When I mention meal prep to my clients as a way to eat more healthy, they often feel overwhelmed. Then I remind them that I don’t mean make all the meals for the week! Meal prepping can mean prepping a few things that you’ll use for several meals, or writing out just 3 days of dinners, or refilling your pantry with your staples.
If I don’t do a little meal prep every few days, I find myself getting home after work starving, staring into the fridge blankly, and ending the evening with take out. Sound familiar? For me, it’s dinners that need some planning. For others, it might be breakfast because mornings can be busy! For many, making a few healthy snacks for the week helps to reduce the mindless muffins and donuts that call your name from the office lunchroom.
Here are 5 quick meal prep ideas to help ease some stress so you can feel better about what you are eating, feel more prepared, energized by the right foods, and probably save some pennies.
Make some smoothie packs. Set out 5 or so reusable freezer bags or containers, and fill each one with a handful of spinach, 1/2 banana, 1/2 C berries, chopped avocado, hemp hearts, ground flax, a dash of cinnamon and maybe some nuts. Each morning, empty one bag into a blender, add your liquid (milk of choice or water), and blend!
Roast some veggies. Each week, I chop a variety of veggies (some are leftover from the week before), toss them in olive oil, sea salt and spices, and roast them until tender. I have them for the week for soups, salads, side dishes, and to use with my favourite dips as healthy snacks. You can even roll them up with some greens and hummus into a whole grain wrap for quick lunches-to-go.
Hard boil some eggs. When you need a little protein mid-day or post-workout, eggs are a quick fix. I perfectly boil eggs for 7 minutes so they aren’t too dry, and I add them to salads, or make egg salad with avocado instead of mayo. One of my favourite snacks is a protein box with a handful of nuts, some dried fruit, apple slices, 1 Tbsp almond butter or hummus, and a hard boiled egg.
Make a big pot of quinoa or rice. This one saves alot of time, especially if you like to add a good grain to your daily meals. I always know I have a pot of ready-to-go grains in the fridge to top up my meals, to serve with soup, to use in wraps with leftovers, mason jar salads, or to use as a side dish with extra veggies.
Bliss balls are the bomb. I mix up the ingredients each time I make these, sometimes using almond butter, raw nuts, different dried fruit, sometimes I roll them in shredded coconut, sometimes I add chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless and there is no cooking involved, so they are a quick, healthy snack to keep on hand. When I find myself starving after work or after teaching a fitness class, I pop a bliss ball in my mouth and then I can get my dinner started.
However and how much you meal prep, it all makes a difference in your food choices, stress levels, time management and health! Aim to start small, even start with planning out your meals or snacks for a few days at a time. Write out a grocery list so you have everything you need on hand, and have fun 🙂
What’s your meal prep routine? Any good hacks we should know about?