By now I’m sure you’ve heard the words “meal prep” and either thrive off the challenge or roll your eyes and go back to binge-watching the TV show of the moment. I think Sunday meal prepping has gotten a bad rep as an impossible task. Here are my best tips to cross that bridge into prepping so that you can employ healthier eating strategies throughout the weekdays.
1. Hard-boil a bunch of eggs every Sunday
Eggs are a great source of protein and so versatile; they’re not just breakfast food!
- Throw them into a green salad for or make into an egg salad for sandwiches for lunch or dinner.
- Bring them whole for snack time – I keep everything bagel seasoning at my desk as a condiment for plain eggs.
- Sliced hard-boiled eggs are great on avocado toast to increase the protein content and leave you feeling more satisfied.
2. Grill or roast a few different vegetables over the weekend
Having cooked veggies on hand for the week can ensure you meet that daily produce quota and can prevent excess take out for dinner. Pick 2 to 3 vegetables during your weekly shop, and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper to cook.
- Buy some of the FreshDirect pre-cooked proteins to pair with your prepped veggies for a healthy and quick lunch or dinner. My favorites are our miso salmon fillets, barbecue turkey burgers, and our homemade veggie burgers.
- Prepped vegetables go great in omelets or pasta dishes.
- Roasted veggies can double as a snack, bring some hummus or other dip and snack away.
- Mix them up throughout the week – one day plain, one day throw some pesto sauce on them, one day add marinara and those vegetables will stay exciting when you’re sick of eating them.
3. Buy pre-made items for less cooking time
Being realistic about your timelines for cooking and meal assembly during the week is key. Buying a few items pre-cooked by FreshDirect is a great way to cut time and have something on hand that is ready in minutes.
- Our sides in a snap line has a variety of vegetables and starches to use as side dishes. Each item serves about 2-3 people and comes with about 3 days of shelf life, so you can shop for Monday delivery and enjoy these through Thursday.
- We also have pre-cooked entrees for any size family – from serves one to serves six, we have vegetarian, meat and seafood options that just require reheating in the oven or microwave.
4. Stock up on snacks
Having healthy snacks on hand can keep the munching at bay and eating more filling items throughout the day can help prevent late-night unhealthy snacking. Count the number of snacks you and your family will need for the week and have those ready to go. Prepping out individual containers can help with the morning grab and go rush.
- Fruits & Veggies – I always recommend that you incorporate fruit and vegetables into snacks first. Fresh fruit is best seasonally, and vegetables are better with a yummy dip like hummus or tzatziki.
- Fruit Snacks With No Added Sugar – the variety of fruit snacks with no added sugar has grown tremendously and we have a great assortment of brands. My favorites are: Plum Organic teensy fruits, You Love Fruit leathers, Nature’s Bandit fruit and veggie stix, Kind Bar Pressed fruit bars, Larabar, and Crispy Fruit freeze-dried fruits.
- Yogurts & Cheese Sticks – big snacktime favorites, I opt for the Siggi’s brand of yogurt, both the no sugar added line and their regular line, which has a very low amount of added sugar for flavored yogurt. Any string cheeses are a good choice for a protein-rich, filling snack as well.
- Nuts – individual snack packs of nuts are a great item to have on hand. Try to go for raw or dry roasted nuts as much as you can.
5. Plan for after Wednesday
Starting out the week strong is a good habit to build, but by Wednesday the good intentions often go by the wayside. Here are a few ways to make it to Friday with your prepping:
- Re-prep on Wednesday, either night or morning, whenever you have the time. Sunday prep can help get us through most of the week, but some items may run out and it’s key to prioritize that those get a refresh on Wednesday.
- Write it down! On Sunday night, write down your meal plan for the week. This can look different for everyone – whiteboard in the kitchen, a note on your phone, a shared calendar with your family. Fold the meal plan into the way that you already organize your schedule.
- Shop with your plan in mind. The first step is writing down the meal plan, the second step is having the ingredients on hand. Use the FreshDirect shopping list function or plan based on our weekly deals to set the blueprint for your week’s meals.
My last tip is – don’t beat yourself up! No one is perfect, and life gets in the way of our plans sometimes. Do the best you can and celebrate the small victories you achieve towards your goals along the way.