10 Healthy Meal Prep Hacks for Busy Professionals
As a busy professional, it sometimes feels like there’s not enough hours in the day to get everything done. From the 9-5, to exercise and activities, to maintaining your social and family life, it can be hard to make time for meal prep. With all that said meal prep can be a real lifesaver. It not only saves you time but also helps you eat healthier throughout the week.
When life gets that busy, diet is usually the first thing to take a hit. You end up making quick last-minute stops to fast food joints, and not paying attention to what goes into your body. However, meal prep can be intimidating and overwhelming, especially if you're new to it.
To make it easier, we've put together ten meal prep hacks that will help you create healthy meal prep options and stick to your healthy food prep routine.
10 Healthy Meal Prep Hacks
1. Plan your meals in advance
Planning your meals in advance is the first step towards successful meal prep. Take some time on the weekend to sit down and plan out your healthy meals for the week. Take inspiration from healthy meal prep companies and what they are offering. This can be a great place to start for new recipes and dishes to prep for the week. Make a grocery list based on your meal plan so that you have all the ingredients you need when it's time to cook.
2. Invest in quality containers
Having good quality containers is key to successful meal prep. If you use containers that you like, it keeps you motivated to fill them with delicious meals and show them off at the lunch table. Look for containers that are microwave-safe, dishwasher-safe, and freezer-safe. It's also a good idea to invest in containers that have multiple compartments, so you can keep different food items separate.
3. Cook in bulk
Cooking in bulk is a great way to save time and money. Choose a day of the week when you have some free time and cook large batches of protein, like chicken or ground beef, carbs, such as rice and quinoa, and roasted or fresh veggies. You can use these ingredients in different meals throughout the week, and the best part is that it’s already cooked. Nutrimeals offers lots of ingredients that can be purchased in bulk.
4. Prep your vegetables
Washing and chopping your veggies in advance can save you a lot of time during the week. Cut up your veggies and store them in containers, so they're ready to go when you need them. To store your pre-cut veggies, store them in airtight containers with a paper towel to keep them fresh.
5. Use a slow cooker
Slow cookers are great for meal prep because they allow you to cook large batches of food with minimal effort. A great way to do this is to simply add your ingredients to the slow cooker in the morning before you go to work and come home to a delicious meal in the evening. Pair your slow cooker meal with a fresh salad or a side of roasted vegetables for a full balanced meal.
6. Make overnight oats
We all know that snoozing the alarm for 10-15 minutes is a slippery slope. Losing those 10-15 minutes means you might be skipping breakfast that morning. A great and easy solution for busy professionals is making some overnight oats. Simply mix oats, milk, and your favorite toppings in a jar and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, you'll have a delicious and healthy breakfast ready to go. Nutrimeals has a great variety of different overnight oat breakfasts on our breakfast menu.
7. Batch cook your grains
Just like we mentioned before, cooking ingredients in bulk can be a huge time saver. Grains like quinoa, brown rice, and farro can be cooked in large batches and stored in the fridge or freezer. It’s a quick way to get lots of fiber and its easy to add them to meals throughout the week.
8. Keep healthy snacks on hand
When you're busy, it's easy to reach for unhealthy snacks. Keep healthy snacks on hand, like fruits, nuts, and veggies, so you have something to munch on when you're feeling hungry. Here are a few quick and easy snack examples for the week:
- Hard boiled eggs: a quick and easy way to get a boost of protein. Best to eat them not at your desk.
- Mini charcuterie: Cut up some pieces of cheese, turkey pepperoni and pair with some crackers and fruit.
- Flavoured tuna and rice crackers: choose your favourite flavoured tuna and pair it with water crackers, rice crackers or crispy minis. A great boost of protein and low carb.
- PB and Banana on a rice cake: Spread a layer of natural peanut butter on a plain rice cake and slice up half a banana and layer them on top.
9. Make use of your freezer
Your freezer is your best friend when it comes to meal prep. You can freeze meals in advance and simply reheat them when you're ready to eat. You can also freeze things like bread, muffins, and smoothie packs for quick and easy breakfast options. When you’re ready to have a meal from your freezer, take it out the night before and let it thaw in your fridge. This ensures that it is thawing at a safe temperature, and there wont be excess water when you heat it up.
10. Use a meal prep service:
This is the ultimate healthy meal prep hack of them all. If you find yourself stretched for time, using a local meal prep company to help with your meals for the week is a great solution. This way you are able to stay on track with other things going on in your life without your diet taking a hit.
Healthy meal prep doesn't have to be a chore. With these ten meal prep hacks, you can make healthy meal prep a part of your weekly routine. By planning your meals in advance, investing in quality containers, cooking in bulk, prepping your veggies, using a slow cooker, making overnight oats, batch cooking your grains, keeping healthy snacks on hand, making use of your freezer, and using a meal prep service, you can save time, money, and eat healthier throughout the week. Happy meal prepping!