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Prepare to succeed: meal prep to reach your goals 

A busy day at work, chaos with the kids or a stressful, long commute mean sometimes we can't face cooking. Instead of reaching for the takeaway menu, we need healthy food that's ready to go. Enter: meal prepping. 

Preparing meals in advance means there’s always a healthy meal on hand as we can refrigerate or freeze them until needed. Preparing ahead can really help when we’re tired and lacking motivation. Struggle with time in the mornings? Prep tasty breakfasts. Maybe you’re spending a fortune on meal deals in your lunch hour? Get prepping lovely lunches. Want to dine on delicious dinners but don’t have the energy to make them at the end of a busy day? Well, prep those beauties in advance. Make the most of a few hours of downtime and get cooking. 

Plan before you prep 

Have a think about the week ahead, including demands on your time and energy, then plan accordingly. Make a list of the meals you need and when, noting all the ingredients you’ll need. This will make your shopping and meal prep experience faster and cheaper. 

Make ingredients multitask 

Eating the same meal for days on end can be dull. Prep clever and make recipes that you can adapt with different herbs and spices. For example, a tomato sauce – delicious in its own right – is also the base of chilli and bolognese.  

Any prep is good prep 

The best thing about meal prepping is, you can do as little or as much as you like. Complete meals in tubs are fabulous but little jobs that take minutes, like pre-chopping food, can make life easier too. You can throw chopped salad, veg and proteins together in moments to make a nutritious salad or stir fry. 

Get savvy with storage  

Practical pots and tubs make food prep easy peasy. Handy split-containers can separate food until you’re ready to combine it, e.g. salads and dressings, granola and yoghurt. Quality storage is a worthwhile investment. Just be sure to banish the kitchen gremlins who steal your plastic storage lids (and socks). 

Time saving gadgets 

If you’re a committed meal prepper, a food processor will save you time, chopping and grating at speed and many come with a blender attachment that makes light work of smoothies, sauces and soups. Consider investing in one, or ask family and friends if they one lingering the back of their cupboard that they wouldn’t miss. 

Stock up in the frozen aisle and cut down on waste 

Freezers in supermarkets and farm shops are a treasure trove of time saving, pre-chopped goodies. Using them lets you cut down on prep time and waste as you only use what you need. Versatile items include avocados, berries, onions and mixed peppers. You can throw together soups, stews and smoothies in no time. 

Set yourself up on a Sunday 

Cooking can be relaxing and many people like to crank up the music and cook up a storm on a Sunday. This means they’re ready for the week ahead. Others prefer to prep only for a few days at a time. With your meal plan in place, stock up and find what works for you. Get in the habit of cleaning while you go, that way you won’t have a colossal clean up to do at the end. 

Shape your meal prep to work for your lifestyle. Shift working, parenting and other commitments will all affect how and when you can meal prep. Those times when we’ve found ourselves buying yellow-stickered items because they’re absolute bargains? Well, they’re perfect for impromptu meal prepping or batch cooking. Be flexible in your approach and find what works for you.  


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