Being 22 and living in my own house & working fulltime means things can get pretty full on when trying to balance all my duties. I love being organised, I’m always thinking of when to do things, spending my time wisely and how I can make things easier for myself so things can get done.. and food prep is a weekly must do!
I do my food shop once a week, lately it’s been on Saturday’s but sometimes I will go after work. Lately my fresh produce shopping has been at one of the local fruit & veg stores and my grocery shop is usually at Coles and sometimes I’ll get some fruit & veg bargains there when they have sales.
I wash all my fruits an veggies before popping them away so they are ready to go for when I want them. I add them to the sink & cover them with water, add a splash of white vinegar and let them sit for about 5 minutes, except for stone & citrus fruits and zucchini, just rinse those in the water as the skins can go soft. I then rinse them in water & leave them to dry on a tea towel.
– I store ripe fruits in the fridge but unripe ones I store out of my fridge until ripened.
– Bananas are kept in a big banana box in the corner of my living/dining area to ripen and when they are overripe, I peel & break each one into three individual pieces, pop them into freezer bags in serving size amounts and pop them in the freezer. I have ALOT of bananas!
– I store my veggies in sealed tupperware containers in the fridge lined with paper towel on the bottoms.
– Potatoes, carrots, baby spinach & lettuce are the only veggies I clean right before using them. Potatoes are kept in my pantry on the floor, in believe it or not a fruit basket – haha. Carrots, lettuce, baby spinach and any new/unwashed veg I store in the crispers.
On Sundays I like to get some food prepared for the week as it makes my nights after work easier. Making & taking your own food to work, school or uni saves you money so you’re not wasting money on lunch everyday – because that can add up quickly, it also keeps you on the right track to healthy living because you know exactly what is in everything you made! Stock up on some tupperware containers because they’re the handiest thing to have – I have heaps!!
Never skip breakfast! Lately I’ve been having smoothies that I can make every morning but some breakfast prep ideas are:
– Overnight oats which is oatmeal soaked overnight in milk of choice. (1/3 cup oats & 1/3-1/2 cup almond milk) you can play with flavours using fruits and other add-ins like chia seeds, coconut shreds, yoghurt, protein powder, nuts, seeds, cinnamon or maca powder. You can store these in jars in your fridge for the week and top with any extra goodies you desire and take brekky on the go!
– Bake a batch of baked oatmeal, muesli bars or muffins
– Chia pudding (1 cup almond milk & 2 tbsp chia seeds)
– Chop and prep some fruit (bananas, berries, mangos ect.) and pop in serving size freezer bags so you can just chuck them in a blender to quickly whip up a smoothie and this can be taken on the run too if you pop it in a jar.
For lunch I used to cook up a meal for every single day on a Sunday (my boyfriend does this too) but lately I’ve been loving rice salads (I prep two or three for the week) & the other days I just slice up some cucumbers & tomatoes, pop them in a container with some baby spinach to be put onto some rice thins!
Some other lunch prep ideas that can be done on a Sunday is:
– Protein, rice & veg
Be sure to keep it interesting and play with herbs and spices so that way you look forward to it and it doesn’t get boring. Another option is making extra for dinner that night and taking leftovers to work the next day which I sometimes do.
My meals are vegan but my boyfriends contain meat (the common meat, rice & veg usually) and we both just keep our meal preps in the fridge and they stay fine, we don’t freeze them.
At the moment I’ve been mainly snacking on grapes, bananas & apples. The bananas & apples I just get together when packing my lunchbox in the morning but the grapes I pop into snack containers for at least three days worth. So that’s easy peasy!
Other snack ideas you can prepare and make yourself are:
– Hummus to dip veggie sticks in or spread on rice or corn thins.
– Bliss/Protein Balls
– Muesli Bars
– Chia Pudding (snack size)
– Overnight oats (snack size)
Other Handy Food Prep
I like to also keep a batch of cooked rice in the fridge which saves time at dinner time or for weekend lunches. Alot of rice gets eaten, so it always gets used up!
Keeping roast veggies in the fridge can come in handy too to go with dinner or to go with your lunch.
My boyfriend also preps himself some boiled eggs for the week as he has those as his snack before the gym every morning along.
Sometimes I even pre-prep the following nights dinner (or do it in the morning), just by chopping veggies up or getting the things out that I will be using.