In a world of fast food and even faster vending machines (or convenience stores), eating healthfully can present numerous challenges. Perhaps the largest challenge is time. With most of us so short on time, how can we prepare healthy meals at home? If we can accomplish that task each evening, we can pack up leftovers for use throughout the week.

If you’re arriving home at night, exhausted and unmotivated to cook a meal from scratch, these meal prep tips can help you shorten the process. As you become accustomed to a new way of doing things, the drive-through won’t look so tempting anymore.

Instant pot or rice cooker. All you need to do is toss in some food, and perhaps some seasonings, and push a few buttons. The appliance does the rest of the work for you, while you accomplish other tasks.

Glass storage containers. Store your leftovers in glass containers. They’re safe for use in the freezer or oven, so you’ll use fewer dishes (and spend less time washing). As a bonus, you won’t have to worry about possibly harmful chemicals from exposure to plastics.

Blender or food processor. These come in handy when preparing smoothies, soups, and salad dressings… And if you upgrade to an appliance with extra attachments, it might chop veggies or shred cheese, too.

A good set of knives. Most home cooks don’t necessarily need a huge block of 27 different knives, so don’t worry about that. A few quality knives in various sizes (a paring knife and a butcher knife, to start) will accomplish most everyday tasks. But your primary goal should be to keep them sharp! Sharp knives make the work faster and easier… So pick up a knife sharpener while you’re at it.

Bonus tip: There’s no need to chop vegetables each night after work, while you’re tired, hungry, and distracted by other tasks. Set aside time to prep your produce two or three times per week, store the results in those glass containers, and meal prep will be much easier.

Freezer-safe bags, labels, and markers. Each week (or month), you can also pre-cut meat, for use in stews, fajitas, and more. Portion it out, store in freezer-safe bags, and clearly label each one. Before you go to bed at night, move one bag to the fridge for thawing, and you can use pre-cut meat for the next night’s meal.

These tips will get you started, but remember: We’re here for you. If you’re struggling with the transition to healthier meals, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can consult with you, offer nutritional advice geared to your goals, and help you stay motivated so that you can achieve them.