To prep or not to prep, that is the question. In this fast paced world we live in, filled with temptation at every corner, it can be quite a challenge to eat healthfully on a daily basis. But fear not, the meal prep is your friend. This is not a new phenomenon. In fact, this is something our friends at Together Counts™ talk about regularly, but with the advent of social media and #mealprepsundays it is becoming a staple in home cooking, and something my wife and I have started to take advantage of.
We started a couple months ago, choosing Sunday as our prep day because we usually don’t have that much going on. Meal prepping takes time, but it is time well spent because we are in the kitchen together making good choices, which ultimately make us feel good about ourselves. Other than eating, cooking brings us together the most out of any activity. Aside from the weekends I am at the firehouse, this is now our Sunday “tradition.” When I am at the firehouse and my wife leaves work, she’ll usually go to the gym and then head home, but by then the last thing she wants to do is cook so having a healthy meal already prepared is a huge benefit. To say we need to dust off our take-out menus would be an understatement.
Meal-prepping is becoming so popular that there are Instagram and Facebook pages dedicated solely to people sharing their preps for the week. This is awesome because anytime you have “writer’s block,” just look up some ideas and make them your own. The key is making a couple different styles or cuisines. Some tips that have worked for us are:
- Choose more than one type of protein, e.g. 2 containers with grilled chicken and 2 with grilled steak.
- If using the same protein, veggies and starch multiple times during the week, use different sauces on the side to change it up. Some examples can be salsa, hummus, Italian dressing or tomato sauce.
- Try to change the style/cuisine up every week to help avoid boredom. Maybe you can try Mexican/Italian one week and then BBQ/Greek the next.
- Use as many fresh vegetables as possible and pack a separate healthy snack such as veggies with hummus dip or carrots with Greek yogurt/Ranch dip. This will help keep you satisfied throughout the day.
- Be creative!!! Cook flavors you like using quality fresh ingredients and different rubs/herbs/spices to keep things fun and exciting.
Don’t be intimidated by this. It may seem a little daunting at first but set aside a couple hours to account for the washing/cutting of veggies, prepping and cooking of all ingredients and then packing into separate containers. Keeping each meal separate makes it much easier to just reach in the fridge, grab and go!
Fork and Hose Co. was founded by firefighter A.J. Fusco in 2011 to share his own recipes with other firefighters and friends. Recently, F&H Co. has grown worldwide featuring meals and recipes from firehouses as far as Australia. We realized there was an ongoing problem in the fire service in regards to health and cardiac related incidents and made it a point to focus on healthy meals as much as possible. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @forkandhoseco, by email @ firstname.lastname@example.org and our website www.forkandhoseco.com where we feature our recipes, tips, photos and more.
For more meal planning ideas check out these other articles from Together Counts!