Preparation in general is a habit that pays back tenfold. Meal prep in particular (in my opinion) is one of the best foundation habits you can have. It’s close to the base of the pyramid in that it supports and affects so much of your daily structure. There are a plethora of studies that show how proper nutritional balance improves everything from cognition and sleep to performance and body composition and much more. Basically everything you need to be the best version of you, yet so many resort to the habit of, “Oh, I don’t have time to prepare a proper meal, so I’ll just grab something on the go.” That’s okay every now and again, but that shouldn’t be the norm. With all of the positive outcomes that can occur from one simple habit, it should be a priority, which is a nice segue into a few suggestions that might help make it so for you.
Make it a priority – because it is! Do it during the hours that you feel the most productive so that you can get it done and out of the way efficiently so it takes less time and you can put the quality into it that it deserves.
Build an arsenal – Thinking of what to cook is an age old dilemma, but slowly building an arsenal of recipes that become easy to prepare, is a key element in being consistent with food prep. Try learning a new recipe every couple of weeks and before you know it, you’ll have a wide variety of meals to choose from. This takes a little bit of time in the beginning, but once it’s in place it will always be there for you.
Batch Cook – If you don’t like leftovers, get over it. Batch cooking is one of the most effective methods of meal prep. Each week I’ll take a couple of hours to prepare a few different meals all at once so that there’s variety and I have them ready to go for the week. A lot of recipes will use similar base ingredients, such as onions, garlic etc. So, if you’re chopping those up already for one meal, you might as well chop up what you’ll need for a different dish as well and prep that too. It saves more time in the long run, plus it frees up intellectual real estate throughout the week when you don’t need to think or worry about what to cook or eat.
Have the right tools – Having the right equipment to perform a task makes it far more efficient and a lot more enjoyable. A few good quality kitchenware items such as a good knife and frying pan can really make a world of difference. This plays into something that I mentioned in a previous post about creating an environment that is conducive to the habit you want to create. What items do you find yourself using the most when you’re cooking? Do you feel miserable when you have to use them? Get quality items for the tools you use the most that help you the most and you’ll find a much more enjoyable experience.
I hope these tips give you some food for thought! Enjoy your week.