When I last wrote about Meal Planning or Meal Prep being one of the key activities that keeps me disciplined to prepare healthy meals day after day without fail, many of you asked me to share simple ideas on how I plan my meals. Our lives are so overstuffed these days that making healthy meals seems like an effort and so we rather not keep this one as a priority. We all do this, right?
Meal Prep isn’t only for working women, rather is extremely helpful for anyone who wants to eat quick healthy meals and avoid eating fast food due to paucity of time. You just need to spend few hours over the weekend to ensure that making healthy meals during weekdays becomes effortless for you. This also takes away the hassle of thinking about the menu every day. I am going to give you 7 simple tips which you must do over the weekend if eating healthy meals is your goal. Nah! you don’t need to skip the movie for this activity. Just a few hours on lull Sunday evenings, when the weekend charade is over. Would recommend that you read the previous article before taking a dig at this one.
Without further a-do, let’s look at 7 simple tips (no chronological order of importance) which will change the way you think about making healthy food.
1- Do grocery shopping over the weekend. And do it smartly. Don’t just run around with shopping bag in hand. Spend 10 minutes and think through the key dishes for the coming week before heading for shopping. Make lists. See what’s already in the fridge. Discard rotten stuff. Don’t overfill kitchen with unwanted items. Keep it tidy.
2- Cleaning, cutting and chopping vegetables over the weekend makes weekday life so fuss-free. Chop beans, carrots, tomatoes, capsicum, beetroots etc. and store in airtight containers or zip-lock bags. Make various cuts and slices of each vegetable, e.g. capsicum can be chopped fine and also sliced in long cuts. This helps in using the same item multiple times during the week. Also if you have salad on mind, then slice veggies accordingly (think beetroot! can be used in salads or can be sautéed with salt and pepper). Cleaning greens is a nightmare during weekdays. Do it over the weekend. Clean spinach, kale and stock in the fridge, ready for anytime smoothies! This step is laborious and time taking, but really is the key here. Better if you can get your house help for this activity. Once done, you know what all are your ingredients for the week.
3- It saves a lot of time if you stock pre-prepped items in the fridge. Boil potatoes, pasta, chic-peas and even eggs and store in the fridge. Pan-fry beans, broccoli, pumpkin etc. and store. Sprout lentils. Already getting ideas on pre-prepping? Great! Let me know as well.
4- Make spreads and chutneys over the weekend. Ginger Garlic paste and Coriander Mint chutney are my favorites.
5- Indian cooking has a generic base of onion and tomato for most of the dishes. Sauté chopped onions and tomato, add salt and spices, and store this in the fridge. This sautéed base can stay put for ~ 10 days. Making paneer is literally a 5 min task with this. Scoop out the needed quantity of this homemade masala, heat it on the pan and add paneer cubes in. Are we good?
6- For Chicken lovers shredded chicken is a must have in the fridge. Boil chicken extremely well. Separate the broth and store it. For the chicken, shred it into threads and store in fridge. This shredded chicken can be used in so many ways, chicken rice, chicken salad, just a stir fry.
7- Stock a lot of greens, cucumbers, spinach, beans, and bell peppers. Best way to not eat unhealthy junk is to not have those items in the kitchen at all. Cheese over butter please. Any day.
Following these steps have helped me relish healthy and delicious meals every day. Begin with incorporating one step at a time. Pre-planning meals will organise you for the better. Learn during the process , see what activity takes time and keeps you from eating healthy. Try doing that activity on the weekend. Cut down on cooking time by what ever means possible in your routine. Begin today !
Have you read My Weight Loss Journey Chapter 1?