The Benefits of Meal Prepping
Maybe it’s because I’m in the nutrition world, but I have been noticing an increase in the popularity of meal prepping, have you? Social media pictures rendering ultra-organized refrigerators full of chopped veggies and easy to grab fruits, even how-to’s on recipes for an entire week of lunches. As someone that has practiced meal prepping for a long time, especially in the last few years as my family grows, I can see why these small steps make life easier.
Benefits of meal prepping
Check out the benefits of prepping and maybe you will be a meal-prepping machine, too!
It makes it easier to eat healthy
Let’s face it, whatever is the easiest and fastest thing to grab is most often the thing we reach for first when hungry. It takes 3-5 minutes to throw together a salad but I can open this bag of potato chips in under 10 seconds and shove some down the hatch! When you take the time to pre-chop your vegetables or salads, you are more likely to pick them as your first choice. Consider prepping non-starchy vegetables such as celery, carrots, bell peppers and cucumbers in Tupperware containers and storing them in the shelf in your fridge for easy access. Make up a few mason jar salads to grab on your way out the door for work. When you see those bright green colors and realize how fast it will be to just pop open the box or jar and eat them, you will be more likely to choose those healthy options over chips or crackers.
Those premade salads, chopped fruits, and minced vegetables at the grocery store sure are enticing. But they will cost more due to the labor that went into their preparation. Take out the middle man and do it yourself! Consider pre-chopping onions and peppers to easily toss into a soup or sauce on the stove. Dice up your own watermelon and toss it in a bowl so you can just pull it out and eat when hunger strikes. When you have these delicious, crispy options you will also be less likely to eat out, saving yourself money and your body from the extra sodium that often comes from restaurant foods!
When you are in charge of your meal prepping you are more likely to be adventurous than when you are just too hungry. Shop the sales. If zucchini is on sale, search for a recipe that you haven’t tried yet and use it. Grab different ingredients to mix up your lunch salads. Even get the family involved! Research shows that when kids help pick out or cook their food, they eat and enjoy it more.
Make it happen
The best way to start a meal prep routine is to choose a day where you can spend some time planning meals, shopping, and prepping. Decide on your meals for the week, make a list for the store, grab your items, and then bring them home to chop. There is nothing more satisfying than an organized fridge full of fresh meal options!
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