Happy New Year! Let us all be healthy and happy in 2020.
Lifestyle, of which I am focusing more on nutrition, plays an essential role in affecting our health. Speaking of nutrition, I am thinking of meal prep this time. Meal prep is not rocket science. The way I look at it, plan what you want to eat for the rest of the week (general meals for weekdays). By doing so, it helps avoid overeating, unnecessary cleaning (after cooking), saves time and maintains financial health. There are many ways of doing meal prep, and many factors involved in the planning process (such as cooking for one or more? What type of food to eat? What are the deals available in the store? What types of food store well? What are the required cooking skills?).
To be honest with you, I don't usually prepare fancy food, what I normally do is to make food out of what I already have in my fridge and pantry. No matter how I mix and match my sides and entrees, I always make sure I have an adequate amount of vegetables (½ of the plate), protein (¼ of the plate), and starches (¼ of the plate). Unlike many of you, I only cook for myself; therefore, the planning process is super easy and less hassle. Please don't get me wrong; I do not mean for those of you who are doing meal prep for the whole family that meal prep is troublesome and not worth the time to do it. I highly recommend you guys to start meal prep TODAY!
Here are the tips for meal planning
Make a schedule for meal planning, grocery shopping, actual meal prep day.
Set special themes for every day, such as meatless day, sandwich/burrito day, Italian day, Asian-inspired day, and salad day. Go through your stock, then make a shopping list.
Food preparation tips
After grocery shopping, pre-prep food that can be done ahead of time, such as peeling the garlic, soaking the dry beans, marinating the meat.
During the actual cooking day, I recommend starting with the items that require longer cooking time. For instance, if you are cooking some type of stew, start with stew. While it is cooking in the pot, you can move on to prepare your salads, burritos, etc.
The last step, assemble and pack all items in the containers.
To provide you some visual guide of meal prepping ideas, I put in the effort to make 5-day meals.
● For breakfast, I usually have oatmeal in the morning. So what I do is make 5-days overnight oats (with a different flavor) ahead of time then store in the refrigerator.
● Meatless Monday - Buddha Bowl with black beans, quinoa and brown rice, roasted potatoes, roasted red bell pepper, tofu scramble, sliced avocado. Plant-based protein options: legumes (brean, lentils, peas and peanuts), soy products (tofu, tempeh), and nuts/seeds.
● Tuesday the Burrito day - I wrapped burrito with grilled chicken, some tofu scramble, roasted potato, cheese. I also packed sour cream and salsa to go with my burrito.
● Italian Theme for Humpday - I have made spaghetti with vegetarian meatballs in marinara sauce. For the side, I have made cucumber salad.
● Asian-inspired day for Thursday - I prepared Kung Pao tofu and stir-fried bok choy serve with brown rice.
● Friday Let’s eat salad day - I made entree salad, which has mixed green, mandarin orange, chopped avocado, cherry tomatoes, grilled chicken, pecan nut/sunflower seeds. The dressing I chose balsamic vinaigrette dressing.
Quote of the month:
The wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings. Let food be your medicine - Mahatma Gandhi
Healthline (2019). How to Meal Plan [Digital Image]. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/meal-prep-tips