IN THE KITCHEN: Learn how to prepare nutritional meals for your week.
IN THE KITCHEN: Learn how to prepare nutritional meals for your week. RossHelen

Learn to meal prep like a pro

LAST month we spoke about the benefits of meal prepping; cooking and portioning your meals in advance.

Below we run through four simple steps to help you become an expert at meal prepping and improve your health in the process.

Plan in advance

BOOK time in your calendar for planning and cooking your meals for the week.

This includes time to sit down and think about what you want to eat for the week, so that when you arrive at the supermarket you know exactly what and how much you need of each ingredient.

You may like to refer to the dietary guidelines for a bit of guidance on this (Google 'Eat for Health' to view these).

Make sure you purchase enough to cover you for the week - eg the guidelines recommend two serves fruit per week... that means 14 serves per week!

Don't just buy five apples and think this is going to cover you.

At the supermarket

THIS is your opportunity to put that planning into practice and grab all the ingredients you need in record time.

Don't forget the healthy snacks that you will need throughout the day.

Think things like yoghurt, fruit, nuts, muesli bars, boiled eggs, wholegrain crackers with cheese or low-fat dip, plain popcorn, etc.

If you don't already have some, this is also the ideal opportunity to stock up on good quality reusable containers while at the shops (you can also get these cheap online).

Portion perfection

COMPARTMENTALISED bowls take the guesswork out of portioning your meals.

However, you don't need fancy Tupperware to have a well-balanced meal.

Aim for ½ your meal vegetables, ¼ protein and ¼ carbs.

Even if you need two containers, still try to follow this ratio to ensure you are getting the ideal spread of nutrients for energy and vitality.

Choose less processed options wherever possible.

Store safely

ONCE you have created your masterpiece be sure you are keeping it nice and cold, either in the freezer or in the fridge, depending on when you are going to eat it.

Add some freezer blocks or ice-packs to your esky to get your meals to work each day.

Don't be afraid to experiment with different cuisines and healthy snack options.

Good luck with your meal prepping adventures.

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