Life gets busy, life gets hard, but that shouldn’t mean that your meals become less nutritious. In fact, it should be the total opposite. The busier life gets, the more important nutrition gets to help keep up our stamina for all the curve balls life throws at us. We need to maintain our health and immune integrity to fight the daily battles of work, family, kids, pets, spouses, friends, school, exercise and anything else we are expected to do. And let’s face it, life expects a lot out of us.. so why not expect a lot out of our food?
Start expecting your meals to give you energy and health, instead of desiring taste satisfaction and the dreadful sluggish feeling.
No matter where you are in life, no matter what expectations you are facing, you probably rely more on your health than you think. Whether you are a student facing crucial exams or the top owner of a booming business, meal prepping for those inevitably busy days might just save your health (and sanity).
So you wanna know how to meal prep like the pros?
Pick your protein. Every substantial meal has protein. This does not have to be in the form of meat but it most certainly can.
- Red meat
- Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese)
- Nuts (peanuts, almonds, walnuts)
- Seeds (pumpkin, chia, flax)
Pick your veggies. Your meal is not complete without some form of veggies.
- Brussel Sprouts
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Green Beans
- Greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, bok choy, mustard greens, salad greens etc)
- Squash (yellow and zucchini)
Pick your starches wisely my friend. The plate should only be 1/4 full of starches.
- Bread, Tortillas, Bagels, Dough
- Cereal, Granola
- Milk and Dairy Products
- Squash (acorn, spaghetti)
- Baked Goods like pastries, cookies, muffins, cakes, scones
- Sweet tea
Get creative, while following these 3 steps it might seem like you should have a divided plate but mixing it all together can be even tastier. Meals such as stir fry, sandwiches, burrito bowls, soups and crock pot ideas make wonderful meal prep ideas as well.
My tips for you include..
- If you have a favorite dish you like, make 2-3 times the size and divide the extra portions into pre-packaged tupperware containers. That way when you’re in a rush in the morning, it’s easy to grab and go without having to spend the extra time wondering what’s on the lunch menu (because who knows what’s in the mystery meatloaf served in the cafe).
- If you don’t like prepping meals for the week ahead of time, begin a list in the beginning of the week of certain meals you plan on making. Buy the ingredients over the weekend and save them for those specific meals. This way when you’re finally off the clock from work/school planning a meal is one less thing to stress over.
- When you are grocery shopping, stock up on frozen bags of veggies that are already pre-mixed for you (broccoli, carrots, peas etc). These are so wonderful when you run out of the fresh veggies and are in a crunch for time. Steam them up with some chicken, pasta, rice, quinoa, steak or shrimp and you’ve got yourself a wonderful meal to bring to work/school.
- My favorite meals to meal prep include
- Asian Stir Fry for fast dinner or lunch on the go
- Seafood Paella for fast dinner when you get home
- Homemade Apple & Pecan Chicken Salad for lunch on the go
- Chicken Tortilla Soup for fast dinner at home or lunch on the go
- Homemade Pizza Dough for fast dinner when you get home
- Blueberry and Peach Breakfast Crunch for breakfast on the go
- Chicken Gnocchi Soup for fast dinner at home or lunch on the go
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email me at StephanieRackley@thehealthychew.org
3 Comments Add yours
Great post, I think I’ll be using it in the future!!
How much of a difference does it make when buying organic than regular at the grocery store? There aren’t very many farmer’s markets so Heb is the grocery store.
HEB is my grocery store as well, they have lots of options when buying organic vs conventional. I would suggest buying what you’re comfortable with, organics tend to be a little pricier and can add up fast. Conventional products are just as nutritionally beneficial as organic products. Just make sure to wash everything before consumption.