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Meal Prep: What You Need to Know

Aina Meals, Meal prep

Meal prepping is a great idea for those who want to save time, money, and energy throughout the week. It can be done in as little as a few hours on Sunday or whenever you have some free time in between work and your other commitments during the week. Meal prep saves you from having to make decisions about what you need to eat at each meal which can lead to overeating or skipping meals entirely. It also helps prevent eating out so much because it’s hard not to overindulge when dining out with family or friends. Plus, if you are going through a tough time like recovering from surgery, dealing with chronic pain conditions such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, or just maintaining good health, meal prep can be a great way to help you get back on track with healthy eating habits.

1. Basics of meal prep

  • your meals in advance.
  • Grocery shop on a weekend to buy the ingredients for those meals.
  • Prepare and cook the ingredients for those meals immediately or the day before.
  • Store them in containers or plastic bags in the fridge so you have access to them during the week.

2. Benefits of meal prep

The benefits of meal prepping are saving time, money, and energy because if you make it a habit to cook on Sundays, you will only need to spend less than five minutes making breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. It also prevents you from eating out a lot because it’s hard to overeat when you are in the comfort of your own home. Meal prepping also helps if you have a busy week or weekends and don’t feel like cooking. It really comes in handy on days when you need to eat healthily but don’t have the time to cook or go grocery shopping throughout the week. If you plan on meal prepping for the whole week, be prepared to spend at least a few hours on Sunday going through the recipes, shopping for groceries, and cooking so that your meals are ready each night before you.

3. Why do people meal prep

Those who meal prep are usually looking to save time and money. They also want to make sure they are eating healthy. Meal prepping is a great solution for those people who show up late from work, don’t have time to go grocery shopping, or just need assistance with their diet because it prevents you from overeating on junk food.

4. How to get started with meal prep

If you are not sure how to start with meal prepping but want to try it out, here is a helpful guide:

  • Plan your meals and write down the ingredients needed for each recipe. You will need at least three or more recipes that can be made in advance. If possible, try to include simple and quick meals such as salads and casseroles.
  • Grocery shop on a weekend for all of the ingredients you will need for those recipes. It is better to go shopping a week ahead if possible because then you have plenty of time to prepare them the same day or before you leave work so that they are ready by nightfall. If this seems impossible, at least try to shop for the ingredients a few days before you plan on making them.
  • Prepare and cook the ingredients. If possible, meal prep in batches so that it is easier to store all of your food in containers or plastic bags. For example, if you are preparing a roasted chicken with potatoes and asparagus, use one baking sheet for the chicken and one for the potatoes. You can also separate the ingredients between meal preps so that you are not cooking everything at once.
  • Eat your meals during the week!

5. Tips to make meal prepping easier

Preparing your meals in advance will definitely save time and money but there are some things that you need to consider when meal prepping:

  • Think about snack ideas. If you are using a lot of different ingredients for your meals, it can be hard to find snacks that make sense with those recipes so include at least one snack option in each meal prep bag if possible. For example, if you have broccoli and chicken for dinner one night, the next day you can add chopped broccoli to your salad or mix it in with hummus. This way, you don’t have to spend money on snacks when most of the ingredients are already available
  • Add spices and condiments that go well with your meals so that even if you get bored, you will still be able to enjoy your food.
  • Choose recipes that make a lot of servings so that you don’t have to cook multiple meals every night. For example, if your recipe makes 8 servings and you are only feeding yourself, half or more of the ingredients will go bad before you can use them again. This is not only a waste of money and food, but it is also an inconvenience if you are trying to save time.
  • Label your meal prep bags or containers so that all the ingredients are easy to find. You can use sticker labels or just label them with a sharpie so that you don’t have to search through every bag for the one you need. You could also use different containers and label them depending on the day of the week so that you can easily grab your meals without looking through everything.

I hope you've found this article helpful in understanding what meal prepping is all about. Meal prepping can be a great way to save time and money, but it also helps with ensuring that you are eating healthy throughout the week. If you have any questions or need help implementing these tips into your own life, give us a call!