Meal Prepping 101
Eating healthier is one of the most popular New Years resolutions out there, but alot of the time, people try for a few weeks and fail because they just aren't sure what their definition of healthy is or how to do it successfully. Many times, time is the biggest factor, in that the convinience of eating out all the time is somewhat tarnished by the prevalence of un-healthy choices or the higher price of healthy options.
So how can it be done?
There are many ways, but meal planning is definitely in the top 3. I love to meal plan simply because it takes away the indecision of what to eat, the temptation of eating out and it saves a ton of money. Going to the grocery store with simply "healthy choices" in mind doesnt always make for a basket full of choices in the terms of actually making a meal come together at dinner time, often in less than 30 minutes. With a list prepared for all the exact meals you will be preparing, it makes a breeze and limits the extra purchases that may go bad or are unecessary for that week.
First things first, find recipes that are healthy and that you LOVE to eat. If you're on your own, choose 2-3 to make for each meal so you don't have to buy full portions of things you won't use completely. If you have a family, make 3-4 different recipes and ask your spouse or kids to pitch in. Choose a day that works for you, for me it's Saturdays.
Make your grocery list according to your recipes. Not everything has to be made in advance, like oatmeal in the morning or a fruit smoothie. Stick to the list! Make all the meals that would take more than 15 minutes to make, especially lunches. Pre-portion out all meals that won't be eaten at home. I work from home and I still make sure many of my meals are pre-made on the one day a week so that I can focus on other things during the week.
When preparing your meal, cook the similar ones at the same time and cut on time byt pre-rinsing and chopping all your ingredients before turning on the stove. One of my usual tricks to save time is also to have the cooking methods distributed between crock-pot, oven and stove so I can have more being done at the same time.
Make every week different to keep you interested and craving the meals you make. Spend a little time on pinterest or other recipe sites to get new ideas and try out new cuisines. Also, I usualy reserve one night of the week to go out if I feel like it, which is usually sushi or Indian food.
Also, if this isn't something you either have the time for or the inclination, check out the meal delivery services in your city, there are many plant-based ones popping up. This new trend does all the work for you and you can often choose from one to three meals a day so that you are eating well without any work at all. If you're in Vancouver, BC or Ottawa, ON, check out Purple Radish Kitchen.