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| July 26, 2021
Read time: 3 min.
One of the top complaints I get is that ‘I don’t have time.’ That’s OK. I can relate. I would argue, though, that Meal preparation hacks would save you time.
Time spent waiting in lines to get fast food still adds up. Convenience foods aren’t necessarily saving your time. That, and food you make at home will be more than likely healthier. Here are my top tips for having a successful week of meal prep.
Prep 3-4 sources of protein. I’d advise that you prep them in individual containers, so they don’t take on the flavour of other foods you pair them with. Chicken in one container. Rice in one container. Vegetables in another container. Portioning meals out in advance works for some people, but personally, I don’t like my food to taste ‘old.’ Portioning them out individually each day is one way to make them taste fresher. My favourite proteins to prepare are: boiled eggs, egg white cups, chicken thighs, chicken breast, ground beef, ground bison, salmon, and white fish, but there are many other options.
Prep 2-3 sources of starchy carbs, then the rest of your carbs can come from fruit and vegetables. I typically make a batch of potatoes, rice, squash or sweet potatoes. Carbs are fairly easy to hit. The rest of my carbs come from other foods like cereal, vegetables, fruit, crackers and breads. In addition, we get a decent amount of trace carbs from all the other foods we’re eating.
If I don’t have prepped vegetables around, I don’t eat them. That’s why it’s so essential that I make my vegetable intake as easy as possible to consume. I’ll typically make two ‘chop’ salads, and blanch the rest of my vegetables. So a typical week might look like blanched broccoli, brussel sprouts, and two ‘chop’ salads. My chop salads are exactly what they sound like. A good example would be diced bell peppers, red onion, apple, and apple cider vinegar. Another chop salad might look like diced cucumber, cherry tomato, fresh dill and apple cider vinegar. I add apple cider vinegar to my chop salads to help preserve the vegetables, and keep them fresher longer.
I don’t typically prepare fats in advance. Fats are pretty easy to hit without really trying. I get my fats through meats, olives, nuts, nut butter, avocado, salad dressings, seeds, and oils added to the pan.
Sometimes you run out of prepped meals. Sometimes life gets so busy that you aren't quite able to prepare enough food. The quickest sources of foods would be: smoothies with protein powder, beef jerky, canned fish, protein bars and frozen foods. I tend to keep a bag of frozen vegetables, frozen meat, and frozen fruit on hand just in case I’m ill prepared for my week. There’s also some frozen meals available that are decent if you’re really in a pinch.
Meal preparation hacks for your week can seriously reduce your stress when you’re really busy. You don’t have to worry about what you’re going to get for dinner, because your fridge is already stocked with a lot of options. Carve out some time each week to prioritize your health. Mentally you’ll be more productive anyway, since you’re eating higher quality foods. Finally, there are many meal prep companies out there for those that struggle to find time to meal prep. The cost is likely similar or less than if you were to order convenience foods daily anyway. What you put into your body matters- make time for it!
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