Doing weekly meal prep is ideal if you’re trying to stay on track with your health and wellness. Unavoidably, this can be a daunting task when you’re a busy man who’s always on the go. Most of your time is dedicated to work and other important things, so you skip another essential aspect of a healthy work-life balance—proper meal planning.
Meal prepping is a lifesaver if you’re striving for a healthy lifestyle despite your busy schedule. Not only will it help you save time, stress, and money, but it will also make it more attainable to control what you eat and reduce food waste. If you don’t know where to start, you’re not alone. Here are some tips that can jumpstart your meal-prepping game:
Start With Your Favorite Meals
Meal prepping only gets tricky when you don’t know where to start. With so many available recipes or food items, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed when thinking about what to plan for the week or even a few days. You can consider your favorite meals and drinks in your planning.
For instance, if you like drinking smoothies, you can come up with some recipes and flavors to complete your daily meals. You can check https://www.lifessmoothe.com.au/ for some inspiration. You can also consider buying frozen smoothie packs that are easier to prepare to ensure you’ll still be getting your daily dose of fruits and vegetables.
Keeping track of your favorite and not-so-favorite meals makes it simpler to know which food to prepare so you won’t compromise your daily activities and schedule. You can vary the menu weekly so you won’t get bored quickly with what you’re eating. Your favorite meals will also make mealtime more enjoyable.
Schedule Your Prep Time
Meal prep won’t be possible if you don’t allow enough prep time. No matter how busy you are, take the time to schedule at least a day or two for meal prepping so you can make the meals you want and will enjoy. Planning and preparing are two different processes, meaning you’ll need to batch your time separately for each.
Most busy men choose Sundays for meal prep time since this day doesn’t typically interfere with their weekend plans. Also, being the closest day to the start of the week, you won’t need to worry about the meals getting bad or having a funky smell. When you already have a menu in mind, take the time to sit down and plan your prep time for each recipe.
Stock Up Your Pantry And Fridge
Having everything you need when you need them makes meal prepping so much easier and faster. So, it’s best to constantly stock up on your go-to staples, depending on your diet. Essentials typically include meat, fruits, vegetables, and spices. Make sure to stock up on various items from different food groups, such as healthy fats, high-quality protein, and whole grains. Additionally, if you’re a fan of jerky, you might consider adding elk jerky to your list of pantry items. And, if you’re wondering how long will elk jerky last in the freezer, it can stay fresh and tasty for up to 6 months when properly stored. So, having a supply of elk jerky in the freezer can be a convenient and delicious option for quick, on-the-go snacks.
You can easily add ingredients here and there if you need more for a particular recipe or meal. It’s easier to think of recipes to work on if you can see what you already have in your fridge and pantry. When going to the grocery store, it helps to prepare a list of what you need to buy so you won’t forget anything. The list also ensures you don’t buy anything on impulse.
Come Up With Shortcuts
It can be challenging to keep up with meal planning and prepping when you have so much on your plate. If you can’t cook and prepare everything all at once, that’s okay. A workaround you can try is to come up with shortcuts that can make the task easier and faster.
Find ingredients that will hasten your meal prep preparation. Use canned beans instead of dried ones and frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones. You can also choose quick-cooking grains like couscous, barley, or quinoa. Try to prepare some meals in advance that can be finished later.
For instance, ground turkey or chicken can already be stir-fried before putting it in the freezer. Simply take them out and add them to your casserole, stew, or soup when ready.
Sometimes, overdoing it can be a recipe for disaster when starting your meal prep journey. Remember that your goal is to prep meals to make your busy life easier and less overwhelming. So, biting off more than you can chew isn’t ideal if you’re a newbie at meal planning and prepping, especially when you’re unfamiliar with portioning and which recipes are more convenient to prep and stock up on.
Think of dishes you can make and reheat quickly, such as roasted vegetables and turkey chili—plan two meals each week, to begin with, and work your way up to three and eventually four. You can advance to whatever is the best fit for your needs once you get the hang of it and discover the system that works for you.
Setting aside time for meal prep and planning can make your busy schedule a little less overwhelming. Moreover, this strategy can help save money and ensure you’ll consume healthier meals appropriate for your dietary needs.