The summer holidays are over, time to get back to work.
I start the day in a hurry and forget to have breakfast. I dash to the nearest supermarket to buy the same meal deal I've been buying for the past six months. The meal is bland but I eat it nonetheless. Hours pass until the shift is done. I head home, unable to get a quick snack for fear of missing the train. By the time I lay comfy on my couch, I am too tired — too drained to cook. I do the simplest action possible, grab my phone and order a takeaway.
Relatable right? We're all aware of the daily grind. Humans are pragmatic creatures, were allured to efficiency. Sometimes it's just easier and less stressful to not have to think about what's for dinner, cooking or cleaning up. But aren't we all sick of eating the same foods every day? It’s time to take back control over our busy lives.
Introducing the fabulous world of meal prep.
What is meal prep?
Meal prepping is when you prepare meals in advance. It is primarily based on time management, knowing when you have time to order, prepare and cook your dishes, and is thus most commonly practiced by people who lead busy lives. Since it is so centred around the individual there are many different methods of meal prepping where they often differ on the type of meal and the quantity one wishes to cook.
Here's a quick rundown of some meal preparation methods:
Meal prepping in batches – When you want to make a large batch of a particular recipe, this is the method to use. After cooking, the meal is divided into individual portions which are frozen or refrigerated until ready to reheat for lunch or dinner. This method is particularly good if you’re cooking for two or more people.
Ready to cook meals – This is when you prepare ingredients in advance e.g. cutting vegetables or marinating meat so you’re ready to cook the dish when you have time.
Make ahead meals – These are full meals which are cooked beforehand that are frozen or refrigerated then reheated. This method is great at dinner when you’re looking to have a quick, warm, hearty meal.
Styles will resonate with people differently according to goals and timetables. Feel free to mix and match methods too! For example, make ahead meals can be eaten at lunch but ready to cook meals can be made for dinner.
How to meal prep? Make it easy using Plate Up!
First things first, you’ll need to purchase containers to store your meals in. A lot of people miss out on this part but due to making meals ahead of time, it may be a while before you’ll be able to grab your dish so you’ll want your food to be kept safely to reduce the food from going off or for preventing spillage. The number of containers should be based on the amount of food you wish to make. Don’t forget to consider what meals you want to prepare: breakfast, lunch, dinner. You’ll most likely be needing more than one container each day.
Think about your personal goals, what do you want to get out of meal prepping? Some are tired of eating takeaways, others want to have the joy of cooking again, people may often look for weight loss and healthy portion control practices too. It’s important to meal prep around these goals so you stand a better chance of completing them.
Using Plate Up to meal prep
Meal prep recipes
To meal prep it’s important you know what recipes you will be making beforehand. I know what you’re thinking, it can take hours deciding on what you want to eat, doesn’t it seem counterintuitive to waste time thinking about recipes? No my friends, this is exactly why Plate Up is here!
Plate Up is an app where all your meal prepping concerns are wiped out of existence. It allows you, the user, to have access to a whole database of recipes. You’re a vegan and have allergies? No worries, you can filter the recipes to eliminate meat and your allergens. Not only that but if you’re a fan of a specific type of food, we have that too! Crazy about Indian? Plate Up’s got it. Mad for middle eastern cuisine? We’ve got that too. Plate Up makes it simple to narrow down the dishes you want, making the process of answering “what’s for dinner?” not only quick but also enjoyable.
Remember you’ll want more than just one recipe! You don’t want to be eating the same food over and over. The Plate Up app solves this common meal prep issue as there are over 450 recipes to choose from.
Meal prep delivery plans
You’re done picking the recipes? Great, now onto purchasing the ingredients. You won’t have to go out to the supermarket, or even move onto another app. You won’t have to waste a second of your time as Plate Up automatically generates a shopping list for you so you can purchase the ingredients from your favourite supermarkets (currently Waitores, Sainsbury’s and Ocado). These supermarkets will deliver the ingredients to your door at a time convenient for you. There is really no excuse to not sign up.
Cooking made easy
Once you have your ingredients delivered, make room on your busy timetable in advance to cook the meals. Follow Plate Up’s extremely simple and easy to follow recipes so whether you are meal prepping, advance cooking or simply following the ready to cook method there is no stress.
So easy right?
This is the reason why Plate Up is the perfect for meal prep enthusiasts, everything is conveniently placed on a single app from start to finish!
Meal prepping is not a one off, it’s better to keep this up for the next couple of days to instil a habit if you want real results. It’s alright to take a day off once in a while though, of course we're only human! Remember the initial reason why you chose to meal prep, keep that in mind and you’ll have the motivation to continue.
Good luck and have fun with meal prepping everyone!