Meal Prep For Beginners: How, What, and Why You Should Be Meal Prepping?
Have you been tempted to give meal prep a try but scared of the thought of spending all your time preparing food? Or maybe you have meal-prepped before but became uninspired with eating bland food all the time.
For me, meal prepping for the week is the only way to go. 90% of the food that I eat is cooked and prepared by me. This is important for many reasons which I am going to detail below.
How Important is Meal Prepping?
Meal Prepping is probably THE most powerful way to take control of your health
There is no better way to take control of your health than learning to cook from scratch. It means you will be eating fresh ingredients and you are in complete control of what goes into it. There will be no hidden added sugars or salt that you are unaware of. Not only that, you will rebalance your hunger hormones, stabilise energy levels and nourish the body the way that it needs to.
Prepping your meals saves you money
Eating out is expensive. When you make most of your meals at home, you will save a considerable amount of money. Likewise, if you cook in bulk and freeze some meals ahead of time, you can purchase more discounted bulk ingredients, saving even more on your food bill.
Meal Prepping Tastes Better
When you are in full control of the ingredients, you can focus on getting fresh, in season produce, which will taste far better than pre-packaged. Supermarkets, restaurants and convenience stores are there to make money. This means they will reduce the quality of the product to maximise profits. Food that has been sitting on a shelf for days is never going to taste as good as food that has been prepared from fresh ingredients. When fresh food is in season and ripe off the vine, there’s nothing more delicious. Fresh foods deliver a bright, lively experience. What’s even more habit-forming is the feeling you get when you’re eating well, which most people love maintaining by making healthy choices day after day. Fresh foods are healthier, taste better, and are visually more alluring on the plate.
Meal Prepping is healthier
Fresh ingredients retain a lot more nutrients compared to processed foods that have been adulterated, and in many cases, exposed to preservatives and other such chemicals. So much so that people have begun to label processed ready-made food as “dead food” because the nutrients were lost in the processing.
When you Meal Prep, it is better for our planet
People are learning more about where their food actually comes from. So much of what we consume comes from other countries and even other continents. Not only is this terrible for the environment, it is also completely unnecessary. People are becoming more inspired to support a local farmer from their own community than they are to buy out-of-season ingredients from big supermarkets. Additionally, you will be saving a tonne of packaging which is destroying our planet.
Meal Prepping Essentials
It’s important to remember to not get overwhelmed when you are a meal prep beginner. Too often people get bogged down in details when sticking to the basics will do more good.
Kit List for Meal Prepping for Beginners:
Meal Prep Containers
You must use the proper containers. I really can’t stress this enough. Good storage containers are really the foundation of your meal prepping. I love these folding Tupperware, I use them every day. Do some research and find out what type of container is going to suit your meal prepping needs.
I personally get all my meat delivered from Field & Flower and my vegetables from local farmers markets. This makes my life so much simpler and it means I end up eating fresh, in season food all the time. If you have good ingredients in your fridge, you will eat good food!
If you want to give Field & Flower a try for yourself, You can get £15 off your first order by using DISCOUNT CODE – “MAX15” at the checkout! Just head to www.fieldandflower.co.uk and enjoy their amazing meats for yourself!
Stock up on kitchen essentials
You don’t need a ton of fancy kitchen equipment to make healthy meals at home. Here are some basic kitchen tools you might find helpful if you don’t have them already:
- A sharp knife
- Chopping board
- Mixing Bowls
- Non-stick pans
- Crock Pot
Meal Prepping Top Tips
Try the 2 Meal Day
This is probably my biggest tip for anyone looking to start meal prepping. Reducing the number of meals, you eat on a daily basis simplifies eating healthier. You no longer need to plan, cook and prepare 3-5 meals in a day, just two large meals, that are filling, full of nutrients and taste great. Your 2 Meal Day and Meal Prepping go hand in hand!
Keep your Meal Prep simple
Don’t try to incorporate too many new things at once. For example, don’t try meal prepping with all new recipes. Start prepping with recipes you already know, and then build up your meal prepping repertoire.
Incorporate Meal Prepping into your routine
I personally prefer to meal prep every day for the following day. At the same time as I am cooking my evening meal I will either overcook with the same ingredients or, I will cook something very simple at the same time. This means that you aren’t taking any extra time out of your day. If that fails, I incorporate cooking my lunch for the next day into my bedtime routine. Cooking can be a mindful, relaxing experience that I use to help switch off before bed.
Chose recipes that have similar ingredients, so you can further reduce cooking times and costs.
Wait until your food has cooled before you seal it and put it in the fridge/freezer. You want to make sure that there isn’t too much moisture or when you go to eat your lovely meal, you will discover a mass of sludge! Leave the containers open until the food cools and cover with kitchen roll to absorb any excess moisture.
Meal Prep Ideas
Need some help getting your meal prep started? Here are some of my favourite meals that are perfect ideas for meal prep. All of these meals are quick and easy to make, plus they taste great!
Check out the recipe for how I made my Turkey Meat Balls with Squash Marinara. It’s the perfect recipe to cook in bulk and enjoy the next day. The sauce should taste even better the next day!
This dish is so cheap but packed full of flavour and crunchy vegetables with that distinctive Thai taste from the coconut cream. Plus, the courgette, pepper, broccoli and green beans are packed full of vitamins A, C, and K, which help keep your immune system, bones and white blood cells healthy.
I LOVE pesto. It’s packed full of flavour and can make any dish more exciting. Plus, you can get experimental using different nuts or adding avocado to make it extra creamy. Its like summer on a plate!
Meal Prepping Summed up
Initially, meal prepping might seem like a lot of work. However, once you get into the swing of it you won’t turn back. You will start to feel so much better from eating fresh, wholesome ingredients that you have prepared yourself, you will save money and you are much more likely to reach your health and fitness goals.
Meal Prepping is a win-win!