You’ll have heard it time and time again, but failing to prepare really is preparing to fail. Whether it’s for exams, a spray tan (we’re looking at you, exfoliation-haters) or your health and fitness goals, there’s no denying that preparation is key to success.
Spending an hour or two in the kitchen on a Sunday will equip you with an array of easily-accessible meals for a productive week, and your wallet will be eternally grateful that you’re giving it some much needed rest from UberEATS.
Absence does make the heart grow fonder, right?
Because let’s face it, even if you have the best of intentions, we all know that (even ‘healthy’) take-away restaurants are notorious for adding unnecessary salt, sugar and inflammatory oils to your well-meaning menu choice. Pre-preparing your meals at home allows you to simply have control over everything you choose to fuel your bod with – and it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you think:
1. Be flexible
It’s unlikely that you’ll need to prepare three meals per day plus snacks for the entire week; so be realistic about your requirements whilst factoring in your ever-changing schedule. If you and your partner are partial to a mid-week date night, allow for that in your meal prep. If you’ve had a girls pizza and wine night pencilled in the diary since mid last year, account for that also. Tailoring your meal prep to your week allows you to keep your schedule flexible, whilst minimising food waste and unnecessary spending.
2. Staples are key
Making sure that your pantry and freezer are well stocked with spices, seasonings, frozen veggies and proteins such as fish or chicken will save you a whole heap of hassle when it comes to writing your shopping list and braving the supermarket. Creating a solid foundation of staple foods in storage will mean you only need to shop for fresher produce, leaving you with nutrient-dense meal prep options that are always on hand and ready to go.
And while we’re on the subject, make sure your container drawer is well-stocked and well-stacked, so you can easily grab containers as and when you need them. (No one needs to be dealing with the Leaning Tower of Containers whilst they’re trying to prepare for the week.)
3. Cook ingredients, not meals
Sure, batch-cooking two kilos of bolognese sauce is cost-effective, but can you honestly say, hand on heart, that you don’t get sick of it when you’re tucking in for the third time in two days?
Why not take a leaf out of this meal prep queen’s book and prepare ingredients as opposed to entire meals. Start with cooking some grains, a vegetable or two and a couple of proteins to allow you the flexibility of creating meals out of what you’ve prepared, instead of committing to a week’s worth of the same thing.
If you’re keen to dive deeper into this, check out Lee’s E-book for more information on how to do the bulk of your week’s cooking on a Sunday, equipping you with seven days worth of tasty, varied meals.