Whether it’s because of a lack of time, an upcoming trip, or a desire to avoid cleaning more dishes, preparing meals in advance can help you decrease stress and stay more consistent with your health goals. There are lots of different ways that you can make it easier to prepare your meals and we will talk about several different options today. Also be sure to check out The LinnFit Coaching Podcast wherever you listen to podcasts. Recently on the podcast Caleb discusses the easiest ways to maintain your exercise gains through a busy season of life or while on vacation.
If we are going to begin meal prepping we need to consider what works best for each of us individually. Consider some of these questions to start thinking through what could be a next step for you.
-How much time do you have for cooking?
-Do you only need to meal prep for certain meals throughout your week? Lunches? Dinner a couple nights a week?
-Do you only like your food fresh, or is reheating it in a microwave or oven a good option for you?
Option #1 Prepare several meals in advance and keep them in the fridge or freezer.
This option is a popular one and can be great for getting a lot of your cooking for the week done on a weekend or free day. If you regularly need to pack a lunch for work this can be a great option to help you change it up from a sandwich everyday. It can be easy to prepare some chicken, rice, and veggies and have them ready to go in tupperware in the fridge. If you don’t plan to eat what you made soon you can even decide to freeze it and have a meal ready to reheat in the future. This way you won’t have to rush your morning worrying about what to do for lunch that day. Of course if you don’t enjoy, or can’t access a way to reheat your food, some meals could be difficult to prepare this way. Salads, wraps or other things that don’t need to be heated up can be great options in these cases.
Option #2 Prepare everything you can without cooking.
This is a great option if you don’t have a ton of time to cook throughout the day but want to eat freshly cooked food. Simply prepare what you can before it's actually time to cook. This can be pre cutting vegetables, or marinating some chicken beforehand. Anything that you can do before you have to start cooking can help you save time when you actually start. Having this extra time to eat your food can be a great way to help you eat slowly and mindfully!
Maybe you need to be somewhere in the middle of these options. You might want your protein cooked fresh, but are ok with preparing your vegetable before, or vice versa. Find what works well in your life.
Option #3 The Crockpot
If there are some days that you know you’ll be at the office late, or won’t be able to cook later, using a slow cooker to prepare your food for dinner that night can be a huge help. There are a lot of recipes online for crockpots, I’m sure there are some that you’ll enjoy! Using a slow cooker is a great option to have hot fresh food without having to cook after a long day.
Meal prepping should make your life easier, so what would be one easy thing that can help you?
Try it once this week! Find what works for you and your schedule!