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easy meal prep

Meal prep is great and all, but in my opinion, the real key to success with nutrition is being on top of your snack game. SNACKS. Aren’t they the greatest? I don’t know about you, but I am constantly hungry, and pretty much always in the mood for a snack.

A lot of feedback I get about meal prep is that people are afraid of being hungry, or that they don’t think the meal will be enough food. Well, that’s kind of the point, and that’s also where snacks come in. By eating lighter meals and then having small snacks throughout the day, we are constantly fueling our bodies for the day! And by having nutritious snacks prepared in advance, you won’t need to worry about going hungry at all.

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should be chowing down on chips, candy or just anything you can get your hands on. I’m talking about planning balanced, nutritious, and tasty snacks to keep your metabolism going all day long and to prevent yourself from getting hungry.

The Rules of Snacking

Snacking is often vilified as some evil thing that makes you fat and unhealthy. Let me shake that stigma. Snacking shouldn’t be something you do when you’re bored, but more so something you do every couple hours or so when you need a boost of energy, if you’re feeling a little hungry, and to keep your metabolism going.

Ideally, you should try to eat one snack between every meal, before and/or after a workout, or late at night if you’re hungry but don’t want to eat a big meal before you sleep.

A good snack will have protein and some carbs (slice of cheese and an apple). Maybe some healthy fats (such as avocado or peanut butter or nuts). I usually crave savory things in the morning, and sweet things in the afternoon, so my snack schedule will look something like this, for example:

  • Mid-morning (after breakfast, before lunch): 1/2 cup baby carrots with 2 tbsp hummus
  • Mid-afternoon (after lunch, before dinner): small apple with 2 tbsp peanut butter

Before a workout I’ll usually go for carbs with a little protein for energy (think, slice of toast with peanut butter). After a workout I’ll usually go for some protein so I can build some muscle! (usually I’ll go for a protein shake or some eggs or chicken sausage)

How to Prep Snacks

Snack size Ziplock bags and multi-compartment reusable storage containers are your friends. I personally love to create little “Snack Boxes” to bring with me to work each week. I made these for my guy to bulk up at the gym too, and he loves them! Snack boxes are good for portions, and heck, they’re just fun. Look at em. Prep them on a Sunday, throw them in the fridge, and grab one every day before you head out the door to work.

Healthy Snack Options

The goal here is to watch your servings. Shoot for 100-200 calories per snack, and pay attention to your portions!

  • 1 chicken sausage link
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 2 boiled eggs
  • 1 handful unsalted nuts
  • 2 oz cold cuts like turkey breast or salami
  • string cheese
  • 2 tbsp hummus & 1/2 cup baby carrots
  • 1 small apple & 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 slice toast with 1/4 avocado mashed, or 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • Greek yogurt with blueberries & drizzle of honey
  • Protein shake
  • sliced strawberries & string cheese
  • Protein bar (lower in sugar, the better)

There are soooo many other snack options out there, but just by looking at these, it doesn’t seem too difficult to prep some snacks right? Happy snacking everyone!

 

April 7, 2017
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On the menu this week: Ground turkey, brown rice, beans, and salads full of veggies. This might be one of the easiest, leanest meal preps I do. And when I am looking to cut back after a long holiday season, vacation, or weekend of crappy eating, I go straight to this meal prep. Why? The ground turkey and beans are full of lean protein to keep me full, the brown rice gives me energy, and the salads are full of veggies for all those delicious green nutrients. Plus, this meal prep is SUPER easy to make!

This meal prep is ideal for anyone interested in weight loss, gains at the gym, or anyone just looking for a reset with their diet.

I usually wind up cooking high-calorie meal preps for my fiancé since he likes to train heavy in the gym and burns a TON of calories with his workouts every day. However, recently he sustained an injury on his shoulder and needs to take a break from heavy eating. As a result, I have been making him lower-calorie meal preps for the week so he doesn’t over-do it.

A common misconception about meal prep is that it takes a long time or is difficult to make. Wrong! This meal prep took all of about 30 mins or less – most the time was spent chopping the veggies and assembling into the food containers!

For the salads, I chopped up some kale, raw broccoli, white mushrooms, Persian cucumbers, radish, and topped with some sprouts for a nice punch of fresh veggies! Since the meal prep this week was protein heavy with the beans and ground turkey, I chose to not add additional protein to the salad. But feel free to add some chopped chicken or tofu to this bad boy if you wish. When you’re ready to eat your salad, top with some olive oil and a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lemon juice, and enjoy!

And now for the meal prep – check out how easy this recipe is! (Links to the Flavor God spices below).

Flavor God spices:

Garlic Lovers: https://flavorgod.com/shop/product/garlic-lovers-seasoning/#804879389859

Italian Zest: https://flavorgod.com/shop/product/italian-zest-seasoning/#FGS-ITZ-1B 

February 11, 2017
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You know how some people talk about what they would eat if it was their last meal? Well mine would 100% for sure be shrimp scampi pasta. So you’ve got shrimp (yes), garlic (hell yeah), butter (omg yas), pasta (yassss carbssss), and WINE (hallelujah!) all combined into one plate of goodness = pure happiness in my belly.

I’ve cooked scampi so many times, I can’t even count. The pros of this is that I have tested many ways to make this dish, and finally feel I have “nailed” it. So when my fiancé made a special request for shrimp scampi for this week’s meal prep, I was more than happy to oblige. While this meal is definitely not the healthiest if you’re looking for weight loss prep, you can always swap the pasta for some zucchini noodles (my fav!) for a much lower-calorie and veggie friendly option.

Since we decided to go with the regular pasta for this week (we picked fettuccine instead of linguine this time around), we balanced out all the carbs with some huge leafy green salads topped with sliced red bell peppers, Persian cucumbers, radish, and broccoli. Even though this pasta is delicious, you can’t forget to get your greens in!

And now for the main event – the shrimp scampi recipe! I must say, writing this post has made me really hungry. I can just taste all the garlic now…. mmmm….. OK! Go forth and try this recipe – I can’t promise you won’t fall in love with it….

 

 

Try this recipe out? Like it? Love it? Hate it? Leave a comment 🙂

February 6, 2017
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