Having good quality nutrition is a key component of good health. Having good nutrition on a consistent basis can reduce our risk of diseases including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, some cancers, and osteoporosis. However, making sure that you are getting the daily recommended values of certain food groups isn’t always easy. A common barrier to getting good quality nutrition into your daily routine is “lack of time.” Unfortunately, we will not be able to find more time. No matter what, we will only have twenty-four hours in our day and there isn’t any extra time hiding anywhere! We just need to prioritize the time we do have to make the things we want to happen.
One tactic that we can use to prioritize our time focused on nutrition is meal prepping. There are a lot of ways to approach the topic of meal prepping. However, the main point of it is to make a plan of what you will eat throughout the week and then prepare the food ahead of time in whatever way best suits your schedule and your needs. One method is to do the “make extra” approach when it comes to meal prepping. It allows you to cook meals as you normally would throughout the week, but ensures that you will have leftovers for lunch or another dinner later in the week. You can use the following plan and recipes as an example of this tactic for the beginning of the week.
Sunday’s Dinner: Roasted Chicken with Vegetables *Make extra Chicken. Enough for the two other recipes listed below. Also make enough to have as lunch the next day.
Monday’s Dinner: Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls *Make an extra batch of brown rice
Ingredients (for 4 servings):
- 2 cups of your favorite leafy greens (spinach, spring mix, kale etc.)
- 1 cup grape tomatoes
- 3 cups of shredded or cubed chicken (about two chicken breasts)
- ¾ cup corn, canned or frozen
- 1 ½ cup of black beans, canned
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Drizzle Chipotle Ranch Dressing (Optional)
- Mix 2 Tbsp Greek yogurt based ranch dressing and ¼ tsp chipotle chili pepper per serving.
- Mix paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, and pepper in a small dish. Add mixture to the warmed up cubed or shredded chicken and toss.
- Cook rice according to directions.
- Heat corn and beans according to directions.
- Layer each bowl with greens, tomatoes, chicken, corn, beans, and rice. Top with dressing.
- Store leftovers in airtight containers to bring for lunch for a couple of days.
Tuesday’s Dinner: Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry *Make a double batch to get you through the rest of the week for lunches and to have as leftovers one night. **Extra time hack = find frozen stir fry vegetables at your grocery store. It cuts down on the cutting and prepping time for vegetables.
Prioritizing the time in your busy schedule to plan for your meals the week ahead can save you time, money, and stress. Making extra in your recipes each day can cut down on your time spent prepping meals and will stock your fridge with meals that are easy to heat up when you are on the go.
If you want help determining what proper nutrition means for you, check out myplate.gov
to find out what your body needs. Or, you can call us at (888) 209-7770 to set up an appointment with one of our health promotion coaches to help guide you through navigating your nutrition and to give you more tools and resources to achieve success.