One of the greatest obstacles people face when trying to stay fit is healthy eating. It takes time to shop for fresh produce, prepare the food and then sit down to eat the meal you’ve made. That’s why the lure of convenience foods is so strong!
Meal preparation is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle while saving time and money. Simply prepare and cook once, and you’ve got at least a few days food ready to go. Whether you’re just wanting to keep healthy, a gym junkie or building a career in the industry by undertaking fitness courses, these 5 meal prep hacks will help you stay fit.
Make a salad bar
Transform your fridge into your very own salad bar by preparing a variety of ingredients ahead of time. By pre-cooking whole grains, washing and chopping up raw veggies and creating a couple of dressings in a jar you’ll be able to customise your own salad. When it’s time to eat, simply combine a few of your favourite ingredients to make a healthy, balanced meal.
Cook up eggs
Eggs are a fantastic source of protein and a powerhouse of nutrients. They’re also super versatile. Cook some up ahead of time to have as a quick on-the-go snack, to add to a salad or put in a wrap. If hand-boiled eggs aren’t your thing, try baking egg muffins with your choice of veggies to freeze for later on.
Freeze your beans
Beans are not only cheap, but a great source of protein especially for vegans and vegetarians. You can add them to soups, salads, dips, stews, rice dishes and more. Simply rinse and soak dried beans over night before cooking them up in the morning. Freeze them in individual Ziploc bags or containers and thaw them when you need.
Bulk prepare smoothies
Need a nutrient dense breakfast on the run? Smoothies can be a great option when you don’t have time to sit down for your meal or need a pick me up before or after a workout. Chop up a large batch of veggies, herbs, seeds and a little bit of fruit ahead of time. Create individual serves to freeze in Ziploc bags. In the morning, simply throw one of your frozen packages into the hand blender and add your choice of liquid.
Cook your veggies
We could always do with more veggies in our diet so preparing them ahead of time will encourage you to consume more. A delicious batch of roast veggies can be consumed in a salad, on their own with some meat or fish or with eggs for breakfast. You could also blend them up for a quick soup or make a warming rice dish. Besides roasting, you could also lightly steam or slow cook fresh produce ready to grab and go.
Bonus tip: Go semi-homemade
Take advantage of some of the healthy convenient food available in the supermarket to save on time. You’ll find individual frozen vegetables and fruit that can come in handy. Like-wise, on the shelves you’ll find pre-cut raw vegetables, individual tubs of yoghurt and tins of tuna or salmon that make a nutritious snack. Even individual serves of microwavable brown rice and tinned beans can help you maintain your healthy diet without the fuss.