Nicole Palmieri, who is currently studying Dietetics at the University of Dayton, shared with Healthy Lombard that… whether you are busy running around with kids, completing errands, or constantly working, it seems that there is always another task on the to-do list to cross off. Being on the go for most of the day can create little time and energy given to the food we choose to eat. Instead of grabbing the most convenient meal or snack, preparing your meals at the beginning of the week will be a time-saver and ensure you are fitting in a nutritious meal, even on your busiest days!
Here are some ideas for meal prep:
- First, pick your base: arugula, spinach, a spring mix, or kale.
- Then, pick your protein: chicken, tofu, a hard-boiled egg, edamame, or chickpeas.
- Next, pick your starch: sweet potato, corn, peas, squash, and there are plenty more options!
- Now, load up on the vegetables – select your favorites! I like adding tomatoes, cucumbers, and roasting broccoli, red onion, and zucchini.
- Finally, top it off with a healthy fat such as avocado slices, a sprinkle of hemp hearts, walnuts, or a drizzle of olive oil! Save the olive oil to add on the day you are eating it, so the salad does not get soggy!
I love making a batch of brown rice and dividing it into a few containers, adding a protein like chicken and edamame, pan-sauteed vegetables, and putting coconut amino acids (a low sodium soy sauce alternative!) on the side for the upcoming week’s lunches. Brown rice offers more fiber and whole grains than white rice, which helps our digestive tract run smoothly and keeps us full for longer.
Making a taco salad ahead of time and pairing it with soft taco shells on the day you are eating them is a great way to make a travel-friendly meal! I like to combine chopped lettuce, tomatoes, low-fat cheese, ground beef, black beans, avocado and lime juice for my taco salad. Instead of soft taco shells, I will opt for jicama wraps, which are a lower-carb alternative!
A veggie burger is a great meal to prepare ahead of time and will fuel you throughout the busy day! I love Dr. Praeger’s California Veggie Burger and pairing it with a whole wheat bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, and hummus.
If you do not get hungry enough at lunch to eat a whole meal, it can be beneficial to prepare a snack platter ahead of time that you can pick at throughout the day! Try to include the following: vegetables, protein, and carbohydrates. A few ideas are carrot and celery sticks, cucumber slices with hummus, cheese cubes, hard-boiled eggs, unsalted mixed nuts, and whole wheat crackers!
I hope you found these ideas helpful and that you try preparing your meals ahead of time this week!