Be honest, what is your first thought when I say food prep?
I know for a lot of people it sends shivers down your spine with thoughts of a hundred Tupperware containers on your work bench full of steamed chicken and broccoli, of which you simply must take photos for Facebook and Instagram – am I right?
Well take a big breath, bring your shoulders down and let’s have another look, it might just be better than you think
Firstly, why bother. Well any of you with goals to be more organised, save time during the week, gain muscle, loose body fat, eat more healthily, spend less on lunch etc,or if you work late and still have to feed the kids, work shifts or long hours, food prep will be a big help to you and will help you to stay on track
Secondly, where do you start, well this kind of depends on the reason why you are food prepping. If it is to save you some time and energy during your busy week, take time to look at your week, decide where you are going to be most rushed and or stressed and start from there – that could be breakfast, lunch or dinner. If you are trying to eat more healthily it could be as simple as preparing a big bowl of salad, or ready chopping vegetables, making healthy snacks and storing them. If you are concentrating on weight loss, look at your weekly menu and see what is able to be cooked and frozen or chopped ready to be eaten or cooked
Food prep can be the most simple of things lets have a look at some things you can pre prepare and some do’s and don’ts
- if this is your first time prepping don’t take on the whole week and stress yourself out, make 2-3 meals that will help you out the most
- again if just starting out begin with dishes or snacks that you have made before – don’t make life difficult
- plan when you are going to prep your food, set aside enough time to complete what you set out to do without rushing – might as well enjoy the process, make it a family affair and get the kids to prep their own snacks etc for school
- make sure you have everything you need before you start, that’s both ingredients and storage
- food prep doesn’t mean the food has to be cooked, it could be that big bowl of quinoa salad that is going to last you for 4 days, or ready chopping vegetables to cook during the week or portioning your meat/poultry before you freeze it or portioning nuts and seeds for snacks
In order for food prep to be beneficial it must fit into your life and serve a purpose. Don’t worry about what everyone else on FB is prepping, just think about what will help you and work with that, also remember as with any cooking, things go wrong, maybe they don’t freeze as well as you thought or you make too much salad and don’t get to eat it all, that’s OK just learn from it and move on, and just keep in mind that the food prep photos you get to see are the things people are proud of – otherwise they wouldn’t post them.
Still stuck for ideas? Here are a few of my favorites
Vegetable quiche – made with egg or tofu, slice before freezing
spag bol – an old favorite and so easy to get out for tea
Jamie Oliver’s 7 veg Tomato sauce – to add to the spag
Chicken and vegetable patties, great for lunch boxes, snacks or to make a meal
protein, energy or bliss balls
cooked potato, pumpkin, sweet potato
vegetable and quinoa salad
smoothies – freeze and take out the night before
vegetable snack packs
chopped cheese – way cheaper than buying the packaged stuff
nut and seed mix
slow cooker dishes – soup, curry, chicken, no pasta ricotta lasagna
pumpkin, vegetable or fruit muffins
Do I make all of this every week? Goodness no, but remember what ever you prepare will help you during the week, less stress, more time, more likely to reach your goals, and that can only be a good thing – Right!