Meal Prep 101
If cooking is a drag for you or it’s difficult to make time for it, meal prep can be a useful solution to ensure you have healthy, nutrient-dense meals on hand.
Find What Works for You
There’s no right or wrong way to meal prep. The best approach is the one that works for you and that you’ll stick with. There are a few different ways you can prep your meals.
- Ready-to-go meals: You can make entire meals and pre-portion them out ahead of time, like salads or a protein/veggie/grain combination.
- Batch cook and freeze: Preparing a larger quantity of freezer-friendly meals, like soup, ensures that you always have a homemade meal on hand.
- Ready-to-cook ingredients: Washing, chopping, and cutting your produce ahead of time makes assembling a meal that much easier.
- Partial prep: Try cooking all your animal protein or whole grains for the week ahead. This reduces time spent cooking but still allows you to have fresh meals all week.
- Once you decide what kind of meal prep you want to execute, go ahead and get started! Here’s how:
Step 1: Plan
First, plan your meals and create a menu for the period of time you’re prepping for. Then, build a grocery list and get your needed ingredients. Coach tip: Plan around what you already have in your kitchen so you can condense your shopping list and cut the grocery bill.
Step 2: Prep
Whether you’re following a recipe or just throwing ingredients together, spend some time in the kitchen. Even a short amount of time prepping your meals can save you time and energy later.
Step 3: Store
Store your prepared ingredients and meals however serves you best. That might be in individual containers, large quantities for the family, or in the freezer for later use.
Cooking healthy meals doesn’t have to be a burden. Just a bit of preparation can ensure you have balanced meals all week without having to take too much time out of your schedule.