17 Aug Toss the Takeout!: 7 Time-Saving Meal Prep Tips
Toss the Takeout!: 7 Time-Saving Meal Prep Tips
We’re in the age of convenience and instant gratification. With people on-the-go more and wanting things NOW, sitting down for mealtime is less common. Fueling our body is essential, but with life constantly in flux, many believe there are more important things they should focus their time, energy and money on than feeding their body right. Finding quick and effective methods for easier meal prep not only saves resources, but is a guaranteed way to help you focus on your health goals and keep you on a track to success.
Putting healthy meals together doesn’t have to be stressful. Try these 7 Time-Saving Meal Prep Ideas to help you toss the takeout and focus in on your health goals.
1. Plan Ahead
Make an outline of the amount and types of food you want to prepare for the week. Break that list down into a grocery list of specific foods you need to buy. The forethought up front not only saves you time from wandering around the grocery store, but it also reduces the number of trips to the store throughout the week.
2. Multiple Meat Flavors
Don’t let “diet fatigue” (i.e. eating the same food and flavors without any variation) get the best of you. Tackle the tediousness of the same tastes by preparing several variations of a meat at once. Chicken is a prime example. Instead of a large pan of plain, baked chicken, separate your pan into three sections (using tin foil) and season the chicken in each section with a different flavor. BBQ, Hot ‘n’ Spicy, Honey Mustard, the options are endless!
3. Prep Veggies in Advance
When HANGER hits, ain’t nobody got time to prep a bunch of vegetables for a side dish or salad. Avoid the pitfalls around grabbing something unhealthy in times of dire hunger by cutting, chopping, slicing and even spiralizing veggies to be used as a part of any quick meal. Zucchini noodles (aka “zoodles”) will stay fresh for 3-5 days, and chopped vegetables (ex. carrots, onion, pepper and cucumber) should last a week if refrigerated properly in a sealed bag or container.
4. Customize Oatmeal Jars
Oatmeal is loaded with fiber and low- glycemic carbs, so it’s sure to keep you satiated for a while. Be aware, however, most pre-packaged variations have a ton of sugar, additives and preservatives. If you DIY by using portable glass jars, you’re able to control the contents. Mix up the toppings to keep your tummy and tastebuds guessing.
5. Assemble Salad Jars
Are you hesitant to pre-make salad because you’re afraid to deal with a soggy aftermath? Have no fear! Layering veggies in a glass jar will save them from getting yucky before your midday meal. Start with your dressing on the bottom. Then place sturdier veggies (ex. Peppers, beets, celery) next, followed by leafy greens on top. *Note*: A paper towel at the top will help absorb any unwanted moisture if you’re storing the salad for a few days.
6. Use Muffin Tins for Breakfast Cups
Frittatas seem fancy, but you can enjoy a variety of them for various meals over the course of the week by only cooking once! How, you ask? Make-ahead egg muffins! Cook up a few recipes in advance (like this one), and store them (for up to five days). They’re quick, easy, nutritious, and you won’t get bored! – WINNING!
7. Make Your Own Protein Snacks
Protein is a macronutrient that not only provides amino acids essential for muscle building and recovery, but it also keeps hunger and cravings at bay. Instead of reaching for a packaged protein bar loaded with calories and sugar, try making your own version (like these Paleo Cookie Dough Bars). Depending on ingredients, a batch may last to a week in the fridge or freezer.
-Health & Wellness Coach