Eating healthy food on a regular basis doesn’t come naturally to a lot of people, and that may just be because growing up a person wasn’t exposed to why it is important for health. But also because they were maybe not shown how to make eating healthy simple!
That is where meal planning and meal prepping can really improve your relationship with food, and help you meet your daily nutrition needs to help you feel great.
Getting Started With Meal Planning & Prepping In 3 Easy Steps
To make meal planning and prepping a success it pays off to first sit down and write out roughly what meals you enjoy and then make a detailed 5 or 7 day meal plan filled with full recipes that you enjoy. If you opt for a 5 day meal plan, you could leave yourself with 2 days to be flexible throwing together meals with leftovers for example.
Pro Tip: It isn’t a good idea to fill the plan with recipes you “think” you should eat because this will not drive the motivation you need to actually make them! Always choose to make meals you enjoy in the early days.
The next step is to go to the grocery store or do some online shopping and get all the ingredients you need from your pre-chosen recipes in step 1. Be sure to buy enough ingredients for the number of members in your household per meal.
Pro Tip: To make it easier on your pocket, it can pay to choose a couple of recipes with similar ingredients.
And the final step is to set aside a day each week to prepare all your meals from scratch and in bulk, and then once they have cooled, freeze them. This allows you to take out when needed throughout the week the meal you want to ‘heat and eat’ quickly. Here lies the beauty of meal planning and prepping! Many people find preparing just the daily dinner meal in this way makes life so much easier, especially because no one wants to slave over cooking a meal after a long day at work!
Pro Tip: Prepare a 14 day meal plan and rotate the meals you are going to prep and cook in batch once a week. Picking a day when you are not at work to do the batch cooking often works best here, as you will have the energy and motivation to work on the meal prepping.
Get Started This Week
With meal prepping you do not have to be a very experienced cook, simply focus on making meals that are easy for you at first and that you enjoy. The next step to making this a new habit is to write down a fixed day in your calendar when you will meal plan and prep every week. As this becomes a new habit then you can work on expanding your cooking skills and being more adventurous with food choices and ingredients.
Not all the meals have to be frozen, some can be eaten the same day, and some can be prepped fresh to eat the next day if stored in the fridge, i.e. homemade sweet potato chips work well-prepped in bulk, stored and then cooked the next day in an air fryer.