Cooking can be a fun, creative and rewarding thing. But most of the time, it’s utility – you need to eat and your family needs to eat but your busy life doesn’t allow for leisurely cooking every day. As a result, the nutritional quality of meals sometimes slips because the fastest route generally isn’t the most well-rounded route when it comes to food.
Meal prep is often associated with training. But bulk cooking has become a time-saving solution for anyone who wants to eat well without spending too much time in the kitchen. We’re always looking for ways to help people feel their best with a vibrant, nutritional diet and meal prep is one of the most logical ways to maintain that.
We’ve put together a master list of our top five tips for meal prepping efficiently. Work these into your weekly routine for a healthier, hassle-free week. And as always, make up for any micronutrients you may not be getting in your diet by starting the day with a teaspoon of our Daily Superfood, packed with targeted nutrition from 50+ wholefood ingredients.
1. One base, three sauces
You probably don’t want to eat the same meal three days in a row. And keeping your diet interesting will go a long way toward successfully sticking to your long-term lifestyle changes. Our one base, three sauces idea is this: prepare several servings of one base ingredient (chicken, legumes, vegetables, etc.) and make three simple sauces to pair with it each day. That way, you could have it with a beautiful mustard vinaigrette dish one day, spoon a delicious tomato and olive sauce over it the next and continue to keep things interesting with an Asian-style dressing of soy, honey and lime on the third day.
2. Smoothie boxes
Invest in seven stackable containers (preferably glass) and pop all your smoothie ingredients for each day into the containers. Throw in your greens, berries, Activated Nutrients Daily Superfood, flax, chia and whatever else you include in your daily drink; every morning, all you’ll have to do is dump the contents of one of the containers into your blender, add liquid and blitz away! Keep in mind that fresh ingredients can spoil more quickly when stored together, so store them in the freezer rather than the fridge.
3. Mix and match
Rather than prepping a few full meals from a recipe, just prepare individual components of a meal. For example, prep a few kinds of protein, some cooked grains, a whole heap of vegetable options and have raw greens ready to go as well. That way, you can mix and match depending on what you feel like that day! You can also incorporate our sauce idea above into this mix and match approach.
4. Work with waste
Waste is a meal waiting to happen. It’s hard to achieve 100% efficiency with meal prep and until you get to that point, there’s probably going to be some leftover food lying around. If that’s you, dedicate one day a week to eating leftovers. See what you have on hand and use it up – if you make a weekend day your ‘leftover day’, you might even have time to get creative with jazzing your leftovers up into something new and different.
5. Chop, chop!
This might seem obvious, but if you’re looking to shave some time off your meal-prepping sessions, be sure to chop your veggies in small cubes rather than chunks. The bigger the piece, the longer it’ll take to cook!