Every afternoon a worry arises: what are we eating today? What should I take to the office tomorrow?... I'm so tired, work, the children, the house and also managing to plan and cook the family menu. If this is your case, you have to know what meal prep is and how it can help you.
Fortunately, this movement emerged, with its own philosophy that is based on two basic ideas: 1) maintain a balanced and healthy diet, even when eating in the work canteen; and 2) organize ourselves to avoid the world of fast food temptations.
Don't let laziness win and give in to the temptation of fast, processed, fatty and sweet foods. Learn how to achieve your body goal through perfectly structured planning, design, nutrition, health and lifestyle.
What is Meal Prep?
Meal Prep or Meal Prepping is a trend that was born in the United States and is translated into Spanish as meal preparation. It refers to planning and preparing in advance healthy and balanced menus with the necessary macro and micronutrients for the whole family.
It is done weekly so you don't have to cook daily, which saves you time, effort and money, while you gain health and more quality moments with family, friends or your favorite activity.
Many people do it to facilitate their weight loss, regain vitality or because they are athletes looking for a fit lifestyle. It is the best solution to eat healthy and homemade without having to cook every day, optimizing the little free time.
Meal Prep Phases
Incorporating Meal Prep into your daily routine gives you the rewarding feeling of having everything under control and organized; In addition, you can involve the family to help and enjoy together the pleasure of preparing homemade, healthy, delicious and nutritious food.
It also helps everyone at home eat together at the table and not everyone on their own in front of the television or computer.
Know its advantages
This planned method of preparing healthy and balanced meals has many advantages:
How to plan, step by step
Planning a weekly menu means thinking about what to eat and writing in a chart, notebook or diary, all the meals you are going to consume for a week. That way, you can have control over your diet, making it healthy and with fresh ingredients.
This methodology gives you the option of reheating meals or, if you prefer, eating them freshly made. You can leave everything organized so that daily preparation is simple, agile and fast.
Throughout this process we must be clear about the following expressions:
You can make your own menu template or download one online, where there are varieties to choose from.
The following steps will help you get started in meal prep:
- Calculate how many meals you need to prepare
Here you need to answer these questions: how many meals a day do you need to organize? For how many people? How many breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners will you need during the week?
- Plan balanced dishes
To achieve balanced dishes without major complications, a good idea is to follow the 1+1+1 rule: 1 protein (turkey, chicken, fish, egg, legumes) + 1 carbohydrates (rice, bread, pasta, quinoa) + 1 vegetables ( spinach, green beans, kale, peas, tomatoes, lettuce, carrot). For example, a grilled turkey breast, broccoli and steamed potatoes.
- Prepare dishes as simple as possible
Avoid recipes that require too many ingredients or are complicated to prepare.
- Choose easy cooking methods
It is best to use the oven or a slow cooker. It is easier to cook large quantities of food with these two methods.
- Prepare the shopping list
When you have meals planned, you should make a shopping list before going to the store. It is recommended to make only one purchase a week, preferably Saturday or Sunday, to apply the meal prepping session before the week begins.
- Store food safely
You must pay attention to the cold chain and avoid breaking it. Do not freeze and thaw foods more than once, avoid defrosting them outside the refrigerator (they should be done inside the refrigerator), and keep track of the amount of time they are in the refrigerator. For example, cooked meat can be safely stored for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator, but it is best to freeze it afterward. Try to make portions as tight as possible to what you are going to eat.
- Choose the best containers to organize and store food
Make sure they are of quality, that they close and seal well. If they are made of plastic, you should verify that they are free of bisphenol A (BPA free). An important issue is that the containers in which you store the food are of the ideal size, as close as possible to the portion you need. This will prevent the food from moving too much inside the container and ending up all mixed together.
Invest in a good set of containers, better glass than plastic, transparent so you know exactly what they contain.
- Release creativity
Eating the same food for dinner every night doesn't have to be boring. If you cook a whole chicken every week, you can shred it and make different recipes: salads, fajitas, etc. Plus, if you use different types of sauces or condiments, you can prepare a lot of different dishes.
APP to organize your weekly menus
There are various applications on the internet to organize weekly menus, both for Android and iOS. Some are supported by a web version. I refer you some:
Now that you know the meal preap, go ahead and prepare it. You will see how it makes your life easier and helps you reach your goal faster.