I used to skip having breakfast before heading to work. I figured that the half-hour preparation of cooking food is better spent as extra minutes for sleeping. Moreover, I often find myself too slow-functioning in the morning to think of and whip up a good meal. While meals and snacks are readily available at the office and nearby stores, the choices are often limited or worse, expensive.
My need for a big energy boost in the morning while considering my food expenses introduced me to the world of food or meal prep. Pinterest experiments and food blogs have become my friends when it comes to various tips and tricks on how to ease myself into the world of meal prep. It involves planning your meals (can be for the entire week or longer), buying the ingredients, portioning the dishes out, and chucking them in the freezer, ready for the days ahead. While it may seem overwhelming at first, it is actually a good habit to develop for healthy yet quick food ideas.
Here are five reasons why:
Just like other people, I'm no stranger to the morning rush every working day. Doing meal prep saves me the time of having to prepare ingredients for my meals of the day and just focus on getting ready. I normally freeze multiple kinds of breakfast burritos during the weekends. Come each morning during the weekdays, I simply have to heat them in the toaster while I take a bath or put on makeup. This takes about 10 minutes, which is a lot less time compared to chopping up ingredients and making the burrito during the morning.
Most dishes freeze well such as wraps, mixed rice, blanched veggies, or even grilled chicken. It helps to look up meal ideas that you can prepare and freeze in batches to save time in cooking.
2. Well-monitored ingredients
If you suffer from food allergies, eating out can sometimes become problematic. Unless the meals you purchase come with warning indicators of possible allergens, you can end up being exposed to your triggers and threaten your health.
Arranging your meals in advance can help avoid these risks because you keep track of what goes into your food.
3. Less hassle and stress
Being stressed over choosing what to eat each day is also one of the reasons why I tried out doing meal prep. At times, I find myself craving for a specific dish but I don't have all the ingredients to make it.
Having thought of and preparing the dishes beforehand saves you from having to worry about what to make. Also, advanced planning means ample time to list down what you need and buy groceries.
4. Less costly
Pre-planning and prepping your meals can mean more opportunities to maximize the produce or ingredients that are readily available at your home. Eating out can often become expensive. Apart from steep prices, portioning size can also be an issue. You may end up buying a meal that cannot satisfy your hunger, prompting you to purchase another.
When your meals are prepared and portioned according to your preferences, there are fewer chances of having to splurge on food.
5. Regulated intake
Meal prep allows you to have better control of what you eat instead of having to look for dishes that are suited to your diet.
Moreover, having no pre-planned meals can also make you vulnerable to food temptation or resorting to just whatever is available just to manage your hunger. You can also avoid overeating as your snacks and meals are already prepared and at your disposal.
Meal prep may take a little getting used to as it often involves cooking and portioning big batches of food. For first-timers, it is best to analyze your eating patterns and start with small meals (such as afternoon snacks) before moving on to full meals. By doing so, you're getting yourself ready to develop a quick, healthy, and inexpensive eating lifestyle.