Weekly meal preparation can be an arduous task. You hate to repeat recipes too often, but you don’t have time to try a bunch of different things. You are also probably looking for something quick, but still nutritious and healthy. So what do you do? How do you make the most of your weekly meal prep?
According to many health experts, there is one thing that helps for certain in preparing your meals: do it in advance. Use recipes that you are comfortable with and get them ready ahead of time, storing them in the freezer or refrigerator for the week. What else can you do?
1. Plan Ahead
You should try to plan your meals for the upcoming week on Sundays—or any day over the weekend. Look for simple recipes in cookbooks or online resources such as Pinterest. Go through the cookbook or recipe selection, sparing half an hour to an hour of your time. Prepare a weekly menu, and write down the ingredients that you will need for each meal.
Now you not only have your menu, you also have your grocery list!
2. Shop Once Per Week
You should go grocery shopping once per week. Pick up your meat, fruits, and veggies—and any other ingredients you may need for your weekly menu.
3. Try Some Meal Prep
Try to season, or even cook, the meat ahead of time. Chop up the vegetables and place them all in different freezer bags. By the time you are ready to cook the meal, the advanced preparation process will have lightened your load.
Make a large pot of soup, put some in the refrigerator and even store some in the freezer. This can serve as dinner and lunch for a day or two. Grill some chicken over the weekend and save some for lunch and even dinner for one evening.
4. Prioritize Meals
Health experts advise that it is best to prioritize which meals you will prepare according to the simplicity. Make your plans for mainly breakfast and dinner. You can use leftovers each day for your lunch. For breakfast, prepare easy recipes such as boiled eggs or omelets. Add sausage or ham. If you are in a rush, a quick ham sandwich or cereal are both good options.
If you are stressed with what you should prepare for dinner, it means that you have forfeited advanced planning. The worst-case scenario is fixing a quick salad instead of heating up a TV dinner.
You don’t have to cook everything at one time when you get all the ingredients for your weekly meals. You could chop and prep the veggies, for example, and store them until it is time to prepare the actual meal. You could wash all fruits and vegetables, getting them ready for snacking. You could portion out other snacks such as nuts and crackers. You could cut up meat and freeze until it is time for the recipe you need that specific meat product for.
The smallest effort made in the food preparation process ahead of time can make a world of difference. It allows you to spend less time during the actually cooking process.
If you need some additional tips to try to get your healthy eating back on track, feel free to consult your doctor. He or she is there to help you with tips and tricks to maintain, or start, a healthy approach to eating and meal preparation.