The Ultimate Hack to Make Healthy Eating Easy
As a health coach, I often hear from clients that they struggle to eat healthy because they just don’t have the time to cook every day. That’s where batch cooking comes in. By setting aside a few hours one day a week to meal prep, you can save yourself loads of time in the kitchen and make eating healthily a breeze.
Keep reading to learn how to get started with batch cooking.
Pick a day to cook
Choose a day when you have a few hours to spare. Sunday afternoons work well for many people.
Choosing one day a week to batch cook can have several benefits including:
- Saving time during the week by having pre-made meals ready to eat
- Saving money by buying ingredients in bulk and avoiding takeout or fast food
- Reducing food waste by using up ingredients before they go bad
- Encouraging healthier eating habits by planning and preparing meals in advance
- Allowing for more variety in meals throughout the week
- Reducing stress and decision-making around meal times.
Plan your meals
Decide what you want to eat for the week and make a shopping list. This will help you avoid impulse buys and ensure you have all the ingredients you need.
Your week should be broken down into a comprehensive menu that encompasses the entire week! Start with dinners for each of the next 5-7 days, then lunches, then breakfast, and finally fill in some of the blanks with snacks that will keep you full and focused. Write down what each of the meals will be and any of the ingredients you’ll be using, including those you already have. Separate the ingredients you have listed from the ones you need to purchase to make it easy to get at the store. Post this menu or keep it somewhere you can see it often and easily. By posting it up, you’ll have a visual reminder that you need to stay on course and not deviate by ordering out or cheating on your intended meal plan.
Hit the grocery store or farmers market and stock up on everything you need.
With your list in hand, it’s time to head for the grocery store! When you’re trying to stay on course for a specific meal plan, you may need to go out to more than one store to get what you need. Plan ahead and keep in mind that instead of getting all your ingredients in one place today, you’ll need to go to more than one store. You might not be able to get all the vegetables you’ll need for a recipe at the local supermarket, and you’ll have to budget time into your weekly prep to hit the specialty store down the road. It can feel like a major inconvenience, but it’s all part of the weekly prep! Set aside a full day to hit the store rather than just an hour or so after work. You’ll be able to get to all the stores you need and get the ingredients, specialty, and otherwise, back home for the week to be prepped!
Prep and batch cook
Spend a few hours chopping, slicing, and cooking.
Meal prepping is a great way to save time and effort in the kitchen. Spending a few hours on a weekend to chop, slice, and cook can make a huge difference in your weekday meals. Some great options to consider for meal prepping are large batches of grains, roasted vegetables, and proteins. These can be mixed and matched throughout the week to create a variety of healthy and delicious meals. Not only does meal prepping save time, but it also helps you stay on track with your health goals by ensuring that you have healthy options readily available.
Store your food
Make sure you have enough containers to store your food. Mason jars, glass containers, and reusable bags work well.
Here are some additional tips to consider when storing your food:
- Use airtight containers to keep food fresh for longer periods of time.
- Label containers with the date and contents to avoid confusion and reduce waste.
- Choose containers that are easy to clean and maintain to make food storage less of a hassle.
- Consider investing in a vacuum sealer to remove excess air and further extend the shelf life of your food.
- Keep your food storage area organized and clean to prevent contamination and ensure easy access to your food.
Master the Art of Batch Cooking: Simplify Your Meals and Reduce Stress
Remember, the goal of batch cooking is to make healthy eating easy, not to overwhelm yourself. Start small and work your way up as you become more comfortable with the process. By taking a little extra time to prep and cook once a week, you’ll save yourself time and stress in the long run. Here’s to healthy and delicious meals all week long!