It’s getting to that time of year when life gets really busy. The kids head back to school, summer holidays are a distant memory, and all those work projects you have been putting off for the last few months start to kick into high gear. A busy schedule and increased stress levels often mean that self-care starts to take a back seat. You just don’t have the time to fit in a workout or prepare a healthy meal. But those busy weeks are the times when it’s most important to look after yourself – making the time to ensure you eat well and move is the best way to combat stress. One way to make sure this happens is with a killer meal prep schedule.
Meal prep is the best way to ensure you reach for something healthy in the fridge or freezer rather than a takeaway menu or app. Make it a habit and you can transform how you eat. These are some of the ways you can raise your meal-prep game.
Make a Plan
Meal prep is all about getting ahead of the curve. Ideally, you want to plan out your meals a week ahead and hit the shops with the same frequency. Ten minutes of planning now can make all the difference later on.
Choose a Set time Every Week to Prep
Sunday afternoons are the perfect time for this. Pop on your favourite box set or podcast and spend a couple of hours in the kitchen, prepping veggies, bagging up snacks, and cooking and portioning out main meals. The time you spend now is going to pay back through the week.
Slice and Dice
Meal Prep isn’t just about batch cooking – although that is part of it – it’s also about making your cooking life easier in every way possible. This means doing those time-consuming cooking jobs ahead of time. Slice veggies for a stir fry, portion them up and pop them in the freezer – you just saved yourself half an hour of hard work in the week. It’s also a great way to get a handle on portion control.
Breakfast is the meal we most often skip, but it is also the one we are least likely to prep. Make sure you always have food to grab and go by perfecting your overnight oats or trying out a new recipe for mini baked frittatas.
You are gonna need containers, a lot of containers. Stock up on containers that are freezer and dishwasher safe. Paper and foil containers may seem more environmentally friendly in the short term, but if you are going to use them over and over again, it makes sense to go plastic. Try to avoid plastic bags where possible though.
Learn to Love Your Slow Cooker
Throw all your ingredients in, forget about it and come back to a huge batch of a healthy stew, chilli, or soup? Yes, please! A slow cooker is a meal preppers best friend and one of the most sensible investments you can make in this process. From curry to pulled pork and chicken casserole, there is no end to what it can produce.
I hope you’re inspired to give meal prep a try this weekend. In the meantime, if you’re looking for support with upping your exercise game, Fit Fusion PT can help. Get one on one support from our awesome personal trainers or push yourself in a crowd with one of our group classes. Until next week, stay amazing.