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8 Meal Prep Ideas To Make Your Week Easier

8 Meal Prep Ideas To Make Your Week Easier

The key to success, when it comes to eating healthy, is being prepared. It is a lot easier to make healthy choices when meals are already prepared and planned. Think about it, when you're hungry, the last thing you want to do is cook an entire meal. That leads to ordering take-out or making a quick trip to the nearest drive-through. If you have your meals planned and prepped ahead of time, you can heat it up faster than it takes your take-out to arrive (and it will save you money)! Essentially, it only takes a few hours each week to make delicious, home-cooked meals that will fight the fast food temptation. Here are 8 meal prep ideas to make your week easier!

Breakfast:

1. Ready-to-go Smoothies

8 Meal Prep Ideas To Make Your Week Easier

Sure, having homemade smoothies every day is a dream, but who has that kind of time on their hands? Instead of paying a ridiculous amount of money for a smoothie and having to deal with the morning rush at the smoothie place, take some time on Sunday night to prep your smoothies. All you need is some yogurt, your favorite fruit, your liquid of choice, and a blender! Start by freezing your favorite yogurt in an ice cube tray. Next, put 1 1/4 cup of your favorite fruits in sandwich-sized freezer bags. Put 2-3 frozen yogurt cubes into the freezer bags with the fruit and store them in the freezer. Now whenever you are ready for a yummy smoothie, blend the fruit and yogurt mixture with 1 cup liquid of choice, such as coconut water. If you need an extra boost, add a smoothie base mix that provides protein, fiber, and healthy fats. 

2. Healthy Egg Muffins

Egg muffins may sound strange, but they are healthy, served warm, full of veggies, and absolutely delicious! Start by chopping your choice of veggies. A good combo is red bell peppers, spinach, green bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms. Once your veggies are chopped, saute them in some olive oil until the bell peppers are tender. You will need to whisk 6 eggs to make your egg muffins. Once your eggs are whisked and your veggies are chopped and sauteed, combine them, and pour your mixture into a greased muffin pan. Bake your muffins at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until you can stick a toothpick in the muffins and have it come out clean. Your healthy egg muffins can be stored, in a sealed container, for up to four days- if they last that long! They are the perfect, easy to make breakfast, just heat them in the microwave until they are warm and enjoy! 

Lunch:

3. Mason Jar Salads

8 Meal Prep Ideas To Make Your Week Easier

Mason jar salads are a great meal prep idea because they are portable, customizable, and they will keep you full until dinner. There are so many options when it comes to meal prepping salads. First, you want to wash, cut, and portion your greens. Wash and dry all your greens at once, then divide them into your individual containers- make sure your containers are large enough to hold any additional toppings! Next, you want to prep a variety of toppings for your salads. The key to meal prepping salads is not getting tired of them, no-one wants to eat the same thing every day. Focus on picking a variety of toppings for a few, but not all, of the salads. There are limitless choices for toppings. Hard-boiled eggs, roasted veggies, fresh fruits, nuts, sliced meats, raw veggies, black beans, corn, cubed cheese, and avocado are just a few great toppings. To ensure your salads stay fresh, and not soggy, store your toppings in sandwich baggies and store them on top of your lettuce containers in the refrigerator. When you are getting ready for work in the morning, pull a container of greens out and choose your toppings. It takes less than 60 seconds to toss in your toppings, ensuring your salad will be fresh and delicious! As for the dressing you want to dress your salad right before you eat it so you don’t have a soggy mess when you are ready to eat lunch. Use small containers to hold just the right amount of your favorite homemade or pre-made dressing. 

4. Grilled Chicken Veggie Bowls

Grilled chicken veggie bowls give you the perfect amount of veggies, whole grains, and protein that will keep you full and satisfied until dinner. Start by grilling your chicken, cutting it into cubes, and dividing it into your Tupperware containers. As for the veggies, you don't want to get bored by eating the same thing every day so pick 3-4 veggies to mix up what you are eating. Some good vegetable choices are steamed broccoli, roasted asparagus, grilled bell pepper and onions, steamed carrots, green beans, steamed cauliflower, and grilled zucchini and squash. For some extra substance and texture, add a serving of brown rice or quinoa, cooked according to the package. Divide your veggies and rice or quinoa into your containers with your cubed chicken and you are good to go! You have made a healthy, delicious, meal that is all ready to go when you are running out the door for work in the mornings! 

