We’ve all been there, exchanging coins for a small breakfast bar and a fizzy drink. Enviously, and slightly resentfully ogling the vibrant salads and sandwiches of the people around us. How do they find the time every morning? The key is planning. This article will tell you about the key components of meal prepping for success. I’m sure you’ve heard all the generic tricks, but if you’re looking for more in-depth tips, you too can enjoy gratifying and nutritious meals every day of the week. Here’s how in Meal Prep: 5 Simple Steps for Beginners!
The first step of investing in your health and a key factor in meal prepping is reusable containers. We’re not talking about the flimsy plastic boxes you’ve had in your cupboard for years. Those can’t be trusted, and believe me, you don’t want your lunch spilling in your bag during transit. Invest in your reusable containers, and that doesn’t mean you have to spend your entire paycheck. Any larger supermarket has a good choice of affordable options, just make sure they’re microwave and dishwasher safe. Look at these for inspiration.
2. Don’t Panic! Keep it Simple
So, you’ve invested in your containers, and now the dread sets in. Your mind is blank, inspiration is gone and you’re standing in the supermarket aisles overwhelmed by choice. The key is to keep it simple. What do you like to eat? Don’t feel that you need to go out of your way to try new and exciting recipes, keep it modest until you get comfortable. If you’re a person who likes rice over pasta, make that your core source of carb. If you’re not a fan of tomatoes, don’t include them. The beauty of meal prepping is customisation.
3. Structure is the Key to Success
The diagram below is an easy guide for how you should structure a basic meal. Make a note of the four core categories and formulate your meal based on your preferences. Having a nutritiously balanced and coherent meal is the best way to meal-prep as you will not only feel your best physically but also mentally.
4. Prepare & Store Effectively
After purchasing your favourite ingredients, set a day aside and bulk prepare them all. If you’re planning on making lunches for your workweek, prepare them all Sunday afternoon, label and store in the fridge for easy access. If you’re making a salad, keep your pre-cut vegetables separate from the greens and assemble before eating to avoid them going soggy. You can also meal prep and store in the freezer, taking the container out to defrost overnight if you’re prepping for more than one week!
5. The World is Your Oyster!
Adapting your meal has never been easier. You can vary what you eat every week, find inspiration from your favourite meals or even look online for new and innovative ways to cook. Remember, you can use the same ingredients in a variety of ways and still create a different meal by altering the spices and condiments you use! If you’re feeling stuck here is a list of healthy options for each category:
Carbohydrates: Sweet Potato, Wholegrain Pasta & Rice, Chickpeas, Quinoa
Lean Protein: Beans, Legumes, Chicken, Eggs, Turkey
Healthy Fats: Avocado, Mixed Nuts, Minimally-processed Oil
Non-starchy Vegetables: Broccoli, Green Beans, Carrot, Eggplant, Bell Peppers, Spinach, Red Cabbage, Zucchini, Beetroot, Onion, Kale