How to Save Time with These Meal Prepping Hacks

How to Save Time with These Meal Prepping Hacks

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As I got savvier with meal prepping, I learnt lots of tips and tricks that helped me get things done quicker. As a newbie meal prepper, it can feel like you spend forever in the kitchen – usually because you’re not aware of the hacks that can cut your prep time!

My tried and tested meal prep hacks should help you to cut down on the time you spend in the kitchen and prep super healthy meals in less time.

Have a meal prep file close at hand

When you’re meal prepping for the week ahead, you don’t want to be hunting high and low for your go-to recipes. Save yourself tons of time by collecting together your tried-and-tested or still-to-come recipes in a file on your phone, tablet or laptop that you can go to whenever you need.

Pre-prepared foods can be a game-changer

While it’s great to do as much as you can from scratch when you’re meal prepping, some pre-prepared foods can be a huge help for cutting time spent in the kitchen. Spiralized courgette or squash noodles can be super healthy and convenient, for example. And frozen fruits and veggies are usually just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts and have the added bonus of being super handy.

Don’t be afraid to use some pre-prepared options to save you time, especially where fruits and veggies are concerned. Just be a little warier of the more processed options. Pre-prepared sauces can be pretty processed, for example.

Prep veggies early on

When you come back from doing your food shop, start prepping your veggies for meals to come. Stash them in the refrigerator or freezer until you need them and they’ll be good to go for cooking stir-fries, one-pot meals and anything else that uses veggies. This can save tons of time later in the week, not to mention less stress!

Bulk buy meat when it’s on offer

Buying meat when it’s on offer and stashing it in the freezer for when you need it is useful for your budget, as well as helping you to get more organised.

Pre prepare marinades and sauces

Save time by making marinades for meat based dishes ahead of time and freezing them. On the day you need them, you can just take your marinade out of the freezer, defrost it and get cooking.

On a similar note, you can also prepare sauces and dressings to use later on, and these can simply be heated up when you’re cooking (or defrosted first, if you’re putting them in the freezer). Just whip up a big batch of sauce or dressing to make it work harder for you.

Batch cook as much as possible

Planning to have soups or curries as part of your meal plans one week? Cook up a big batch in one go, either in a slow cooker or in a big pot. From there, it’s super easy to portion it up and freeze it for later in the week. Freezer bags work great as they take up less room.

Grains are another one that can easily be cooked ahead of time too. Prepping and cooking them in one batch means you can repurpose them for lunches and dinners throughout the week, with minimal effort. They just need to be heated up later in the week for hot meals, or they can be left cold for salads.

One pan dinners are your friend

One easy way to spend less time in the kitchen when you’re meal prepping? Cut down on the number of pans you use! One-pot dinners are perfect for this. When you’re pushed for time or just want to have less mess, I am the biggest fan of one-pot dinners. They are also great for throwing in lots of vegetables that need to be used up.

Repurpose your leftovers

If you usually find that you have leftovers after you’ve prepped meals, making good use of them can free up more time. With some creativity and forward planning, you can repurpose leftovers for another day and spend less time on meal prepping. It’s all about mindset and always asking yourself how you can use leftovers to create another lunch, dinner or snack.

You can also create “planned” leftovers by intentionally cooking more than you need so that you know you’ll have food left to use on future days. You definitely don’t have to use the extra food you cook in the same way (not unless you genuinely intend to have the same meal again for lunch the next day) and there’s plenty of scope for getting creative. Just cook a bit more rice or prep a bit more veg than you actually need and have some ideas in mind for what you’ll do with it.

An easy way to make any leftovers look instantly more appealing? Add a fried or poached egg on top.

Some tips to make this easier:

  • Cooking more than one meal? Start off with the one that has the longest cook time and get on with prep for other meals while it’s cooking.
  • If you only have time to prep one or two meals, go for the one(s) with the longest cook time. That way, you know that you don’t have to cook that one from scratch, even if you don’t get a chance to do a huge amount of meal prepping this week.
  • Once everything is cooked, portion it out into Ziploc bags or containers and freeze.

TASK TIME! This weeks task is to get going with your meal prepping. Comment below and let me know what meals are on your meal plan and how you get on with them.

Happy meal prepping,

Christy x

Healthy Eating on the Go

Healthy Eating on the Go

Blog From the Author

How to fuel your body for better health and more energy even when you have a crazy busy schedule.

