How to Start Preparing Meals Without It Taking Over Your Life

How to Start Preparing Meals Without It Taking Over Your Life

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Photo: Elena Vesselova (Shutterstock)

When you take your fitness goals (whether strength, or weight-related), often a first step is to get your diet in order. You want to get enough protein to support your muscles, fruits and vegetables for health, carbs for fueland a total amount of calories that supports your activity and goals without undereating or overeating.

If you’ve already come to the end of the day and realize you’re off track to meet your daily goals, you get the idea of ​​planning your meals and even preparing (“preparing”) them in advance. A bodybuilder who eats the stereotypical chicken and broccoli for lunch every day may be bored with his meals, but he also knows how much protein he’s consuming without even thinking about it.

But meal-preparation has its pitfalls. Maybe you will be bored with your meals. Or maybe you won’t even get that far and just burn out from the mental and physical exertion of cooking an entire week’s meals at once. With that in mind, here are some beginner tips to make the process easier with your sanity intact.

Take a breakfast to go

Before we start preparing anything, let’s start Planning. Most of us are fine with eating the same breakfast every day, and chances are you already have a few favorites that you can whip up quickly before you fully wake up.

So your first step is to provide a breakfast that matches your macros and is easy to prepare. We’re taking baby steps here, so don’t worry too much about planning this ahead of time. Just make sure it will be ready when breakfast time comes.

For example, your breakfast might consist of yogurt and fruit. It’s quite simple :BDrink yogurt and buy fruit. In the morning, you can put the two together. Or you can do something the night before to grab on your way to the door. I like to do Birch muesli two servings at a time, since each requires half an apple. So Sunday night I will prepare jars for Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday evening, I will make another pair.

Save your takeout containers

When we start packing dinners and lunches, we will need something to put them on. While cute little Bento-esque Tupperwares might look pretty, you may decide you don’t really want all those divided containers. Or the boxes you buy may turn out to be the wrong size once you start filling them. Save money and time by selecting one or two types of takeout containers that you get in abundance, and keep them whenever you get them. I like rectangular dishes and pint round soup containers. (You can also buy them in bulk if you need them fresh.)

Make one meal at a time

Once you’ve gotten into the habit of eating your scheduled breakfast every day, the next step is to choose a second meal. For most of us, it will be lunch. That way your first two meals are taken care of and you’re still free to make whatever dinner plans you like. (It’s fine if you never get past this step.)

I also recommend, at least initially, not planning for seven days at a time. Since I work Monday to Friday, I like to prepare my meals during the week, then prepare them on the weekends. (This usually involves my usual breakfast, some kind of meal salvaged from leftovers, and often a take-out meal or two.)

For your first foray, I recommend finding a recipe that makes three servings. Two of these recipes will get you through the workweek with a spare. You can even alternate the two meals.

Important food safety advice: Meals prepared on Sunday will not be in the greatest shape on Saturday. I recommend choosing one of the following strategies:

  1. On Sunday, prepare a dish and divide it for meals on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; then on Wednesday night, make another three-serving dish for the second half of the week.
  2. On Sunday, prepare your two dishes to be able to alternate. Pop three of the meals in the freezer. Then, on Tuesday or Wednesday, take them out of the freezer to start thawing them.

Try a recipe before you commit

Ready to start preparing that first meal? hold on 😀if you choose a recipe you really like? I don’t ask if it looks good in Pictures. The ideal meal prep recipe is something you’ve not only eaten in the past, but also a recipe where you have an idea of ​​how it reheats.

This means you can stay off recipe websites for now. Choose an old favorite; you can get experimental later. And if you’re ever tempted to prepare, say, a month’s worth of food on your meal prep day, absolutely try this exact recipe first in a one week batch.

be lazy

This is honestly my most important tip. When I started preparing meals, I spent a whole Sunday afternoon shopping and cooking. My feet would hurt and my other chores would be unfinished. No time or effort was saved, it was simply moved.

I’ve been better since. One of my favorite meal preps is to buy two bags of Trader Joe’s chimichurri rice and a pound of ground beef, and heat each one appropriately and combine them. The job is done in just 15 minutes, and I now have four lunches for the week that fit perfectly in one of those round soup containers. Do I care if Mr. Joe gets half the credit for my cooking? No.

If you’re going to do everything from scratch, make it easy for yourself. Buy frozen vegetables, as they are already chopped. Get a rice cooker if you use rice for most of your meals. If there is a special homemade sauce or condiment you want to use, do you allow that a labor-intensive item and make sure your other tasks are simple.

For instance, most elements of the animal and vegetable kingdoms can be thrown on a griddle and roasted. I’m going to buy some frozen fish and fresh or frozen vegetables, then roast a platter of each with the appropriate seasonings. (Olive oil and garlic salt are great for broccoli or, to be honest, any vegetable.) Chicken Tenders marinated in mayonnaise are another protein option that goes with everything and can be prepared in bulk. Thanks to the extra humidity, they heat up superbly well.

You get the idea: M.Have a lazy meal, don’t make more than you’ll actually eat, and pack it into the containers you already have on hand. Don’t expect everything to be perfect at first; you will refine your workflow over time.

#Start #Preparing #Meals #Life

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