Every Sunday, Angela Borges spends just 15 minutes in the kitchen preparing a week’s worth of meals from just $3 per serve.
The super-organised nutritionist, from Melbourne, started meal prepping in early 2018 – after spending 18 years struggling with her fluctuating weight.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: How nutritionist meal preps in just 15 minutes.
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By portioning her ingredients into multiple containers, Angela says she’s more likely to stay on top of her healthy eating habits all week round.
“Meal prepping has changed my life,” Angela tells 7Life.
“Five years ago, I gave meal prepping a go because I wanted to kick off my weight loss journey and I knew that I had to be more organised with my meals instead of just winging it every day.
“I’ve been doing it consistently ever since and it’s helped me lose weight without feeling overwhelmed, and create a healthy relationship with food and nutrition.”
Having her weekday meals prepped in advance saw her achieve her weight loss goals after she managed to shed 11kg.
How Aussie teacher cooks a week’s worth of meals for $2.30 per serve
Every Sunday, Angela Borges spends just 15 minutes in the kitchen preparing a week’s worth of meals from just $3 per serve. Credit: Angela BorgesBy meal prepping in advance, Angela says she’s more likely to stay on top of her healthy eating habits all week round. Credit: Angela Borges
When she started her meal plan, Angela says she found herself wasting almost 12 hours of her week in the kitchen.
“I went from spending a total of 11.5 hours to just 15 to 30 minutes preparing my meals for the entire week,” she says.
“Now, things have changed and as a busy business owner, I just can’t afford to spend 11.5 hours a week in the kitchen because I’m always on a tight schedule with back-to-back meetings and commitments, so being prepared is a vital part of my lifestyle.
“And I’m a nutritionist so I wasn’t going to give up on my healthy eating habits either.”
‘No prep meal prep’
When she’s pressed for time, she opts for her “no prep meal prep”, a method where you incorporate healthy convenience foods such as rice sachets, ready-made salad kits, cans of tuna and avocado.
“If you’re a busy person, you can use what I call my ‘no prep meal prep’ method,” she says.
“It’s a methodology I use to create meals with healthy convenience foods like rotisserie chicken, salad mixes, pre-cooked rice, legumes, tuna, frozen veggies and more.
“I like to use these foods because most of the work has already been done for you and they can take as little as five minutes.”
She started meal prepping in early 2018 – after spending 18 years struggling with her fluctuating weight. Credit: Angela BorgesWhen she’s pressed for time, she opts for her ‘no prep meal prep’, which requires minimal cooking time using healthy products. Credit: Angela Borges
Angela and her husband spend an average of $250 on their weekly grocery bill.
“But keep in mind that this covers all our weekly meals, snacks, coffees etc as we don’t tend to eat out or order in. We typically go out once a week but during the week we eat our homemade meals,” she says.
When she started working with clients, she noticed they were buying unnecessary snacks, getting takeaway coffees and lunches at work or ordering Uber Eats because they weren’t prepared or simply too tired.
“All of these expenses add up,” she says.
“But with a little bit of planning and preparation, you can enjoy the benefits of meal prepping within your body but also your wallet.”
To make sweet chilli crispy salad, you only need three pre-packaged items – stir fry salad kit, fried noodles and tofu. Credit: Angela BorgesTo make a quick pasta with salad, you just need a pre-packaged ricotta & spinach agnolotti and beetslaw kit. Credit: Angela Borges
When it comes to meal prepping, there’s a simple three-phase meal prep method she swears by.
“I take 15 minutes to organise my weekly eating plan on Fridays, grocery shop on Saturdays, and normally meal prep on Sundays,” she says.
“Now, here is the thing… My meal prep takes me 15 to 30 minutes and I focus on preparing my lunches, which is my non-negotiable, breakfasts and snacks.
‘Cook once, eat twice’
“For dinners I practice what I call the ‘cook once, eat twice’ technique, which basically means that you get to cook one night for two nights, so that way you still get a variety and you’re only in the kitchen for 15 to 20 minutes every second day.”
First things first, she splits her meal prep into three phases so it doesn’t feel too overwhelming or take hours to get done.
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Depending on your budget, Angela says food can taste delicious – and you don’t have to sacrifice flavour. Credit: Angela Borges
“The first phase is planning, which is basically deciding what you’ll eat and creating a grocery list,” she explains.
