Not only can meal prep curb the urge to call in your favorite takeout on a nightly basis, it also takes the guesswork out of meals, giving you more time to dominate other facets of your week, as well as more time to spend on things you enjoy.
As we soon leave summer behind and enter into the holiday seasons, it’s a good time to refresh your meal prep skills:
- It all starts with a clean kitchen. This is the number one tip I always advise. Have all dishes cleaned and put up, have all trash taken out and put to the curb, have all your counters sparkling clean. I often tell people that meal prep starts not with cooking but with cleaning your kitchen. Trust me, this will save a lot more time, work, and stress than you can imagine.
- Invest in quality glass storage containers. Place quality glass storage containers with all your cooked bulk foods front and center so your eye catches them when opening the fridge doors. It makes the produce more appetizing and research has shown using glass containers and proper placement leads to healthier diet quality.
- Get used to loving rice. Rice is great. It’s cheap, provides a pure carbohydrate source, and can be used in many ways as it’s use spans virtually all cultures. Even frozen, it stores reheats very well. As an added bonus, when rice is cooked, cooled, and reheated, some of the starch is converted to resistant starch, which acts as a prebiotic to feed the healthy bacteria in your gut.
- Go frozen. Don’t be afraid to make fresh meals out of frozen ingredients. Nowadays you can find every food group in the freezer aisle – frozen quinoa, frozen mixed vegetables, and frozen lean proteins – to help you make meal time easy, simple, and balanced.
- Plan a weekly menu. Even if it’s just 3 ideas for dinner, a weekly menu helps organize your shopping which can save money and time at the store and reduce food waste at the end of the week. Jot it down and post it in the kitchen. Sure, you can cook 5lbs of chicken at a time, and yeah sure, the numbers could work out conveniently, but humans are dynamic individuals with a range of tastes and cravings; it will help you stay on plan and avoiding the drive-thru much easier if you plan a range things you enjoy.
These will help your prep remain more sustainable in the long run, which is the path to achieving results.