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healthy meal prep ideas for 2023

Healthy Meal Prep Ideas For 2023

One of the most popular new year’s resolutions is to eat healthily! The problem is that no matter how motivated we are to start working on our list, life can get busy sometimes. Preparing adequately helps avoid these resolutions from falling by the wayside. Below, we give you some healthy meal prep ideas for 2023 to get you started on the right foot.

Choose Foods You Enjoy

The first thing to remember about meal prep is that it can get repetitive. If you get bored with the food options you prepare, you could lose interest and be tempted to deviate from the plan. To avoid this, make meals using food you find interesting. Prepare two types of meals at a time so that if you are meal-prepping for a week, you can alternate between dishes. 

For fun, try and make dishes you don’t usually eat. There are loads of dishes from other countries to try, and you can even get the whole family involved in the research and planning – try a different theme each week for you all to stick to. 

You can find recipes online or buy a healthy cookbook. You can even take out a new cookbook from the library every week as a fun activity, which is an affordable way to learn new recipes.

Below are a few options for fun, healthy meals to prep to make this new journey more manageable and more exciting!

Mediterranean Grilled Chicken Salad With Hummus

Typical Mediterranean diet foods consist of mainly fresh ingredients. These include:

  • Fish,
  • Nuts and legumes,
  • Plant oils,
  • Fresh fruits,
  • Root vegetables,
  • Fish and poultry, and
  • Grains.

The Mediterranean diet contributes to reducing inflammation, reducing your risk of heart disease, and lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol.  

The diet removes all processed food, alcoholic spirits and excess salt and sugar. 

This grilled salad is great as the various components of the dish last for a while in the fridge, and you can make each component separately to mix and match for each day. 

For the salad, combine red onion, cubed feta, diced cucumber, olives and cherry tomatoes. A great trick is not to slice the cherry tomatoes to let them last longer in your fridge without making the salad soggy. 

Grill your chicken breast as desired, and store it in a container in the fridge. Do not slice your pieces in advance. Instead, slice them as you use them to retain moisture. Store-bought hummus is a great addition that lasts up to two weeks after opening. Give yourself a generous dollop on top of your salad once you’ve plated it.

Traditional meal prep methods dictate that you store everything in one container, but that isn’t necessary. Preparing each element of the dish, then mixing and matching as you desire, without the need to cook from scratch, is just as effective in keeping you on track with minimal effort. 

Pasta Dishes Are Healthy Too

Pasta is a versatile dish. When eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. Whole-grain pasta is a better, healthier option. It has higher fibre content and promotes gut health, and people with diabetes can eat it safely, as it aids the slow release of insulin, says Diabetes Management.

It’s a better plan for people with diabetes to focus on things that will have a bigger effect on blood sugar control, like smaller portion sizes or choosing wholegrain over refined carbs, explains Sweet Life. The Diabetes Food Guide shows exactly how much you should be eating. Both durum wheat pasta and common wheat pasta can be bought whole or refined. Wholewheat is a better choice because it has more fibre. However, in addition to the type of pasta you pick, what you top it with is just as important.

Store the pasta in the fridge in separate containers, one for each day. You then have the option of whipping up a quick topping each day. Additionally, you can make a bolognese and store it in the fridge, too – that way, you can use your own fresh ingredients and limit the amount of sugar, salt and spice. 

The South African and other local food blogs all have a variation of a hearty, healthy bolognese. Below are the basic ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil,
  • 1 Chopped onion,
  • 450g Ground beef,
  • 800g Tinned tomatoes,
  • 1 Tablespoon of dried oregano, and
  • 3 Cloves of chopped garlic.

Once you’ve gathered the ingredients, it’s easy to make the bolognese. Simply saute your onions and garlic before adding the ground beef and browning it. Then, add your tinned tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Lower the heat and simmer for fifteen to twenty minutes.

Meat Prep 

Instead of cooking your meat beforehand, prepare it by cleaning it, spicing it and storing it in its spices or marinade in a sealed container in the fridge. This way, you can take it out as needed and have fresh meat ready in minutes.

Keep starches at hand like cooked rice, which you can easily pair with your pre-prepared meats. This lasts for days in the fridge and makes a base for various toppings. 

A Healthy Diet

Remember, eating a well-balanced diet is the best way to give your body the proper nutrients. The South African Food Guide displays seven food groups to be eaten regularly:

  • Starchy foods,
  • Vegetables and fruits,
  • Dry beans, peas, lentils and soya,
  • Chicken, fish, meat and eggs,
  • Milk, maas, yoghurt,
  • Fat and oil (used sparingly), and
  • Water.

If you need expert advice on changing your diet and prep meals specifically for your needs, speak to your doctor. Affinity Health offers members access to affordable healthcare. 


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