Life can get hectic, and finding time to prepare healthy meals can seem impossible.
Of course, Prepped Pots is right by your side to support you in this, but sometimes your delicious delivery may not sync up with your busy lifestyle and you might just find yourself in a bit of meal prep bind for a week.
We know… it’s a terrifying thought. No Prepped Pots for a week? What on earth do you do?! Cave to cravings? Live off beans on toast? Revert to satisfying your hunger with low quality, nutrient thin meals just… because?
NO! Don’t do it! There's a solution that can save you time, money, and stress while still allowing you to enjoy nutritious and delicious meals (just as you wait with bated breath for your budget friendly pots of tastiness to whizz themselves to you and cut out the stress of having to think about what to cook).
It's called meal prepping, and it's a game-changer for busy individuals like yourself.
In this post, we’ll guide you through the art of mastering meal prepping, providing you with practical tips and strategies to make it a seamless part of your lifestyle, if only for a week.
But first things first…
What are the Benefits of Meal Prepping
There are loads of benefits to meal prepping. Not only does it save you time and energy during busy weekdays, but it also ensures you make healthier food choices.
Here's why meal prepping is a game-changer:
1. Meal Prep Saves Time
By dedicating a specific time to plan, cook, and portion your meals, you cut out the need to cook every day. This leaves you with more time to relax, exercise, game or simply just live your life to the fullest.
2. Meal Prep Saves Money
Got yourself a little meal delivery app on your phone tempting you, teasing you, toying with your emotions? Whispering, “I mean you could prep, or you could just have that dish you love from that restaurant you love delivered in 30 minutes, who cares if it’s over 1000 calories a portion, it’s yummy…”
And before you know it you’ve spent £50 on one meal that either leaves you feeling short-changed or worrying about what you’re gonna eat tomorrow.
Well, by planning and prepping your meals in advance you can avoid unnecessary purchases like this and impulse eating out.
By having a well-stocked fridge and freezer, you can control your expenses, reduce food waste, and guarantee a hearty home-cooked meal to satisfy your tastebuds and your tummy.
3. Portion control
If you struggle with filling your plate up too much, or not enough, meal prepping is guaranteed to be your new BFF.
Meal prepping allows you to portion out your meals in advance, which in turn helps ensure you’re enjoying exactly what you need, leaving you full and satisfied with plenty of healthy, nutritious grub.
4. Healthier eating habits
When you pre-plan your meals, you have control over the ingredients and portion sizes, making it easier to meet your nutritional goals and limit unhealthy options. This is amazing if you’re on a fitness journey, have a weight loss or simply want to boost your nutritional intake throughout the day.
The Only Step-by-Step Guide to Successful Meal Prepping You'll Ever Need
Right, now you know all the benefits of meal prepping, just how on earth do you go about it?! Here’s a handy step-by-step guide to help you get going:
1. Get planning
Start by deciding what meals you want to prep for the week. A big portion of mince ‘n tatties? Spag Bol? Maybe a cheeky chicken curry? Or how about some delicious thai broth packed with wholesome goodness?
Your choices for meal prepping are pretty much endless, you just have to think outside the box a little bit.
Just be sure to consider your dietary preferences, nutritional goals, fitness goals and any special dietary needs.
Aim for a balance of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and don’t forget your tasty seasonings, spices, and herbs for a delicious kick.
2. Make a shopping list
Based on your meal plan, create a shopping list of all the ingredients you'll need.
This will ensure you have everything on hand when it's time to prep and you won’t be faced with the stress of realising halfway through the prep that you’ve forgotten a key ingredient.
3. Schedule your prep day
Choose a specific day or time during the week dedicated to meal prepping.
This will vary depending on your schedule, but it's essential to find a time slot where you can devote a couple of hours to the process.
A little bit of time here will save you A LOT of time later.
4. Cook and portion your meals
On your designated prep day, start cooking!
Prepare a batch of proteins like grilled chicken or baked tofu, cook grains like quinoa or brown rice, and chop up your fruits and vegetables.
Then simply portion out your meals into containers, making sure to include a balance of all food groups, and you’ll be well on your way to meal prep success.
5. Store and label
Once your meals have cooled down a little, pop them into the fridge or freezer so they stay fresh and ready to use.
A handy tip is to label them with the meal and date to ensure you can enjoy your meal prepped delights in the safest time frames.
Tips for Planning Meals Ahead of Time
If you’re anything like us, you may find you eat pretty much the same things on a rotation, and that can get a bit boring, don’t you think?
This is another reason while meal prepping is such a good idea! It allows us to explore new culinary delights and get adventurous in the kitchen. After all, when it comes to meal prepping, customisation and exploration is the key to keep things interesting.
So, here are some tips to help you plan meals that align with your personal dietary and taste preferences:
Explore new recipes
Search for healthy recipes that fit your preferences. There are countless resources available online, such as recipe websites, food blogs, and social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. And you can even enjoy some fabulous recipes right here on Prepped Pots!
Try different cuisines
Experiment with various cuisines to keep your meals exciting. Whether you prefer Mediterranean, Mexican, or Asian flavours, the options are endless.
Choose versatile ingredients
Opt for ingredients that can be used in multiple recipes. For example, grilled chicken can be added to salads, stir-fries, or wraps. This allows for flexibility and variety throughout the week.
Meal prep in stages
If you don't want to eat the same thing every day, consider prepping ingredients separately and assembling the meals throughout the week.
This way, you can mix and match components to create different dishes. It’s a slightly different take on the traditional style of meal prepping, but one that’s just as delicious.
Break Out the Slow Cooker Because We’re Batch Cooking!
To make your meal prep life even easier – you’ll want to get your hands on a slow cooker for batch cooking brilliance. Honestly, it makes the whole process a dream!
Simply grab all your fresh ingredients, toss them in with a bit of stock or whatnot, crank the dial and leave your food to cook low and slow for hours on end.
No messing around with the oven, no worrying about finding the time to spend in the kitchen and you’re guaranteed flavour-packed meals thanks to that sloooooowwww cook. Then, all you need to do is portion it out and pop in the freezer so you always have something to hand!
Some other ways you can make your meal prep life simpler include:
Precook and freeze proteins
Cook a large batch of proteins like chicken, beef, or lentils ahead of time. Portion them out and store them in the freezer.
This way, you can grab them and incorporate them into your meals throughout the week without worrying about cooking from scratch.
Freeze individual portions
If you're prepping meals for the entire week, consider freezing a few portions that you won't consume within the first few days.
This ensures they stay fresh and prevents food waste. Food waste - bad, tasty meals at your fingertips - good.
Invest in quality storage containers
Choose freezer-friendly containers that are both microwave and dishwasher safe.
This will make reheating your meals a breeze while keeping them fresh.
With the art of meal prepping mastered, you'll take control of your time, money, and health. Embrace this efficient strategy and reap the rewards of stress-free meals and a healthier lifestyle. It also makes waiting for your next Prepped Pots delivery a whole lot easier to stomach…