It’s that time of the week again and you don’t want to cook the same chicken, rice and veggies that you have been having for the past 3 weeks. But you have no idea what else to do because it seems like that’s the only ‘healthy option’?…
Do not worry because you don’t have to! You can still have a balanced diet, eat great tasting food and still achieve your goals. For those of you that haven’t started meal prepping, get on board! It’s a great way to save money, time and helps you stick to a good eating plan. Here are my 5 top tips to effectively meal prep and keep your diet interesting and exciting!
1. Plan ahead Most people do their meal prep on a Saturday or Sunday for the week ahead but really you can start on any day. Don’t feel like you should comply with the norm of ‘diet starts Monday’ If it’s Tuesday night and you only just got to the supermarket. Look at your schedule and see what your week ahead looks like, what you are doing whether its work, uni, college, a few days off and even if you have planned to catch up with a friend. Know how many days and what meals you need to prepare for. Ensure you have any containers that you need and write everything down on a shopping list so you know exactly what you are getting so there are no sneaky trips down the chocolate isle!
2. Go spice and sauce crazy! I love adding different spices, herbs and various flavours to keep my meals interesting as well as lemon/lime juice for some acidity. Try adding some rosemary, cinnamon powder and salt when roasting sweet potato or carrots. I also have created my own mushroom sauce using coconut milk, minced garlic, mushrooms, low sodium beef stock, onions, Italian herbs and rosemary. This sauce can be added to any white meat – chicken, turkey, pork and even white fish.
3. Stock up on your meal prep staples Have quick things ready to go if you are in a rush or have limited time with your meal prep. In my cupboard I have microwaveable rice (much quicker and less washing up than using a pot or rice cooker!) quick oats – microwaveable, cans of tuna and beans, mixed unsalted nuts and rice cakes. In my freezer I have frozen berries and vegetables (cheaper, quicker and less washing up) and frozen fish (basa, hoki or barramundi)
4. Get Multitasking! If you tend to focus on one thing at a time this can take a lot longer and be quite discouraging. I like to have something in the oven (baking potato or grilling fish), and 1-2 pans/pots on the stove top (one pan for chicken and the other making a beef stir fry) While I’m cutting up my vegetables on the counter. This can allow for a lot more things getting done in a much shorter time frame.
5. Give yourself options It may seem easy to just eat the same thing lunch or dinner 5 days a week but I can guarantee you will get bored and unmotivated which can cause you to fall off the wagon! Try to give yourself at least 2 options for lunch or dinner. This can be as simple as choosing a different protein to have with your vegetables or salad – rotating between chicken, fish and beef or changing from brown rice to white rice or sweet potato to white potato.