How to Meal Prep Like a Pro
The meal prep craze has been attracting attention for years now. While seeing flawless preparations from Instagram foodies can seem intimidating, the whole purpose is to simplify your life.
In fact, meal prepping can help make “healthy eating” easier than you ever thought. And it will save you a ton of time on top of that.
The benefits of meal prepping
The primary benefit is the chance to save yourself time throughout the week. Instead of having to think about dinner after a long day, when your brainpower and energy levels are tapped, you have a delicious meal waiting. Unsurprisingly, this can work wonders for your stress levels.
On top of that, it’s easier to eat healthier when you have food ready in a predetermined portion size. If you already have something fresh and nutritious on hand, you’re more inclined to eat it before it spoils.
It’s also far less tempting to resort to your Postmates delivery app, which saves you money. Buying in bulk makes you a more strategic, cost-savvy shopper. When you plan and know exactly what you need, it eliminates impulse buying and, consequently, wasted ingredients.
Overall, it’s a great option for those pressed for time, energy and options throughout the week.
Top meal prep tips
Ready to start your meal prep routine? Here are a few of the top tips that will help you get started.
A little creativity in the kitchen helps ensure food prep isn’t just another chore. The more excited you get about the food you put in, the more likely you are to want to stick with it.
Now is the perfect time to try new recipes you’ve bookmarked online or dogearred in your favorite magazines. Or, maybe it’s the right time to make that Pinterest account. When you make your meals look colorful, filled with your favorite fruits, veggies and proteins, healthy eating becomes a snap.
Up your container game
Meal prepping requires some useful tools — and the container is everything. Nothing takes the wind out of your meal prepping sails like a missing lid, or flimsy container that cracks. Plus, it’s helpful to have different sizes for a variety of meals.
A quick Google search will lead you to tons of options, but we narrowed down some top favorites.
- Brilliance Salad & Lunch Combo Kit
- Flex Bento Food Storage Container
- Three-in-One Stainless Food Canister & Lunch Box
- Mason Jars with Silver Lids
Stay organized with lists or apps
We all know how dangerous it is to walk into the grocery store without a plan. Use a list that puts all of your food for the week in one place. More than anything, it will help you keep from feeling overwhelmed and buying a bunch of food with no recipe in mind.
Having a designated place to store your recipes will also make life much easier in the long-run, since you can return to your favorites instead of hunting for floating pieces of paper.
Start with your longest recipes
Though it might seem like common sense, it’s all too easy to forget to start with the longest recipe. This way, you can work on the shorter ones while something else is cooking to maximize your time.
Consider prepping on the weekends
The beauty of meal prepping is not worrying about it during the weekdays when you have meetings, appointments, etc. Most people find that Saturday or Sunday works best for getting it out of the way. However, maybe you have some free time on Wednesdays — experiment to see what works best for your unique schedule.
Spending two hours one day a week getting your meals set for five days saves you valuable time (and effort) over the course of the week. Some people also find that about an hour twice a week works better.
CA is here to boost your health
Less time spent figuring out what to eat means more time to devote to fitness.
At CA, our three state-of-the-art fitness clubs — Supreme Sports Club, Columbia Gym and Columbia Athletic Club — each offer a unique experience to enhance your wellbeing. There’s personal training programs, group fitness classes and plenty of amenities, from the warm water therapy pool to indoor racquetball, to make it easy to stay active. Learn more on our website.