Find Time for Food Prep

Three common excuses people give when I ask them why they dont food prep are:

I like variety. I cant eat the same thing for lunch every single day.

I dont have the time to devote an entire day to food prep.

I dont like cooking.

I dont have a big enough freezer.

All of which are, of course, lame excuses to mask their laziness

Instead of coming up with excuses about how time-consuming and boring you think food prepping is, and how much of a mess youre going to make in your kitchen, stop for a moment and consider about the benefits you will experience from becoming more prepared with your meals: Your health will improve, you might finally reach your body composition goals, and your performance at the gym will definitely sky rocket. And youll probably save money, too.

The truth is, Im more and more convinced that prepping food ahead of timebe it dinners or just lunches for the weekis at the heart of getting people to stick to a health diet.

Without prepared meals ready in your fridge or freezer, it can become so easy during your always-stressful work week to stray from your intention to eat well. And before you know it, you find yourself ordering take-out or eating nachos and salsa for dinner because its the only thing in your fridge that looks even moderately edible.

One of the biggest barriers against wanting to live a healthier lifestyle is the lack of preparation, reiterated Beth Warren, R.D.N in an article in Self about food prep.

So its time you become more prepared. And when you do, youll probably find food prep doesnt have to be as hard as you think.You dont even need a whole day. Not even half a day, really. You need time to grocery shop, and then 1 to 3 hours maximum, and youll have healthy meals for an entire week or two.

And to make it even easierif youre new to food prephere are 5 tips to help make the experience more enjoyable and efficient:

1. Get a big freezer:

A big deep freeze might be the best investment youll ever make

Food stored in the fridge for days doesnt taste as good as freshly made food, nor does it last as long. Go ahead and keep a couple of days worth of meals in the fridge, but freeze the rest to preserve the taste and the shelf life. 

Freezing also helps if youre someone who wants more variety and you dont want to eat the same thing five nights in a row. With a freezer, you can start stock piling meals and then cycling meals from this week with meals from last week and even last month.

2. Blanch Your Veggies (meaning plunge them into hot, then cold water).

Blanching veggies kills enzymes that cause them to wilt quickly. Blanched veggies stay fresher and crispier longerespecially if youre going to keep them in the fridge for two to three days.

3. Streamline your TUPPERWARE:

If youre someone who has collected various styles of tupperware over the years and can never find the lid to fit the bottom (probably the same type of people who can never find the pair to their socks), do a complete tupperware overhaul and replace all your tupperware with one style and one size of containers, so all of the lids fit all of the bottoms. It will save a ton of frustration.

4. Bring-a-Friend:

Make food prep a social event and food prep with a friend. Youll be surprised how much faster it can be to have two chefs feverishly working together. Faster, more food, and more fun.

5. Look Ahead to Next Week:

For the sake of saving time later, lets say youre making sweet potatoes, roasted veggies and chicken for this weeks lunches. Make extra sweet potatoes that you can pull out next week and pair it up with whatever protein youre batch cooking the following week. Same if youre making meatballs this week. Cook extra beef that you can throw in next weeks giant pot of Chili.

At the very least, give it a try. Devote 4 hours a week to food prep, see where youre at in 2 months time and then report back.

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