On a Ramen Noodle diet? Maybe it’s all you can afford or have time to cook. These quick noodles aren't what your body needs for the results & energy you want. You need brain food & nutrition to fuel a busy lifestyle! Good news - there are cheap & easy alternatives! You don’t have to break the bank to be healthy - you just have to know what to buy.
Preparing balanced meals in advance has so many benefits - putting effort into such a basic daily task like eating can really change your relationship with food! Don't let excuses like limited time or lack of interest stop you from trying some meal planning experiments! These are my top reasons to make eating at home and meal prepping part of your healthy lifestyle:
- Add Variety: A large number of people eat the same meals every day for weeks, months, or even years! This can limit the intake of vital vitamins and minerals - we need all kinds of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and other food products in order to maintain a balanced, functioning body system. Meal planning can help expand your horizons when it comes to changing up ingredients! It's important to consider how recipes can work together in providing you with all the critical nutrients needed for better overall health.
- Save Money: When planning meals, you become much more organized and more aware of the money spent on food each week. You will get into the habit of buying what you need instead of buying what you want in the moment, and this means you are less likely to waste funds on unnecessary items such as snacks, sweets, and other treats, which is a common problem for shoppers who don’t have an organized plan! Meal planning also reduces the number of times you need to go to a store to buy food, which adds up to a large sum of money over the course of a month.
- Reduce Stress & Anxiety: Worrying about where and when you are going to purchase that next meal can impact your daily schedule in a big way! Meal prep means you won’t be panicking about what food to buy in a pinch, and more likely than not, a quick grab won't be ideal for your fitness and body goals. Even if there are "healthy" cafes, restaurants, or markets near you which offer pre-made dishes, you won't have control over the amount of salt or salad dressing in your food (for example). A balanced meal created with your positive intentions is a good way to give some self-love and help you avoid the unhealthy unexpected.
- Find New Things: When you take the time to plan your meals, you have time to experiment and try new items. There could be plenty of healthy, protein packed meals that you had no idea you like because you typically go for the convenience item.
I'm getting hungry just typing this! Good thing the BTES App has over 300+ recipes including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks! Download the app now and start cooking nutritious meals that will keep you full and on your way to results.
I don't have time to cook...
No one wants to come home hungry and then have to slave over the stove or oven for 30 or more minutes, TRUST ME, I get it! When you pre-make your meals and snacks ahead of time, you can freeze or refrigerate them so that they are ready to go. Here are some top tips on how to prep healthy foods while saving time!
Cook in Batches: Grab a baking sheet and roast a large batch of vegetables likes carrots, broccoli, onions, and cauliflower. Drizzle them with a bit of olive oil and seasonings and then portion them out in containers so you can grab them for a quick bite. Same thing for chicken or fish. Try seasoning half the meat with salt and pepper and the other half with lemon juice and garlic to make two recipes in one.
Freeze Smoothies: Blend your smoothie and then pour them into a muffin tin so you have individual portions. Once frozen, pop them out and place them in a plastic baggie. In the mornings just grab one or two of the frozen pops, place them in a blender and whip up a smoothie. Great for a snack, too!
Pre Chop Fruits & Veggies: Take a bit of time over the weekend to chop up yummy fruits and vegetables and place them in containers in the fridge. They will be primed and ready for when you need a snack (you can have some yogurt or hummus with them too!) This is a great tip because you can add fruits and veggies to so many recipes: smoothies, salads, side dishes, etc.
Prep Protein Snacks: Protein-packed snacks are essential! You can make energizing protein balls with ingredients like dried fruits, nuts, and oats rolled together. Or use them to make trail mix. Keep rolled-up turkey or ham and lettuce in the fridge. Have those pre-chopped veggies and hummus! Roll up a whole-wheat tortilla with hummus, meat, and veggies, cut it into bite-sized pieces and store it in the fridge. Try it with natural peanut butter and fruit, too!
Pre Made Salad Jars: Getting your greens in has never been more fun! Grab a mason jar and pour a bit of dressing like balsamic vinegar in the bottom. Then add crunchy veggies like carrots and cucumbers, followed by tomatoes and lettuce and finally toppings like chopped nuts or quinoa. This is the ultimate at-work lunch!
Now to the yummy stuff! Here is an easy breakfast, lunch & dinner for a full day of eating. All recipes are easy, nutritious and filling.
Wahoo, only working with two main ingredients - avocado & toast! Which you can get at the market for under $10 and eat for an entire week! One of my favorite things about avocado toast is that there are so many ways to prepare it. You never have to get tired of it. Also - it takes less than 10 minutes to make it!
1 avocado, mashed
2 slices whole-grain bread
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 eggs cooked your favorite way (optional)
smoked salmon slices *** MY FAVORITE!
- Toast 2 slices of whole-grain toast until desired texture
- In a small bowl, combine and mash the avocado, cilantro, lime, and salt + pepper to taste
- Spread half of the mixture on each slice of toasted bread
- Top with your favorite style of egg
Get your good fat & your omega 3 in with a tuna wrap! It’s exactly what you need for a middle of the day pick-me-up! Tuna is one of my favorite fish to eat - it’s not expensive for the meal I have below:
1 can tuna, drained
1/4 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
2 tsp mustard
2 spinach tortillas (8 inches)
1 cup shredded lettuce
- In a small bowl, mix the first five ingredients until well combined
- Spread over mixture over tortillas
- Sprinkle with lettuce on top
- Roll wrap up tightly in burrito style fold
Switch out the ramen noodles with Zucchini noodles! It takes 10 minutes longer to cook than your classic Ramen noodles. AND there are so many more benefits to eating zoodles. Just add some protein & complex carbs and you have a wholesome balanced meal!
1 tbsp butter
1/2 lb jumbo shrimp (6), shelled and deveined
2 medium zucchini, cut into noodles
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 tbsp lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
- Melt the butter in a pan over medium-high add shrimp
- Cook for 2 minutes, flip, add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute
- Set shrimp aside
- Add the vegetable broth and lime juice to the pan, simmer for 2 minutes
- Add the zucchini noodles and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes, before seasoning with salt and pepper
- Add the shrimp, lime zest and cilantro, tossing everything and removing from the heat
Let me know in the comments what your favorite items to meal prep are! Having nutritious choices on hand will keep you from choosing the convenient, unhealthy items when you area on the go or in the middle of a busy week! Enjoy these 3 simple recipes for a full day of eating.
See you on the next live!