Meal Prep Like a Pro
You are much more likely to eat nutritious meals when they are ready and available than you are to order in or go to the store for a “quick snack.”
So, How Do You Do It?
It’s actually not that complicated: you just need to get started. Here are some beginner-friendly tips:
- If you do not want to overwhelm yourself in the beginning, start with one meal a day. For example, prepare and save all your lunches for the coming week.
- Set aside time once a week (every Sunday, for example) to prepare meals.
- Use reliable recipes. Recipes that you know how to prepare and like are an excellent place to start.
- Choose 1–3 meals to prepare in advance. This means you will eat the same meal (or a version of it) 1–2 times in a row.
- Get some containers for your meals. Smaller containers for salad dressing or dips are also convenient.
Consider the different cooking techniques available to you, and then consider how many meals you can prepare at one time. Meal prepping saves time and money and allows you to always have healthy meals on hand. What more could you ask for?
Food safety is essential when preparing any meal, and it is absolutely critical when it comes to meal prep. If you cook your meals and store them for a long time, they can ferment just long enough to cause an adverse reaction.
When packaged and stored, leftover food can release histamines as a byproduct of the fermentation process. If you are particularly sensitive to these compounds, your leftovers could cause brain fog and fatigue.
- To prevent your food from spoiling, prepare meals for a shorter time or prepare individual ingredients instead of whole meals.
- Use separate containers to avoid cross-contamination (or flavor contamination).
- Pack wet foods separately from dry foods.
- Use ice packs to keep cold foods cold and preheated insulated containers to keep hot foods hot.
- And of course, clean your hands and produce before cooking.
If you want to spend less time in the kitchen, consider meal prepping. It promotes nutritious, healthy meals and discourages unhealthy fast food alternatives. Choose a meal prep method that works for you and dedicate one day a week to planning, shopping, and cooking.