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


carbon monoxide poisoning...
Ali Litzinger

Carbon monoxide poisoning on the rise in winter months

SALT LAKE CITY — Winter is approaching and officials want people to know the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. Last year, nearly 200 Utahns were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.  The flame in a gas appliance should generally be blue, with some orange. If the flame is mostly yellow, it’s giving off excess carbon monoxide.  […]
3 months ago
Mark Jackson

BYU wellness students return from Blue zone with healthy lifestyle tips

Some BYU students are learning how to live healthy and happier lives from a trip to Ikaria, Greece.
3 months ago
mental health rural...
Devin Oldroyd

Salt Lake Co. Council voting to fund temporary mental health receiving center

Salt Lake County Council will vote Tuesday morning on Funding for a temporary mental health receiving center at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute.
3 months ago
Driven to Assist Season of Service by Larry H Miller....
Elizabeth Weiler and Waverly Golden

Companies around Utah offer free Thanksgiving meals and more

The Miller Foundation, Crossroads Urban Center, and Ken Garff are all offering Thanksgiving meals and other services for Thanksgiving.
3 months ago
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints...
Mark Jackson

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Memphis NAACP pair to help mothers

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Memphis NAACP are partnering to launch "MyBaby4Me" to help new and expecting mothers.
3 months ago
Shortages in daycares across the country and in Utah are keeping thousands of parents home, intead ...
Becky Bruce and Kira Hoffelmeyer

School and daycare facilities haven’t “bounced back” to normalcy

Along with the rest of the nation, a shortage of daycare workers and teachers in Utah means parents are staying home from work.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Meal prep hacks to help you ditch fast food