When it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, a little planning goes a long way! Meal planning and preparation can save you time, money and stress, decrease food waste and minimize those dreaded, last-minute “I’m starving” poor food choices. From choosing weekly menus to prepping ingredients and keeping the freezer stocked, here are a few tips and tricks to help you feel prepared for a week of healthy eats!
Plan Your Weekly Meals: This can be as simple as setting a schedule of meals for the week or choosing a few main vegetables and proteins that you would like to use each week. Shopping for specific recipes is a great way to save time and money each week.
Pre-Cut Ingredients: Instead of simply putting your groceries away, take some time to wash and prep certain food items. Fruits and vegetables can be pre-cut for easy snacking or use in recipe. Staple items like carrots, celery and onion can be diced for use in a variety of recipes.
Cook Ahead: Set aside thirty minutes each week to cook a batch of rice, quinoa or beans that you can use during the week. The same goes for vegetables. I love having cooked vegetables on hand for use at breakfast, lunch and dinner. I cook a few pieces of chicken and some hard boiled eggs as well.
DIY Salad Dressing: making your own salad dressing is as easy as olive oil, vinegar and a touch of mustard shaken together in your favorite jar! Most store bought salad dressing using inexpensive, inflammatory oils so the simple swap of making this on your own is great for your overall health!
Pre-package Snacks: Snacking can get all of us in trouble so I try to plan ahead and have healthy snack options pre-portioned and stashed in all the right places like my bag, my car and my house. Nuts, trail mix, dried fruit and health muffins are great for on the go!
Here are two Sunday prep recipes you will love! (click to view)
By: Katie Cavuto, MS, RD