7 Easy Ways to Prepare Your Food for a Week
Proven Strategy for successful preparation of meals
A common obstacle to weight control efforts is the lack of healthy home meals.
The phrase “I do not have time to cook healthy meals” is very common nowadays and, of course, a key factor in the failure of a weight control program.
When you are coming back home and you are not able to find a homemade and healthy meal, this leads to the consumption of industrial ready food which in most cases has a lot of poor quality and excessive calories. The hunger always leads to bad nutrition and to overconsumption of unhealthy meals.
The hunger always leads to bad nutrition and to overconsumption of unhealthy meals.
The solution to this bad habit could be preparing meals in advance so that no matter how busy you are during the week you will always be sure that a good and healthy meal is waiting for you.
Our recommended strategy for successful preparation of meals:
1. Prepare your shopping list for the whole week. Considering meal options that can be cooked easily or can be mixed well with other foods. Consider also amounts to have enough for more than one day.
2. Pick a day of the week when you are not working and cook the meals for the next week. Preparing large quantities to save portions which can be stored in a refrigerator or be frozen will make your job easier.
3. Store enough of food that is helping you to have a quick and easy meal. Eggs, beans, brown rice, buckwheat etc… Even frozen vegetables or canned fish can be easily prepared and then stored for a week.
4. Using a pressure cooker will make everything easier, quicker, and saves you time. Steamed food is the best way to prepare food.
5. Replacing caloric food in your kitchen with more light options. Be sure to always have fruits, vegetables, and dairy products in your refrigerator instead of candies, chocolates and processed meat with many calories and additives.
6. Remember that healthy meal does not have to be complicated: a salad with your favorite vegetables in combination with nuts and boiled egg or tuna could be a complete meal that will help you keep the good balance. Placing your salads in vacuum sealed containers will keep your ingredients fresh. Remember that salads made with fresh vegetables should always be prepared fresh, so try to spare some time to cut a tomato, lettuce, cucumber or similar fresh vegetables a few moments before consuming. Meat, grains, beans and other similar food can be prepared in advance and just added to the salad.
7. Do not hesitate to ask for help from your family members. This way you can have fun and maybe you can make it a family tradition of preparing food for the rest of the week for yourself and other family members.
Foods suitable to be prepared in advance and consumed during the week:
Meat takes the longest time to cook and prepare. For example, red meat needs longer time to be ready than poultry. Both of these kinds can be baked, boiled, broiled and steamed in advance and then stored for use during the week. Meat will not spoil if it’s preserved well in the vacuum containers. It can be also frozen and unfrosted and heated before consuming. The best example is the meat prepared in the sauce. For example, a nice “Bolognese” sauce prepared with minced meat and fresh tomatoes can be stored and used with brown rice, pasta, vegetables or salads. A great way to prepare meat for usage during the week is to make it into a paste with spices in an electric food processor. This way you will be able to enjoy the taste and digest it faster.
Grains and seeds that need to be cooked
Amaranth, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Oats, Wild Rice, Brown Rice etc… These are the best sources of good carbs. We can easily prepare them and store them, and then consume them during the week accordingly to the portion containers. A great tip to keep them fresh is to conserve them with olive oil. If you will store these kinds of food already as portions.Vegetables
Most of the vegetables can be cooked and stored for later usage. Sweet potatoes, for example, can’t be consumed after three days, but you can alway make them as your first day’s meal.
Cabbage, for example, can be cooked and stored in the refrigerator for 9 days. Most of the vegetables will become even softer and digestible after a few days. Explore which kinds are best for first days of the week, and which are good even at the end of the week.
Beans and legumes
They are the champion of staying fresh after cooking during the week. Be sure to keep them refrigerated and add all different kinds of beans and legumes to your daily meals.
Which food should not be stored for more days?
Even though modern technology has given us many new and bold ways to preserve the food, there are the kinds which simply will not taste good or will not be good for you if they are not eaten the same day. One of these foods is fish. Try to always eat your fish freshly prepared. If you cannot afford the time, then opt for can fish, but make sure that it’s canned in water, not oil. Another food which will not taste quite good is pasta. Luckily pasta is very easy to prepare. Make sure that you’ve prepared your meat or sauce in advance, and 8 minutes of cooking a portion of integral pasta will not steal a lot of your day.
By Sharp and Savvy’s very own nutritionist Apollonas G. Kapsalis