There are two types of people: those who pack their lunches religiously, and those who exclusively function off coffee for the duration of their day.
If you’re from the latter group and are looking to make a healthy change in your life, meal prepping is a super simple and easy way to do just that. No, you don’t have to be a wizard chef, and no, it’s not complicated to get started. All it takes is a commitment to planning 7 days ahead.
We’ve put together some tips with the busy shift worker in mind, so you can maximize your time and stay fueled at work.
Eat clean to maintain energy
Got a long shift ahead of you? Don’t let your food choices bring you down – overly fried, fatty, sugary, or spicy foods can make you feel sluggish and tired. This is especially true if you’re working the night shift since your digestive processes are slowed down during this time.
Hop on the mason jar trend
Ah, mason jars: the stars of Pinterest and the DIY community. These have emerged over the last few years as the new “Tupperware”, and it’s easy to see why. They’re perfect for portioning, easy to clean, and great for soups, salads, oatmeal… you name it!
Pack snacks for when you need a boost
Smart snacking is the key to getting through a busy shift! Choose items that are high in protein, and avoid ones that are high in carbs, fat, and sugar. Some veggies with hummus or some trail mix will go a very long way.
Bulk cooking with minimal effort
Bulk cooking doesn’t have to result in your kitchen looking like a crime scene. In fact, with the right tools, you can make a week’s worth of food in a single go.
Have access to a slow cooker? Try your hand at making chili, soups, and other simple dishes. Just mix everything into the pot and set the timer. Don’t have a slow cooker? Try making small dishes like quiches in a muffin pan – you’ll have a dozen portioned meals in no time!
Find some freezer-friendly meals
Batch cooking your food doesn’t mean you have to be married to your prepped food for the week. Maybe you’ll get invited to lunch with a coworker, or you’ll splurge on a burger for the afternoon. Freezer-friendly meals give your food a longer lifespan so you can eat it at a later date. Just don’t forget about it!
Tip: Did you know you can also portion and freeze smoothies? Pre-blend and freeze your smoothie of choice in a silicone ice cube tray. When you need a pick-me-up, pop some cubes in the blender. Voila!
Cold food can go a long way
Don’t have a microwave handy at work? Salads are perfect meal prep food – add some nuts, protein, dried fruit, and your favorite dressing, and you’re all set. You can get small, inexpensive plastic containers to hold your salad dressing to keep your dish crisp until you’re ready to enjoy – how simple is that?
Looking to switch things up? HigherMe can connect you to fantastic job opportunities in your area. Check out our Job Board!