The main goal of meal-prepping is to eat healthily and sustainably throughout your week while saving time for the projects and activities you care about most. Meal prepping is the ultimate way to prioritize health and nutrition without compromising a tight schedule. That being said, here are a few meal prepping tips that will inspire your next week of eating!
For Meal Prepping, Think Whole Grains and Beans
Let’s start with beans. Not only are beans/lentils easy to cook in bulk, but they provide a plethora of life-supporting nutrients that will sustain your energy and mentality throughout the week. For example, according to Medical News Today, black beans will heal your bones, prevent cancer due to their selenium content, and ward off heart disease with folate. Black beans are a popular bean option and for good reason: they taste awesome! Other amazing revitalizing beans include kidney beans and garbanzo beans. Lentils (although technically not a bean) are an amazing option as well and don’t need to be soaked overnight!
Whole grains such as brown and wild rice, quinoa, and amaranth are powerful foods and perfect for meal prepping. Packed with fiber and B-vitamins, these whole grains offer sustainable and even noticeable energy boosts. These foods are also packed with compounds that help prevent heart disease, which according to the World Health Organization has become a huge global issue. Well, whole grains to the rescue! They’re perfect for cooking along beans and lentils and are always a delicious addition to meals containing varieties of vegetables. And speaking of vegetables:
Veggies Work Perfectly for Meal Prepping
Carrots, squashes, potatoes (russet and sweet), and cruciferous veggies are all satisfying, beneficial, and easy to keep in the fridge for 3-5 days. Do we need a study to talk about the lifeforce behind vegetables? They’ll keep you grounded and thriving with vitality. Let’s keep it at that.
What About Fruit?
Hold fruit close to your heart in the mornings! Since your meal-prepped meals will be packed with veggies, have your breakfast consist of a lot of fruit! There has been some concern over fruit in the health/wellness world, but according to T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies (https://nutritionstudies.org/sugary-fruit-healthy/), “fruits can be thought of as one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Most are naturally low in overall calories while containing many micronutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and a variety of phytochemicals such as beta carotene, polyphenols, and other antioxidants. This is the exact opposite of fructose containing processed foods!” Fruits are friends. They’ll lend you high, sustainable energy while helping you keep your diet balanced. A good way to get your fruit in is by making smoothies, adding it on top of oatmeal, or by eating a fruit salad of melons, berries, grapes, and bananas! Here is an outstanding book on how to sustainably incorporate more fruit into your life.
Extra Meal Prepping Tips!
- Always soak beans overnight for digestibility.
- Soak mung beans and lentils overnight to increase digestibility and to unlock nutrients!
- Soaking rice, quinoa and other grains can also improve digestibility while unlocking bioavailability and nutrient potential.
- According to this article, Grethe Iren Borge, a senior researcher at the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research (Nofima) in Ås, Norway, suggests that cooking veggies can reduce the content of some nutrients by 20-50%. But he states: “If you steam the vegetables instead, you reduce this loss by half.” Steam your veggies!
- Meal prepping both your lunches and dinners for the week is wise. That way, you won’t have to exert any more energy after your work day. Simply mix up the grains, beans, and vegetables you use for lunch and dinner. Adding a variety of these components into your week will keep you satisfied and feeling balanced.