Leading dietitian and Mayver’s ambassador, Susie Burrell, shares her top meal prepping tips for a better work-life balance
When it comes to making healthy choices at mealtimes and managing our work-life balance, time can often get the better of us, which can lead to unhealthy decisions.
“Food prepping is one of the best ways to reinforce positive eating habits and choosing meals that include a variety of fresh, whole foods is crucial to provide your body with enough energy to get through the day,” Susie says.
Prepare a weekly menu and shopping list
A weekly menu and shopping list not only reduces the amount of time you need to spend at the shop, it increases the likelihood of preparing nutritious meals and helps to reduce food waste.
Don’t forget to account for snack times in your meal plan! If you don’t have healthy snacks on hand, it can be tempting to choose unhealthy options like chips or biscuits. Instead, opt for a protein rich snack like fruit pieces dipped into a 100% natural peanut butter like Mayver’s. The protein in the peanut butter will help keep you fuller for longer and tie you over between meals.
Buying every ingredient, you need for the week will also remove the need for a midweek dash to the supermarket, freeing up even more time in your evenings to spend with family or friends.
Take your lifestyle into account
If you’re strapped for time in the morning or try to fit in a gym session during the evenings, choose meals that have shorter preparation times. Always look at the method of a recipe and if it’s lengthy, check if it’s freezer friendly or can be made the evening before.
It’s important to plan meals that match your energy output too. If you lead an active lifestyle, you’ll likely need to eat more protein and carbs than someone who spends a lot of time at a desk. A balanced meal should always include a protein (eggs, nuts, meat) carbohydrates (wholegrain bread, rice, pasta) and fresh fruit or vegetables.
Leave gaps in your meal plan for when you’re planning to eat out to prevent buying food that won’t get eaten and cooking in bulk can also help to free up time. If I’m making curry or pasta, I’ll cook enough for the next evening too so my family can spend more time together.
Store food separately when on the go
There’s nothing worse than preparing a delicious lunch in the morning and by midday it has turned into a soggy and texture less mess! I’m always on the go, so when packing a lunch, I make sure to store salad dressings in a smaller, separate container. Storing hot and cold ingredients in separate containers also makes re-heating quick and simple.
For more health food tips, read Holly Bartter’s tips for incorporating plant-based meals in your life.