How to simplify Meal Planning & Meal Prep!
There is no escaping it; being organised is probably the single most important element for good nutrition & making sure your macronutrient goals are met. But that doesn't mean you should need to spend hours upon hours in the kitchen, slaving away over your stovetop.
Below are some key tips to help you prepare, cook & plan your weekly meals more efficiently & effectively:
1. Shop at least once a week if you can & buy ahead for next week's meals. That way you have a clear vision of what recipes you will cook which reduces the chance of ordering a pizza when the fridge shelves become empty or you are lacking creativity in the kitchen.
2. Always, always, always, restock the fridge & pantry
before shelves get too low!
This reduces the chance of you choosing other poorer types of packaged foods if good food is already in sight & ready to cook with!
3. Prepare a couple of staple meals on the weekend & freeze
them, ready for the nights when the kids footy training runs over
or you simply have had an extra long day & don't feel like
You can hit defrost or throw in the oven & know your nutrition won't be compromised because you are lacking time.
4. Keep a free range whole chicken (or roast) in the fridge
This is one of my best tricks!
These are so easy to throw in the oven with some veg & you have a tasty roast dinner (which you hardly had to prepare) ready with minimal effort... or you can make an easy chicken & veg soup or even a warm chicken salad. So many recipes you can make with a cooked chicken!
5. Choose simple recipes that only require 6 or so ingredients
that you will use again!
There is nothing worse than cooking a recipe with hard-to-find ingredients that you will only use once!
6. Make a double batch of ingredients so you can use the
following night in another recipe.
I.e. Partly steam some extra veggies so you can bake them the next night with some lean protein.
7. Make too much of everything so you have leftovers in the
fridge for a 'on-the-go' quick snack or even for when you might
feel tempted to reach for that packet of biscuits.
Some leftover turkey patties are far better for you than a chocolate bar.
8. Cook it slowly!
For those too busy to cook in the evenings or just want to come home to dinner already made, use a slow cooker & put your dinner on before you leave the house.
There is great nutritional value in slow cooing your food as well! Food retains loads of its good nutrition when it is cooked for a long time on a low temperature.
9. Invest in a couple of labour-saving gadgets (one of my personal favourites!!) You don't need a state-of-the-art kitchen with lots of fancy gadgets but if you can afford it, there are a couple of items that can make life so much easier & quicker in the kitchen for you:
- A Blender or NutriBullet
In our house our NutriBullet gets used twice a day! Every day!
This is not only fantastic for breakfast smoothies & protein shakes, but you can almost blend anything in them - I make fresh pesto, sweet potato mash, raw slices, purees for our baby daughter... Everything!
For me, it's a must have..
- A Griddle pan
Not only are these fantastic for anyone who doesn't want to use the BBQ in the rain, they also add excellent flavour to grilled vegetables. Such a diverse piece of equipment.
- A Spiraliser
These are the latest trend when creating "carb-less" pasta, as they turn vegetables into noodles.
You can use on zucchini to make a pasta free Bolognese, throw zucchini noodles through a stir fry or you can even use it on sweet potato or even apples. Be as creative as you like!
Just note, this handy device needs to be used on the harder type fruits & vegetables.
We all know that good wholesome nutrition coupled with portion control is the main ingredient to your weight loss success, so by adopting a few of these little tricks, the kitchen will have you making "abs" in no time!
After all, abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym!
Studio Owner - Vision Bangor, Engadine and Sylvania