If you’re anything like we were, meal prep is a dirty word. For so long we pushed the very idea aside as something only gym junkies looking to get shredded did. It brought to mind images of flavourless proteins mixed with equally flavourless steamed vegetables served with a hearty serving of boredom, rinsed and repeated seven-days a week until you have lost all will to live.
Ok, maybe it isn’t that extreme for you, but regardless, we’re here to tell you that meal prep does not have to be boring, it does not mean lack of flavour and it definitely isn’t only meant for athletes competing at the top tier of their chosen sports.
Meal prep, to put it simply, is here to set you up for success. It means being thoughtful about what you are consuming, and providing healthy and convenient options that will fuel your body with nourishing vitamins and minerals rather than processed options that are so easy to grab without a second thought, and will mean, that come summer you’re going to step out on the town feeling so confident because you have fuelled your body with nutrients rather than nutritionally void junk.
Meal Prep can definitely seem daunting at first glance. So we’ve put together some helpful tips and tricks that will hopefully take a bit of the guesswork out of meal prep, and set you up (even more so) for success!
- Be Prepared - this might seem self-explanatory but the most important part of meal prepping is to be prepared. Sit down, think about what you have coming up in the week ahead, consider what meals you want to prep for (i.e. All meals? Just lunch? Lunch and Dinner?), write down a menu and then a thorough list of ingredients that you need to get when you do your food shop. Think whole foods, we’ve got a bunch of pantry staples available in our Wholefood Pantry range.
- Do what works for you - there are no set rules when it comes to meal prep. You might just need to prep your lunches because cooking dinner is your jam! You might just want to have something quick and easy in the fridge that means that you can start your day right even though you’re running out the door most mornings. Meal prep is all about nourishing your body the way it needs in a way that works for you!
- Keep it simple - the key word here is ‘simple’, and no that doesn’t equate to boring. Streamline your cooking methods, throw a bunch of veggies in the oven along with your protein of choice, roast until they're toasted and delicious and wham bam thank you, ma’am, you've got a whole bunch of options available for you to mix and match in order to create delicious meals.
- Multitask like a boss - it will take a while to get your groove on in your meal prepping kitchen, but multitasking is key for making meal prep a breeze, once you’ve thrown your ingredients into the oven, begin to cook your healthy grains (quinoa, brown rice, whatever tickles your fancy, again hello Wholefood Pantry). It’s all about utilising your time and space effectively!
- Spice up your life - herbs and spices are your best friend here, yes you may be eating the same proteins, prepared in the same way, but you’ll be surprised what a difference mixing up the spices you use can make, our broths are also an awesome addition to your meals, adding a depth of flavour to sauces and soups.
- Don't go overboard - we know it’s addictive, but there's no need to go overboard with your prep (in fact it can leave a bad taste in your mouth). Think about when you’re going to be eating your prepared meals and how long the different elements will remain good for. As a rule of thumb, we like to refrigerate cooked ingredients that will be used within the next 2-3 days, the rest we like to freeze and just defrost the day before we’re going to use them.
- Go container crazy - It’s always best to have containers at the ready so that your fridge doesn’t end up looking like the ghost of leftover’s past. Having clear, easily stackable containers means that you’ll be able to have fridge goals and easily see what you have at hand to mix and match and make up delicious meals.
Hopefully, this blog has inspired you to get your meal planning on! If you’re struggling to find healthy whole food recipes you can always check out our recipe page for inspiration.