One of the biggest struggles that most people face today is a hectic schedule.

We are so busy that it makes eating healthy a real challenge. Quick and convenient foods end up taking the place of healthy, nourishing food when we are on the go, go, go all the time. These less-than-ideal food choices put us on the hamster wheel of experiencing low energy, weight gain, and potential health problems.

What if I told you it didn’t have to be this way? You don’t have to be a slave to your schedule and resort to fast food or processed foods on a regular basis.

It’s possible to eat healthy foods, even with a jam-packed schedule. It just requires a little bit of pre-planning to ensure success. You’ll feel better, have more energy, and your waistline will thank you too.

When you start fuelling your body with healthier choices, you’ll probably also find that you don’t have that 3 PM slump or need that afternoon caffeine boost.

I’ve included a list of healthy snack ideas to get you started, so keep reading.

Eating Healthy When You’re Not Home

There are plenty of circumstances that will take you away from home, and make it more challenging to eat healthy food. Take the time to plan ahead and you can relax knowing that you won’t be derailing your healthy living efforts by consuming empty calories that only make you hungry again a short time later.

Daily Activities

Most of us spend several hours in our vehicles every week running errands, stuck in traffic or shuttling kids back and forth between activities. If we don’t plan ahead, it is easy to fall into the trap of swinging through the closest drive through when you (or your family) are hungry.

Don’t wait until the point that you’re starving to make food choices, as this will almost always lead to bad decisions. Instead, plan ahead, so you don’t have to rely on your willpower alone to keep you on track. Pack easy to carry healthy snacks. This way you always have healthy choices right at your fingertips.

Long Car Journeys

Just because you’re on holiday or travelling, doesn’t mean you should take a total hiatus from your health goals. You can still live a healthy lifestyle on road trips by packing healthy foods to eat in the car. You can pack a cooler to keep handy so you have easy access to snacks while on the road. If you’re planning on stopping at rest areas along the way, pack a nutritious picnic lunch to eat before you head back out on the next leg of your trip.

Airports

Even though you can’t pack liquids in your carry-on bag, there are still plenty of options for what you can bring. You can pack wrapped whole food snack bars, nuts, seeds or even pieces of fruit in your hand luggage. With a little creative planning, you can keep your nutrition on track, and save yourself a bundle of money you would have otherwise spent on pricey (and often unhealthy) airport food and snacks.

Foods That Are Easy to Pack

The following items are all easy to prepare, and convenient to take on the go. Feel free to experiment, and find out which snacks best fit your preference and lifestyle. Mix and match options to see what works for you. Be sure to keep any perishable foods in a cooler or use an ice pack.

Easy transportable snack ideas:

  • Sliced or whole apples with peanut butter
  • Carrot and cucumber sticks with houmous
  • Clementine or mandarin oranges
  • Grapes
  • Sliced or whole pears
  • Smoothie (if you plan to drink it within 30 mins or so)
  • Nuts and raisins (you can make your own trail mix)
  • Pumpkin seeds and/or sunflower seeds
  • Low sugar protein bar
  • Sandwiches or wraps (whole meal)
  • Cheese
  • High quality beef jerky
  • Cut-up pieces of chicken
  • Hard boiled eggs

 

Make Midweek Meals Easy

Just because you have had a busy day doesn’t mean you have to resort to fast food or processed foods for dinner. With a little forethought, you can make sure your family has healthy meals ready to go when you walk in the door.

 There are thousands of healthy one pot meal ideas available for free. Do a quick search and see what recipes may interest you and your family. If you prep everything the night before, or even earlier in the morning, you can come home to a delicious home-cooked meal that is ready to serve.

TIME SAVER TIP: Batch cook and plan for leftovers. When you do have time to cook, simply double the recipe and set the extras aside to use later in the week on a particularly busy day. It takes very little extra effort to double the recipe, and you will reap the benefits of time savings later in the week.

cream cod-min

Make Healthy Eating Strategies Work for You

Even with a busy schedule, you can still make sure that you are eating healthy, nutritious meals. By putting in a little bit planning, you can ensure that you and your family enjoy healthy foods that support your lifestyle and your goals.

You can do this!

Let me know if you need my help.

