Say goodbye to sad-looking sandwiches and limp salads. We’re here to help you master the meal-prep! Believe it or not, meal-prepping isn’t just for that annoying gym-addict who always seems to hog the microwave. There’s more to it than chicken, rice and tupperware, y’know! Maybe you’re trying to eat healthier? Or maybe you skip lunch far too often due to poor preparation? Whatever your reason, it’s time to get on top of your meal-prep game! Here’s five hacks we think will help.
As the old saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Start by writing a day by day list of your meals and a shopping list of ingredients you need to buy to make these meals. When planning, consider:
- How easy is it to make these meals? – we’re no Gordon Ramsey and neither are you, so choose wisely
- Are these meals balanced? – do they include carbs, protein and fats?
- Can these meals be safely and easily reheated?
If they tick all three boxes, you’re good to go!
Word on the street says that meal-prepping masters swear by bulk buying. It’s often a lot cheaper to buy in bulk and it also allows you to prep for the whole week. Proteins and carbs are usually the best to buy in bulk – think huge bags of rice, trays of chicken pieces, etc. If you’re on a bit of a budget, buying from the reduced counters are also a good shout. Most supermarkets reduce food that is going out of date that day. Many foods, such as meat and fish, can be frozen and are perfectly fine to defrost and cook after their sell-by date.
Now, just because you buy in bulk doesn’t mean you need to eat the same thing every single meal. Mix it up or you’ll find yourself getting bored and you’re then more likely to fall off the wagon and find yourself digging into that sad-looking sandwich you promised yourself you’d never buy again. Eating the same thing every day isn’t great nutritionally either – you need a good mix of foods in order to get a variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet. If you do decide to eat chicken, say, for every lunch meal that week, cook it using different spices and seasoning so that each meal is a little different. You can buy a number of different seasonings from the supermarket these days or, better still, invest in a spice rack and see how creative you can get with your meal prep.
A meal-prep must-have. Looking for a delicious stew to warm your soul on a cold winter’s day? Throw in some meat (or not if your veggie or vegan), beans or pulses (good alternative for you plant powered people), veggies, a good glug of stock and some seasoning and let it simmer away all day and, voila! Recipes such as chilli and bolognaise are also fab in the slow cooker and you can often cook a good 5-6 portions at once (depending on your appetite – we won’t judge) so you can bask in leftovers galore all week long. Or freeze it and eat it when you like!
And when we say tupperware, we don’t mean the flimsy type that your Chinese takeaway comes in (mmm Chow Mein). We recommend investing in some quality containers with secure seals because when you’ve gone to so much meal-prepping effort, leakages just aren’t convenient.
So, who’s going food shopping?! Let us know if these tips help – we’d love to see some of your meal-prep masterpieces so be sure to tag us at @grenadeofficial. Looking for more nutritional tips and advice? Find out how nutrition affects mood and discover what impact carbs actually are over on our blog.