The last few weeks I’ve started sharing some of my Sunday Food Prep pictures with you and I’ve had some lovely comments and messages about them!! I’ve also had some questions about how I feed prep and some tips and tricks on how to prep your food to help you stay as healthy as possible. Which is why I wanted to use this month to share with you some of my favourite food prep tips and give you a copy of my weekly food planner!
Let’s talk about… Food Prep!
So food prep is one of those things that healthy people talk about which to be quite honest when I first started doing it sounded completely overwhelming. When I first started I think I ended up just making more work for my self as I was trying to do way to many things. As times gone on I’ve finally started to make my food prep something useful and it definitely saves me so much time in the long run and keeps my house stocked with plenty of healthy options.
So the first step of good food prep is to plan. Every week I sit down for around half an hour and work out what I fancy for the week ahead and what I need to get in my weekly shop. This planner is my key tool for jotting down ingredients. This helps me stay organised and means considerably less thinking throughout the week.
Once something is written on the planner it is not set in stone though. If you get home and don’t fancy what’s you originally had planned, then get creative! There’s also no need to fill in every section if you’re not sure what your plans are for the week, but it does help make sure you have everything you need to have a healthy week. Use it as your guide, not your rule book!
Get your Weekly Planner by clicking on the link.
Invest in a Variety of Food Storage
I literally have way too much Tupperware!! My favourite will always be glass Pyrex Tupperware (especially if I’m re-heating food), but if I’m just storing things in the fridge then plastic Tupperware is fine. I have a range of sizes to keep salads, grains, proteins and veggies fresh. I also love my salad bowl Tupperware which has a strainer to stop things going soggy and keeps greens crisp and fresh.
Pick Versatile Recipes
I tend to make 3 or 4 different salads or veggie medleys which I can use time and again throughout the week. I not only take a mixture of all of them for my lunch but then add individual ones to my main meals as delicious sides. This means if you’ve had a long day at work or don’t have a lot of time you can just add a protein to already flavoursome and tasty veggies or salads.
Chop all your Fruit & Vegetables
If you didn’t already know as soon as fruit and veg had been cut it starts to lose valuable nutrients. BUT (and it’s a big BUT) if prepping all your veg once or twice a week means you actually eat it then it’s definitely the better option. After a long day the thing that puts me off cooking most is the thought of chopping and prepping food. I might not do all these on a Sunday (because like I say the fresher the better) but I definitely try and limit it to twice a week if I can.
Bulk & Freeze (or Eat)
Your freezer is your absolute best friend when it comes to prepping food and having plenty of healthy option on hand. My motto has always been if I have to cook for 3-4 I might as well cook for 8. Any foods which can be cooked in large quantities and frozen such as curries, chillies, Bolognese, ragu, or soups are really worth your while making as much as possible. That way if you know your going to be home late or struggling for time (or just want a night off the cooking) you can simply grab something out the freezer and have healthy food without any effort.
You also don’t need to freeze foods if you can eat it all! I often make foods to eat a couple of nights or days in a row. I also often cook a extra portion to take for lunch the next day and simply re-heat it.
Think About Macronutrients
As I’ve already mentioned I am a big fan of making big bowls of salads or veggies for the week and taking these for my lunch or adding them to main meals. When doing this I try and have a large Tupperware full of each of the following:-
- Healthy Carbohydrates (e.g. a recipe containing sweet potato, quinoa or brown rice)
- Healthy fats (e.g. hummus, guacamole, avocado salad, seeds, oil based dressings)
- Leafy or Green Salad (e.g. Salads with plenty of kale, spinach, broccoli, or courgettes)
- Colourful Salad (e.g. Salads with plenty of different colours – think beetroot, orange, tomatoes, peppers, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips, peas, corn, strawberries, pomegranate, radishes, cabbages)
I then try and plan that I have a variety of proteins throughout the week such as chicken, lean ham, beef, tuna, cod or salmon so that I can add it to my lunch every day.
Pick Similar Foods
Although you want variety in a week it is much easier to prepare similar foods or different foods in a similar way. For example if you have a spiralizer then god spiralizer mad for the week. Spiralise a variety of vegetables to have with different meals like thai curry, Bolognese or ragu, then have some extra as your colourful salad for the week. Or try making a couple of different vegetable rices with broccoli and cauliflower. Or prepare your cauliflower in a few different ways such as cauliflower steaks, rice, roasted, steamed.
Make It Fun
Yes I did just imply that food prep could be fun. Giving up a couple of hours of you Sunday to cook a load of food you cant even eat yet can seem like a bit of a chore but it can be made considerably more fun. Get your favourite music on or get a Netflix binge going on your laptop. Maybe you do find this time a opportunity to disconnect from everything and enjoy some silence and that’s great too, but adding some dancing around your kitchen thanks to your favourite song coming on makes it considerably more enjoyable.
So I hope you’ve found this guide helpful and can use some of these tips to help you get more organised and have plenty of healthy options.