Incredible 9 stone weight loss

Incredible 9 stone weight loss

Blog Inspiration

Angela got in touch with me in April 2016 about her concerns over her current weight and its effects on her health and wellbeing. Angela had reached a point in her life where she found climbing a flight of stairs near impossible causing breathlessness and painful joints. Angela truly believed her weight had reached a point that her only hope would be weight loss surgery and for obvious reasons Angela was scared to go down that road. Being fully aware of the risks of such a procedure led Angela to research alternative weight loss plans which led her to Lose It and Love It. Offering not just a weight loss plan but full one to one support that appealed to Angela.

Having lost a significant amount of weight in the past following a highly restrictive diet Angela knew she had it in her to do it again but wanted to do it the healthy way. The result of losing a lot of weight and regaining it again made Angela nervous about her abilities to follow the plan and feared that she would fail, letting herself and her family down. Hearing Angela speak this way saddened me because I could really see how desperate she was to make the plan work and to lose this weight once and for all.

After we had our first chat I was confident that she would succeed with my help. This time Angela wanted to follow a plan that would fit with her lifestyle, which was full of whole foods with no fad quick fixes. Angela wanted to lose the weight forever, never going back to old habits and making this a massive lifestyle change.

During Angela’s first consultation we discussed in detail her weight history and I established her current eating habits. I ask clients’ to be honest with me about their food choices so I can get a good understanding of their diet which then gives me the tools to help create new positive eating habits, a routine around food and for many regain control of their eating. I was fully aware that Angela was scared, nervous and had so many mixed emotions about starting another weight loss plan as so many had failed to make lasting changes in the past. Reassuring Angela that I would be there every step of the way, taking one day and one pesky pound at a time helped Angela gain the confidence she needed to look forward to her new healthy life and not backwards.

I created a meal plan based on her food likes and dislikes. Angela took to this plan like a duck to water. The weight started to drop within the first couple of weeks, with that Angela had more energy and her mood was starting to improve. Re-educating Angela on the balance of all the key nutrients ensured that Angela now has the confidence and knowledge to make this a lifestyle change as opposed to another quick fix. This is where it had gone so wrong for Angela in the past. The reason this plan works is that it is fully tailored to Angela. One size fits all approach in the diet industry doesn’t work in my opinion, what works for one person may not work for another. I have been able to work with Angela tweaking her plan as we have gone along, making adjustments where necessary.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE, Angela has lost a whopping 135lbs, 8 stone 9lbs or 61kg depending how you look at it!! This is a life changing amount of weight to lose. Angela has dropped this phenomenal amount of weight through healthy food choices, cutting sugar, with no magic pills and potions, no meal replacements, no fads and MORE importantly NO SURGERY.

Remember when I said Angela couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs, well now this super woman is working with Suzanne a Personal Trainer at SK Fitness, training at 6am in the morning doing a mix of cardio and strength training. The exercises that Angela is doing is complimenting her current diet ensuring she continues to burn calories while keeping her heart healthy, not to mention the feel-good factor you get after a good workout.

Angela’s weight loss journey hasn’t been smooth sailing with some real highs and some lows but I have been there coaching, supporting and encouraging Angela every step of the way.

To say I am so proud of Angela and what she has achieved would be an understatement. This beautiful woman inside and out is a true inspiration to anyone who wants or needs to make big changes to their diet and lifestyle. No matter how big that mountain seems, she is absolute proof it can be done. Don’t give up on yourself, it’s never too late to make some really positive changes to your diet. Angela has reached her result through her own determination, consistency and 100% commitment to the plan. Her hard work has paid off big time.

I am now confident that Angela will continue to lose weight until she reaches her goal and I am even more confident that she will maintain her weight going forward. I truly feel privileged to have shared this journey with Angela and I wish her all the success in the world.

“This is a journey I started 15 months ago and it will continue for a good while yet because I have a way to go.  This I understand and the life changes I am making will carry me forward. All of this is due to the unwavering knowledgeable expert support of Christy. At the beginning, as Christy described I was at a crossroads and actually didn’t know where to go. During the last 15 months Christy has supported me to move away from my comfort and what I thought was security and step into what at the time was unknown and uncharted……as well as scary! I see that now as Christy walking with me to Liberation. I know she will continue to walk by me in liberating myself from my dreadful relationship with food. I just love it and I’m losing it”
Angela Devine