Meal prep is often a hassle even for veterans. However, it can be something you look forward to every week if you plan it very well. You can opt for a pre-cook two days of the week if one day seems overwhelming.
Consequently, you can order in some meals to avoid having too much pre-cooked food in your freezer or fridge. Nowadays it is not hard to find a meal prep delivery service that delivers within your area. For example, if you are in Toronto, Canada, make use of Toronto healthy home delivery meals and you will not regret it.
Nonetheless, to succeed at meal prepping, you will need a plan and a set of rules to follow in order to prevent any mismanagement. Here are some five rules of successful meal prep.
1. Pick Your Meal Prep Day Ahead of Time
To avoid the last-minute rush of pre-cooking and preparing your meals, make a meal prep plan days ahead of time. You can pick two days of the week, Sunday and Wednesday. This way you do not interfere with any Friday or Saturday plans and still manage to have fresh-smelling food towards the end of the week.
Moreover, meal prepping on a single day can be overwhelming depending on the amount of food you will be making. Besides, you are likely to end up with smelly food towards the end of the week.
On a lighter note, meal prep only works if it is manageable. So choose two days of the week for it and plan for it properly.
2. Know Your Numbers
Never start meal prep without knowing the number of meals you will be preparing, the amount and what those meals will consist of, in terms of ingredients and food produce.
Therefore, determine the number of meals as well as days of the week you will be preparing your food for. For example, you can opt to prepare only lunches for the week or every other meal of the day, breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So regardless of how many meals you will be preparing for the week, get to know this before you start your meal prep or even choose the days of the meal prep.
3. Make a Shopping List and Go Grocery Shopping
Once you know your meal prep numbers get a paper and write down everything you will need for the meal prep. As much as you may have, some leftover ingredients and food produce in your pantry. It is always advisable to do some shopping, as you are likely to run out of food while making your meal prep.
Therefore, always make it a habit to make weekly or bi-weekly shopping trips to the grocery stores for some fresh food produce. Besides, with your recipe and numbers in mind, you are likely to avoid food waste and even save some money in the process, no impulse buying of produce.
4. Stick With Staple Items
As much as you would like to include a variety of food within your weekly meals, choose food products that do not spoil faster due to storage.
Fancy food take time to prepare and tend to taste worse when it has been left for long in food containers, so opt for easy to cook meals that can be cooked in bulk and stored for long. Food that stores well for long does not lose its taste even when kept in a food container.
Some proteins that store well include chicken breast, pork tenderloin, lean ground beef, flank steak, low-fat beef jerky as well as lean lunchmeat like turkey breast, roast beef, and ham.
As for carbohydrates, you can settle for quinoa, brown rice, oats, couscous, wild rice, bread, and whole-grain tortillas. Healthy fats ideal for meal prep include walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almond butter, peanut butter, pistachios, coconut oil, and olive oil.
5. Invest In an Insulated Meal Bag or Cooler
You will need a cooler or an insulated meal bag to keep your meals fresh all day, especially if you are going to carry some to work. It can make the whole process easier and the controlled temperature of cooler or insulated meal bag can help protect you from foodborne illness.
Carrying numerous containers to work can be frustrating and plenty of your meals might end up on the ground. So invest in a quality cooler or insulated meal bag for easy portability of your meals wherever you want.
In conclusion, meal prep is not something you decide overnight and wake up to do. It requires proper planning as well as consistency for it to work. So try and follow these set of rules for better and successful meal prep weeks.