You’ve heard it before, meal prep is the key to getting started on the healthy eating train. And I really believe this, especially if you have a busy schedule. In order to make healthy choices, you have to actually have healthy options. Getting stuck in the kitchen is the best way to guarantee that plenty healthy options are available.
Just think about it, when you are reeeaaally hungry, the last thing you feel like doing is spending time cooking. If you’re anything like me when you’re hungry, you want to grab anything that is in the fridge or pantry that can preferably be put straight into your mouth with minimal effort. And so it is imperative that those things you grab are good for you!
My suggestion is to set aside a couple hours on a Saturday or Sunday (whatever works best for you – it may even be a week day) to do some meal prep. I wrote an earlier post on meal prep if you’d like more convincing, check it out. Here are 8 meal prep ideas for a healthy week:
1. Make trail mixes for a snack on the go
Trail mixes are a great nutritious snack to tide you over before your next meal. It can also be a great addition to a breakfast along with some fruit or boiled eggs. Here is a list of ingredients you can put in your trail mix:
- sunflower seeds
- pumpin seeds
- goji berries
- chopped dates
- cacao nibs
- unsweetened dried fruit
2. Wash and chop/spiralize your veggies
It is so much easier to eat a healthy dinner when you’ve got some already prepped vegetables waiting in the fridge. Ideas for vegetables to prepare for the week:
- Cauliflower rice – cut into florets, wash and blitz in a food processor until fine. Store in a ziplock bag or container in the fridge and fry up just before serving.
- Zoodles – wash and spiralize a zucchini for a zucchini bolognaise in the week.
- Baby tomatoes – wash these and keep in a bowl in the fridge for a quick snack or to add to salads
- Baby cucumbers – same as the baby tomatoes!
- Bell peppers – these are great to add to salads or slice up to dip into guacamole!
3. Make a big batch of soup for a quick nutrient dense dinner
If you have a pressure cooker or slow cooker this is even easier! If not, don’t stress. All you need to do is throw in an assortment of vegetables into a pot of broth or water, let simmer until very soft then blend with an immersion blender (or not) and store in a glass container in the fridge or freezer. When I am in a pickle for dinner or just feel like something light, a soup is super easy to pull out and make sure I get in great nutrition for the last meal of the day! Here are some great soup recipes:
- Roasted Cauliflower Sweet Potato Soup
- Crockpot Paleo Minestrone Soup
- Curried Cauliflower Rice Kale Soup
4. Bake a bunch of sweet potatoes
I just wash and toss whole sweet potatoes into the oven, straight onto the rack. Almost zero effort for this one. Bake them for about an hour or until soft when pressed. You can then pull one out of the fridge to have with a salad and some protein (see below for prep for this) for quick lunches!
5. Grill a batch of veggies
Wash and chop vegetables then place on a baking sheet to roast. Different vegetables cook at different times so make sure to group vegetables on the tray that cook at the same rate. Veggies like butternut, potatoes, cauliflower, carrots, parsnips and onions roast slowly. Softer vegetables like zucchini, tomatoes, mushrooms and asparagus take a lot quicker. Grilled veggies are great to add to salads or as a side for dinners.
6. Boil some eggs
Eggs are a great nutrient-dense food, I just love how versatile and filling they are! Boil up a whole bunch for the week to easily add to salads, as a side to meals or for a quick snack.
7. Prepare some protein
Protein is an important macronutrient and helps us feel satiated after eating a meal. Preparing some healthy protein options for the week is super helpful.
- Pan fry a whole bunch of chicken breasts with some seasoning to add to veggies/salads for lunches and dinner.
- Make a casserole like this one that can be eaten for lunch or a quick dinner.
- Buy cans of sardines (in olive oil) to go with your salad or side of veggies.
- Stir-fry some beef and add this to veggies for a wholesome meal.
- Soak lentils or chickpeas overnight and boil them until cooked to add to salads. Alternatively for even more convenience (but not as healthy) buy these canned.
8. Bake healthy breakfasts in a muffin tin
Muffins and other muffin tin goodies are a great meal prep friend! You can pack loads of nutritious ingredients into them and if you make a tray or two, they’ll last you the whole week for breakfasts. Here are some great healthy muffin tin recipes:
- Paleo Breakfast Muffins (grain-free, sugar-free)
- Carrot Ginger Muffins (grain-free, sugar-free)
- Bacon Spinach Breakfast Frittata Muffins (grain-free, sugar-free)
- Healthy Blender Sweet Potato Muffins (gluten-free, vegan)
Other healthy recipes you can prepare in advance
- Raw Cacao Goji Berry Crunchies – a great snack or treat!
- Date Energy Balls – another great snack or treat!
- Cajun Sausage and Veggie Casserole – a great dinner that can be made vegan by substituting sausages with chickpeas.
- Simple Asian Beef Stir-fry
Enjoy meal prepping, friends and let me know what works for you!