July 12, 2018

I admit that I’m a real fan of meal prep. What’s not to love about getting home late from work, pulling a semi- or fully-prepared meal out of the fridge, heating it up, and eating it? It’s actually faster – and more comfortable on a cold wet night – than stopping for take away.

I spend time on Sunday afternoon with a roast in the oven and a casserole or another roast in the slow cooker. I then have meat for the week. For some reason, getting vegetables out of the fridge each evening and cutting up what you need is hard work. Sounds totally ridiculous, right, but when you’re tired and time-poor, that’s the reality. Cutting up vegies and storing them in containers in the fridge not only saves fridge space, but it also means that the vegies are ready and waiting.

I was talking to my 80-year old father the other day. My Mum died last year, and Dad has been adjusting to life as a single person. After 57 years of marriage, change is hard but there is no choice. I asked what he was having for dinner: Left-over meat and some vegies he prepared two days earlier.

Like father like daughter? Probably not. Our motivations are different. I understand the value of good nutrition and make it a priority to eat well. Dad understands the value of money and doesn’t want to spend it on take-aways.

Whenever the topic of meal prep comes up, there are always some who claim to be too busy or that meal prep is too hard. I suspect that the real problem is that they’re one or more of the following:

  1. Not motivated,
  2. Can’t see the value in doing it,
  3. Don’t know what to make,
  4. Don’t like eating the same thing over and over,
  5. Setting goals that are too big to accomplish,
  6. Don’t have enough space to store the food, or
  7. Love the excuse of grabbing a take-away.

Meal prep can be super simple, or you can make it hard. Let’s say you’re cooking for the family on a Wednesday night. Chops and vegies is on the menu. Why not chop double the amount of vegies so that they’re done for your busy Thursday night? Maybe cook a couple of extra chops and tomorrow’s lunch is sorted? What about making a salad for tomorrow while tonight’s meal is cooking?

There are some great ideas for meal prepping here.

Whether you value your time, your (and your family’s) nutrition, your money, or all three, meal prep can help tick the boxes.

Go on, give it a try. If my 80-year old Dad can work it out, surely there’s hope for everyone!