Meal Prep 101: 7 Meal Prep Tips to Get You Started
Meal prep can be quite overwhelming at the start if you are not used to cooking in bulk. However, there's nothing these tips can't fix and I promise you, meal prep will almost be a breeze after you implement these meal prep tips.
(PS: Corresponding video for this Meal Prep Tips video is at the bottom of this blog post.)
These meal prep tips were discovered based on my personal experiences and after all the years of trial and error with meal prepping!
7 Meal Prep Tips to Get You Started
1. Always cook extra protein and freeze them - they work great as "emergency meals"
Whenever I cook my chicken or mince, I don't measure the "exact amount" required for the week. There's usually (at least) one extra servings which I will freeze them. On weeks that I don't feel like cooking, I have these "emergency meals" ready in the freezer. All I need is some frozen veggies and rice and voila - a healthy & balance meal ready to go!
2. Always start with the dishes/ ingredients that take the longest
This is my top tip to be an efficient meal prep ninja! In most cases, it's usually the carbs (such as rice, sweet potatoes, pumpkin...) unless your poultry needs marination. Get these dishes/ ingredients started - then you can move on to chopping veggies and fruits. This will most definitely halve your meal prep time!
3. Portion and store your meals individually so you can Grab & Go!
Meal prep is an attractive option because you only need to prep & cook once and enjoy it all week long! Why not make it even more convenient by adding the grab-and-go WOW factor. If you are always out and about, portioning them into individual containers will be a huge time saver! It only takes you an extra 5-10 minutes after meal prepping, but makes your life a WHOLE LOT easier!
Extra bonus: If you are tracking your macros, meal prepping means you don't need to do math daily to work out if you hit your macros. ;) Get majority of your macros sorted via meal prepping & have some extra levy for treats or your favourite food!
Also check out: 5 Meal Prep Hacks for Busy Bees
4. Utilise the same ingredients for different meals to save some money and minimise wastage
So, rather than having a range of different ingredients for your meals (eg:lunch and dinner) - be more savvy with the ingredients) I cover this in detail in my Why I Meal Prep video. Next time, when you are buying sweet potatoes for the week, consider using it for lunch (roasted?) and dinner (mash or cube them to be added to your salad?)!
5. Block out 2-3 meals a week as your "appointment meals" and DO NOT prep for these meals!
When you put together your meal plan for the week, allow a few appointment meals where you schedule your appointments, meet ups and catch ups! This is to ensure you don't end up having lotsa uneaten meals in the fridge/ freezer due to unforeseen plans (like your colleague's sister's birthday dinner!) Personally, I allocate one breakfast, lunch and dinner each week as appointment meals and am usually quite flexible on the weekend!
I am sure this is your favourite tip ;) We are all about making it fit your lifestyle and not eating out at all is unrealistic (unless you are prepping for a comp - that's a completely different story).
6. Prepare the ingredients of your smoothie/ protein shake in advance - so all you need to do on the day is BLEND!
Smoothie is a great way to fill you up and nourish your body with the macro and micronutrients it needs. To make your life a lot easier, chop up the fruits (or opt for the frozen ones), wash up your greens and pack them into individual freezer bags on the weekend. When it comes to the morning itself, add in your favourite protein powder, superfoods powder and liquid of choice. Ta-da you got yourself a protein & nutrients packed breakfast! Non of these meal replacement bullshit!
Also check out: Pina Colada Smoothie Recipe
7. Spice it up, baby.
Spices should be your best friend when it comes to adding flavours to your meals. Spices is the BEST way (in my humble opinion) to make healthy food taste amazing without all the extra preservatives, nasties and calories!
Feeling like Mexican? Load up on cumin and paprika. Or feeling like Italian? Add in some oregano and mixed herbs. Feeling like Indian? Add those curry powder and cumin into your cooking.
So simple, so easy and so delicious!
Hope you enjoyed the tips and find them helpful! Which one is your favourite?
Would love to know how you go after you give it a try! :)
Also, if you haven't already, don't forget to download our EPIC Meal Prep Ninja Checklist to take you from Zero to Ninja in meal prepping! x