Ready to tackle 2021? So are we. That's why we're thinking about meal prep. Making a conscious effort to cook healthy meals every day is really, really hard. Doing it once a week, though? That's a little easier.
Why Meal Prep is a Great Way to Make a Change
Meal prep is the art of cooking a batch of meals to enjoy in the future. You can do it once every few days, once a week, or even once a month. You can meal prep breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, or all four at once. It's a flexible approach to food preparation that minimizes effort and surprises.
Starting a meal prep routine isn't always as easy as one would hope. Fortunately, keeping a few tips in mind can help reduce startup stress:
- Start small: Don't try to prep every meal for a month on day one. Instead, identify a meal or snack you could make for a week. Start small to make sure your new habit is sustainable.
- Invest in containers: Treat yourself to a new set of food storage containers, or get creative with what you already have. Glass containers allow a great deal of flexibility, but choose something you know will be easy for your particular situation.
- Set aside time: Carve out a specific time in your week or month to plan, shop, and prep your meals.
- Keep track: Some recipes hold up well to meal planning. Others, sadly, do not. Make a system for tracking and storing the recipes you use. That way, it'll be easy to keep coming back to the recipes you love.
And speaking of recipes, here are 7 ideas to get you started:
- Soup: Soup is easy to make, easy to store, and easy to fill with healthy vegetables. It makes a great lunch, and you can customize it any way you like. For bonus points, add a scoop or two of beet root powder. Try it with this recipe: https://skinnyfitalicious.com/meal-prep-chicken-lentil-soup/
- Charcuterie Box: Lunchables for grown ups! Mix your favorite cheese, crackers, meats, and fruits into a finger food lunch. Check out this blog for more ideas: https://www.budgetbytes.com/the-cheese-board-lunch-box/
- Buddha Bowls: Think salad, but warm and with grains instead of lettuce. Buddha bowls combine warm grains, veggies, and sauces for a cozy, healthy lunch. Get started with this recipe: https://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/buddha-bowl-recipe/
- Lettuce Wraps: A great alternative to wheat based sandwiches for anyone eating low-carb or gluten free. Crunchy, healthy, delicious, and fun. Here's a bit of inspiration: https://wholefully.com/falafel-lettuce-wraps/
- Gluten Free Bowls: Speaking of gluten free… there's a whole world of gluten free meal prep lunch bowls out there to savor. Easy to make and easy to eat. Try this one to get started: https://mealpreponfleek.com/tuna-quinoa-salad-endive-wraps/
- Baked Eggs: Start your morning with plenty of protein with baked egg cups. Use this recipe as a base: https://thegirlonbloor.com/baked-eggs-5-ways/
- Overnight Oats: Endlessly versatile, overnight oats take the work out of making hot oatmeal every morning. Here's a great place to start: https://www.cookingclassy.com/overnight-oats-five-ways/