You might think that as a health coach, I enjoy meal prepping. Here’s the truth: I don’t. Some days it feels effortless and fun and other times, I feel overwhelmed and unorganized. Although I don’t always want to meal prep, I have found it to be very effective in my life over the past few months and I’m always so thankful for it when meal time comes.
My daughter is approaching 9 months old now, which means she’s on the move! She’s crawling and pulling herself up on everything — slow down, baby! Because she’s super mobile, she doesn’t like to be in one place too long or she gets bored, so I’m always crunched for time. Speedy, but healthy meals are my BEST friend – I’m sure most moms out there can attest to this!
I have found that meal prepping on Sundays or throughout the week when I have chunks of time here and there is so helpful. When I’ve chopped and diced my veggies for the week, I’ve got grab and go snacks for meetings and car rides and all the prep work is done for lunches and dinners. We eat humongous salads for lunch most days so having veggies already chopped cuts down on so much time. Whipping up large batches of my favorite breakfast items makes mornings a breeze. This is especially helpful when you wake up really hungry; this is me on most days!
Now that you know why I meal prep and how it’s been beneficial for me, I thought I’d share my top 5 meal prep tips to help add ease to your week.
1. Prep Breakfast
Make chia seed pudding, rawnola or banana muffins in large batches for the whole week so you don’t get tempted to go through the drive through or bagel shop on your way to work. These breakfast options are packed full of protein, fiber, healthy fats and carbohydrates to keep you full and energetic.
2. Prep Veggies and Fruit
Chop veggies, such as carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, broccoli, etc, ahead of time and place in to-go containers or snack baggies for grab and go snacks. Pair your veggies with hummus or eat as is.
Slice your favorite apple into wedges and pair with raw nut butter, sprinkle with cinnamon or eat plain – you can’t go wrong! You can also chop celery sticks and carrots and pair with nut butter. I love this combo.
Fun fact: Did you know that pairing nut butter with an apple is effective in stabilizing your blood sugar? The protein in nut butters balances out the sugar in the apple. No wonder they go together so well.
3. Prep Protein
Bake, grill or broil your favorite protein in large amounts for the whole week. For plant-based proteins, I like tofu and tempeh. They are so delicious when marinated overnight in balsamic vinegar and maple syrup. Legumes such as chickpeas and black beans and nuts and seeds like walnuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are also excellent protein sources. Vegetables are loaded with protein too! If you consume animal products, opt for organic, grass-fed meat and dairy to ensure the healthiest, highest quality.
4. Prep Salads
Put your favorite greens, protein, veggies, legumes, nuts and seeds in large to go containers for quick lunches or dinners. Your veggies and protein are already prepped so this makes prepping your salad for week super easy. Throw everything in except for the dressing so it doesn’t get soggy. If you like chopped salads like myself, a little trick is to use kitchen scissors to chop up the salad so it’s easier to eat. A fork and knife also work!
5. Prep Trail Mix
Buy or make your own trail mix and portion into individual containers/bags for grab and go snacking. Make sure to check the ingredients on any packaged trail mix form the store to ensure it doesn’t have added sugar (a lot of them do). Another option is to buy all your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit and make your own mix. I love to add in cocoa nibs (a healthy chocolate chip) and goji berries for natural sweetness and antioxidant power.
That’s it! I hope this was helpful for you and will make your week a little easier.
Bye for now!