Preparing food in advance is supposed to make your life easier, free you some time for self-care and avoid in indulging in ready made meals and temptations at the end of a long day.
So far, so good. Definitely having some meals laid out for the week can make stick to healthier eating habits, and help you create a more balanced diet.
But, most “food prep tips” I see around on the internet involve spending hours preparing food that will have to stay in the fridge for days. Now, most food is best eaten fresh for taste and nutrients. The other downside, is that most of this food prep are often done at the weekend, taking away a whole afternoon. Now, I think you can make a better and more relaxing use of that time, especially if you have a busy schedule?
So I decide to share my insider tips on how to make food prep work for you when you have a little time.
Every two weeks
I prepare a soup to freeze. It usually a basic version, done with no fat and very simple to make. it won’ involve a lot of chopping, because I want to make it easier and quicker form myself as much as I can. I cook in batch, blend, cool off and freeze.
EVERY TWO WEEKS
One of the things that can really mess up your effort in maintaining healthy eating habits is giving in to comforting foods when you stressed, tired, overworked oi feeling emotional. Let’s face it, we have all been there. You have a long day and all you want and crave is a nice and comforting dinner on the table.
Well, I am to tell you that there is nothing wrong with that, but instead of going for the inviting ready made curry or lasagna, simply make smarter choices, and het ahead of yourself cooking a nice comforting meal yourself and the freeze it for those days when you really need it! It could cook some Bolognese sauce on evening for example, eat a portion that evening and freeze the rest. Or make a nice stew with vegetables for those cold winter nights….
Once a week
I cook some tasty chicken fillets to freeze and use up during the week, to add to my salads or use up for healthy sandwiches. I find that when you don’t have much time it is very easy to find carbohydrates, sugar & fats filled food, but difficult to find something that is rich in proteins apart from the usual eggs, tinned or smoked fish.
Get the recipes
Once a week
I cook one or two portion of gluten-free grain or grain alternative like quinoa or red rice. I am not gluten-free, but I do try to keep my wheat intake low if I can, and not to overload my diet with gluten either.
I also find though that cooking the whole meal with grains, meat or fish and vegetables can be draining after a long day, or when you are a busy and tired, so having some grains already cooked make it easier for me to stick to a healthy diet.
My favourite grains are quinoa and red rice. Both can keep two days in the fridge, have a pretty low GI and are rich in nutrients. Quinoa is one of the few plant foods that contains all the essential amino acids, while red rice is rich in anti-oxidants that give that characteristic red color.