Meal prepping doesn’t have to be a dreaded challenge that sucks all the fun out of your Sunday afternoon. You can power up your nutrient intake and enjoy the cooking process by making a few minor adjustments to your meal prepping routine. Here are five tips for healthy meal prepping:
1. Know Your Cookware
Reducing the amount of oil you use in your dishes is great, but it shouldn’t happen if it means using unsafe cookware that is coated in toxic Teflon. Do your research to establish what the safest nonstick cookware sets are, and keep those implements on hand.
Not all cookware is made the same. Some nonstick coatings are so dangerous, in fact, that they leak chemicals into the food you prepare. Traditionally, cast iron cookware has been considered to be the safest, but now there is a range of safe products to choose from, including ceramic and stone cookware.
2. Reduce Your Oil
Did you know that the latest research into health suggests that oil actually prevents your body’s cells from responding to insulin and carbohydrates, increasing your risk of developing insulin resistance? Additionally, commonly used options like sunflower and canola oils are highly inflammatory in the body, meaning they can exacerbate inflammatory conditions. While oils like olive oil and coconut oil have a higher burning temperature and are therefore healthier, aiming to reduce the amount of oil you use should be a primary goal Healthy Foods to Eat When Recovering from Injury.
3. Cook from Scratch
Like fast food and convenience meals, instant sauces tend to lack any real nutrients. They’re also packed with additives and flavoring ingredients that tend to be unhealthy, highly refined, and processed. Avoid instant foods like two-minute noodles, powdered pasta sauces, and anything else that is advertised as “lite” or “easy.”
Even breakfast porridges that are instant are unhealthier simply because they have been further refined in order to cook faster. As it turns out, cooking from scratch isn’t harder, and the real flavors of fresh and vibrant ingredients truly shine through.
4. Buy Fresh Ingredients
Fresh herbs as opposed to dry herbs? The nutrient density is improved, and the taste is enhanced. Grow your own herb garden so that you can go out and harvest herbs whenever you want.
To extend this ethos, opt for freshly diced tomatoes and toss the canned tomatoes. Use a garlic press for freshly pressed cloves of garlic and quit using powdered or pre-cut options. These products required some form of processing to be prepared for you and packaged without expiring. In other words, there are preservatives in the food. The fact remains that you can’t go wrong with fresh and wholesome ingredients.
5. Make Meal Prep Fun
It’s human nature to reach for something quick, easy, and often unhealthy because cooking is another tedious task to get through before the end of the day. When you make cooking fun, it can be an escape from the day’s stress and give you a creative outlet to express yourself.
If you have kids, give them a role in the meal preparation process too. There was something profoundly special about shelling peas for grandma back in the day. Though it’s technically a chore, giving kids something to clean, peel, wash or stir during the food preparation process actually creates a special time for you to teach and bond.
Breathe Heart into the Kitchen
Find reasons to cook beautiful, colorful, fragrant dishes often. The more heart you bring to the kitchen, the more you’ll want to experiment with new ingredients, broaden your palate, and increase your nutrient intake.