NOURISH - Meal Prep Like A Pro
Updated: Sep 29, 2020
Struggling with making healthy meals in between work, family time and everyday life?
Fitness nutritionist and personal trainer Anthea Strachan shows you how to meal prep like a pro.
So you’re sick of the food you grab at work, you’re tired of feeling sluggish from unhealthy choices and you know you can feel better than you do around food? That’s it you say! You’ve made the decision: you’re going to say goodbye to the cafeteria, buying food out or worse still from a vending machine, you are going to start healthy meal prepping to make your life easier.
Meal prep can seem daunting, but if done well the results can be brilliant. Fitness nutritionist and personal trainer Anthea Strachan outlines her 101 to meal prepping like a pro.
1. Invest in quality containers
If you are to succeed in pro meal prepping, ensure you invest in good containers. Everyone is different and choices are varied. But the general rules are that you need to look for containers that are leak-proof, sturdy and practical. Nobody wants a soaking wet handbag when they get to work!
2. Plan your meals
Sounds obvious, right? The biggest fail in meal prepping is bulk over variety. Who wants to eat vegetable frittata for 7 days? Practically no one!
So get creative. Remember, while you may need to buy your ingredients in bulk, you can make a host of meals with these different things. For example, you can turn your lean chicken mince into chicken larb, spaghetti bolognaise, burger patties, meatloaf, ragu, san choy bow or even quesadillas.
Make sure you factor in how many meals that you need, and on what days you’ll be eating out. Don’t forget to plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND snacks!
3. Put aside the time
Meal prepping is a weekly calendar commitment. It’s not a 10 minute or even 60 minute job – you’ll have to put aside a good 2-3 hours to cook a week’s worth of meals. Cook in batches, and use ingredients that can go across a number of meals.
Don’t forget, there are some things can be the base for other meals. For example, you can cook at batch of bolognaise and use half to make a moussaka or shepherds pie.
4. Maximise your time
One of the things you want to do is maximise your time, so get stuff into the slow cooker while you have other stuff in the oven and something cooking on top of the stove. Nurses and midwives multi-task every day at work, so the kitchen should be no different.
When it comes to maximising your time, shortcuts are your best friend. Stock up on cans of chickpeas and black beans, and use ready-made rice. Supermarkets these days also stock no shortage of salads and vegetables that are ready-to-go, and match well with a slow-roasted protein like lamb or chicken.
5. Include each food group
Variety is the spice of life they say – and this is especially important in food and meal prep. The last thing you want is a heavy meat-based meal with little to no vegetables.
In a balanced meal, think protein, carbohydrates and good fats. And don’t forget to include a rainbow of vegetables! You can’t go wrong with nutrients if you ensure you have variety.
Further, a trick that I have to make meals feel fresh is to add something fresh right before I eat it. This could be some ripe avocado, sliced tomato or even some fresh herbs. These will add some beautiful nutrients and bring out the freshness.
Scheduling the time for meal prepping will well and truly save you time in your already busy week, so get to it, get creative and most importantly, have some fun!