How to Hack your Meal Prep Game

By: Samantha Wineke, Functional Medicine Health Coach.

A successful, healthy diet is more about planning than it is about willpower. Even the most dedicated health enthusiasts can’t resist the urge to have a piece of candy once they are starving and their blood sugar has dropped. We repeat: It’s not about willpower, it’s about having a plan!

Most of us work long hours and can’t commit to cooking a healthy dinner each night. A common solution is meal-prepping or batch cooking meals for the entire week. Often times though, the prospect of spending hours upon hours in the kitchen planning and prepping meals can be overwhelming.

With the right kitchen tools and routines, you can hack your meal prep game so that it takes as little time as possible, and you can get back to your life.

  1. Purchase the right tools: Abraham Lincoln said, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” He would have had an incredible meal prep game! Half of the battle is making sure that you have the proper tools available for meal prep:
    • High-quality knives: Don’t underestimate the power of a sharp knife that chops perfectly. This could cut your prep time in half! While you’re at it, make sure you have a couple of cutting boards, too.
    • Instapot: When this tool entered the game, health enthusiasts became obsessed. You can use the Instapot to pressure cook foods so that cooking takes less time. It also serves as a rice cooker, which you can use to cook your grains for the week (think brown rice and quinoa). This is also an easy alternative for cooking meat if you aren’t used to working with animal proteins.
    • Vitamix: This high-speed blender can whip up smoothies, soups, sauces, and can act as a food processor, too!
    • Storage containers: You’ll want to have a container for everything so that it’s easy to grab a meal while you are on the go! Make sure to stay away from plastic – glass is both better for your health and the environment. Think mason jars, glass Tupperware, and reusable snack bags.
  2. Use an app: To no surprise, there are now apps that you can download to do all of the meal planning legwork! Mealime allows you to choose your dietary method of choice (paleo, vegan, keto, etc.), specify allergies or dislikes, and choose the exact number of servings you need for each meal. Then, it generates a number of recipes to choose from. Once you choose your recipes for the week, it creates your grocery list! Other apps, such as FoodPlanner, Yummly, and Out of Milk, provide different features to help make meal planning easy.
  3. Shop your groceries online: If you want to skip the line at the grocery store and the hassle of carrying your groceries home, online grocery shopping may be your answer. New meal delivery websites, including FreshDirect, Thrive Market, and Instacart. These services allow you to have your groceries delivered to your door—and even save money! An added bonus—you won’t run the risk of browsing the aisles while hungry, so you won’t buy unneeded items.
  4. Purchase pre-chopped vegetables: You might pay a premium for pre-chopped vegetables, but this hack may be worth the time you save in the kitchen. You can buy pre-chopped onions and garlic, pre-spiralized vegetables, pre-made cauliflower crust, and frozen quinoa. These are great staples to keep in the household for a quick 5-minute dinner.
  5. Make it fun! Okay, maybe this isn’t a “hack,” but it makes a huge difference! Find a way to make your meal prep time enjoyable. Listen to a podcast (I hear Func You Up is great…), put on some music, or invite a friend to meal prep with you. I bet you have someone in your life who is trying to eat healthier, too!

So there you have it! Five ways to step up your meal prepping game and maybe even enjoy the process a little bit more. Remember, having a plan is key to ensure that you’ll stay on track to reach your goals and feel great each week.

If you have more questions about meal prepping, or anything nutrition-related, feel free to call us now or reach out to us by filling out the form below.

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