If you’re anything like me, it can be a struggle to stick to a healthy balanced diet when you get hit with the hustle and bustle of life. You get caught up at the office and the next thing you know you’re grabbing the #1 from the closest fast food chain and devouring it in your car. Throw traveling into the mix, and now you’re living off of whatever healthy snack you can find at the gas station or airport.
But that’s all changed because recently I discovered meal prepping and I’ve never looked back. Aside from the convenience factor, prepping your meals ahead of time has many rewards.
Here are my favorite top three:
Packing your meals in pre-measured portions helps avoid the urge to reach for more, or keep eating after your body is telling you that you’re full.
#2 Boost Your Metabolism
Most people stick to the breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine. But how often do you find your stomach grumbling midday? If you trade in three big meals for several small meals throughout the day, your metabolism speeds up helping your body shed excess weight while sustaining your energy levels. When you prep your meals ahead of time, you have healthy snacks on hand so you can stick to eating every 3 hours instead of overeating three times a day.
#3 Less Waste
If you go to the grocery store with a plan of what you are going to make for the week you save time and money. Buying just the amount you need, you avoid wasting food and money, and planning ahead saves you time wandering the aisles aimlessly.
For me, meal prepping is a crucial part of reaching my health goals while accommodating my busy lifestyle. There is no right or wrong way to go about it, just make what you like and make it healthy.
Here’s my go-to meal for the week:
Greek Chicken Bowl
For the bowl:
¾ cup boneless skinless chicken breast (*Marinated in any Greek marinade of your choice)
½ cup of whole wheat pasta
¼ cup of diced cucumber
¼ cup of chopped cherry tomatoes
½ cup of chopped butter lettuce
For the dressing:
Drizzle of olive oil
Juice from half of a lemon
Dollop of Greek yogurt
Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes. Once the chicken is marinated, place on hot grill until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. While chicken is cooking, chop vegetables and prepare pasta according to instructions on package.
After chicken has cooled, chop into bite-sized pieces and set aside. Using the measurements above, add each ingredient (except dressing ingredients) to whatever food storage container you will be using for prep. I’m obsessed with mason jars because I think they make the best meal prep containers—but use whatever you like, just be sure to layer your ingredients in a specific order to avoid soggy veggies (see photo).
Now, add your dressing ingredients and shake! Shake! Shake! Grab a fork, and enjoy.