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Meal Prep 101
Meal prep can seem like a lot of work, but investing an hour or so on a Sunday night to blitz your food preparation can save valuable gym time in the week. Make gains in the kitchen by checking out Maximuscle’s top 10 meal prep tips and tricks.
- WRITE A MENU – Save yourself some time on meal prep Sunday by writing your weekly menu on Friday and ordering groceries online. Not only will you be more in control of what you’re eating by avoiding the goodies stacked on the supermarket shelves, you will save yourself valuable time and probably cash.
- BULK BUY – By using the same core ingredients in numerous meals for the week you’ll save yourself substantial prep time. Keep your taste buds from getting tired by seasoning your meals in different ways, e.g. chicken 3 ways; smokey paprika, tangy chilli and lime and creamy honey mustard.
- MEASURE YOUR MACROS – Meal prep can help you achieve your goal by getting a handle on your macros, whether you’re cutting to achieve a beach worthy bod or upping your daily calories to bulk up. Aim for a palm size of protein per portion to support muscle development.
- STURDY – Choose foods that will maintain their integrity over a couple of days in the fridge. Instead of mushy cereal or a soggy sandwich or mushy cereal, opt for overnight oats and a crispy salad.
- SPICE UP YOUR SALAD – There’s nothing worse than a boring salad of lettuce and cucumber for lunch. Get creative and top up the nutritional value of your food by having a few salad bolt-ons ready to go in your cupboard or freezer.
- PEEL YOUR VEG – Add new textures to your dish by peeling veg into ribbons instead of cutting with a knife.
- JAM JAR SALAD – If you’re choosing salad as part of your meal prep layering your ingredients in a jam jar can prevent a soggy salad and give you a lunch to look forward to. Dispense your dressing of choice at the bottom of the jar and add a durable veg which won’t go mushy on top such as carrots, celery or red onion. Keep layering up with an array of grains and veggies, topping it off with salad leaves. When you’re ready simply empty the jar out & mix.
- PORTION YOUR SNACKS – Avoid mindless eating from packets by portioning your snacks into sandwich bags. Protein rich snacks such as protein bars or shakes are a great choice to keep in the desk draw for when hunger strikes.
- INVEST IN DECENT CONTAINERS – If you’re new to the meal prep game, you won’t get past level 1 without stocking up on decent containers. The last thing you’ll want is your lunch all over the inside of your work bag.
- FREEZE – Free up weekday evenings by batch cooking 2 or 3 meals on the weekend and then storing individual portions in the freezer. Same goes for breakfast smoothie blocks that you can pre-blend and freeze in muffin tins, ready to throw in the shaker.
|. Citrus shavings - Orange, lime, lemon||. Edamame beans||. Whole grains – Quinoa, Brown rice|
|. Beetroot||. Sweetcorn||. Legumes – Chickpeas, Lentils|
|. Cheese – Feta, Halloumi, Mozerella||. Peas||. Seeds – Sunflower, Pumpkin|
|. Falafel||. Peppers||. Chilli flakes|
|. Herbs – Mint, Basil||. Broccoli||. Nuts – Walnuts, Pistachios|
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
It will take a couple of rounds to formulate your own Sunday night system, but once you’ve worked your way around the kitchen you’ll hopefully see that weekly meal prep can save time, money and help to by-pass cravings.