One vital behavior that contributes to my healthy eating success is food prep on the weekends. On weeks that I skip the food prep I find that I cheat on my meal plan more often. I eat out more and I tend make more choices that don’t align with my goals. So food prep has become more and more a solid part of my weekend plans. Here are some of the things I’ve incorporated into my process.
Smoothie bags: I make 5 zipper bags of ingredients for my 5 week-day smoothies. On a normal day when I don’t do the food prep it takes me so long to make my smoothie because of all the different ingredients. My smoothie bags contain 1 scoop of Shakeology, 1/2 scoop whey protein powder, 2 teaspoons of chia seeds or flaxseeds, 1 cup of kale, 2 cups of spinach, and a 1/2 cup of berries. Once I add all the ingredients I freeze the bags. Each morning I dump the contents of the bag into my blender with water and I add a 1/2 c of coconut milk and blend.
Eggs: I boil 8-10 eggs. I usually take 2 eggs to work as a snack or I add them to my salad.
Salad Jars: I usually make 4 or 5 salad jars. I use large mason jars and I put the salad dressing on the bottom. Coconut Ranch dressing is my favorite at the moment. I then add a layer of ingredients that don’t tend to get soggy. These ingredients will vary week to week but some of my favorites are radishes, broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini. If I am adding any nuts or dried fruit or anything like that I would add them now. The last ingredient is the lettuce or spinach or other greens. This keeps them away from the dressing and helps keep them from getting soggy. The mason jars help keep the salads amazingly fresh. At lunch time I turn the jar upside down and let the dressing drain down into the salad and then dump in all on to a plate or into a bowl. Add a protein and BAM, lunch is done!
Oatmeal jars: For variety with breakfast I also make oatmeal jars. I use the smaller mason jars for these. To make these I put 1/2 a cup of oatmeal in the jar and then I add various ingredients to make it tastier. My favorite recipe is dried apples (cut in small pieces) and cinnamon with a variety of nuts. Dried bananas and nuts is another favorite of mine. Use your imagination for more variety. In the morning add 1 cup of hot water to the jar, mix together and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I usually add the water before my shower and when I’m done, my breakfast is hot and ready.
Proteins: Throughout the week we make extra proteins with our meals to package up for lunches. For example when we make a chicken dish, we make 2 or 3 extra pieces and bag them up individually. That way when I’m packing my lunch I can grab a salad jar and a serving of chicken and I have the makings of a perfect lunch.
Any time we have food leftover after dinner I package up a couple of individual servings instead of putting it all in one container. Every minute saved in the morning is one step closer to a better day!
Veggies: When I get back from the grocery store I wash and prep some of my vegetables. Some vegetables I leave as is until I am ready to use them. I find if I peel and slice my zucchini and cucumber, sometimes it gets mushy before the week is up so I leave them alone. Other items I prepare right away to make the week easier. I cut florets off of my cauliflower and broccoli, trim my radishes, etc. That way if I want to pack raw veggies or make some steamed veggies it’s easy to grab a handful and prepare them without any extra steps.
I would love to hear your food prep tips. I could always use new ideas. Let me know in the comments how you make healthy eating easier.