Everyone wants to eat healthy. But no one seems to have the time.
Meal prep might seem like one extra to-do that you are adding to your list, but it will help you save TONS of time during your busy week!
Use this 5 step system to save you time and frustration in the kitchen. The first 2 together take only 10 minutes!
1. Have a collection of favourite recipes that you can always refer to
I have about 10 – 15 and I rotate them week by week so that I don’t get bored. When choosing meals, you want to look for recipes that have similar ingredients so that you won’t have to buy 88 different ingredients which will save money.
You’ll also save frustration by not having to always think of something new to make. This is a great trick during weeks when you’re feeling lazy or uninspired. I recommend keeping the ingredient list short – 8 ingredients or less. Keep those favourite recipes in a template in the notes app on your phone for easy access.
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2. ALWAYS have a Grocery list
Once you have your favourite recipes put all of the ingredients in a weekly grocery list again by using the app on your phone. Before you head to the store cross reference your fav recipes that you picked that week with your grocery list and add or remove items as necessary – this way you’re not starting from ground zero. I also recommend having a good selection of spices which will add a lot of flavour and nutrients to food. Steps 1 and 2 combined should take you about 10 mins.
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3. Choose your best day to prep
Pick your best day of the week to do your prep and block of two hours to do it. I recommend doing your grocery shopping on a Saturday and cooking your meals on Sunday – that’s what I do. Sometimes if I’m really busy I’ll just order my groceries online so that I can save some time.
Make it fun. Get your kids involved. By having them be hands on they’ll have pride in what their making and will be more likely to eat it. Also crank up the tunes and get busy in the kitchen while you cook. Make big batches so that you have leftovers. Leftovers can be used for lunches, or frozen to be enjoyed later on.
4. Don’t use recipes
This is where the power of 3 comes in. For meal prepping or cooking without a recipe keep 3 things in mind.
This is great if you’re busy and want to throw something together quickly when you get home.
Veggies [anywhere from 1 -3]
This will cover the bases with the nutrients that your body needs. Also this will make it easier to get more greens into your diet. With these 3 things you can make soups, stews, wraps, and stir fries.
CHECK OUT THIS POST FOR 6 EASY HEALTHY HABIT HACKS FOR BUSY PEOPLE
Batch cook your veggies and protein and mix and match throughout the week. You can check out this post for step by step instructions for an almost no cook meal prep.
For example I like to have a green salad for lunch every day, that way I’m guaranteed to get my greens in. I do a batch of protein [chicken, fish or bean], veggies. Then I make 2 salad dressings [each one having no more than 3 ingredients]. That way I can mix n match my greens, protein, veggie and salad dressing throughout the week so that it doesn’t feel like I’m having the same salad, but it saves me a lot of time.
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5. Invest in a slow cooker or instant pot
So much time is saved by having one of these!!! For example when cooking dry beans, which are better for you than canned, you need to soak them first for several hours. The instant pot eliminates this step and I can cook dry beans in minutes.
Also cooking beans specifically in a pressure cooker is better for you, especially if you have trouble digesting beans. That’s because pressure cooking them removes the lectins, or plant proteins which make beans difficult for people who have IBS or digestive issues.
Also I find that the food is more flavourful when I use my slow cooker. I have an Instant Pot which allows me to use either the pressure cooker or slow cooker setting which also saves space in my kitchen by not having to have 2 things.
For recipe inspiration and the foods that you should have in your kitchen at all times, click here or below to grab my free guide, Bare Essentials. It will make meal planning even more easy for you and you’ll have some recipes that you can start prepping this week!