I’m sure many of you have heard the saying “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. Sometimes, this is so true! How many of you have said you want to eat a healthy meal, only to open the fridge to find absolutely nothing there, and resorted to ordering Uber Eats or greasy takeaway? We’ve all been there, but food prep is an incredible strategy to help you avoid these kinds of situations!
And guess what? Meal prep doesn’t have to be a tedious, long chore! In fact, here are my top tips to make it simple, quick and even enjoyable!
Like I said before, planning is everything! Before each new week, come up with a list of meal ideas you’re planning on making throughout the week, and the ingredients that each meal requires. Try and think of meals which require similar ingredients – for example if I were choosing a few JSHealth recipes for the week, I’d look for a few common ingredients, so I’d choose recipes like the Stuffed Sweet Potato with Lentils & Avocado, Sweet Potato Cottage Pie, and the Savoury Sweet Potato Loaf. (PS – you can find all of these in the updated JSHealth App!) This saves money and time – more on this in tip 3!
Consider everything – from snacks, to drinks (if you’re a fan of tea, etc), to any indulgences you want to have on hand!
Once you have a plan of attack, you’re ready to begin! You now have an idea of the kinds of meals you want to stick to! Even having this idea in your head will make you more likely to stick to your goals.
2. Schedule time on the weekend to do a big grocery shop.
Literally book out an hour in your weekend schedule (even add it into your calendar if it helps!). Dedicate this time to going and buying all your groceries for the week ahead. This includes all your fresh produce, lean proteins, whole grains and whatever else you require!
Even better, use the new smart shopping list in the JSHealth App to make a list of everything you’ll need for the week ahead, and cross it off as you go! Our shopping list groups together ingredients from the recipes you choose, to ensure you’ll never miss an ingredient while shopping again!
3. Prep ingredients, not meals.
Once you’ve done your big grocery shop, it’s time to get prepping! Now here is where most people go wrong. Often, people tend to cook a big batch of one meal for lunches through the week, and possibly a second for dinners… And then Wednesday rolls around, and they’re so sick and tired of eating the same meal.
Next thing you know, they’ve ordered takeaway instead, and their meal prep has become a waste of time and money!
So instead, I recommend prepping ingredients instead of meals. For example, bake a big batch of roasted vegetables, chop up some salad ingredients you can use in a variety of ways, cook a packet of plain chicken breast, which you can add flavours or sauces to later!
This way, you can mix and match and create super simple meals with the ingredients you have right in front of you… And you won’t be eating the exact same thing day after day! It’s genius!
4. Prep healthy snacks too!
Don’t forget the snacks! People tend to focus on prepping main meals, but snacks can be where you go wrong! Think about it, if you’re hungry and in need of a snack, but haven’t prepped anything in advance, you’re more likely to reach for a sugary bar or whatever you can grab easily.
Instead, spend an extra 10 minutes boiling some eggs, chopping up some vegetable sticks, making a quick batch of protein balls, or whipping up a super quick hummus or dip! There are so many easy snack recipes in the JSHealth App – take your pick, because this tip is so helpful!
Remember, if you have healthy food and prepped ingredients on hand, you’re more likely to eat it! Know yourself well enough to understand that you reach for whatever is readily available – so plan accordingly! Not only does meal prep save you money when you buy and prepare in bulk, it also saves so much time! Think of it as an investment! Learn to love it, especially after you feel amazing for your healthy choices at the end of the week!
Good luck angels!
For hundreds of healthy recipes and meal prep ideas, try the new and improved JSHealth App today! You’ll find meal plans created by our team of nutritionists, more than 500 simple, balanced recipes, and a smart shopping list function, giving you all the tools you need for your healthy lifestyle!