Meal planning and prepping is a really helpful tool when you're trying to develop healthy, sustainable and joyful eating habits and, on a practical level, can make thinking about food for the week ahead a lot less stressful. Here's your simple, 5-step guide to really nailing your meal-prep!
1. Decide on your #mealprep level:
Are you going to go into full, all-out, ninja-planning mode or are you more of a - “I just know that Friday night's pizza night” kind of person? There are no rules for this, there is no "best way", it needs to work for you and your routine, and that can be flexible. Try not to make it into a "should", or something you feel bad about if you don’t have time for one week. The purpose of meal-prep is to make food less stressful, not more!
Pen and paper
a free 10 mins
First, sit down and think about the week ahead - how many nights will you be in, is anyone coming over, do you need to cook extra for lunches or dinner for the next day?
Once you know how many meals you will need, plan out what you'll make and write a shopping list of the things you'll need.
If you’re planning on prepping things for the week ahead, block out some time for that in your diary too.
Pro tip: Check the cupboard and fridge before you make your shopping list, that way you won’t double up on things you already have!
Ordering food online is an easy way to squeeze in shopping if you're really busy, otherwise, take your list, and go get yo food!
If you’ve set aside time to prepare food for the week ahead, pop on some music or a great podcast on (highly recommend this one by fellow anti-diet nutritionist Christy Harrison!) and get prepping! You could either cook up complete meals and snacks, ready for the week ahead, or just prepare some basics. Cooking up big batches of things like baked potatoes, quinoa, rice, meatballs, boiled eggs, pulses, muffins or chopped veggies, will mean that you have things at hand, ready for building quick meals or snacks.
Pack your prepared meals or meal components into containers (love these ones, oven, freezer and microwave safe), and, if cooked, once they’ve cooled a little, put them straight in the fridge. Most things will keep in the fridge for a week if stored in air-tight, sealed containers, but if you know you won’t be eating a meal until the end of the week, it might do better in the freezer. Check out this article for some food storage safety tips!
I hope this helps you to get started with meal-prep of your own, and shows that with a little planning and preparation you can save time, stress and perhaps even some money when it comes to food!
I offer personalised food planning, shopping and prepping coaching sessions, so if you want some help or need some great ideas, get in touch. All sessions are conducted via Skype, phone call or Whatsapp so if you don't live local to Leeds don't let that stop you!