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Nutritionist The Healthy Diary shares her top tips to keep your meal prep under one hour

In a bid to encourage healthy eating habits over winter, an Australian nutritionist has revealed her top tips to keep your meal prep to under one hour, and the winter food staples she swears by.

Angela, of The Healthy Diary from Melbourne, said meal prepping is an excellent way to save time during the working week, and if you spend just one hour at the weekend, you can save yourself at least five hours during the week. 

‘Now, you can keep your meal prep short and sweet with these tips,’ Angela posted on Instagram.

‘Remember, the more you practice it, the better and quicker you get!’

An Australian nutritionist has revealed her top tips to keep your meal prep to under one hour, and the winter food staples she swears by (Angela of The Healthy Diary pictured)

Angela said meal prepping is an excellent way to save time during the working week, and if you spend just one hour at the weekend, you can save yourself at least five hours during the week

Angela said meal prepping is an excellent way to save time during the working week, and if you spend just one hour at the weekend, you can save yourself at least five hours during the week

1. Plan ahead

The first thing Angela said you must do if you want to meal prep well and quickly is plan ahead. 

‘Determine what ingredients take longer to cook and organise your flow in the kitchen,’ Angela explained. 

‘For example, you may want to cut your vegetables while something is cooking in the oven to multi task and save time.’ 

Once you have everything organised, you’re ready to start your meal prep.

The first thing you need to do when meal prepping is plan ahead and work out which ingredients need to be cooked first and what you can be doing when they are cooking

The first thing you need to do when meal prepping is plan ahead and work out which ingredients need to be cooked first and what you can be doing when they are cooking

2. Choose simple meals with few ingredients

Angela recommends choosing simple meals with few ingredients if you’re new to meal prepping.

‘If I’m making more than one meal, I try to choose something with similar ingredients,’ the nutritionist said.

‘For example, I made a vegetarian Caesar salad and a burger bowl today, both with exactly the same ingredients.’ 

You could also do this with something like spaghetti bolognese and chilli mince. 

'If I'm making more than one meal, I try to choose something with similar ingredients,' the nutritionist said (two of her typical weekly meals pictured)

‘If I’m making more than one meal, I try to choose something with similar ingredients,’ the nutritionist said (two of her typical weekly meals pictured)

3. Determine what needs to go in the oven first 

When you have cut all your ingredients chopped up and ready to be cooked, it’s time to determine what needs to be put in the oven or air fryer first.

‘While these foods are cooking, focus on other elements of your meals,’ Angela said.

This could include making a sauce or a dressing, or arranging your vegetables.

‘Use different cooking appliances at the same time including the oven, air fryer and stove to maximise time,’ Angela said. 

This will mean you don’t have to waste an entire Sunday in the kitchen.

When it comes to your meal prep, Angela said you need to focus on the meal prep and just the meal prep

When it comes to your meal prep, Angela said you need to focus on the meal prep and just the meal prep 

4. Meal prep and just meal prep

When many people meal prep, Angela said they often get distracted or distract themselves.   

But, if you want to get it done within a short amount of time, you should ‘avoid any distractions and give all your attention to your prep during that one hour’.  

Angela recently prepped buddha bowls with kewpie-like roasted sesame mayo and chicken soup for the working week.

It took her under an hour to put together this selection of weekly meals.

While some people think that to meal prep healthy foods it needs to be all fresh, Angela said you can include some pre-packaged items like brown rice (pictured) and still be nutritious

While some people think that to meal prep healthy foods it needs to be all fresh, Angela said you can include some pre-packaged items like brown rice (pictured) and still be nutritious

5. Embrace pre-packaged foods

While some people think that to meal prep healthy foods it needs to be all fresh, Angela said you can include some pre-packaged items and still be nutritious.

‘Salad mixes, things like pre-cooked brown rice and pasta are all healthy and save you valuable hours in the kitchen,’ she said. 

Angela often accompanies foods like her buddha bowl with pre-packaged rice and bagged salad leaves.

What are Angela’s winter meal prep staples? 

Some of Angela's favourite things to make in winter include stir fry with noodles (pictured)

Some of Angela’s favourite things to make in winter include stir fry with noodles (pictured)

* When it gets cooler, it can feel a little harder to consume the right amount of vegetables, while still getting creative in the kitchen.

* But Angela recommends you aim for half a plate of vegetables that encompass three different colours, as well as plenty of fibre and complex carbohydrates.

* Some of Angela’s favourite things to make in winter include stir fry with two cups of frozen or fresh vegetables, noodles and protein, fried rice with the same ingredients or a tray bake.

* When Angela makes tray bake, she said all she does is add a source of protein with lots of vegetables, your favourite seasoning or marinade – and then bake it.

* She also likes to make frittata and quiches filled with plenty of vegetables, eggs, cheese and seasoning. These make for great winter warming breakfasts and lunches. 

Source: The Healthy Diary

 

When it gets cooler, it can feel a little harder to consume the right amount of vegetables, while still getting creative in the kitchen (some of Angela's meal prep pictured)

When it gets cooler, it can feel a little harder to consume the right amount of vegetables, while still getting creative in the kitchen (some of Angela’s meal prep pictured)

Finally, Angela (pictured) said if you have a dishwasher, you absolutely need to use it in order to maximise your meal prep

Finally, Angela (pictured) said if you have a dishwasher, you absolutely need to use it in order to maximise your meal prep

6. Use your dishwasher

Finally, Angela said if you have a dishwasher, you absolutely need to use it in order to maximise your meal prep.

‘A dishwasher will save you so much time when cleaning up,’ Angela said.

‘Place all the dirty bowls, plates, utensils, cutlery in the dishwasher as you go, and this will mean you don’t need to waste half an hour at the end cleaning up.’ 



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