Yuck! You don’t want your food to spoil before you can even say bon appetit! It’ll make the food taste better and stay fresh throughout the week.
Also make sure your containers are BPA Free. This just means they’re safe to use when microwaving. It’ll be easier to cleanup as you don’t have to deal with washing plates and bowls. Having same sized containers is a good trick as it’s easier to stack and store instead of trying to play Tetris in your fridge or freezer.
Meal prepping is easy once you get into the groove of things. It doesn’t only help you save time but also will help you on your journey to healthy living. Happy prepping!