Let’s talk Sunday Meal Prep!
If you’re not doing this yet, then I encourage you to try it! Setting aside an hour or so to prep healthy meals and snacks for the week will make healthy eating easier and more enjoyable. After all, failing to plan is planning to fail!
Never underestimate the power of your environment, especially the environment inside your refrigerator. We make decisions All. Day. Long. From the time we wake up, to work, house stuff, chores, family, emails, social media and deciding what to wear, we’re inundated with decisions all day long.
One of the main reasons people reach for processed and packaged foods is that they’re easy. Today’s society has made it so easy to put our food decisions on auto pilot. Just unwrap and go. After a long day it’s easy to stop and grab takeout or reach for unhealthy packaged food.
However, if you can take just one hour to prep healthy meals and snacks that are also delicious, you can shift that auto pilot decision to reaching into your refrigerator instead of the box or fast food window. Opening your refrigerator to find delicious healthy food is always a win.
Your meal plan doesn’t have to be rigid, just be sure to make a few healthy options that you can reach for all week.
Here’s a really simple high-level Sunday meal prep idea if you’re just getting started (recipes below):
During cooler months I’ll also make a big pot of soup or chili in a cast-iron Dutch oven, let the pot cool to room temp, then store the pot with the lid on directly in the refrigerator to eat off of it all week. If you want extra protein, roast a few chicken breasts or grab an all-natural rotisserie chicken, discard the skin and store up to three days to add to your salads or quinoa.
I also make a large batch of homemade almond milk for my morning coffee—you can see the full tutorial of how to make it in Season 2 of Elizabeth Eats.
Store everything in airtight glass containers up to four days (give or take a day depending on the dish).
Here are 10 recipes that I’ve been making at the beginning of each week, plus my favorite healthy avocado egg salad recipe:
9. Hard-boil some eggs to for snacks or salads. Make a few extra for a quick & easy avocado egg salad.
Method: Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half and remove the yolk. Rough chop the egg whites and reserve. Mash the yolks, avocado & mustard with salt & pepper until well combined. Add 1/2 teaspoon of water if needed to mash until smooth. Fold in the egg whites to your desired consistency. Serve in romain lettuce cups or on 1/2 of a whole grain English muffin (I like the Food For Life flourless English muffins.) Will keep in the refrigerator up to two days.
10. Chop veggies into different textures for snacks and mason jar salads.
Spiralize a few carrots, chop jicama into sticks, and slice cucumbers for quick snacks and salad toppers. If you’re feeling ambitions stack your veggies and salad ingredients in mason jars to create easy on-the-go mason jar salads. Add 2 tablespoons of dressing to the bottom, then the firm ingredients like beans and hard veggies to the bottom. Next add protein, grains like quinoa, nuts and/or seeds to the middle layer. Then add a few big handful of greens to the top. The idea is to keep the dressing separate from the greens and softer ingredients to prevent them from becoming soggy. When it’s time to eat, just shake it up and enjoy it out of the jar, or empty it upside down in a bowl.
Instead of prescribing what I think you should do, I help you find what works for you.