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6 Things to Keep in Mind When Beginning Your Meal Prep

Craig Middleton Jan 16, 2020
Whether you live solo, in a small household, or with a large family, making balanced and nourishing meals is a key to vitality. Prepping is a time-honored way to make delicious meals well in advance, saving you hours and money in the long run. Here are 6 things to keep in mind as you consider your meal prep.

Decide

Fortunately, there are many ways to meal prep. Depending on your preferences and lifestyle, you may choose to batch cook, make individually-portioned meals, or prepare ready-to-cook ingredients/meals. Choosing the type of prep ahead of time will likely make the process feel simpler and less daunting.
While you're deciding, doing some type of short detox may help recalibrate your taste buds. Sources like the dr. gundry meal plan can provide useful ideas. Narrowing down the types of food you plan to cook — a full-fledged eating plan or more general guidelines — is a good idea. Beginning with familiar meal prep methods might be an accessible way to start.

Organize

Once you've decided on your type(s) of eating plans and prepping methods, organizing time, dates and workflow can help streamline the process. This is a habit that you can incorporate into your weekly schedule. First, check your calendar for times you'll be eating out, and mark them out.
Next, decide on the number of meals you'll require for the upcoming week. Then, plan for a reasonable amount of variety in the meals. There's a good chance you might be able to incorporate recipes you already know! Last, determine the contents of each meal. It's ideal if each meal is well-balanced according to the eating plan you choose.

Plan

It's crucial to have on hand needed storage containers, wrap, and freezer bags — it'll make the beginning of your meal prep journey a lot less complicated. Also, "shopping" your pantry may unearth spices and ingredients you may have forgotten. Once you've done these two things, making your shopping list should be much easier.
If possible, prepare the list according to grocery store departments so you don't have to double back. Allow yourself to have fun making the list, whether you prefer a digital or paper method. The idea is to make meal prep a pleasurable integration into your life, not a chore.

Shop

Choosing a regular time for shopping makes it a part of your routine that won't take up too much mental effort. Depending on your temperament, you might enjoy shopping during low traffic hours, or be more inclined toward the bustle of a crowded market. Since you've done thorough planning in advance, you'll be better able to enjoy the process.
You might even find some culinary surprises or great deals! If shopping's not your thing, a grocery delivery service is a convenient option.

Prep

Once you've arrived home from the store and organized your ingredients, it's time to start prepping as soon as it's practical. Start off by prepping the foods that take the longest time to cook. It's ideal to have two cutting boards — one for produce (raw produce cut first), another for raw proteins. Be sure to follow best practices for safety as you prep.

Time

Now that you’re finished, you can be assured that you've ultimately saved time while providing healthy meal experiences for your family. While your calendar has likely already determined the eating dates and times for each meal, it's useful to remember that you can safely consume frozen meals within 3-6 months, and refrigerated meals within 3-4 days.

Try it Out!

Prepping meals ahead of time can provide opportunities for creative meal planning and togetherness for you and your family. Try these tips to make it a smooth experience.