I have clients at Revolution Training in Stamford, CT, that say meal planning and preparation is just too hard and takes too long. Besides working out, eating healthy should be a top priority. It’s hard to eat healthy if you’re trying to fix a meal after a long day at work and way too easy to stop for carryout or grab an unhealthy snack. But if you had a meal waiting for you that you just needed to heat and serve, that would help you stick with the program. Creating meals for a week doesn’t have to take a long time or be hard, you can do meal prep in just an hour.
Planning ahead can cut the amount of time in half.
It takes more than just planning the meal ahead, it takes planning how you’re going to prepare it. Luckily, it’s mostly a no-brainer. If you have something that needs to start immediately, do it. Use time that you’re waiting for the oven to preheat or water to boil to do other tasks, like chopping and dicing. If you’re roasting, boiling or baking chicken or other meat, do a lot extra for later to save time down the road and freeze it for later meals. Make sure you first freeze it on trays, so the meat/poultry doesn’t stick together. Then all you have to do is take it out of the freezer the night before and put it in the refrigerator to thaw.
You can cook several stove top items at once.
You don’t have to have a rice maker, but if you do, it’s a plus. As long as you have four burners on your stove, you can cook several items at once, whether it’s boiled chicken, eggs, brown rice, quinoa or bulger. Those are often the basis for power bowls or side dishes for the week. While it will take longer to roast a chicken, don’t forget to roast vegetables at the same time.
Use the same pans several times.
Are you sautéing onions? No need for another pan for the kale, just wipe it out and congratulate yourself on the extra flavor. That keeps clean up at a minimum. You can use the main selection, like a spicy chicken, in several ways. Shred it for a salad, as a main dish or in a bowl. If you’re making an all in one dish, make a lot and freeze it for another or several nights in the coming month.
- Don’t feel like you have to make everything from garden fresh. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh, easier to make and often less expensive.
- One pot meals can be cooked while you do other things in a slow cooker or speed up the process in an Instapot.
- Cutting up fresh vegetables and fruit for the week for meals and snacks takes time and can be done while the food is cooking on stove top, crockpot, Instapot or in the oven.
- If you’re boiling meat for a meal, don’t forget to save the broth for soup. You can even use any of the vegetables leftover from the previous week, saving money in the process.
For more information, contact us today at Revolution Training