I’m a huge fan of meal preparation. It saves time, it’s easy on my wallet, and eating comfort food daily is my go-to for stress relief. I made myself a large portion of protein, a complex-carbohydrates rich meal with essential Omega-3 fatty acids to enjoy every night this week. Here’s what I found to be true after eating salmon over a bed of quinoa in a garlic lemon butter reduction topped with alfalfa sprouts for dinner five times this past week.
1. I felt significant relief in my stress level
Apparently, I’m not alone in eating staples daily to relieve stress and provide comfort in uncertain times. This author in Stylist online magazine interviewed a group of women who swear by meal preparation for an ongoing study conducted in Britain that examines this phenomenon of keeping calm by carrying on and repeat eating favorite foods.
“Some, like myself, do it to keep themselves calm in an increasingly uncalm world. Some, like Felicity, do it because they know what they like, and they like what they know.”
Routine and expected results in a tumultuous time provide eaters an outlet to have one positive thing to look forward to each day. Cooking a healthy meal is in fact considered an act of self-care which yields numerous mental health benefits! Give yourself a break for stress eating cheesy pizza, it turns out thicker thighs lead to longer lives anyway.
2. Meal prep is budget-friendly
Once I bought all the ingredients for my salmon dish the total barely came to thirty dollars. Divide that by five times a week and you’re looking at major savings! Six dollars for a healthy meal is fantastic especially with rent due.
Victoria Sanusi has this to say about cooking for one in pandemic times.
“Since lockdown was announced back in March I’ve started cooking more and ordering fewer takeaways, which has been fab for my bank account. I really miss Vapianos and luckily they’ve put some easy step-by-step tutorials on their Instagram Highlights, so I don’t have to go without my Gamberetti E Spinaci,” she said, “I genuinely could eat Gamberetti for lunch and dinner and, not to be big-headed, but I think my cooking is pretty great!”
3. Meal prep and eating the same healthy dinner every night saved time
With harried deadlines and unexpected emergencies this week I was grateful I already had a healthy meal waiting for me in the fridge when I came home. We’re all experiencing record amounts of burnout and trouble maintaining work from home life balance so this helps a lot.
This meal prep enthusiast featured in Stylist, an online publication in Great Britain, Jazmin Kopotsha adds,
“If I’m going to cook pasta, call it instinct or call it an incident, there’ll always be enough to feed a family of six. This is great because it means I can have seconds and I’ve got lunch ready for the next few days. But my downfall lies in my refusal to double-dip my lunch and dinner on the same day.”
What I discovered at the end of the week
Admittedly I felt pretty good overall at the end of the week. I probably won’t eat salmon for a while but that’s pretty standard for other repeat eaters. I saved money, had improved mood and focus, slept better, and had more leisure time at night.