PREPARE YOUR MEALS IN TUPPAWEAR
Today’s challenge is to cook up 1 bulk meal and divide it into 5 separate tuppawear containers for the week so that from Monday to Friday you will have a meal prepared. Lunch is often a good meal to prepare for as many people are usually at work.
By preparing just one meal you can save money, save time, have an incredibly nutritious meal, and with a little clever planning and practice, you can have it all done in under 30 minutes which is great if you’re a busy person.
By preparing these meals you also set yourself up with more energy for the rest of your day and your week. Eating poor food choices is costly because it drains your energy and leaves you lethargic which can have a knock-on effect and can stagnate your motivation levels to maintain healthy practices like consistent exercise and nutrition.
There are a few requirements to being successful at this challenge. You will need:
To have the tuppawear containers- that will mean you’ll need to plan a trip to the shops if you don’t any
To have the freezer/fridge space to put it in
To prepare a recipe that is balanced, nutritious, and will be enjoyable for 5 days in a row
To have the ingredients ready which will mean planning a shopping trip
To set aside around 1 hour in your week to cook
Can you see how much preparation is already involved!?
These things might seem time consuming at first but once you become proficient at them, you will find that they are easily absorbed into other areas of your life and that they become necessities to your success rather than just chores.
You need to be able to organise your time to prepare the food. Ideally 1 hour or less including washing up. It might take longer than 1 hour when cooking certain things, but to start your journey I would recommend cooking things that are fairly quick, and minimal effort, with maximum taste.
As a base for balance, you will want to include your three macronutrients: Carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Here is also your chance to include lots of vegetables!
For carbohydrates for example, sweet potatoes are a fantastic nutritious option, and if you choose to bake them with a drizzle of olive oil then they generally cook in around 45 minutes. Regular potatoes however might stretch to an hour.
Both of these can be hacked! Simply by cutting them smaller they will cook quicker in the oven, or you might even decide to chop them very small, boil them down quickly, and then mash them. That whole process could be as quick as 20-30 minutes.
Cooking grains like quinoa and brown rice also range from 20-35 minutes. Lightly frying beans like kidney beans and chickpeas takes less than 10 minutes.
As for the protein section, you could then fry up a few chicken breasts in a seasoning of your choice- that would take you under 10 minutes, and you could literally add a quick fresh salad each morning, with a handful of nuts for example and you have a complete meal in under 20 minutes.
When it comes to fats it’s often actually quite easy as you can frequently get away without even cooking anything. Foods like nuts, avocados, and cottage cheese are all excellent additions that can simply be added with no preparation!
That leaves lots of room for veggies. Ingredients like carrots, peas, and broccoli are great fillers that can be steamed or boiled in about 5-10 minutes.
You can also do salads… however because some vegetables don’t always take to freezing, a great tip is to simply prepare a fresh salad each morning. Something as simple as chucking a punch of spinach leaves, baby tomatoes, and some chopped bell peppers and cucumber would set you back 2 minutes in the morning. You could use the same tuppawear or fill an extra one and eat like a king or queen.
If you have a lack of available storage space in your fridge/freezer then you might well be limited to only cooking perhaps 3 meals. Not a problem. 3 days of great habit are better than none. Start with 3 and once you are comfortable you might consider new add-ons like doing a second mid-week cooking session again.
If you can’t stomach the same meal 5 days in a week then another option is just to make extra food the next time you have dinner. Lets say for example that you normally only cook 1 serving. Well this time you can try making it 3 times the size and take those for extra lunches. That way you only have to cook once a day maximum.
Eating the same meal 5 days in a row can also become tedious. To spice things up and add variety, you can consider doing things like changing the fresh salad each day. Perhaps adding a dressing or salsa sauce to the dish to change the flavour and making sure you cook a different meal the next week.