Want to stay healthy, even during hectic days? You can maintain your new year’s resolutions despite being occupied with a million other to-do’s. Plan you meals ahead of time and you’ll find yourself eating well even when it’s busy.
When you cook smarter you can steer clear of easy — but maybe less great for you — picks on the go. Make a few decisions ahead of time to have the best luck at eating protein-packed breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
Keep a few tasty items in rotation to so you can mix and match your way to multiple meals throughout the week. That includes lunch at home or in the office, where you’ll be strong enough to avoid the lure of vending machines and the siren song of that-place-up-the-street. BYO meals FTW. Here are five meal prep tips to get you started.
Overnight it. When you absolutely, positively have zero time in the morning to make anything, overnight your breakfast. Meaning: compotes and overnight oats are great ways to make easy meals for the a.m. Try easy overnight oats for a protein-packed meal with Orgain Protein Powder.
You can also simmer dried fruit in equal parts green tea for about 15-20 minutes until tender, cool the mixture and spoon it into four mugs or short glasses. Add orange slices, half a cup of yogurt and top with sliced or chopped almonds. Refrigerate these fruit compote tumblers and thank yourself later.
- Double up dinner. When cooking dinner, make it twice as nice … or three or four times, even. Basic meal building blocks like tofu or black beans can go a long way for lunches later on. Sides like rice and vegetables pull double duty when you serve them up again, or you can take your main course and incorporate some other featured players (see number 3).
- Set up staples. You’ve planned your protein ahead of time, now lock in some sides. Vegetables and other accoutrements/items can make for the perfect mix and match meal prep items. Try sautéed strips of green and red peppers, sliced onions and fresh herbs like cilantro, to put into rotation. Cook rice, quinoa or other grains for the week, with a day or two of shredded lettuce as a base, and mix and match these building blocks for simple lunches.
- Get saucy. If you start to feel like your meal-making mania is in a rut, incorporate flavorful additions like tahini dressing and salsa. Adding a couple of scoops of salsa turns a bean and rice dish into a burrito bowl. Throwing a dash of tahini dressing mixed with Greek or plain non-dairy yogurt to a falafel dish gives it a Mediterranean spin.
- Pass the bar. A protein bar is a simple go-to snack that is packed with nutrients and saves you from being spoon-deep in break room sheet cake by three when you forget to bring lunch to the office. Organic protein bars are packed with vegan protein and way less sugar than birthday cake, so you’ll be coming out ahead in late lunch choices when you grab one of these.
Comment below to share how you meal prep or on social media with #newyearrenewyou.