How To Start Meal Prepping – Good Food Made Simple
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How To Start Meal Prepping

Jan 05, 2019

Often times, the biggest thing getting in the way of a healthy and hearty meal is, well, cooking it. Yet if one of your commitments to yourself in 2019 is to eat well, this has to include getting your healthy game on in the kitchen.

One of the most powerful and helpful ways to eat well without the hassle is to meal prep. By dedicating some time in the kitchen to prepare, plan, and prep healthy creations, you’ll thank yourself for weeks, or even months to come. Here’s your foolproof guide to meal prep like a pro and fill your plates with healthful and nutrient-rich food every day and night.

Your 8-Step Guide to Meal Prep Paradise

Create a schedule. The most important part of meal prepping is creating a schedule that works for you — and sticking to it. Many people tend to meal prep for a chunk of the afternoon on Sunday in order to have meals for the week. Others love doing it on Wednesdays. It doesn’t really matter when the meal prepping happens, just as long as it gets done. And sticking to the same day and time every week helps make it a habit and a fun tradition.

Start with good containers. When you meal prep, you’ll have a lot to store away. It sounds silly, but having handy containers, from various-sized Tupperware to mason jars and Ziplock bags, will become your number one friend once everything is ready to get stored away. Make sure you have an array of sizes for your food, from tiny Tupperware for dressings and toasted nuts to large containers for cooked rice or quinoa.

Get your kitchen in order. A clean and organized kitchen is a very, very happy kitchen. Start with a clean space, and clear off all your counter space. Invest in a few cutting boards, good knives, and the appliances you like, like a blender, food processor, rice cooker, and crockpot.

Prep your entertainment. You’ll likely be spending at least a few hours in the kitchen, so get yourself psyched with some good entertainment. This could be listening to a book on tape, tuning into a podcast, or having a special meal prep playlist on Spotify. If your entertainment comes from other people, recruit helpers in the kitchen: partners, friends, children, or neighbors! 

Stock up on staples. While every week’s creations might look different, they will probably all include some of the same ingredients. Considering buying certain staples in bulk, like olive oil, various vinegar, uncooked grains (oatmeal, rice, quinoa, couscous), salt and pepper, bags of frozen spinach, bread crumbs, canned beans and veggies, maple syrup — the list goes on! You’ll have a good idea of what you’ll use based on the foods you typically like to make. Over time, buying in bulk will save you lots of time and money.

Build a meal list for the week. Now that you are stocked with staples, it’s time to get the rest of the ingredients. The easiest way to get exactly what you need from the store is to decide which meals you’ll be making. For example, if you have a list that contains sweet potato soup, Mediterranean quinoa salad, turkey burgers, spinach and ricotta pizza, and a buddha bowl, it’ll be easy to break those meals down and notate every ingredient you’ll need to get if it’s not already in the pantry or fridge.

Master multi-tasking. You’ll most likely be making a lot of meals. Instead of focusing on one thing at a time, get into multi-tasking mode! While onions are softening in the pan, get your ingredients chopped for whatever is going in the crockpot. As one thing is cooking, another thing can be stirring. The beauty of multiple cutting boards and burners, along with enough counter space, means you can work on a bunch of things all at once and finish in half the time.

Freeze, freeze, freeze! After you’ve cooked everything up (congrats!) it’s time to decide what goes in the fridge and what goes in the freezer. While preparing meals for the week is great, others like to prepare vats of soups, burgers, and stuffed peppers that can go straight in the freezer and be ready for those evenings when you simply don’t want to cook. Freezing food is never a bad idea, just remember to defrost anything ahead of time that you plan on eating that day.

If you can accomplish these eight steps, then consider yourself a meal prep mastermind! Not only will you save time and money, but you’ll also be able to eat healthier with way fewer road blocks in your way — building amazing and healthy habits for the new year.

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