Gone are the days of agonizing over what to eat during lunch on work hours: every day, handy Internet users provide the world with hundreds of new recipes to prep meals in advance and enjoy a nutritious meal without too much hassle. It’s just a matter of setting a few hours on Sunday or a few minutes every night before bed, and then whip out those containers.
However, in a universe of millions of meal preps, the recipes might look deceptively simple, yet it’s too easy to end up with soggy food or taking way too long on each meal, which completely defeats the purpose of doing this in advance – but with these tips, you’re sure to make the best of your time!
1. Plan ahead
When you’ve set up a schedule of what you’ll be eating during the week, by the time you actually get to cooking, things are already set out for you! Make a list of the meals and snacks you want to follow throughout the week and buy the ingredients during the weekend in bulk, which will also help you save money. If you’re not one to follow super rigid schedules, leave some space for creativity – but always try to keep it healthy!
At first, it might seem overwhelming to do more than one thing at a time, but with practice, you’ll find that you’re able to take on more than a few things at the same time. Your kitchen will become a one-person workstation after you’ve done some meal prepping.
3. Cut fruits and vegetables in advance
You don’t have to cook every single meal on Sunday, but you can definitely make things easier for yourself when you get to it – just like professional chefs do. Cut up the vegetables you’ll need for each meal and set them apart in freezer bags, tagging them by day of the week. This is also a great way to plan smoothies ahead – just cut up the fruits you’ll be using and bag them in the freezer, so they’ll stay fresh and ensure they’re chilly when you put them in the blender.
Buying them pre-cut is also a good option!
4. Hop on the Mason jar bandwagon
The Pinterest boom with Mason jars isn’t just happening because of how cute the colors look on the outside: it’s also a cheap and easy way to prep meals, and it’s particularly useful with salads, as it allows you to see each layer.
To avoid soggy salads or having to carry your dressing separately (which is basically just asking for a mess), put the dressing on the bottom of the jar, and then proceed to add the rest of the ingredients. When you’re ready to eat, shake your Mason jar to spread the dressing and mix the layers.
5. Embrace online “hacks”
Found a quicker way to boil eggs? Is there a YouTube tutorial focused on making the best out of your oven-cooking? There’s no gain in pain here: anything that makes your meal prepping easier should be added to your cooking routine.