I knew life would change when I recently moved in with my fiancé — but I had no idea just how much I'd learn! We love having our own home, and it’s become even more apparent to me just how important meal preparation is. We’re committed to healthy living, and that requires some planning.
I have to make meal prep a priority so that I can manage other aspects of my life without compromising my commitment to good health. Even though I'm a nutritionist, and constantly talking about healthy food and habits, I still need to put in the time to make them part of my life. It’s worth it, because eating clean a life changer.
These are my six top tips for weekly food prep so you can eat healthy without stressing about it.
1. Prep salad ingredients.
I chop carrots, cucumber, celery, fennel and lettuce into glass containers so they’re ready for salads and snacks throughout the week.
2. Roast vegetables.
I make a batch of roasted veggies to jazz up my lunch salads or use them for dinner. My favorite combination is root veggies with some green. I’ll chop carrots, sweet potatoes, fennel, and Brussels sprouts into bite-sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with whatever- herbs-I-have-handy, and roast for about 30 minutes until browned.
3. Make a batch of protein balls.
These protein balls are the perfect pick-me-up snack for mid-morning — or for the dreaded mid-afternoon slump. They're free of refined sugar and absolutely delish! (Another fun recipe: these almond butter chocolate protein balls.)
4. Make extra protein at dinner.
I make extra fish, chicken or meat to use in the next day’s lunch, which I will often prep and pack in advance if it’s going to be a busy one.
5. Fill the ice cartons in the freezer ... for smoothies!
I absolutely love my smoothies! They’re a super quick and easy breakfast or snack. Toss some greens, frozen banana, frozen berries, and liquid of your choice (coconut water, water, or almond milk are good bets) and whizz until ready. For some sweetness, add a dash of maple syrup.
6. Stock up on good stuff.
I try to shop just once a week for any major pantry essentials, though I will make a few mini-trips for fresh produce as needed.
These items are always in my healthy kitchen:
- Grains: quinoa, amaranth, organic and gluten-free rolled oats
- Raw nuts and seeds: almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sunflower and chia seeds
- A jar of natural almond butter
- Oils: coconut and virgin olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar (New to ACV? Here are 15 reasons to use it daily)
- Raw honey
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Herbs: mint, parsley, coriander, rosemary and basil
- Spices: cinnamon, cumin, paprika, turmeric, chili flakes, garlic, ginger
- Greens: kale, spinach, rocket, zucchini, broccoli, sprouts, avocado
- Fruits: lemon, berries, green apples
I’ve compiled a full compendium of pantry/fridge essentials on my blog.
Photo courtesy of the author