Mastering your Sunday prep is one of the best ways to set yourself up for a successful week- a week that involves less stress and more productivity (and happiness!). It is no secret that meal prepping in advance can help us stay on track with our health goals. Not only does it help deter us from grabbing a ‘not so healthy option’ snack but it also eliminates the nightly ‘what should I eat for dinner’ dilemma. Without having to worry about breakie in the mornings, the kids will get to school on time and you’ll nail that morning work meeting. Without having to cook up a storm after work (and then clean up all the dishes after), you’re going to be able to enjoy quality time with your kids after school and not put them to bed late at night (besides, it is easier to get them to eat broccoli when they’re wide awake, I promise).
Meal prepping can be overwhelming. Here are some fool proof ways to make Sunday the day you ready yourself for a nutritious week ahead:
Plan your meals. It begins before you head to the grocery store. Make a grocery list by asking yourself the following question: What does my schedule look like this week? This will usually guide you on the meals that need to be prepared and how much of it. Otherwise, you will be left with a fridge full of rotten produce. Don’t forget to scan your pantry and fridge for items you already have on hand and plan meals around these ingredients to save costs too. Pick 2-3 different proteins, at least 3-4 veggies and 2 starches. Then combine them in different ways so you keep each meal unique. This will help to keep variety on the week’s menu but also save some space in the fridge.
Wash and Chop. You’d be surprised how much time a dirty bunch of spinach or a broccoli head can hold you up by. Wash and bag all of your greens and fruit on Sunday so they’re ready to be added into any dish. And, pre-chop anything you’ll be able to grab to throw in a salad or for a snack, like carrots and celery. You can also roast veggies in bulk and have them ready alongside raw ones (see my one pan recipe here: Rainbow Roasted Veg). Your fridge will look pretty and organized and you will feel in control of the week ahead. Don’t forget, you can also freeze veggies for the following week.
Stock snacks. Besides for the veggies sticks, prep other snacks to grab on the go – whether it be a boiled egg, bagging some nuts or portioning out some biltong.
Cook your grains. Make big batches of brown rice, quinoa, whole wheat pasta or any other healthy grain to keep in the fridge so you have a base for different dishes to assemble throughout the week.
Prepare your protein. Fish probably doesn’t hold up so well in the fridge for a long time, but chicken breasts, lean mince, beans or lentils and eggs do. Store them to add to salads and grains later.
Plan for leftovers. Think big. Make a lasting dish that’s bound to end up in leftovers, like a big pot of veggies, a hearty soup (see my delicious butternut soup recipe here: My Meatless Monday Winter Warmer) or some lean bolognaise.
Don’t forget to invest in some quality containers for storage.
Good luck and have fun!