No matter how good your intentions may be, sticking to a nutritious meal plan can be tough. Shortcuts and temptations are EVERYWHERE! The solution? Weekend meal prep.
Don’t be intimidated by planning and prepping meals for a full week. Start with one or two new recipes to keep things interesting, and make sure your kitchen is stocked with ingredients for familiar dishes you already know how to cook. Tuck a few EatingWell frozen entrées in the freezer to fill gaps during the week, or take them to work so you can resist those greasy street tacos at lunchtime.
Break it down
On meal prep day, tackle the basics for both your new and old recipes so on weeknights you can just throw things into a skillet, pot, or oven.
- Cook a protein. Prepare enough for two recipes, or one recipe plus leftovers. Extra roasted chicken makes a perfect salad topping, or can be tossed into a pasta bake.
- Cook a whole grain. Prepare a big batch of quinoa or brown rice to use as a base for simple stir-fry or grain bowls.
- Chop vegetables. Slice and dice so raw veggies are ready to cook, or roast or grill them so they can be easily reheated as a side dish or stirred into an omelet.
Try to knock out one full make-ahead meal, too, so you can just heat and eat during the week. Casseroles and soups work especially well. If you’re really feeling ambitious, double the recipe and freeze half for later!
Get ultra-organized (if that’s your thing)
For a little extra help and inspiration, check out the Menu Planner created by the experts at EatingWell magazine. You can use this tool to create daily or weekly menus, print shopping lists, calculate your calorie intake, and follow your progress toward reaching your personal health goals.