A healthy meal preparation is a great way of embibing positivity in your daily life. It not only saves your time and money but also improves your health. Sometimes in our busy schedules we don’t have so much time to spend for preparation of meals but, if we plan out our meal and prepare a bit for them in advance it becomes easy for us throughout the week. It also helps us from avoiding junk food during the week when we have a busy schedule. Studies claim that it takes only 10-15 minutes per week to plan out the meals and it helps in reducing your stress and anxiety. Here are some tips with which you could start off if you are planning pre- preparation of your meals :
1. START WITH TAKING BABY STEPS
If you have never planned your meal before or you are getting on the right track after a long time, the thought of meal prep might intimidate you initially. So you should start by taking one step at a time and plan out a few meals or snacks for the week. Eventually you will figure out what suits you the best and slowly you can make a plan by adding more meals that fits your plan.
2. INCLUDE A VARIETY OF FOOD IN YOUR PLAN
It is important that you include all the food groups while planning your meal. A healthy meal prep includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grain, healthy fats and high quality protein while excluding sugar, salt and refined grains.
3. GETTING ORGANIZED
Getting organized is very important for any meal prep. If your kitchen, refrigerator or pantries already contain the tool and ingredients that you need for the preparation of your meal then it will be a cakewalk for you. Another point to keep in your mind is you don’t have to stuff your pantry in bulk with food ingredients. Reducing waste is also important that’s why you should always shop the right amount needed. There’s no right or wrong way to organize your pantry. The only right way is the one that suits you the best.
4. BUY QUALITY STORAGE CONTAINERS
Storage containers are important tools in meal prep. It’s worth your time and money if you go and purchase the right ones. When we store food we need to make sure that it is in the right container so that the quality of the food is maintained. Plastic containers are a bit harmful and less preferred these days. Glass containers on the other hand are ‘eco-friendly’ and safe. Plus they are widely available in stores and on online shopping websites.
5. KEEP A GOOD STOCK OF SPICES
Herbs and spices are overloaded with health benefits and they are obtained from plant compounds. They help in reducing cell damage and inflammation.
Herbs help distinguishing between an average dish and an awesome dish. Meal plans become easy to follow if it consist of delicious dishes and also soothes the tongue after a long and tiring day. After all wise people say “ A good meal is all that’s needed”
6. LEARN TO RESIST THE TEMPTATION WHILE YOU SHOP
‘ DO NOT HEAD OUT FOR GROCERY SHOPPING WHILE YOU’RE HUNGRY ’. This is because when you are hungry you tend to buy things which you regret later. There is a huge stock of junk food and instead of buying what you actually wanted, you give in to the temptation. Be smart, have a snack and then head out for shopping groceries.
7. STORE YOUR RECIPES
It becomes extremely frustrating when we forget a recipe that our family likes or we have to think what to cook just before we have to prepare a meal. Hence it becomes important to store your recipe physically on a piece of paper somewhere in the house or digitally on your tablets, phones or computers. This helps in avoiding stress to think about what exactly to eat.
8. REPURPOSE THE LEFTOVER FOOD
If you don’t have enough time to cook or you don’t like to cook for every time’s meal then a great way for saving your efforts is utilizing the leftovers from the last meal you had. If you are not a person that likes eating leftovers then repurposing helps. For example, if you had vegetable wraps for dinner then you could use that filling in sandwiches for breakfast.
9. ASK FOR SUGGESTIONS
It’s not your responsibilty alone to decide what you have to cook. You could always ask your family members for some suggestions. If you live alone you can ask your friends what they plan for their meal. Apart from that there are also youtube channels and cooking shows on television which inspire us to go for healthy meals.
10. VARY THE MENU
If you get stuck in the dieting rut and keep eating the same food for a long time then you might get bored and might not be able to stick to the meal plan. To avoid this try making new dishes at regular intervals of time and instead of seeing this as another chore try to make it fun by asking your family members to help or listen to music or podcasts if you do it alone. Try making it enjoyable and fun, turn it into quality time spent with your family or rather see it as a selfcare routine.
Planning your meals in advance can be fun and it is a great way to save time and money. You just need to change your perspective and look at it the other way round. It will help you create a very unique lifestyle along with added health benefits.