By Liz McGehee
Food is the body’s fuel. Yet many of us opt for convenience foods over fruits and veggies. Preparing meals ahead of time is cost-effective, healthy and gives us the energy we need to succeed throughout the day. But I don’t have time to meal prep!
According to an American Journal of Health Behavior study on work hours and perceived barriers to healthful eating, lack of time is the go-to excuse for lazy diet choices. While our demanding schedules are more than just perception, that’s no excuse to ignore your health.
Make a schedule. Pick a free day, like Sunday, to shop and prep. Think about what you want to eat the following week and write it down.
Go shopping. Avoid impulse buys, which are often unhealthy. Plan on three meals a day for seven days plus snacks. For lunch and dinner, you want to include one lean or plant-based protein, one complex carb and one side of veggies. Oh, and don’t forget to buy lots and lots of Tupperware®!
Salad hack. To keep ingredients fresh and dry, pack your salad in a jar. Start by adding dressing to the bottom of the jar. Follow with your heavier ingredients. Place lettuce on top to prevent soggy leaves. Pour the contents into a large bowl, or, if there is space in the jar, just shake and eat directly from the container.
Make your life easy. A crockpot is crucial on lazy days. Just throw in your ingredients, turn the knob and go. When you get home from a long work day, a delicious healthy meal is already there to greet you.
- Apples + peanut butter
- Hummus + carrots (and other crudites)
- Turkey + grapes
- Almonds + berries
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Tomatoes + olive oil + feta cheese
- Instant oatmeal
- String cheese
- Granola bars
- Turkey jerky