The hallmark strategy of healthy eating is planning.  “Meal prep” typically refers to either of the following approaches:

  • The planning and preparation of large quantities of ingredients to allow one to quickly combine foods into quick meals.

  • Batch cooking a large serving size of a meal packaged into individual air-tight storage containers and then stored in either the fridge to be consumed over the next few days or frozen for consumption over the next few months.

4 Tips to turn you into an organized master meal prepper in no time:

1. Planning:

  • Pick a day and time to plan your meals for the week (e.g. Thursday lunch break or Sunday after dinner). Use your phone, laptop or write it out in a meal planner or calendar

  • Make a grocery list. Aim to do this the day you plan your weekly meals or the following day.  Taking the time to write it out or print out a standard weekly grocery lists will ultimately save you time and money in the long run.

2. Organizing your healthy meal prep menu. To help you plan to map out your menu for each meal and snack to build your grocery list, consider meal prepping a couple foods from each of these categories:

 

Protein: roasted whole or shredded chicken breasts, cooked ground beef or turkey, baked fish hardboiled eggs.

Starch: quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc.

Vegetables: roasted veggies, spiralized veggies or cut-up fresh veggies.

Snacks: hummus and raw veggies.

Breakfast: homemade egg muffins or nut butter, overnight oats or slow-cooked porridge.

 

3. Preparing in Advance: Set aside 1-2 hours every weekend to prepare.

Prepare ingredients:  Prepare what you can in advance: cut vegetables and portion into individual snacking containers or in a larger container to use for salads or cooking during the week.  When you prep the right mix of food ingredients in advance, it is easy to combine these ingredients for healthy recipes that take less than 5 minutes to make

Prepare meals:  Batch cook a few recipes (e.g. soup, chili, or cuts of meat) portion and freeze for easy grab n’ go lunches the following week.   Pull out the slow cooker and prepare a batch of steel cut oatmeal (with cranberries, chopped dates or banana, vanilla extract and a sprinkle of cinnamon) to slowly cook overnight so it is hot and ready first thing in the morning.

 

4. Reduce the stress of “what’s for dinner” last-minute-meals. Always try to have some frozen and already portioned meals.  Having washed green salad and a few fresh, washed, and cut-up vegetables in the fridge is a good idea.  A quick snack of yogurt and a handful of nuts plus a glass of water can help keep you full for a couple of hours.

 

Here are some more resources to help you meal prep: Click Here

Need some recipe inspiration? Click Here  

References:

www.unlockfood.ca and www.downshiftology.com

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