Meal preparation can frustrate you, but it’s the superior option to a lifetime of fast food and delivery. Your busy life can use some advice to make routine meal prep easier.
Indeed, routine is the key to simplifying meal prep. A good routine begins with a plan. Now, don’t let the idea of a plan give you jitters. There’s no need to overcomplicate your meal plan. Build one with exactly the level of detail that makes sense for you.
For a simple meal plan, write out your entrees for the next week. If you choose to include sides, your plan becomes a full menu! Once you get the hang of weekly meal planning, you can step up to months or quarters.
If you want to truly streamline your meal preparation, plan to prep in batches. Lasagna and large casseroles are examples of batch cooking. Traditional takes on those dishes may please you, or you can tweak them to your tastes and dietary preferences.
Batch cooking is easy when you make time for it. You can set aside a weekend afternoon to prep your full week’s meal plan. This easy concept works superbly for any recipe that keeps well in a refrigerator.
As you prep your batches, remember that old cliche about variety’s importance in life. Sure, it’s your option to eat the same thing for every meal, but prepping batches of varied foods will add a bit of spice to your week.
If you feel daunted by setting aside a block of time to batch cook, consider adding a slow cooker to your kitchen arsenal. These popular, countertop appliances have produced convenient, bulk meals for decades.
Diverse slow cooker recipes let you combine your slow cooker with your refrigerator and freezer to easily batch prep a month’s worth of meals in a few days.
Of course, batch prepping bulk results require storage. In friends’ and relatives’ kitchen cabinets, you’ve likely found motley assortments of containers. To truly simplify meal prep, a motley crew will not do.
You will need a food storage system, which features containers that easily stack and nest. Durable, glass containers with snap-tight lids offer you reliable quality in this arena. Any design that’s easy for you to fill, clean, and use makes sense.
If this piece of advice leads to you getting rid of an assortment of ill-fitting, mismatched containers, be joyous. Recycle or donate those items, and move forward with your streamlined meal prep. As a result, you will likely experience less stress and resistance in your life, which can lead to improved well-being.
Life is unpredictable. Occasionally, a day surprises you. A news story might make you feel distracted, or your boss might keep you late at work. Alternatively, you might simply forget to go shopping on the way home. For days like those, it’s just smart to have a backup plan.
You could have prepared meals delivered to your home, for example. This tip is different from popping a frozen dinner in the microwave or ordering a soggy pizza from some publicly traded corporation. The idea is to eat a thoughtfully prepared meal.
Habit-building starts with streaks. Find out how many consecutive days you can stay on your timesaving prep plan. When extended, short streaks become long ones, so challenge yourself!
Still, if you’re like most humans, you’re simply going to deviate from your plan occasionally. If that happens, it’s okay. You’re normal. Just remember to start anew as quickly as possible. That’s how you return to consistency. Otherwise, restarting your habit of smart, easy meal prep will likely feel more daunting later.
Remember to forgive yourself if your life’s events cause you to take an extended break from your meal prep habit. Personal forgiveness will help you reset, so you can peacefully begin simple meal preparation again.
Smart meal prep choices are easy. Implement the ones you’ve learned today for a life with less friction and more opportunities for interaction, fulfillment, and happiness.