We all seem to live very busy lives; rushing kids to school, stuck in peak hour traffic, getting to dental or other appointments, ensuring we exercise 3-4 times per week, keep the house clean, upkeep of the gardening to avoid others thinking our home is derelict, and the list goes on.
On top of all this we must feed ourselves and our family healthy food.
Seriously, many of us run out of energy before the day has begun; making it virtually impossible to come home and get food ready on the table. Now, my life can be pretty chaotic at the best of times but one thing I can’t do is eat poorly. Having an auto-immune disease, means I need to eat a healthy anti-inflammatory diet ALL the time. Any lapse means I am potentially setting myself up for a flare up.
So my solution is MEAL PREPPING! Here are my tips on meal prepping:
- Prepare a 2 week meal plan you can rotate. After the 2 weeks you can adjust the meals according to what the family liked or disliked.
- When preparing your meal plans, be sure to rotate a different breakfast/lunch/dinner every 4 days. This will encourage a variety of digestive enzymes and nutrients in your diet.
- Eggs (omelette, poached, boiled) with spinach, broccoli, mushrooms etc
- Gluten Free Oats with Coconut/Almond Milk and frozen (Australian) berries
- Brown Rice Pancakes with stewed apple
- Vegetable Juice with an Apple and Coconut Muffin
- Example: Breakfast
- Choose recipes you and the family will love. By pre-choosing your meals you avoid eating foods that are unhealthy and everyone knows what’s for dinner.
- Being on time is another big one; whether your kids are grown (with insatiable appetites) or little ones (needing dinner early enough to ensure their sleep routine isn’t disrupted on work days); being organised is really helpful to ease the end of your day into a peaceful evening you can share with love ones.
- Once you have your meals organised, prepare a shopping list that covers the meals for the next 2 weeks (don’t forget to include zip lock bags and freezer bags). I hate wasting time going to the supermarket for odd ingredients.
- Once you get home, separate the meats, vegetables, etc into meals and cook the foods that are coming up in the next 7-14 days. Some people prefer to cook their meals fortnightly, while others prefer weekly.
- This may be on the same day as your shopping or a different day.
- Save time by cooking different foods with different methods, i.e: Roast turkey in the oven, soup in the slow cooker, bolognese on the stove top etc
- Once food has cooled. Divide into serves, place in freezer bags and freeze.
- Salads, snacks, fruits etc separate into zip lock bags. Many have a white label on the front where you can write the person’s name and date to be used.
- If haven’t already, clean out the pantry and place food in tray in order of days so you simply grab the one in front when need to pack lunches etc.
- Each member of the family can have their own tray.
- It would be ideal to have a separate part of the pantry for snacks etc so that spouse/kids/visitors don’t take your pre-packed snacks.
- Pre-cutting fruit will require you to add lemon to stop oxidisation of the fruit. I prefer to keep fruit whole but pack them to have them ready to go. Cut fruit may need to be refrigerated as well.
This is great to do with family, as you can share the time with your spouse, teach your kids about healthy cooking and they will learn to respect the time it takes to keep the family healthy and fed during the week.
Repetition is the key to this. At first it may feel overwhelming and daunting and possibly time consuming. I know you will feel relieved at dinner time and it will free up your evening to do the things you want to do. Plus it keeps your kitchen clean, which means less house work!
Share your meal prepping ideas with us! Yours in Great Health, Irene xo