Why is the term “Meal Prep” currently being so hyped? Precooking is certainly not a new invention. Rather, home cooking is experiencing a renaissance as it becomes more and more evident that convenience foods not only make us sick and chubby but even cause us to age prematurely. Since we have to juggle our own cooking between job and family in the best possible way, pre-cooking makes perfect sense. But Meal Prepping in the classic sense, as we know it from the media, hardly works for a family of people with different demands. That’s why I present you with Mix & Match solutions that are easier to realize.
I have been concerned with the topic of pre-cooking for a long time and the implementation is becoming easier and more creative. You can also find inspirations on GoodGut FoodPrep. Be prepared: I’m currently working on an E-book, offers creative and pragmatic solutions for a busy lifestyle. It´ll be based on the knowledge and know-how of worldwide renowned experts. Instead of listing tons of recipes, I read between the lines and pick out things worth knowing, and then experiment with how I can put this knowledge into practice in everyday life. In food prepping, I place particular emphasis on preparation, storage, and nutrient combinations. What we eat is certainly important. Whether it can be optimally utilized by the body is much more decisive. Therefore, in addition to a high nutrient density, the „bioavailability of nutrients“ is also important to me.
For gut health, consuming a vast variety of plants is the key. Our „Good-Gut-Bugs“, the numerous microbial species in the intestine, have different preferences. They love in particular prebiotics, in form of various fibers and phytonutrients. It is not enough to take expensive probiotics in order to increase the number of helpful gut bacteria. It is much more important to provide the microbes in the intestine with a broad spectrum of a favorite food. Thus, one can prevent microbial Dysbiosis – an imbalance of the gut flora.
Meal Prepping is doomed to failure if you feel overwhelmed by the challenge! Enjoy the process and keep it simple: Set a time on the weekend or on a day off during the week, where you can devote yourself to planning and preparing in peace and in your pace. Make that time quality time with good music and a glass of red wine? Prepare different meal units so that you have them ready or warmed up within two minutes during the week. For example, you can store gently cooked or steamed vegetables in the refrigerator. At mealtime, marinate the vegetables with a prepared vinaigrette and top it with olives, seeds, nuts… Serve with re-heated slightly roasted basmati rice with chickpeas and homemade pesto… just to give you an idea. Well, or how about a mediterranean style spelt-pasta salad?
For preparing this freestyle good-gut granola I use :
1 1/2 cup oat flakes
1/2 cup oat bran
1 tbs coconut oil
2 – 3 tbs applesauce
2 tbs raisins
1 tbs psyllium husks (fieldsman) or shredded linseeds
1 thinly chopped apple with peel,
2 tbs various seeds of choice,
1/2 ts cinnamon,
1 tbs date sweetener or muscovado sugar
…mix all together in a bowl, throw it onto a baking tray with baking paper.
Eventually, bake it for approx. 30 min. at 150°C in the pre-heated oven.
My son gets a glass of yogurt, granola, honey, frozen berries, prepare ahead at night… It takes two minutes of preparation time per day.
Talking about physical and cognitive fitness, I must also mention omega-3 fatty acids.
A topic that could not be more controversial. The very sensitive omega-3 fatty acids are triglyceride-lowering and therefore have a positive effect on cholesterol levels. Unfortunately, this fatty acid is very unstable and can form trans fats caused by strong heating, which causes exactly the opposite. It is also safe that the ratio between Omega-6: Omega-3 is on average very unfavorable since it promotes inflammation processes strongly. This is partly because of the high consumption of conventional meat and cereals. That inflammation-promoting foods will cost the body a great deal in the long term is impressive.
However, I invite you to look over the shoulders of a German expert in the field. Take a look at the website of Dr. Schmiedel. Besides detailed information and exciting videos, he also offers a simple self-test (sorry german only). The evaluation of my own self-test shows me that I, too, can consume a little more fish (from sustainable fishing, of course) or algae oil… here the self-test by Dr. Schmiedel