Meal prep 101
Do you struggle with eating healthily because you don't have time? Do you often make unhealthy food choices out of convenience? Would you like to save some of the money that you spend buying expensive take-out? If you answered yes to any of these questions, meal prepping may just be the solution that you're looking for.
What is meal prep?
Meal prep is the process of preparing several healthy meals ahead of time.
Why meal prep?
The number one reason that people give as to why they don't eat healthily is time. Most of us are busy during the week- between working, going to the gym, making time for friends and family and working on personal projects, who has time to cook after a long and exhausting day? Prepping meals ahead of time can help you stay on track as you always have nutritious and delicious meals ready. You also know exactly what ingredients went into the preparation of the meals. An added bonus is saving money that you would otherwise spend on take-out; aggregate this money over weeks or months and you can spend this money on a cute outfit or on a small trip.
Why pre-package meals into containers?
I like to do it for two main reasons: the convenience of having meals ready to grab and go all week and portion control- I'm less likely to overeat when I'm starving if I've already portioned out my meals.
How often do I meal prep?
Every weekend. I cook all my meals for the week and pack them away into meal prep containers immediately. For dinner, I have the option of making a fresh new meal if I'm inspired or conveniently heating up a meal after a long day. Here's a link to the inexpensive 10-pack of meal prep containers that I'm currently using.
How much food do I prepare?
As much as I can really but I try to make at least two protein dishes, like fish and chicken or steak and seafood; I stir-fry some veggies; I chop up salad ingredients; and I steam some squash or sweet potatoes. I make sure these meals will carry me all through Friday evening. Also, the more variety that I have, the less likely it is that I'll get bored from eating the same thing daily.
How long does meal prepping take?
To be honest, meal prepping is a time commitment. Between buying groceries, chopping up ingredients, seasoning meats and cooking, it takes me roughly 2.5 hours every Sunday. But I keep it interesting for myself by either listen to music, calling up my darling cousin Shiro for some gossip, or watch my favorite show as I sip on a delicious smoothie. I remind myself that this is me time. I'm caring for myself, so I make the process as enjoyable as possible.