10 Meal Prep Tips to Keep Your 2020 Resolutions on Track
With New Year’s well into the rearview mirror, and winter’s last fury starting to die down, you might have begun to lose your momentum when it comes to your resolutions. In fact, most people ditch them before they even get used to writing “2020” instead of “2019.” With so many hopes and dreams heading to the resolution graveyard, how can you get back on track and keep your health and wellness goals from slipping out of grasp?
One popular way to ensure you’re eating healthfully and aren’t tempted to reach for whatever greasy goodness is lurking behind the drive-through window or in the office vending machine is to meal prep. Meal prepping involves making full or partial meals ahead of time so that you have them ready to go when your stomach starts making noise. It’s not always easy, but this option is also great for keeping your food budget on track and helping you to avoid eating take-out or delivery food after a long day of work.
How can you make meal prep work for you? Here are 10 meal prep tips to ensure that you keep those New Year’s goals going throughout the entire year.
one day per week to prep
This is a crucial step for your meal prep success. Choose a day that works for you, and designate it as your “meal prep day.” Ensure that no matter what, you set aside a couple of hours to prep your meals for the next week. At first, it might be a challenge, but once you do it a few times, it will become a habit.
Before you head to the grocery store for some prepping fun, make a grocery list to ensure that you have all of your bases covered. Pick out some recipes that you want to make, and then double or even triple them so that you have that food for the entire week. Almost any recipe can be made ahead of time and then stored in the fridge to be eaten within a few days. Check out some of these delicious recipes from Copper Chef for inspiration.
At this point, you probably already know that eggs are a powerhouse food for keeping you full throughout the day, while also packing a mean punch of vitamins, fat, and protein. Make some egg “muffins” by mixing eggs, veggies, meat and cheese and pouring them into a muffin tin. Then, you bake them in the oven. The result? A bunch of high protein “muffins” that you can grab and eat on the go.
a quick cooking appliance
Pick your recipe of choice, and toss it in your air fryer. This little beauty is great for meats, so you can cook your meat of choice in this handy appliance, then mix it up with your recipe and you’re good to go. It also cooks up everything from vegetables to fruit to fish, so you can make whatever you want in this handy appliance ahead of time, and then you are ready to go.
meals for a rainy day
When you do meal prep, you can even make extra batches that you can toss into a freezer-safe bag and place in the freezer for the future. This is an excellent option if you prefer to deal with meal prep less frequently, but still like to enjoy home-cooked food that is healthier and cleaner than takeout. Plus, if you have an small air frying device (see tip #4), you can reheat your frozen meals in there quickly and safely.
big batches of veggies
When you’re watching what you eat, veggies are a mainstay. Stir fry some veggies in a frying pan, or roast them in the oven with delicious spices and a dash of oil, and then use them in your meal prep. You can also add these already made veggies to any of your other meals for a quick side dish.
a loose plan with some wiggle room
Be flexible with your plans. Maybe one day you didn’t feel like eating the meal that you prepped. Try switching it up and having multiple meals ready to go, so you aren’t always eating the exact same thing. One thing about meal prep that many people gripe about is that they are usually eating the same recipe that they’ve portioned out for a number of lunches or dinners. This can get tiring. If you make multiple meals, you have a bit more options.
in a mid-week prep day if necessary
If you need to and have the time, try prepping twice a week for the freshest food and a little more variety.
the whole family involved
Meal prep day doesn’t have to be you, alone in the kitchen. Bring in your significant other or roommate and have them help, too! Meal prepping can be a household affair.
sauces to make things different
Try making a protein, a grain, and some veggies ahead of time. Then, you can mix them together however you like, adding various sauces for variety. Your meal could consist of the same bases at each dining time, but with the addition of a sauce, it tastes completely different and turns into a whole new, delicious experience.
Even when New Year’s is far off in the past, you can still stay on track with your healthy living goals. Keep on chasing them down by focusing on nutrient-dense meals that you’ve prepped ahead of time. Meal prep is fast and easy, and ensures that you are cooking more at home and relying less on dining out. You save time, money, and possibly your health when you choose meal prepping as one of your diet goals!