Meal Prep – The Do’s and Don’ts
At the end of a jam packed day, cooking a well-balanced, nutritious meal can be exhausting. For this very reason, preparing meals in bulk on a weekly basis has skyrocketed in popularity recently.
Meal prepping may seem daunting at first, but don’t fret! To help you master the science, I’ve added a few do’s, don’ts to help you successfully navigate your first try.
- Pick specific days to meal prep. Choose one or two days per week to prep your meals in bulk and start a weekly cadence for prepping. To keep it simple, focus on a few key ingredients that you’ll use for each meal and incorporate a handful of flavorful ingredients to add variety. While many choose to do their weekly meal prepping on Sunday, before their work week starts, choose a day that makes the most sense for you and your schedule—like the day you typically go to buy groceries.
- Have a go-to grocery list. Instead of blanking on what to cook each week, keep a list of standard items you buy each trip to the grocery store. Choose healthy items that you can cook several ways to ensure that your meals are nutritious and adaptable to different flavor profiles. Poultry, seafood, fruits and vegetables all are flexible ingredients that make a great base for balanced, easy meals.
- Use proper containers. Finding the right storage for your food is a major key to meal prep success. Your containers should help you portion your meals, protect from freezer burn, and keep your foods fresh. I love the Rubbermaid food storage containers, which help keep your greens crisp for several days at a time and will help you pack healthy, measured portions each time.
- Make your meals too complicated. Simple meals that are easy to jazz up with some last-minute flavor-boosting additions are essential to establishing a long-lasting meal prep habit.
- Wash your meat prior to cooking. Washing your meat before you cook increases the chances you will contaminate other cooking surfaces in the area Instead, transfer meats directly from the packaging into its cooking vessel and be sure to thoroughly wash any items that come in contact with the meat.
- Forget easy ways to add a pop of flavor to your meals. When you meal prep, it can be easy to fall into a dinner-time rut. Use spices, herbs, oils, and vinegars to add new flavors to your meal prep creations and keep your taste buds happy.
Tell us—what tips and tricks do you have for meal prepping? Let us know in the comments below!