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Meal Prepping 101

One of the best tips I have ever received to stay on track with healthy eating is meal prepping. It is so convenient, easy and rewarding. Not only that, it will save you time and money and will ultimately be giving you healthier meals on the regular. On top of that, you know exactly what is going into these meals based on your personal preferences. How do you get started?

Here are some helpful tips to get you eating healthy regularly and creating a system that works specifically for you!

Step 1:

Create a plan

Decide what you’re making ahead of time and what meals you want to make. You can meal prep breakfast, lunch or dinner or even all three! Research some quick, healthy recipes and write down what you need for each meal and hit the grocery store. If you’re starting out, I suggest picking one meal to meal prep, that way you’re not overwhelmed. Once you graduate from one meal, you can move on to making another.

Step 2:

Multitask

Cook multiple things at the same time. Example, while your chicken or fish is cooking in the oven, you can roast your veggies at the same time. You can even put them on the same baking tray, depending on how many meals you need.

Step 3:

Mason jars are your friend

I am obsessed with using mason jars, especially for meal prepping salads or overnight oats for breakfast. They are super low in cost, optically appealing and microwavable safe (**be sure to remove the lid**).

Step 4:

Don’t cook too many meals

Only make enough to last you about five days worth of food. Anything beyond that won’t taste as fresh and you may end up throwing out. Most meals will only last three days in the fridge, be sure to freeze the rest if you end up having more. For meals in the freezer, remove it the night before and let it defrost in the refrigerator.

Step 5:

Containers matter

Personally, I like to use glass containers rather than plastic. This is for a few reasons. Glass is more optically appealing and you can clearly see what’s inside. They are typically microwavable safe. The taste of food won’t alter after being stored in them for a few days. The clean up is a breeze…they don’t leave any stains and they will look fresh for your next meal prep session.

Step 6:

Set aside a day and time to meal-prep

I like Sundays to meal prep. It may seem like a lot of work on your day of rest, however, there are so many different ways to make it an enjoyable process. Blast some music or meal-prep with a friend. It’s important to take this time to get organized. I can tell you, it is quite rewarding when you have five meals in front of you ready to go and nothing to worry about for the week ahead!

Step 7:

Define your goals

People have different reasons to start meal prepping. They may want to start living a healthier lifestyle, lose weight or simply explore new recipes. Whatever it may be, have your goal in the back of your mind and remind yourself why you are meal prepping. This will help you stay away from UberEats or going out for dinner!

Melissa DaCosta

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