When it comes to establishing healthy habits and making smart food choices, often one of the biggest and most challenging barriers to overcome is access to healthy and convenient food. Sure, the walk to Marshall Street is never long and Wegmans is only a short ride away, but knowing what to buy and how to prepare healthy meals are sources of struggle for many. Here are five food prep tips to optimize the goods from your grocery haul.
- Make big batches of meals once a week. Commit one hour of your week to preparing big batches of meals that will last you the week. Roast a head or two of broccoli in the oven, grill a few chicken breasts, or prepare a casserole dish. Try this 5-Ingredient Pizza Spaghetti Pie for easy lunches or prepare this easy chicken sausage and spinach frittata for a no-hassle breakfast.
- Prepare your meals for the next day the night before.Scoop your coffee into its filter, transfer a slice of your big batch meal into a Tupperware, and throw some silverware into your lunch bag all before you go to sleep. In the morning, all you have to do is press brew and grab everything before you run out the door. These ten minutes the night prior will save you money and calories as opposed to grabbing fast food because you were unprepared.
- Make your freezer your best friend. Prep too much food? Transfer some of your meal into containers and toss them in the freezer to reheat at a later date. Worried your spinach will wilt before you get to use it? Toss it in the freezer and add it to green smoothies. Bananas starting to brown? Slice them into rounds and spread any nut butter on half of them, and then sandwich the remaining rounds on top. Put them in the freezer and voila, you have an instant snack if you’re craving something sweet.
- Invest in some nice Tupperware. Preferably the glass kind so you can safely microwave your meals. Choose a set that comes with big and small containers, and make sure you grab some tiny ones for on-the-go dressings!
- Always have protein prepped for quick grabs. Protein is the most satiating food group, so having some protein foods stocked in the fridge ensures you’ll always have a safe snack for when you’re hungry. Some examples include hard boiled eggs, rotisserie chicken, deli meat slices, plain Greek yogurt, or packaging a variety of nuts and seeds into baggies.
Need some more inspiration? Enlist some help from social media. Browse posts on Instagram using the hashtag #mealprep or search “meal prep” on Pinterest to see what other healthy food enthusiasts are doing!
By, Julia Kameisha