“Planning is a no-brainer. My goal is to end the week with an empty fridge, which is a good indicator of good planning but also no food waste.
“The second phase is doing your groceries, which shouldn’t take more than 60 minutes to shop if you’re organised.
“And the third phase is meal prepping, which should only take 30 to 45 minutes if you’re keeping it simple, which takes me to my next point.”
She spends just 15 to 30 minutes in the kitchen every Sunday preparing a week’s worth of meals from just $3 per serve. Credit: Angela BorgesTo make chicken pesto stir fry, you’ll need pre-made basmati rice, chicken, pesto and broccolini. Credit: Angela Borges
Angela says meals prepped in advance don’t need to be complicated.
“Simplify your meals,” she explains.
“You don’t need more than five ingredients to make a meal taste amazing. Trying to make meals that contain too many ingredients and/or cooking techniques will make you feel overwhelmed.”
Finally, she suggests you should try not to cook everything from scratch.
“Healthy eating doesn’t necessarily mean ‘clean’ eating, it just means balancing your meals right so you get all the nutrients in your diet,” she says.
‘Game changing trick’
To keep her vegetables fresh for longer in the fridge, she says her secret weapon is paper towel.
“Add a piece of paper towel to your containers with raw veggies,” she says.
“This trick is a game changer and can make any raw veggie last for up to five days. All it does is absorb the humidity that comes from the veggies, keeping them fresh for longer.”
Angela says meal prepping all her food can save her eight to 10 hours a week in the kitchen. Credit: Angela BorgesWhen she has back-to-back meetings, Angela says she likes to toss together healthy convenient products to make a delicious dish. Credit: Angela Borges
Angela says there are many benefits to making all your meals ahead of the week.
“I truly believe that meal prepping can help you save eight to 10 hours a week,” she says.
“It will reduce mental stress and decision fatigue as you’re not constantly thinking about what to eat, when to cook, or if you even have the ingredients to cook anything.
‘Health is wealth’
“It will save you money from purchasing ingredients and letting them go bad in the fridge or buying takeout every night.
“You can stay on track with your eating habits, eat well, feel good, and perform better in other areas of your life. I truly believe health is wealth.”
She says meal prepping is perfect for everyone, especially those with a busy lifestyle or looking to tweak their diet. Credit: Angela BorgesAngela makes many meals on rotation – with most of her recipes requiring minimal cooking time. Credit: Angela Borges
Lastly, she says you can stay on track with your weight loss goals.
“There is nothing worse than having no structure or plan when it comes to weight loss,” she says.
“Being unprepared is a recipe for disaster as when hunger strikes, this is when we tend to make poor eating choices.”
Angela makes many meals on rotation – with most of her recipes requiring minimal cooking time.
“It depends on the season,” she says.
“In summer, I prefer to meal prep substantial salads, so I tend to use lots of raw and leafy veggies, and simple protein sources such as chicken, tuna, eggs, and cheese and for my carbs, I use foods like rice, pasta, quinoa, and potatoes.
“In winter, I prefer to make more hearty, but still simple, meals and my go-to meals are one-pan style meals, soups, fried rice, stir fry, wraps, and warm salads.
“I use similar ingredients when it comes to protein and carbs but my veggies selection changes slightly.”
When she’s cooking, she only uses simple recipes with no more than five ingredients. Credit: Angela Borges
She says meal prepping is perfect for everyone, especially those with a busy lifestyle or looking to tweak their diet.
“It’s perfect if you want to eat healthier and make quick, simple yet delicious meals,” she says.
As a very time-poor person myself, I’ve done the groundwork for you. Try this three-way chickpea pasta that ticks all the boxes:
Wholesome and well-balanced (decent amount of protein and fibre)Quick & simple (literally 10 minutes)High volume and fillingPlant-based (big tick for our environment)Meal prep friendlyTastyChickpea pasta. Credit: Angela Borges
Raw chickpea pasta
1/3 can chickpea, rinsed and drained
1 bunch of broccolini, chopped
1/2 red capsicum, cut into long strips
Salt and pepper to taste
Simple as cooking the pasta as per the package instructions.
Pan fry or cook the veggies in the air fryer to your liking and just mix everything together.
“I promise this pasta tastes amazing,” she says, adding: “I seriously can’t wait for you to try it.”
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