 

Dinner:

5. Freezer to Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

8 Meal Prep Ideas To Make Your Week Easier

This freezer to crockpot chicken fajita dinner is easy to prepare and very healthy! The chicken, peppers, and onions are all fresh, and the “sauce” is so simple. “Freezer to crockpot” simply means that you prepare the meal in a gallon-sized plastic freezer bag, toss it in the freezer, and throw it in the crockpot. Cooking a healthy, delicious meal has never been easier than grabbing your meal from the freezer and putting it in the crockpot- it takes less than a minute! The ingredients to this meal are 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast, 2 sliced bell peppers, 1 peeled and sliced small yellow onion, and 10 ounces of your favorite, organic salsa. Simply combine all of your ingredients, excluding the salsa, into a gallon-sized freezer bag, remove as much air from the bag as possible, and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months. We suggest putting your meal in the refrigerator the night before you cook to let it thaw. The morning of your cooking, pour the contents of your freezer bag into your crockpot, pour the salsa over the chicken and veggie mix, stir it all together, and set your crockpot to low and cook for 6 hours. Serve with rice and tortillas and enjoy!

6. Slow Cooker Chicken, Veggie, and Quinoa Stew

With the colder months coming up, there is nothing better to eat than a hearty, healthy stew. This is another meal prep idea that utilizes a crockpot, making it easy and stress-free. You need 1 chopped medium yellow onion, 3 minced garlic cloves, 3 large chopped carrots, a teaspoon of Italian seasoning, a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce, a 15 ounce can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, 32 ounces of chicken stock, 2 cups of water, 1 chopped zucchini, 1/2 cup of rinsed quinoa, and 1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breasts. To make this meal you add the onion, garlic, carrots, Italian seasoning, tomato sauce, chicken stock, water, chicken and chickpeas to your crockpot. Stir all the ingredients to combine, cover your crockpot, and cook on high for 3.5 hours. After 3.5 hours, remove and shred the chicken and set aside. Add the zucchini and quinoa and cook on high for an additional 30 minutes, or until the quinoa is completely cooked. Add in the shredded chicken and divide the stew into gallon-sized freezer bags and heat on the stove for whenever you need a quick, healthy meal. The best part about this meal is you can easily make it vegetarian by eliminating the chicken, substituting the chicken stock for vegetable broth, and doubling the chickpeas!

Snacks:

7. Protein Bars

8 Meal Prep Ideas To Make Your Week Easier
An obvious favorite of ours, that takes no time to prepare are protein bars. It is very important to note that not all protein bars are created equal. Many protein bars claim that they are healthy, but if you look closely at the ingredients they are full of sugar! Too Busy To Eat protein bars are actually healthy. They are made with 22 grams of protein, 19 grams of fiber, and only 3 grams of sugar. Inside this delicious bar, you will find Grass Fed Whey Protein and four organic foods. Too Busy To Eat protein bars are gluten free, 100% all natural, and do not contain any artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. They make the perfect snack at any time of the day because they are actually healthy. They provide you a healthy, natural boost of energy that won’t result in a sugar crash. Try them today- we have Cookie Dough, Double Chocolate Chip, and Vanilla Coconut.

8. Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas are a great meal prep idea when it comes to having an easy and healthy snack. All you need are 1-2 cans of low sodium or no-salt-added chickpeas, oil, and spices like paprika and pepper. First, drain, rinse, and dry off the chickpeas. Place them on a baking sheet, lightly mist the chickpeas with oil and sprinkle them with your choice of spices. Place the baking sheet in a cold oven and set the oven to 425 degrees and let them roast for about 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Turn the oven off, but leave the chickpeas in the oven for at least another hour. After they are cool, divide them into storage containers and munch on them whenever you need a healthy, delicious snack!

8 Meal Prep Ideas To Make You Week Easier

If we missed any of your favorite meal prep ideas, leave them in the comments below. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for more tips on living a healthy life.

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