Here is another nice post from Dan Zwirlein that goes along nice with his last article. In this post, he covers some brief thoughts on food prep. Give it a read!
I think everyone looks at food prep as a very daunting task, especially in the beginning. Like anything else, people immediately think it needs to be a complicated process. I think it can be and should be a very easy process that takes out a lot of guess work and decision fatigue from the week. Here are some things to consider/ponder:
*Food Prep and Meal planning saves you time. Consider how long it takes to set up, cook, and clean up every day. Somewhere between 1-2 hrs being conservative. So let’s say around 10 hrs/wk. If you prep for 2-3 meals a day but only once, it should take you 2-3 hrs at most. That saves you conservatively a few hours a week.
*Consider once a week or every 2-3 days. I like to make dinner and then continue cooking for the next 2-3 days after.
*Look at your pre prepped meals as fuel only. Nothing fancy; you just need to get good nutrition in.
*Use as little amount of ingredients as possible. Food prepping meals don’t need to be fancy. You need some salt, pepper, an all-purpose seasoning, oil to cook with, and maybe a sauce to top with.. that’s it. KISS method at its finest.( Keep it simple stupid)
*The crockpot is a lifesaver. Pro-tip, get the plastic liners for easy clean up.
*Save your recipes for one meal a day or rotate which ones you use. I think recipes are great but in the interest of time and overwhelming yourself I think it’s good to cook everything separate and then add ingredients after. So cook all of your meat, vegetables, and carbs separately and then mix and match together. If you want to use a recipe, let’s say for dinner, then all your other meals are already prepped and you only have to use a “recipe” for one meal a day at most. Rotate those over the course of a month or a few weeks. This does two things
1. Gets you really good at making that one meal
2. Keeps you consistent. When you add 1-2 new things in a month that’s 12-24 new meals a year… do you really need more than this? You can do a lot to the same thing to make it novel. For example, I eat eggs everyday but can cook them probably 10 different ways.
*Use things that are easy to prep. Examples are canned fish, nut butter, fruit, non-cooked vegetables, bread/wraps for sandwiches, lunch meat, cheese, yogurt, milk.
This is probably your most important habit to maintain. It teaches you how to cook, ensures that you stay on your plan and always have something to eat, and best of all it saves you time and money.