Nutrition is the single biggest factor in your overall health. That being said, what are you supposed to do if you hate cooking or are too busy and tired when you get home from work to take the time to cook a healthy meal? You’ll see a lot of people out there view meal prepping as the magical solution and–while it is super helpful and saves loads of time, there are people who don’t like the thought of spending an entire afternoon in the kitchen. So what are they supposed to do? Well, here are my tips for making meal prep less of a chore so you can get it done faster and still feel good about the healthy home cooked meals you will have throughout the week.
Pick Easy Recipes
This might seem like a no brainer but I see a lot of people dive headfirst into meal prep and burn out fast because they try to make puff pastry from scratch or 6 soufflés without them collapsing. Start small. Pick recipes that you already know how to make and maybe try to put a healthy spin on it. For example, if spaghetti and meatballs is the only recipe you know, try swapping out turkey meatballs for beef and using lentil pasta or a veggie packed pasta sauce instead of a meat and cheese filled one. Boiling a bigger pot of pasta doesn’t take any more time that a smaller amount and you’ll find yourself with enough food for those nights when you find yourself tempted to grab take-out because you don’t have the energy to cook.
Use Similar Ingredients
Most of us don’t want to eat the same exact thing every day so the thought of following the typical bodybuilder meal prep of rice, broccoli and plain chicken breast sounds terrible. On the other hand, it can get expensive and time consuming to pick recipes with completely different ingredients each day. Here’s my solution: pick recipes that have similar ingredients. For example, if you roast a whole chicken on Sunday (this recipe hasn’t failed me yet) and eat it with veggies and rice, why not plan to take the leftover chicken, shred it, season it, and make chicken tacos for Monday? This way of planning allows you to spend less, save time, and still enjoy a variety of flavors throughout the week.
Get a Friend Involved
If you really can’t stand the thought of spending an hour or two chopping up veggies and prepping burrito bowls, why not make it a little more interesting and invite a friend to join you? You can both get the benefits of ready to eat food throughout the week and the added fun of someone to share in the prep time so you almost forget that you’re doing something that normally bores you to death. Take an hour or two over the weekend to enjoy some time with a friend and reap the benefits in the week to come!
Do you love the kitchen or does the thought of cooking most meals at home make you squirm? Either way, there are always small improvements we can make to improve our health and those small changes will add up to a transformed life in the long run. Taking the time to put a little extra effort in one day a week can have a HUGE impact on your wallet and your waistline the other six days.