Meal prep hacks to help you ditch fast food

Feb 20, 2019, 12:18 PM
meal prep hacks...
Meal prep hacks from Really Healthy Podcast.

SALT LAKE CITY — Lots of people make commitments to ditch the fast food and make more homemade meals, but life moves so fast that can be a steep goal that is quickly forgotten about. Experts say meal prep can be a powerful tool in reaching your health goals.

On the Really Healthy Podcast, registered dietitian Melanie Douglass gives quick tips to simplify your weekly meal prep.

[socialpoll id=”2539522″]

Wash and cut produce immediately

Douglass advises carving an extra hour out of your day, right after you go grocery shopping, to wash and cut all, or most, of the produce you bought. Doing this gives you plenty of grab-and-go snack options, she says. 

Pre-chopping the vegetables you plan to use in dinners can save a lot of time, Douglass adds — all you have to do is throw it in the pan. You are more likely to eat the produce if you don’t have to spend time preparing it when you are already hungry, Douglass said.

Double it up

Douglass recommends doubling the portions of everything when you cook a healthy lunch or dinner so that you can pack the extra portions for a meal the next day.

Use Glass Jars

Not only are they appealing to your eyes and trending on Pinterest in the meal prep category, according to Douglass, but it makes storage easier. Jars can be stored vertically and take up less space in your refrigerator.

Douglass told listeners, you can make things like overnight oats, salads and even stir-fry in jars.

Bonus: They are made of glass rather than plastic.

Make one-pan meals

Doing the dishes is often the most dreaded part of cooking, Douglass said. She advised getting around doing too many dishes by making one-pan meals. All you have to do is make sure all of your ingredients fit on one baking sheet.

Some of the suggestions Douglass made include meals like salmon and asparagus or roasted broccoli, sweet potatoes and chicken.

As a bonus, Douglass said, the one-pan hack helps you accomplish the “double up” goal earlier stated.  

Swap your sauces… or spices

If you are someone who needs variety in their diet, Douglass said this meal prep hack is for you: roast a whole pan of chicken, fish or tofu on your meal prep day but don’t add any flavor. When you are ready to eat it, add a new sauce each time, Douglass advised.

You can do teriyaki, curry, fajita seasoning or any of your favorite flavors. Make a pot of brown rice to keep in the refrigerator and you’ve got a variety of meals all week.

Plan your meal prep

This one sounds obvious but it may be the most important one, Douglass said. Plan when and what you will make before you go grocery shopping.

Douglass told listeners if you don’t plan you may end up with a bunch of wasted food a week later because you never had time to prepare it.

Last meal prep hack: Don’t meal prep

Douglass identified herself as someone who can’t stick to a plan, therefore, meal prepping does not work for her.

She told listeners it’s ok if you are someone who doesn’t meal prep. Instead, she says, you can take more frequent trips to the grocery store and pick up items fresh.  

If you found these tips helpful, subscribe to the Really Healthy Podcast free wherever you get podcasts. The show is also available on the KSL Newsradio App. You can also find Melanie and Scott online here.

Watch the full episode below.

Today’s Top Stories


A Rite Aid logo is displayed on its store...

Amazon, Rite Aid cap purchase of emergency contraceptives

Retailers limiting purchases is standard practice that helps retailers prevent stockpiling and reselling at higher prices.
11 hours ago
CDC reports monkeypox cases....
Waverly Golden

CDC confirms five monkeypox cases in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, confirmed a total of five monkeypox cases in Utah Wednesday morning. According to the Utah Department of Health, four of the cases are located in Salt Lake County and one in Utah County. On Tuesday, the total number of cases statewide was […]
1 day ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Becky Bruce

Different abortion law now in effect in Utah

A different abortion law is now in effect in Utah, and it bans abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy. However, there are several exceptions to this law.
2 days ago
Rising temperatures across the country are putting the homeless at risk of heat-related death. Many...
Waverly Golden, Aimee Cobabe

Heat waves bring concerns for heat-related illnesses and the homeless population

Record-breaking heat waves have caused an abundance of heat-related deaths among the homeless.
2 days ago
IV bags hang in a room. Intermountain healthcare conducted a study on IV fluid....
Samantha Herrera

Intermountain Healthcare study finds “better” IV fluid treatment

Researchers with Intermountain Healthcare conducted a 15-month-long study to learn the effects of using an alternative IV fluid for patients.
2 days ago
thousands turned out to demonstrate their opposition to the Supreme Court's ruling on Roe v. Wade...
Curt Gresseth

Lawmaker seeks to remove felony statute from Utah’s abortion trigger law

A Democratic lawmaker in Utah said she has filed a bill to remove the felony-punishment aspect of Utah's trigger law that went into effect when the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Follow @ikeyospe...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
Meal prep hacks to help you ditch fast food