1. Pantry Storage
I’m not suggesting a complete overhaul here, a few tweaks to the pantry or cupboard will go a long way.
Remember the foods you said you were going to eat more of this year? Put them front and center! Make sure you see them (before the box of chocolates). Focus on foods for meal prep like rice, dried beans and quinoa. Get them out of their bags and boxes and into containers. This way you can see what you have and it makes it easy to do a quick inventory of what you need to stock up on.
These clear Easy Lock Containers are stackable, functional and durable. The air-tight seal is perfect for your meal prep essentials including grains and pulses, nuts and seeds. They’ll keep your foods 100x more fresh than those partially opened boxes and haphazardly sealed bags.
2. Refine your Refrigerator Storage
If you throw out wilted, perished and stale food regularly, (you’re not the only one) but please…keep reading! You know that feeling you get when you’re finally done grocery shopping. You selected the best fruits and veggies with the promise that you’ll eat healthy all week?
Don’t make the mistake of shoving bags and packages into the fridge. Without a dedicated space for all that perfect food you intend to eat, you’re likely to forget what you have until it’s too late. Pick up one or two bins like these iDesign Linus Fridge Binz Deep Bins and some of these Berry Keeper Baskets. I love them because they allow the air to flow around your prepped fruits and veggies, limiting the moisture in and around the produce so everything stays fresh for the whole week. Trust me, I tested these out with delicate raspberries and blueberries and fine as they were on day one.
3. Meal Prep
There are a number of appliances that will help kick your meal prep session into high gear. You could be utilizing them already e.g., air-fryers, food processors and choppers. But here’s a simple tool you may not have…a Salad Spinner. It takes little effort but yields great results. All you need to do is rinse your chopped greens, fill it up and spin the top to eliminate excess water. Your lettuce and kale will stay fresh for salads and crisp wraps all week. You can also spin spiralized zucchini or chopped cucumber to get rid of excess moisture.
Meal prep clean up can be a definite pitfall. If you buy one new thing for cooking this season, let it be this silicone muffin pan! If you’ve ever stood at the sink scrubbing muffin tins after a prep session, this one’s for you. There’s literally no scrub time needed- I run mine under hot water with some soap for a few seconds and done. How fun would it be to prep something new every week with a non-stick pan like this beauty. I use this muffin pan for breakfast oat cups, mini meatloaf muffins and healthy egg muffins (pictured here).
4. Storing Prepped Food
Keep it simple this week. Choose one meal time to focus on. Most of my clients say the morning is the most hectic and hard to get organized. If you feel the same, I have the solution for you.
DIY Smoothie Packs. Just add your favourite smoothie ingredients to reusable bags (enough for 3-7 days depending on your plan. These Joie Clip and Seal Reusable Food Storage Bag are the perfect healthy alternative to plastic storage bags. They will keep food fresh and your mornings stress free.
If prepping lunches is something you just haven’t been able to stick with, add these Divided Glass Food Containers to your list because it checks all the boxes. They are glass (easy to heat and clean). You can stack filled containers into the fridge and of course, the compartments are a great way to keep foods separate or from getting soggy.
Erin Romeo is an author of “The Visual Guide to Easy Meal Prep”, nutrition coach, She’s an advocate for good nutrition and regularly shares her tips and tricks for healthy eating on Instagram, where she’s better known as the @foodprepprincess”. Erin and her meal preps have been featured in a number of publications such as: Shape.com, Health Magazine.com, Oxygen Magazine, thekitchn.com, The Daily Burn.com, Buzzfeed, Brit+Co and was voted one of the “Best meal Prep Accounts on Instagram” 2018 by Popsugar.