When you finally get home after a long and tiring day of work, often the last thing on your mind is cooking up a healthy meal. It can be so tempting to just call it a day and order some takeaways. After all, who has time to spend ages deciding on a recipe before realising that you don’t even have half the ingredients anyway? Luckily, it is possible to eat healthy when you live a busy life, and it all relies on being organised at the start of the week and preparing meals in advance.
Step 1: Choose a day to meal prep
Pick one day of the week to dedicate to planning out your meals in advance. For most people, Sunday is the best day to meal prep because it is often the least busy day of the week and allows you to plan out all your meals before the working week ahead. Dedicating just a few hours of your day to meal prep will make your week so much easier and will leave you no excuse not to eat healthy.
Step 2: Decide what meals you want to cook for the next week
Flick through some recipe books and plan what meal you are going to eat each night. Make sure every meal involves vegetables as well as a source of protein and carbohydrates, and keep in mind how long each meal will take to prepare so that you can save the more complicated meals for the days when you have more time.
Step 3: Buy all ingredients in advance
Make a list of all the ingredients you need and buy them all in one big shop. For some foods such as meat, you may need to store in the freezer if you will not be cooking it within the first few days of the week.
Step 4: Chop up meat and veggies in advance
Chopping up all your meat and veggies can often be the most time-consuming part of cooking, so doing it all in advance will save you so much time (and will give you no excuse not to add veggies to your meal). Store your veggies in containers and keep the meat in zip lock bags, and store them in either the fridge or the freezer depending on how long you will be storing them for.
Step 5: If necessary, cook meals in advance and freeze them for later
If you have absolutely no time to cook during the week, then cooking all your meals on your meal prep day will make your life so much easier. Stir-fries and curries are so easy to cook in advance, and store them in the freezer so that you do not have to spend any time cooking when you come home after a long day of work.
Step 6: Make use of leftovers
This will save you both time and money. If you know that there is a specific day where you will be extra busy, make sure to cook double the food the night before so that all you have to do is reheat the food the next day.