When lockdowns started, many of us had to adjust to spending more time at home, especially as many of our jobs transitioned away from the office. Now, life seems to be changing again as we head back to those workspaces.
More time at the house has its benefits. One benefit is that we are where our food is, and we have less of a reason to run out to grab a bite to eat. Now, as we head back to the office, we may need to rethink how we do breakfast and lunch and easier ways to get dinner on the table after a busy day at work.
If this sounds like you, you may want to try meal prepping. Whether you’ve done it before and want to get back into a good rhythm or want to give it a try for the first time, here is what you need to know!
Meal prepping is just preparing meals or parts of meals in advance. There are many ways to do it, so you just have to find the method that works the best for you and your lifestyle.
The most common reason to meal prep is to save time and money. By preparing meals, or parts of your meals, ahead of time, you can spend less time preparing and cooking recipes during the week. It is also an easy way to budget how much you spend on food. When you have food on hand, you may be less likely to eat out or grab food on the go. It is also a good way of making sure that you actually cook with the food you buy...which leads us to our next point: it reduces waste.
Meal prepping requires a little bit of planning and is a great way to keep those bags of produce from being forgotten in the deep depths of your refrigerator.
There are also health benefits for meal prepping. If you have health goals like losing weight, building muscle, or just eating more nutrient-dense food, meal prepping is a good way to plan and prepare the food your body needs. Then when the day comes, you have what you need on hand whether or not you have plenty of time to cook.
Since you will be preparing food ahead of time, you’ll want to clear out some room in the fridge. You should also take stock of what containers you have on hand and maybe invest in glass storage ware that stacks nicely in your fridge. You can also opt for mason jars as a way of storing soups and salads.
Ziplocs and reusable food bags are also great to have on hand for freezing ingredients and meals.
There is no one way to meal prep!
Not all food preps well. Mixing a salad in advance will leave you with mush and some fruits and vegetables like avocados turn brown if you cut them up and store them.
Food that preps well include:
You will also want to consider how you plan on reheating your food.
If you plan on reheating your food in the microwave, are you okay with cooked vegetables getting a little mushy? If not, you might be better off saving those recipes for when you feel like cooking the day of, or just preparing the ingredients ahead of time and cooking when you are ready to eat.
Once you’ve prepared your supplies and thought about what kind of ingredients you want to use, you get to choose your recipes!
If you are new to meal prepping, you may want to get started by just choosing a few. Pick one recipe for breakfast, like collagen overnight oats or muffins, that you don't mind having every day. Then think about lunch and dinner. Maybe you are okay with cooking dinners that you can have for lunch the next day. If you are batch prepping, consider picking recipes that you don’t mind eating a few times during the week or that you could make slight changes to, like Buddha bowls, pastas, and salads. These recipes make great lunches.
You may also want to consider what causes you to eat out. You may want to prioritize preparing snacks or lunches over breakfast and dinner.
Finally, pick a day that you can spend a few hours either preparing ingredients for the week ahead or assembling the meals. You will have food throughout the week and nothing will go to waste!
We hope that meal prepping can be a way to reduce stress, save money, and stay healthy, even when you are super busy. A healthy diet is important to living a long life, and we want it to be as easy as possible. Adding collagen to your food or favorite drinks is another easy way to give your body essential nutrients. BUBS Naturals Original Collagen Peptides are flavorless so they can be added to countless recipes without affecting the flavor. If you love adding BUBS Naturals Collagen Peptides to any of your favorite recipes, let us know! We’d love to hear about it.