We're back with another FULL WEEK of meal prep ideas. Here is what I prepped as a dietitian this week!
What is ingredient prep?
Happy New Year! We have officially made it through the first week of the year. With the start of a new year, there is always messaging promoting becoming a "new you" and making drastic life changes in pursuit of health- and I hate it. So this year, I'm here to remind you that health is all about making small, manageable changes that can easily be SUSTAINED as part of your lifestyle.
As a dietitian my motto is 'nutrition doesn't need to be overly complicated' and one of my favorite ways to help make life a little easier is prepping a few things ahead of time. Before you get scared, not hat doesn't mean we're spending all day Sunday making chicken, broccoli and rice.
My suggestion is to spend 1 hour on Sunday prepping a few staple ingredients that you can easily add to a variety of meals. By doing this, you'll be spending less time in the kitchen during the week and more time eating healthy, EASY meals!
MY SIMPLE MEAL PREPPING FORMULA:
- 1 x grab and go breakfast - Thinnk overnight oats, baked oats, or egg cups. Try to make enough for 3 breakfasts to avoid getting bored.
- 1-2 x balanced snacks - I can't be the only one that finds myself reaching for whatever is in sight when I get hungry. To help myself make healthier choices I like to have a few snack options prepped and ready to go for these moments. Choose something that is high in protein and fiber!
- 1x versatile protein for lunches- This can be a whole protein such as chicken, tofu, beans etc. or a salad variation ie. tuna salad, chicken salad, smashed chickpea salad. Try to make it versatile so you can add it to wraps, salads, sandwiches etc.!
- 1x fiber-filled carbohydrate source to use as a base of your meals (quinoa, rice, pasta, etc.)
- Properly wash and store your produce- I recommend chopping up 3-4 vegetables or fruits. This will make it much more likely they will get eaten!
If this seems overwhelming- start small. Anything is better than nothing so try prepping just one breakfast or a dip to pair with veggies week and see if it's helpful for you!
HERE IS WHAT'S ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
Quick & Easy Lunch:
For me, lunch always the most difficult meal of the day. I'm either running out the door, or have absolutely no motivation to cook a nourishing meal. Which is why I always try to prep one protein and one versatile vegetable-based staple that I can use in multiple meals such as wraps, sandwiches and salad!
Snacks are arguably the most important part of my day. Having a few healthy snack ideas prepped and ready to go help keep me feeling full and energized throughout the day!
- These bars are so customizable, I just used dried cranberries and walnuts as the mix-ins!
Dip ideasto pair with veggies or crackers:
To wash and store produce:
- I use a ratio of 2 cups cold water to 1 teaspoon baking soda as an easy cleaning solution for my fruits and veggies! Just let the produce soak for about 5 minutes before rinsing and draining.
- For optimal storage and to increase freshness I recommend drying your produce thoroughly and placing a sheet of paper towel at the bottom of your storage container to help absorb any excess moisture!
- For packaged, pre-washed leafy greens (such as spinach) I recommend placing a folded paper towel at the top of the container, closing the lid and storing the package upside down to catch excess moisture.
Quinoa is one of my go-tos for an easy carbohydrate source to have on hand for meals during the week. However some other great options include rice, Bulgar faro, pasta or one of these, easy meal-prep friendly carbohydrates:
Meal prep storage containers:
- 9 piece- glass container set with lids - these are great because it comes with small, medium and large options!
- 5 piece- glass container set with lids- I find medium containers are the most versatile, so if you are looking for just the medium sized, these are a great option!
I get asked where I got my vegetable tray every single time I post it. Unfortunately the exact one my family has is OLD, and I haven't been able to find a link for the exact same one (if you ever find it please let me know).
However, I've rounded up a few similar options you can try out:
- Covered veggie tray with dip holder
- Round locking veggie tray
- Round covered veggie tray
- Covered veggie tray with handle (but no dip holder)
More meal prep ideas
Looking for more weekly meal prep ideas? I've got you covered:
- Week 1 meal prep round-up
- Week 2 meal prep round-up
- Week 3 meal prep round-up
- A full list of all my meal-prep friendly recipes!
Hopefully you found this post helpful! If you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to ask! As always, if you would like more meal ideas and nutrition tips don't forget to join my email newsletter list for a weekly f recipe ideas sent directly to your inbox!!
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you decide to make any of these meal prep recipes, don't forget to snap a photo and tag me on Instagram- @nourishedbynic! I also always appreciate comments on the posts here on the site!