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An introduction to Meal Prep

by Kevin | 11 Mar 2019




Do you guys want to know the secret to saving money and also staying healthy? Besides, you can also get to save time. And yes, time and money are two things precious to us in Malaysia especially when your weekday lunch can take a toll on your wallet. Oh did I also mention that you get to munch on home-cooked meals that won’t waste hours after work — and no, it's not investing in a personal chef either. Today we're gonna introduce you to meal prepping!

Meal prepping (meal prep for short), or creating a few meals or dishes and portioning them out throughout the week. All this prepping can actually be as easy as stocking up on oatmeal for breakfast, or as complicated as making a bunch of meals on Sunday and saving them for the rest of the week. Either way, meal prep will definitely save you time and money — and it'll ensure that you stick to a healthy diet.



WHY YOU SHOULD MEAL PREP?
Meal prep saves time
Meal prep is a major time saver for the time-starved. Rather than setting aside one hour each day before work just to prepare one meal, you set aside two to three hours on a Sunday to prepare all your meals for the coming week. As a result, you end up with more than a few days’ worth of meals from one cooking session! You then don’t need to make any decisions at meal time as you've already done everything. You just need to well... eat.

Meal prep saves money
Working in the city centre in Malaysia can cost a fortune at a minimum of RM10 per meal, so meal prep serves as the best way to save money.This actually makes sense because you’re saving more in the short and long run as you buy ingredients to prepare in bulk. It comes in especially handy towards the tail end of a month where most of us usually find ourselves low on funds.

You start eating healthy
When you prepare your meals, you know exactly what you’re cooking, and how much of each ingredient you’re putting into your food. A Johns Hopkins study has shown that people who cook their own meals tend to lose weight or maintain their ideal weight compared to those who don’t. Cooking your own meals will see you consuming less fat, less sugar and less calories.



HOW MEAL PREP HELPS YOU
Calculate how many meals you need and what you need.
Picture in mind how many meals you’ll need throughout the week. Technically, if you want enough meals for the workweek, you would need at least 15 meals, but that doesn't mean 15 separate dishes to prep for. Instead, prepare a few large batches of meat and vegetables that you can use in various ways throughout the week.

There’s no need to spend money on organic, grass-fed beef if you can’t afford it. There are plenty of affordable, filling and nutrient-dense foods like eggs, quinoa and sweet potatoes.

Utilize leftovers
You don't have to waste any more food with meal prepping as you can always save up your leftover lunch for dinner.

Get creative.
Eating chicken every night doesn’t have to be boring. Making a big batch of shredded chicken every week and uses it for a variety of dishes, like rice bowls or wraps. We recommend having a variety of sauces and seasonings on-hand, such as curry, BBQ, etc to have a diversify your flavours.



HOW DO I GET STARTED?
If you’re just starting out, start small and don’t overdo it. Most people get so consumed with the details of meal prepping that they lose interest fast, when just sticking to the basics would do the job.

Step 1: Pick a day and time to start
You can start off by picking a day to prep up your meals. Many prefer Sundays as usually most are free from work and chores. So if you're just starting off, start with no more than three meals to see how it works out for you. But however, if you need help in planning your meals and recipes for the week, write it down in a calendar, print it out, or save it in an app.

You can start choosing which meal you would like to prepare first, whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. Prepping for breakfast and lunch is easier to begin with. Look for meals which are easy to store and freeze, especially if you are just beginning. When choosing your meals, be sure to have an appropriate and sufficient intake of carbohydrates, protein and fibre for a well-balanced meal.

Step 2: Use proper containers
Using good storage or food containers is definitely an important factor when it comes to meal prepping. You wouldn’t want to throw all you’ve cooked into one solid container, as that defeats the purpose of preparing your meals in advance.

Now that we’ve showed you the tips and tricks to meal prepping, go ahead and save your time by meal prepping a variety of meals for the week to avoid boredom from knocking on your front door. There are also plenty of tips and tricks online and also Malaysian meal prep forums to help you on this journey, all you have to do is to start and have fun!

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