How To Meal Prep Like A Pro

How To Meal Prep Like A Pro

Saving time, effort and a whole load of money in Pret, meal prepping is the smart girl’s way to keep your diet on track. But how do you get started if you’re a total beginner? From the kit to invest in to the recipes to try, we asked the experts their secrets to meal prepping like a pro...

Try A Buddha Bowl

“Try to get into the habit of meal prepping on a Sunday – taking the time to do this will mean you don’t have to do it late at night after work. My ultimate tip for meal prepping is to try the Buddha bowl formula – it’s the perfect example of a well-balanced bowl that’ll give you plenty of energy and works for either lunch or dinner. You can mix up the grains you use, alternate the veg and pick your favourite protein. My hero ingredient would have to be packs of microwaveable grains – you can buy everything from lentils to quinoa and freekeh; they come ready to pop into the microwave and are a great source of fibre, slow releasing carbs and protein that are ready in minutes.” – Rhiannon Lambert, Harley Street nutritionist & author of Re-Nourish

Get Marinating

“Just because you’re making your meals in advance doesn’t mean they have to be boring. Marinate fish and chicken in herbs and spices on the weekend and keep in the fridge until it’s ready to cook – either in the wok or under the grill. Have plenty of greens on hand to steam, grate or add raw to the side of all your meals.” – Madeleine Shaw, nutritional therapist & author of Get The Glow

Start With Breakfast

“If you struggle with prepping your meals in advance, ease yourself in by just making your breakfast ahead of time. Countless studies have shown people who eat breakfast make better food decisions over the course of the day and are less likely to snack mid-morning. You can’t go wrong with overnight oats – just add oats, oat milk and your favourite flavour combinations and you’re good to grab and go in the morning. Some of my favourites include grated apple, cinnamon and raisins; grated carrot, nutmeg and pumpkin seeds; as well as cacao powder, peanut butter and banana.” – Zanna Van Dijk, fitness influencer & author of STRONG

Cook Once, Eat Twice

“Many of my clients find one-day meal prep overwhelming, and to be completely honest, the idea of slaving away every Sunday doesn't always resonate with me either. That's why my favourite way to meal prep is to cook once, eat twice. This way you're cutting your cooking time in half without the meal prep feeling like a chore. Most of my favourite meal preps are actually vegetarian or vegan. I find dishes with lentils and chickpeas are delicious reheated on the stove and also freeze really well if you want to save for another day when you know you'll be short on time. Another great tool for meal prep is a slow cooker – if I know I'll be working late then I'll prep in the morning (or the night before) and it will be ready as soon as I get home. My favourites are slow cooked lamb and lentil dahl.” – Fran Philips, model & nutritional therapist

Don’t Be Afraid of Pancakes

“Thanks to a tonne of healthy pancake recipes, this brunch staple can be part of your meal prep line-up. Make a big batch of your favourite recipe and keep them covered in the fridge for up to four days. You can even make them a little smaller than usual so you can warm them up in the toaster – simply spread a little almond butter on top for a dose of protein and healthy fats.” – Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn from Tone It Up

Shop Savvy

“Taking a couple of hours on a Sunday to prep for the week ahead is nothing new, but it’s worth its weight in gold if you’re on a mission to get your diet on track. Try to batch cook three meals and alternate them for lunches and/or dinners throughout the week – avoid having the same thing day in, day out, as this will only create boredom. Also make sure your cupboards are stocked with the right ingredients so even if you haven’t had time to meal prep, you can rustle up something tasty and healthy. In my fridge, you’ll always find plenty of protein, Greek yoghurt, eggs and broccoli – and in my cupboards coconut milk, nuts, a well-stocked spice rack, curry pastes and tins of tomatoes.” – Joe Wicks, The Body Coach

Keep It Simple

“Try to keep it simple but interesting – anything too adventurous will likely mean you won’t stick with meal prepping in the long run. Have a selection of mixed seasonings in your cupboard at all times – think five spice, peri-peri blends and Italian seasoning, which you can add to your protein and carb sources. Also stock up on spinach and cherry tomatoes – they’re an easy, nutritious and low-maintenance option to help you to get the balance right in your meals. Just add to your prepared meal or leftovers and eat cold or reheated in the microwave; the spinach will wilt easily which means you can add more to ensure a generous serving of greens.” – Sharmain Davis, Clinical & Sport Dietitian at Pure Sports Medicine

Buy A Muffin Tin

“From oat muffins to mini frittatas, a muffin pan is one of the best meal prep tools you can have in your kitchen. Making a big batch of muffins once a week is one of our favourite tips – keep them covered in the fridge for up to four days or throw half in the freezer until you’re ready to eat.” – Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn from Tone It Up

Get Planning

“Before even starting your meal prep, the first thing you need to do is plan. What nights are you going to be in? How many lunches might you need? Having a list before you hit the supermarket (or Ocado) is the number one secret to meal prep – you need to work out what you’re cooking and try to stick to tried and tested recipes so you don’t end up with piles of food you don’t like. Every Sunday evening, I’ll roast a few trays of veg; make a frittata and some dips; cook grains and pulses; and roast a chicken. Then your meals will genuinely only take you ten minutes to prepare, whether it’s a salad, curry or burger.” – Natasha Corrett, founder of Honestly Healthy

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