Let’s be real here. There’s nothing easy about healthy eating. It takes a lot more work to put together a healthy meal at the end of the day than it does to just pop a Lean Cuisine in the microwave or to order take-out. You could take the easy way out, but who wants to consume all the sodium and weird ingredients in a frozen meal or the high calories and fat that come with most take-out meals?
There’s an easy way to cut back on your cooking time and avoid microwaving your dinner. Use Sunday as your prep day! If you spend just a few hours (or even less) getting ready for the week ahead, you’re pretty much guaranteed to eat clean, healthy meals the rest of the week. Here are some tips to help you plan for a week of healthy eating:
- If you have kids, prep a couple of days of school lunches. It’ll save you tons of time in the morning while you’re getting the kids ready for school.
- Soups are great to make ahead and freeze for dinners and workday lunches.
- Grill chicken and store in plastic containers. You can use it in wraps, throw it over a salad or in pasta.
- Cook batches of pasta and brown rice to have on hand for quick dinners.
- Chop all your vegetables and store in plastic containers. The last thing you want to do when you come home from work is spend a half hour just chopping vegetables.
- Chop fruit like bananas, pineapple, strawberries, any kind of melon, etc… to freeze and throw in smoothies or defrost and serve over ice cream.
- Pop a big batch of popcorn and store in a plastic container. Great for kids to grab for an after-school snack.
- Cook batches of pancakes and freeze them in plastic bags. Who doesn’t like pancakes on a random Wednesday morning?
- Cook any sauces you plan to use during the week and store in the freezer. If you have a lot of time, cook extra to have on hand for other weeks.
- If you eat a Paleo or other high protein diet, cook an entire roast or chicken to have tons of protein on hand for the week.
- Boil a dozen eggs to have on hand as a quick snack or to throw together egg salad in minutes.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. I’d love to read yours in the comments!