Planning and preparing a week’s worth of meals can seem like a daunting task. You want spend your time off relaxing, and organizing a week’s worth of breakfast, lunch, and dinner seems anything but leisurely. Solutions Weight Loss understands the meal planning dilemma – we also know that not having healthy foods on hand can lead to unhealthy fast food lunches and takeout dinners. Want to plan and prepare healthy meals for the week while still enjoying your downtime? Here’s how!
Breakfast in Minutes
The most important meal of the day is also the easiest to plan and prepare. This is good news, considering that most of us are strapped for time in the morning. Here are a few healthy breakfasts ready in five minutes or less:
- Eggs – You can avoid the time (and mess) involved in making eggs by preparing them any way you like in the microwave. Learn how to make perfect microwave eggs here. For some added nutrients, chop up some veggies the night before and add them into the mix.
- Oatmeal – The key to a delicious and healthy breakfast is avoiding processed, pre-packaged foods. Instead of buying instant oatmeal packets that can contain loads of added sugar, buy a canister of plain oatmeal and make it in the microwave (directions can usually be found on the canister). Add fresh fruit for some sweetness and viola, breakfast! However, avoid too oatmeal on the HCG diet plan, as this is a nutrient-packed, yet high-calorie food.
- Greek Yogurt – Another great breakfast that’s ready as soon as you peel off the lid. Avoid flavored Greek yogurt with added sugar (fruit on the bottom varieties are usually the worst). Buy plain Greek yogurt and add some fruit or honey for a delicious, healthy breakfast.
- Whole Wheat Toast – Toast is a breakfast mainstay for good reason. Choose whole wheat bread and top with almond butter and fresh berries or banana for an easy, healthy and tasty breakfast.
Lunch: Plan Ahead
Eating healthy has never been more convenient than in 2015. For this we can thank Pinterest, which is packed with healthy lunch hacks for busy professionals. Our favorite is the Mason jar salad, a genius way to pack a week’s worth of fresh, portable lunches in no time. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Mason jars – Pint or quart sized Mason jars will work. They keep lunches made over the weekend fresh until Friday!
- Grocery list – Make a list of your favorite veggies and head to the grocery store. The more veggies you use, the more nutrient-rich and filling your lunch will be. Also remember to include your favorite healthy protein, like grilled chicken, beans or low fat cheese. Grab your favorite toppers (nuts, seeds or dried fruit are good options) and your favorite dressing and head to the checkout line!
- An hour – Now that you have all the items on your grocery list, you’re ready to make your lunch for the whole week. The key to a Mason jar salad is layering – dressing goes in first, followed by hearty veggies, soft veggies, protein, cheese, greens, and toppers. Layering your salads like this keeps your greens from getting soggy. Screw the lids on tightly, put the jars in a plastic or reusable bag, and put them in the fridge Monday morning. Remember to put your name on them!
Dinner: Recipe Research
Recipe templates are key to healthy dinners. Always have your favorite lean proteins, veggies and whole grains on hand to make a complete meal. Research recipes you can get excited about making. If you love Mexican food, you can prepare grilled cilantro lime chicken with brown rice and black beans. If you’re an Italian fiend, try whole wheat pasta with broccoli and chicken sausage (available in your grocery store’s deli). The key is combining healthy, nutrient-rich foods with flavors you love. If you’re looking forward to your meal, you won’t mind preparing it after a long workday. This is true whether you are following the HCG Diet Plan, paleo diet, Atkin’s diet or your own diet concoction.
Now that you have a few guidelines to planning your week’s meals, you can get cooking. Grab your ingredients, research recipes, and contact Solutions Weight Loss to find out how we can help you in reaching your goals.