BEIRUT: You want to eat healthily, the order is less, not dine out as much, but cooking is the last thing you want to do after a long day at work? Say hello to meal prep, the magic solution to this exact problem.
We all lead busy lives and we shouldn’t have to sacrifice our health to keep up with our daily demands and responsibilities. So read on to find out how meal prepping will undoubtedly make your life easier and smoother.
If you want to learn more tips and tricks on leading a healthy and fitness-friendly life, check out the rest of the posts on my website.
FIRST OF ALL, WHAT IS MEAL PREP?
You choose one day to prepare whole meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for the coming week. Benefits include saving time, eating well throughout the week, and if you’re not a fan of cooking it’s just one day in the kitchen!
THE STEPS TO BEGIN
Here are 7 steps to start doing this on your own.
Start with one meal, breakfast, or lunch. Don’t overwhelm yourself with 5 meals to prepare at one time. If you’re feeling motivated, plan for lunch and a snack.
DIVIDE & CONQUER
Make sure every meal is divided into carbs, protein, veggies, and healthy fats.
PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS
Prepare a list of all the ingredients you need and get them from the grocery store. If you can get groceries delivered to your house, do THAT.
It saves time, energy, and money spent on things you don’t actually need.
(Tip: Get pre-cut veggies from the market!)
HAVE THE BASIC STAPLES
Always have the basic staples ready at home: whole grain rice, quinoa, corn, tomato sauce, olive oil, and SPICES! My favorite spices are cayenne chili, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, oregano, and basil.
I also always have my protein pre-portioned by the butcher into 500-gram packs. This makes it very easy for me to defrost and get cooking.
(Tip: Keep frozen garlic on hand, it’s epic!)
Carbs can be prepared in large batches, so items like quinoa, rice, sweet potato, whole grain pasta, and cauliflower rice can all be prepared at the same time and split over 5 days.
Make protein portions for 2-3 days only. This will keep the batch fresh without the meat, chicken, or fish becoming too hard.
Salads! There are tons of unique and different salad recipes out there if you’re bored of the same basic one.
Think of using the same protein or carb in a different way. You can also use the same carb for 2 different meals. For example, pasta can be eaten with minced meat and red sauce for lunch and transformed into a pasta tuna salad for dinner.
SPLURGE ON CONTAINERS
Portion your meals into epic containers and into the quantities you’re meant to be eating. If you’re on a weight loss or a goal-oriented plan, then it’s useful to measure ahead of time so you can just dig in during meal times.
DON’T STORE FOR TOO LONG
You can store the cooked food in the fridge for 3-5 days without them getting ruined or poisoning yourself.
There you have it! You’ll be a meal prep expert before you know it. Check out www.baraaelsabbagh.com for the most delicious and nutritious recipes to prepare.
Baraa El Sabbagh is a registered dietitian, sports nutritionist, and personal trainer in Dubai. She hosts her own podcast called B for Better Health, where she brings on special guests and experts in the field of health and fitness. She also released multiple home workout programs suitable for all levels. Before being based in Dubai, Baraa studied in Beirut at the AUB.
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