The secret is to take some time on Sundays to prep a LOT of healthy food for the week. Then when you’re done, you’ll have so much good stuff stocked in your fridge and freezer that you’ll eat well all week without even trying, really.
1. Chop celery and carrots into sticks, and create little hummus and veggie snack jars.
Dips are an easy way to jazz up raw vegetables and make your afternoon snack a little more substantial. And the easiest way to make veggies and dip an on-the-go snack? Pack them together in a jar!
Small mason jars are leak-proof and sturdy, and storing the veggies and dip together means you don’t have to carry an extra container in your lunch bag. Just spoon your dip into the bottom of the jar, fill the jar with the raw vegetables of your choice, screw on the lid, and go.
Thicker dips like hummus work best — as they tend to stay put at the bottom of the jar — and longer, skinnier vegetables, like carrot sticks, snap peas, and celery, are easier to pack in. But even squat vegetables, like cauliflower and broccoli, fit well in wide-mouth half-pint jars.
2. Or package a few baggies of nuts + berries.
Like 1/2 cup blackberries with 2 tablespoons of raw, unsalted pistachios, for instance. Another great snack option that takes like 0.4 seconds to pull together, and even less time to grab on your way out the door in the morning.
3. Prepare a big batch of black beans for protein.
“Healthy breakfast burritos stuffed with sweet potatoes, black beans, egg whites, and avocado. You’re going to love this protein-packed breakfast!”
Get the recipe for those healthy sweet potato, black bean, and egg white breakfast burritos here.
4. Or roast a chicken or a tray of chicken breasts.
Great for salads, sandwiches, or just general veggie- and grain- dishes. And so easy to just grab and re-heat anytime throughout the week. “Protein seems to be the big barrier for a lot of people — they get home late and they don’t want to cook chicken or whatever, so having the protein part of the meal already done I think increases the likelihood that they won’t give up and order in instead of making something for themselves”.
Here’s how to make the most delicious roast chicken of all time, if you’re looking for some guidance.
5. Or boil half a dozen eggs (or more).
These guys make great portable snacks (just add salt and pepper), OR you can slice them up and toss them in salads, on sandwiches, and more. Each egg is under 100 calories and has over 7 grams of protein to help you feel more satisfied.
Read How to Make the Perfect Boiled Egg, Every Time, Every Way, on Greatist, for more info.
7. Or ignore the whole chopping and washing veggies thing and just buy a veggie tray for the week.
If you know that you’re not going to have the time, energy, or motivation to prep vegetables for snacks during the week, buy a veggie tray at the supermarket and get over it. Some of us need to buy prepared vegetables and there’s no shame in that. No shame in the veggie tray game indeed.
9. Or pull together some slow-cooker oats.
A big batch of oatmeal done in the slow cooker with apples and cinnamon, for example, and made with milk (for protein, or protein powder if the person is vegan) is something that’s good for breakfast for days. You just need to heat it up when you’re ready to eat it. Overnight oats work as well — soaking the oats in yogurt and milk or milk alternative, and adding fruit and nuts, hemp hearts, chia; it’s all good.
10. Roast some veggies to use in all of your meals throughout the week.
Veggies that roast well, like asparagus, zucchini, and peppers, which you can make in batch and then use them all week in pretty much every one of your meals. Get the recipe for those gorgeous roasted veggies here.
You can also just roast or barbecue cauliflower or broccoli whole, and then just heat them up when you’re ready to eat them.
11. And roast some potatoes while you’re at it.
“Roasted potatoes are amazing in a salad, or what I did yesterday — I smashed roasted baby potatoes with hard boiled eggs, added mayo and chipotle powder and ate it for lunch. I was annoyed that I had no avocado to put in there, but the potatoes and eggs were totally just leftovers and it took me 5 mins to make that lunch. Awesome.
Get the recipe for these garlic ranch potatoes here.
12. You could also prepare a few cups of quinoa or rice, and then set it aside to use throughout the week.
Quinoa is another fantastic source of protein, and you can basically put it in anything, from salads to granola to pudding and more. Get the recipe for this quinoa, fennel, and pomegranate salad here, and then check out 32 Ways To Eat Quinoa And Succeed In Life for some more ideas.
Rice and quinoa can be used in like a million dishes.