Meal Prepping – Plan Ahead For Healthy Meals Throughout the Week
From Kayla Itsines Blog Feb 25, 2015
There are SO many ways to prep your food, I will go through some of the things that work for me, but remember you should adjust it to suit your lifestyle. Firstly, a big thing for me is taste. Like all of you, I love eating healthy foods that taste amazing. Unless you are a hardcore clean eater, cooking up 2 kilos of plain chicken breast and steamed broccoli probably won’t float your boat. I love experimenting with flavours, in particular spices and homemade marinades and dressings. I like to accompany my lean proteins with some sort of sauce or spice coating, or a lemon and olive oil dressing to jazz up my veggies. Try to incorporate as much variety as you can so that you don’t get bored of eating the same thing each day. This can be as simple as switching up your spices or protein (eg swapping your chicken for fish) every few days.
As I mentioned before, if you are new to the meal prep concept I would recommend preparing a few days’ meals at a time. How much time that you dedicate to this is completely up to you!
You can choose to dedicate a whole day to this or spread it out nightly. Personally, I prefer to take a few hours out of my Sunday night just so it is done and out of the way. How much prep I actually do will also depend on what it is I am actually preparing. For example, if there are meals/snacks that I like to eat fresh, such as a salad or veggie sticks, then I just group them in the same containers in the fridge and chop them up the morning of or just before I eat it. For more complex dishes, like stir frys, I will often chop all the veggies up so that they are ready to go when it’s time to cook. It is SUPER important to write down a clear plan and do what works for you.
The point of meal prep is to make life easier for you during the week, this doesn’t mean you have to pre-cook all of your food though! For example, you can marinate your chicken breasts, place them in the freezer, and defrost when you’re ready to use them. The same thing applies to homemade turkey burgers etc. Another example is to make one larger batch of your favourite sauces and refrigerate it, rather than make several smaller batches. I do this with my homemade tzatziki, which I use as a snack and on top of chicken and fish. If you like your vegetables freshly cooked, then you can portion them out for each meal and put them in containers ready to be steamed or cooked. If you know you will be making a meal that requires a lot of chopping, you can do this in advance as well. You can also wash all fruit and portion the nuts that you will be using as snacks, so that you can easily eat them on the run. When it comes to cooking your good carbohydrates such as quinoa, brown rice, and wholemeal pasta, I recommend cooking these upfront as these do take a little longer to prepare.