Guidelines for Meal Preparation
‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’, what comes to your mind when you take a quick look at this old proverb? Well, if you ask me, I would say it’s not just about an apple. This axiom clarifies another acclaimed proverb i.e. ‘Prevention is better than cure’. What do you think am I trying to convey? It’svery straightforward and easy to understand. If you fix your nutrition, you directly or indirectly strive for a life free of illness, malady and both physical & mental infirmity. Take a breath, there’s still a catch. Who doesn’t want to stay healthy but is that possible without keeping a check on your nutrition? I have seldom seen people who despite a busy schedule manage to prepare their meals themselves but please be assured that you cannot depend on someone other than yourself to sustain a lifetime engagement that fitness is. All that said, let us concern ourselves more with what all goes into preparing a healthy meal.
- The Importance of Pre Planning : Not everyone has got enough time nor are we professional cooks. It takes a lot of effort in cooking and making things ready to eat without pre planning. Going forward, if one doesn’t plan things in advance, it is more likely that the person would give up on healthy eating in the long run. Deciding when to cook and finding out time to do so even in a busy schedule is what needs to be considered first of all. So, it’s time management that I am referring to here when I say preplanning.
- Selection of foodstuffs: What comes next when you have already pushed cooking into your schedule? Indeed the selection of foodstuffs. You need to decide what all food you are going to cook in advance. Jot everything down on a piece of paper and go grocery shopping the next day. Be clear with the nutrition profile because that is what will bring you closer to your goal. Most importantly if you are going to cook and store your food for a week or so, make sure you select food items that can last when stored. Yes, being fit takes effort but trust me it is always worth it.
- Formulation of Nutrients: Having selected the foodstuffs, you should make an estimate of how much of each one would you require in advance. This maybe for the week or the month depending on how you plan your schedule. You should ideally consider a calorie limit for each day, plan on the amount of macronutrient (Carbohydrates, Proteins & Fats) required in a day and then finally formulate how much of a particular food item would be required to hit the goal. This could be knotty if you are a beginner but hey! It’s not impossible and there are people out there doing this daily.
- The kitchen paraphernalia: Dishes, cutlery, toaster, juicer, bake wares and what else? Of course, the more the better but at the same time healthy cooking does not need to be hi-fi. We can stick to some basic kitchen equipment and still get our work done. Everyone already has dishes and cutlery lying around.Just invest in a non-stick pan, get a cooking spray and you are set. Healthy cooking has to be free from the oily and spicy stuff and hence you will need non-stick cookware so that the food comes out from the utensil to your plate unburnt. Not to be missed, you should also have a box (preferably oven safe) in which you could carry stuff around when not at home.
- Appliances you may need: This isn’t going to be compulsory at all but if you are a busy man and plan to store your food in advance for the week, you are surely going to need a refrigerator. Likewise OTGs can come handy when baking cookies or bread stuffs. Again, this is not a requirement but an advantage if you don’t have time. Not everyone can afford expensive appliances but that simply doesn’t mean that they can’t keep healthy.