When it comes to healthy living, many Americans proclaim that they don’t have the time to exercise, let alone prepare healthy food according to the Heart Foundation. Luckily there are numerous tips and tricks that will prevent you from ever using a lack of time as an excuse again.
Meal prep will not only save you time and money but make it easier for you to eat healthy as well. While meal prepping may sound somewhat tedious, it is actually very simple, especially if you employ a few simple hacks such as the following.
Prepare your meat before you freeze it
Trying to divide a frozen chunk of ground beef or chicken fillets into smaller portions is virtually impossible. Instead of popping large quantities of meat into the freezer, rather portion and prep as far as possible beforehand.
Ground beef can be made into meatballs, burger patties, and single-serving meatloaf while stir-fry strips, beef cubes, and chicken breasts can all be portioned into suitable portion sizes. Don’t feel obliged to freeze your meat in fancy plastic containers. Freezer bags work better as they take up less space, cost less, and can even be made reusable with a simple rinse.
Make use clever cooking tech
What do you do when you love healthy, hearty meals but do not have the time to stand in front of the stove for hours to prepare them? You invest in a slow cooker or similar cooking devices such as a rice cooker, airfryer, or an instant pot, course.
A large slow cooker will easily allow you to prepare up to 10 meals at once without you constantly having to return to the kitchen to check up on it. You simply add the ingredients, choose the correct settings, and walk away for anywhere between 4 and 8 hours.
Slow cookers are ideal for anything from soups and stews, to leg of lamb and pork roasts and can make cooking healthy food easier than ever before. If you like the idea of a slow cooker, but would like to prep your meals super-fast instead of over the course of a whole day, consider investing in an instant pot that allows you to cook meat, poultry, vegetables, and pasta in a fraction of the time that you would on a regular stove pot.
Cooking a pot of healthy, brown rice will only take 20 minutes to cook in an instant pot as opposed to up to 50 minutes on the stove top.
Only cook once a week
If you constantly find yourself short of time to prepare healthy meals, try to get it all done in a single day. It may sound ludicrous, but putting one day aside for meal preparation can save you a vast amount of time. Sunday’s are generally good for meal prep as it allows you to prepare food for a full calendar-week in advance.
Certain meal types, such as soups, curries, and stews can be prepped in bulk, portioned, and either refrigerated or frozen. Even if you prefer to prepare fast, nutritious meals on a daily basis you can benefit by prepping some components of your favorite dishes in advance.
The fruit and veggies you use in your smoothies can be chopped and frozen ahead of time while cooked rice and pasta also freeze exceptionally well and can easily be defrosted in a microwave.
Meal prep may seem wearisome, but it will soon become your best friend when you experience just how much time it saves you. Even if you start by incorporating small aspects of prepping into your routine you will soon find yourself with a lot of extra time on your hands.