Meal prepping (6 reasons why you should try it)
Updated: Jun 14
Everyone who's ever met me knows how much I love cooking, but as much as I'd like to have fourty hours in a day so I can try all the recipes in the world, that's simply not possible. I started meal prepping a few years ago and since then it has honestly made my life easier, more than I expected to and it made me be more curious in experimenting with recipes.
I was thinking of making a list of pros and cons of meal prepping but as I was writing the so called cons it was becoming more and more clear that there aren't that many really worth mentioning. Sure, if your fridge and freezer break down, you might have a bit of inconvenience, but you would anyway, with or without those six extra meals in the freezer.
As a side note, I will always prefer prepping meals which can be frozen and will still keep the same flavours (as much as possible) once defrosted simply because I like having a few backup meals ready for when I'm simply too tired to cook.
Here are some key points you might want to consider when debating whether to start meal prepping or not:
1. Variety. I think there can be a bit of misconception when it comes to the variety of prep meals. Just because you prepare more than one meal in advance it doesn't mean it has to be twenty identical containers. Experiment, try new recipes or add extra ingredients to your favorite ones, cook four or five different recipes at the same time and the list goes on. Life is way too short to eat the same thing over and over again.
2. No constrictions. Having a few meals ready in advance doesn't mean you can't have something different for dinner today, if you feel like cooking something special or if you're going out for a meal simply put the container in the freezer (or just don't take one out to defrost in the first place) and problem solved. Just because you have the cooked food in the house it doesn't mean you have to have it today - the joys and wonders of making food suitable for freezing.
3. Less waste. Chances are high that you won't measure the ingredients every time you cook so it's very easy to make more food than you actually need and then feel compelled to eat everything off your plate or just throw the rest away. If you meal prep, you can make the portions as big or as small as you need them, you'll waste less food and you'll only have as much as you need.
4. More spare time. If you designate a time to cook a few meals in advance you give yourself more spare time when you really want/need it and you make sure you're eating healthy. Dedicating a certain time to go shopping and then cooking a few different types of meals in a few hours takes up less time than if you would have to do that every day (plus doing the dishes).
5. More control. If you have some great homemade food ready for you to take to work and enjoy on your lunch break, you'll be less tempted to have snacks, you won't skip any meals and you can control your diet better. Sometimes we snack because better options aren't readily available. Also, if you're trying to eat healthier you'll know exactly what each meal contains because you're the once in charge of making it.
6. Less stress. You might have a tough time choosing what to have or what to cook, stare at the open fridge for a few minutes and then decide to have some snacks insted of a meal because you can't be bothered to cook at that time. Sometimes you realize you don't have enough ingredients at home so now you need to go shopping after work and then figure out what exactly you're going to make. It can be a bit stressful and time consuming. Plan in advance and you can make your life easier.
If you want to try new and exciting recipes every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you have the time and resources to do that, maybe meal prep isn't for you, but for the rest of us, who are willing to eat the same food twice in a week, it does make things easier. You could prep your lunch meals only, dinners only, you could just bake a big batch of crumble so you can have it for breakfast, or you could even prep for all day every day, the choice is yours.
If you're looking for some meal prep ideas you can try this out!
I hope life is treating you well.