Every year, eating healthier is at the forefront of many people’s list of New Year’s resolutions. And every year, many people end up getting burnt out within their first month of healthy eating, whether it’s due to a lack of time and energy, or simply trying to maintain practices that are not sustainable.But Yumna Jawad, known as Feel Good Foodie on TikTok is all about making healthy cooking and eating as easy as possible, and there is no better way to start than with meal prepping.
“Meal prepping can save time, money, and sanity,” Jawad says. “Pick one recipe and get comfortable with it. Make that same recipe a couple more times and you’ll build the confidence to take on a second recipe and slowly learn to cook different techniques.”
Pre-cook and plan ahead
Jawad first wants everyone to remember that meal-prepping is not a one-size-fits-all approach. The purpose of meal-prepping isn’t to stress us out, but relieve us of the everyday frustrations that come with wanting to eat healthy, fresh food, but not having the time. Jawad breaks meal-prepping down into three methods: ready-to-eat/heat meals, freezer meals, and cooked ingredients preparation.
“The main premise is just to plan ahead whatever aspect of eating meals throughout the week that can save you time,” Jawad adds. “Thinking about it this way makes it more manageable to pick and choose what works best for you in eating more healthy and fulfilling food.”
Make meals you actually want to eat
When it comes to what foods are best for meal-prepping, Jawad recommends picking the meals you enjoy eating most, whether it is overnight oats for a nutritious breakfast or chopped produce for a quick snack to have on hand throughout the week.
“You can wash, chop, and portion onions, celery and carrots, for example, to use in soups, pastas, salads, and snacking,” Jawad says. “Throughout the week, anytime you need those ingredients, you don’t have to think about washing them or taking out your cutting board to cut them. It’s two extra steps minimized that makes meal time a little less daunting because of the extra preparation completed earlier in the week.”
Grains and vegetables are your friends
Some of Jawad’s favorite foods to prepare are cooked quinoa and brown rice-she recommends using them for anything from grain bowls to salads to stir frys. She also often cooks shredded chicken and ground beef ahead of time to use as a source of protein in recipes such as her Instant Pot shredded chicken and beef-stuffed peppers. The only food she strays away from when it comes to meal prepping is seafood, as it tends to lose its moisture and develop a smell when stored for a few days.
To maintain freshness, Jawad suggests putting a paper towel underneath vegetables like chopped kale, lettuce, and peppers, so they can absorb the extra moisture, while root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots must be stored in a tupperware full of water to stay crisp. She also recommends keeping any dressings for salads separate from the other ingredients so they stay fresh and avoid wilting.
“There’s not just one traditional way to meal prep,” she adds. “I recommend starting slow by prepping a few ingredients for a couple meals during the week.”Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat.
The cold weather in most parts of Australia coinciding with EOFY celebrations is the closest thing that we’ll get to snowy Christmas vibes. And if you’re in dire need of some festive cheer after the first six months of 2023, grab your ugly sweater and head to your nearest Red Rooster for Xmas in July deals.
From June 29 – July 31, 2023, Red Rooster is serving up free food items, a chance to win $10,000 or one of 10 merch packs valued at $400 and other fun prizes. All you have to do is sign up as a Red Royalty member and spend $5 on at a location near you or online.
Each week there’ll be new delicious deals and prizes to win. The week one deals have already dropped and they’re looking pretty tasty. You can get access to them via your Red Royalty account. The more you purchase, the more chances you have to win.
Spoiler alert: you can get 10 chicken nuggets for free, right now. Brb running to Red Rooster.