Meal prep like a pro

How to meal-prep like a pro

Sophie Haslett
Assistant Content Editor

Originally from London, Sophie re-located to Sydney in 2015 and hasn't looked back since. With a love of travel, fashion, food and fitness, she is constantly on the lookout for the next weekend adventure or the next cafe or bar to fall in love with. She shares her lifestyle, fitness and travel tips with The Guide.

"I reveal how to embrace the art of preparing your food in advance"

Take one quick flick through Instagram and you’ll see them. Perfectly turned-out photos of perfectly co-ordinated boxes of Tupperware filled with rainbow vegetables and the exact amount of protein and complex carbohydrates required to fuel a person at lunchtime.

Meal prepping has never been bigger. But how does it work, and how does the food stay fresh? Most importantly, how do you not get bored eating the same thing for lunch each day? Here, I reveal how to embrace the art of preparing your food in advance and explain how you can learn to meal prep like a pro.

Why should I meal prep

Not only does cooking your food for lunch in advance keep you slim and healthy, it can also save you precious dollars. When you’re hungry at midday, you’re more likely to make a pressured unhealthy decision when it comes to lunch. On the other hand, if you’ve whipped up something nutritious and delicious the night before, you’ll automatically be skipping processed foods and eating something that’s good for you. Meal prep evangelists recommend setting aside one afternoon or evening each week for meal prep – Sunday is a popular choice on social media. So choose your day, go food shopping and you’re almost ready to begin.

How do I meal prep

Preparing your food in advance is surprisingly easy; it just requires organisation. Do you have enough Tupperware containers for four or five different lunches? Do you have a fridge and cupboards filled with tasty produce? Then you’re pretty much ready to go. Start simple – you can make those hi-tech poke bowls later – and try a few recipes that won’t go bad after a few days in the fridge or freezer. Think about getting a healthy balance of good fats, slow-release carbs, veg and protein and then simply start cooking. Store everything neatly away in labelled boxes at the end and clear out a shelf in your fridge or freezer for your home-cooked meals.

Any other tips

From Kayla Itsines to UK-based fitness guru, Joe Wicks, the Internet is filled with useful tips for taking your meal prepping to the next level. I’m a big fan of condiments for making my food taste different each day. While I might have two or three salmon fillets to get through, with the right combination of herbs, spices, salt, pepper or lemon juice, I can make my meal taste totally different whenever I want. Another useful tip is to make what you eat look pretty. Whether it’s with a Mason jar for your salad, chia seeds for your Bircher muesli or grated beetroot slaw for your midday meal, think about colour, what works together and what looks good. When I first started meal prepping, someone once told me to begin with my weakness meal first – also known as the meal you buy from cafes most regularly. As a breakfast fiend, once I started making my own Bircher and overnight oats, I learned that my own cooking could be just as delicious as someone else’s – and much cheaper, too! Finally, if you’re someone who finds that they get bored very easily, perhaps pick two evenings a week where you meal prep. That way, you can do healthy burrito bowls Monday through Wednesday and poached chicken with rice and veggies for the rest of the week. If all else fails, and you just think meal prepping isn’t for you – there’s always help in the form of YouFoodz and similar companies, who deliver fresh, healthy food to your doorstep with one simple order. No one in the office need know you didn’t make your delicious lunch yourself.

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