I have found that one key piece of the puzzle to losing weight is simplicity. If you can find a few recipes and foods that you enjoy for the week, you will find that you are able to hit your goals a lot easier, taking out a ton of guess work and simply work.
It doesn’t mean that you can’t be creative in the kitchen and experiment with new foods, it simply means that tracking your intake and knowing how much you are eating is much easier.
While I don’t take an entire day to meal prep, I do try to make things easy. If that means preparing a batch of certain foods on a Sunday for you, then great! And if you do meal prep, you already know how much easier it makes your life once your workweek kicks off.
But for others, the idea of spending a Saturday or Sunday afternoon stuck in a hot kitchen cooking and shoving food into Tupperware just does not sound like a good time.
Thankfully, food prep does not have to rule your weekend or life for that matter. There are plenty of options available for healthy, batch-cooked meals that take very little of your time to prep. Here are a few of my favorites!
If your schedule is too packed to cook, then this recipe is a lifesaver! Prep time is 10 minutes or less. Just toss the ingredients in the crock pot for 6-8 hours while you go about your day.
Once cooked and ready to eat, you can use this chicken for several of your meals:
- Pair with your favorite veggie for a quick and easy lunch
- Pop into a whole wheat tortilla with lettuce and tomato for healthy tacos
- Add spinach, craisins and almonds for a healthy salad
- Or eat solo as a protein boost when you get hungry in the afternoon
Hard Boiled Eggs
Never underestimate the protein power (and simplicity) of the hardboiled egg! You can easily prepare 5, 10, or even 24 eggs in 30 minutes or less, and the menu options once ready are plenty!
- Use avocado, mayonnaise and mustard to make healthy deviled eggs for snacks
- Create a batch of egg salad which can be served over spinach or folded into a whole wheat tortilla for lunch. Egg white egg salad works as well with loads of less fat
- Need a mini meal before your workout? Have 1-2 hardboiled eggs with a laughing cow wedge on a rice cake
Plain chicken may seem boring, but there are thousands of ways for you to prepare grilled chicken and it definitely does not have to be boring!
- Healthy Chicken Parmesean – simply place your favorite tomato sauce and part skim mozzarella over the chicken and bake
- Cut up chicken, add any and all veggies you like, season with soy sauce or Liquid Aminos, serve over warm rice
- Cut up chicken, add any and all veggies you like, add tomato sauce, sprinkle with parmesan cheese (or bake with part skim mozzarella)
Apples and Peanut Butter
This quick and easy snack can be packed up and taken almost anywhere. The best part is, there’s no prep work needed! Simply buy a bag of your favorite apples, grab a small container of natural peanut butter or almond butter and you’re ready to roll! You can eat for a snack or, if you’re craving something sweet, use as your dessert. Pair it with a protein shake for a complete meal.
This isn’t necessarily a meal, but it makes meal prep easy! Vegetables bring volume to any meal with little calories, so to have them on hand is always a great idea! You can sauté them, roast them or steam them, just add little olive oil or olive oil spray, some fresh garlic or garlic powder, a dash of salt and add them to your protein for a complete meal.
You can also purchase riced cauliflower, edamame, even chopped onions to make your meals easy and delicious.
Looking for a hearty meal option that can be served up more than one way? This fabulous flank steak will be your savior! In true crock pot style, your prep time is minimal – just add ingredients, slow cook and go! Then package it up as any of these amazing meal options:
- Pair with Zucchini (as pictured) for lunch or dinner
- Add in brown rice or a sweet potato
- Fold into a tortilla for tacos any time
- Pair with mashed cauliflower and gravy
Prepping your weekly breakfast couldn’t possibly be any easier than with these egg white muffins. You can make as many dozen of these as you desire for the week, and not every muffin needs to be exactly the same!
Mix it up – fold in veggies and feta cheese for a few. Add turkey sausage to a couple or try peppers and spinach. They take only five minutes to prepare and about 15 minutes to cook. Then just pop into a freezer bag and take out what you need for each day. They’re perfect for breakfast, snacks and even a quick dinner if you’re in a time crunch!
Much like the egg white muffins, these tasty meatballs are ready in about 15 minutes and you can make as many or as little as you need for the week. These healthy Italian alternatives can be:
- Served with a side of veggies
- Paired with a whole wheat pasta or spaghetti squash
- Eaten on their own for a quick, healthy snack
So stop dreading meal prep day! With these fast and easy options, you can get your meals cooked, packed and ready to go in less time that it takes to watch one episode of your favorite TV show. So there’s no excuses – prep, pack and eat healthy!