We're constantly told what we should and shouldn't eat. But unless you're a celebrity with a personal nutritionist, it's difficult to stick to a healthy eating food plan. Here's an expert guide to mastering healthy meal prep.
Most of us don't have the time to research recipes, shop for health foods, and stress over our weekly meal plan. That's why health-conscious and busy foodies everywhere are adopting healthy meal prep plans.
Healthy meal prep generally refers to the process of cooking healthy meals in advance. You prepare healthy batch meals in one sitting, usually for the rest of the week. You can always freeze your meals, so you don't need to worry too much about use-by dates. Sometimes that vegetarian curried-lentil stew tastes even better after a day or two!
The beauty of meal prep is that it can be done whenever suits you and you can prepare as much food as you want or need. It's perfect for take-to-work lunches, healthy dinners for the week, and even on-the-go healthy snacks.
The benefits of meal prepping are endless, but we'll list our 3 favorites:
Save time Pre-prepping your meals saves you so much time. Imagine coming home from work and not having to meal plan, grocery shop, cook and wash-up! Life as an efficient meal prepper is so easy: you spend time cooking when it suits you, and then you have delicious and healthy dinners waiting for you in the fridge.
Clean eating Are you ever so hungry on your way home from work that you pre-order a pizza or make a sneaky detour to the drive-thru? Even with the cleanest eating intentions, it's hard to pass on the french fries when our stomachs are rumbling! Having pre-prepped meals makes it so much easier to avoid fast-food temptations and eat only healthy meals.
Weight loss meal plan Not only is healthy meal prep great for clean eating, but it is also a foolproof way to follow a meal plan for weight loss. You can control what you eat, making sure you get the right amount of calories and nutrition, and you can manage your portion sizes.
Meal prepping initially requires some trial and error but ultimately you will be rewarded with more time and hopefully, you will be feeling healthier and happier. Here are 6 handy tips for getting started:
Plan ahead: You should plan your meal prepping around your weekly schedule. Think about when you will be busiest and won't have time to be cooking, and when you will be relaxed and ready to enjoy it. When selecting recipes, think about prepping and cooking time.
Find a balance: Think carefully about what you will cook and make sure you are eating a balanced diet. Include fruit and vegetables, whole grains, dairy and proteins (meats, fish, nuts, beans, tofu). If you are using meal prep to lose weight, you should avoid extra fat and sugar.
Think about seasonality: You might prefer salads in the Summer and warming soups in the Winter.
Mix it up: Don't forget to change up your menus, you don't want to be eating the same microwaved chicken for the fifth day in a row!
Choose filling meals: You don't want to be hungry half an hour after dinner.
Enjoy eating: Select recipes that excite you and that you think you and your family will love!
A healthy meal prep subscription or meal kit, such as Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, is the perfect way to ensure you stick to your healthy meal prep routine and eat healthy meals that taste good.
Planning your weekly menus and shopping for your meal prep food is time-consuming; Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon sends fresh and pre-portioned ingredients directly to your door. Each week there is a choice of 29 delicious and healthy Martha Stewart recipes to choose from, anything from fresh crispy-skin salmon to Mapo Tofo Udon Noodles. Vegetarian and low-carb recipes are always available, there is something for everyone. It’s the perfect way to spice up your cooking and make sure that your healthy meal prep ideas never run out!
Martha Stewart understands the "importance" of "smart eating habits" and so the calories and nutritional information are always included. The recipes are designed by chefs and nutritionists so you know you will always be eating a balanced diet. Have a look at Martha's favorite recipes for eating healthy during the week.
Finally, cooking and meal prep shouldn't take up all your time; the recipes are easily explained in 6 steps and the dishes can be prepared in half an hour.
Have we ticked your taste buds and got you excited about healthy meal prep? Sign up to find out how Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon can transform your lifestyle and get you into healthy meal prep.