An on-the-go lifestyle is nothing new for most working professionals, especially those in the medical and corporate fields. One of the best lifestyle tips for health professionals is to improve the nutritional value of what you eat. But this tip can also be applicable to all adults, not just those in the medical field. To be able to do well in both your job and personal life, you’ll need healthy and good food to help you power through without feeling too drained. But if you have a busy week ahead, how do you ensure you’re eating healthy food? The answer is meal prep.
Benefits of Meal Prep
If you’re a busy working bee, then meal prepping is a great way to save you time. No more lining up at the cafeteria or waiting for your turn at the corner store during your lunch break. And when you get home from a busy day at work, you don’t have to worry about cooking dinner since you have prepped meals on hand! The time you save away from the kitchen can be used for other things such as self-care, watching your favorite show, or simply spending quality time with your family members.
Believe it or not, there are ways to stay healthy and happy without breaking the bank. Having prepped meals at the ready saves you from having to spend more money dining out. Even fast food, which can seem like a “cheaper” alternative, can be more costly in the long run. You can plan ahead and create a grocery list of what you need, so you won’t have to buy things you don’t need or will just throw away unopened. You can always tailor-fit your weekly menu to ensure you’re sticking to your budget.
Healthy and Delicious Food Cooked to Your Liking
Some might think healthy and delicious might not be two words you can use together, but that simply isn’t true. Well-planned meals can give you the nutrients you need and satisfy your taste buds at the same time. Make sure not to prep too many meals at once, though. Avoiding this rookie mistake can help you preserve freshness and ensure variety.
Healthy and Easy to Prep Meal Ideas and Tips
Allocate Time for Batch Cooking
If you’re busy during the weekdays, set aside time during the weekend to plan your meals, do grocery shopping, and do meal prep. Batch cooking is a great way to save time. Make sure you use the right containers and store them at the right temperature (fridge or freezer) to maintain your prepped meals’ quality. Here’s our favorite batch cooking recommendations for beginners: Tabbouleh Salad with Mediterranean Baked Chicken or Basic Chef’s Salad with Baked Tofu Bites.
Mix and Match to Create Variety
Some might think that meal prep can seem too repetitive and boring. But that’s totally not the case! It’s up to the chef (aka you) if you want the same thing for all days of the week or if you want some small changes to keep your taste buds excited. All you need to do is plan ahead. You can start simply by making the basic salad base (kale, lettuce, carrots) and prepping different dressing options (passion fruit vinaigrette, Caesar dressing with boiled egg, etc.). Then for the next week, you can step things up by choosing two different grains (brown rice, pasta, adlai, and more) that you can match with three “mains” (roast chicken thighs, teriyaki tofu, baked salmon, etc.).
Don’t Forget the Little Ones!
When prepping meals for a family, don’t forget to take your kids’ diet into consideration! They might not have the same palate as adults, so it’s best to also think of what they prefer eating. You can opt to create healthier versions of their favorite instant food, like oven-baked chicken and veggie nuggets, or even salmon fish sticks. For babies, you can batch cook baby puree made from root vegetables that you can just ladle onto baby feeding kits during meal time. Meal prep is not just for adults; it’s for kids, too! And as parents, you won’t have to worry about prepping two different sets of food when dinnertime comes around, allowing you to have more family bonding time.
Planning your meals and preparing them ahead of time can help you in many ways. It saves you from the daily stress of having to think about what to cook every day. It also helps make sure you have healthy food options to fuel you (and your kids) throughout the busy week. Meal prepping can also save you money in the long run. Meal prep may take a bit more effort to plan and may take a few hours out of your weekend or rest day to prepare, but it will surely be worth it.