Qualified dietitian Susie Burrell shared with bubble. magazine the best meal prepping tips for restoring your work-life balance.
Can you explain some of the most important reasons why meal-prepping is perfect for those who work in 9-5 office jobs (even if working from home)?
Whether you snooze the alarm for a little too long and rely on the nearby cafe for your breakfast or enjoy a visit to the vending machine for an afternoon pick me up, when you’re working in a 9-5 office job, convenient and fast-food temptations are everywhere.
And while fast foods like pastries, chocolate bars, chips and breakfast buns can be satisfying at the time, they don’t provide your body with the nutrients or energy it needs to get through the day. This also means we can fall into the trap of snacking later on or eating larger portions in an effort to feel full. This is why planning your meals in advance – including your snacks – is the best way to make sure you’re consuming nutritious, energy-rich foods.
What about the cost-benefits of meal-prepping?
Planning your meals in advance provides you with an opportunity to visit the supermarket once a week and consolidate the total ingredients you need to minimise food waste. Buying breakfast or lunch out is also around five times more expensive than making a meal from scratch!
That being said, who doesn’t love a meal out with friends? So you don’t buy too much food, allocate a few ‘gaps’ in your meal plan if you’re likely to eat out a few times a week.
Is it important to make sure your meals take into account your lifestyle? If so, why?
Yes, meal prepping should be flexible and consider your lifestyle so you can maximise the benefits!
If you’re strapped for time in the morning because you enjoy a sleep in or try to fit in a gym session, choose meals that take minimal time to prepare. Preparing a breakfast smoothie the evening before can be handy for these occasions. Take Mayver’s Peanut Apple smoothie for example: I’ll put all my ingredients into the mixer the evening before (brushing lemon on my apple to prevent it from going brown) and just add milk in the morning so I can blend and go.
Additionally, cooking in bulk and freezing ahead of time if the recipe permits, is an amazing time saver for when you’re tired. When our energy levels are depleted it’s much more tempting to order takeaway instead of cooking, so having a freezer meal that you’ve prepared in advance is a nutritious, low-effort option.
It’s important to plan meals that match your energy output, too. If you lead an active lifestyle you’ll likely need to eat more protein and carbs than someone who spends a lot of time at a desk. A balanced meal should always include a protein (eggs, nuts, meat), carbohydrates (wholegrain bread, rice, pasta), and fresh fruit or vegetables.
Do you recommend keto-lifestyle choices for those who are meal-prepping and wanting to lose weight?
If someone is interested in trying a keto lifestyle-diet, planning meals well in advance can be very helpful and particularly for your snacks to ensure your macro ratios are right. Key foods that will help you reach your macro ratios include nuts, Mayver's Nut Spreads, avocado, low carb breads and crackers, berries, and plain yoghurt.
Great snack options that tick the box for keto include Mayver’s Nut Spread on low carb bread, 1/3 avocado or a tablespoon of nut spread with berries or a low carb smoothie made with almond milk, berries, plain yoghurt and a dollop of your favourite 100% Mayver's.