We all know that preparation is the biggest aid to healthy yet easy and convenient eating — however you want to define healthy for your particular lifestyle. I've been working to prep more of my food ahead and make it easier on myself to snack in healthy, nutritious ways.
Here are the five things that, for me, make the difference between eating healthy as I define it, and ... not.
Early this summer I took a good look at my eating and realized that I wasn't eating the way I would like to. Look, I'm a snacker. I work at home all day and get too absorbed to stand up and fix a proper lunch. I reach for whatever is easiest and most comforting — a big slab of bread with peanut butter being the usual answer. Nothing wrong with peanut butter and bread, of course, but things were a little out of balance.
While I love vegetables and think of myself as someone who eats a lot of them, reality said otherwise. So I've been concentrating on getting more vegetables and protein into my snack rotation.
Here are the things that really make a difference for me, personally. I'd love to hear what healthy foods you like to prep in advance, too!
The 5 Foods I Like to Prep Every Sunday
- Melon - I have a sweet tooth, but I find that watermelon this time of year satisfies it completely. I cut up entire watermelons and stash juicy cubes in the fridge for eating before the gym or after dinner. The same goes for cantaloupe and honeydew melons; they're a summer treat whether you eat them like this or like this.
- Celery Sticks - My essential snacking standby. I know not everyone loves celery, but I find its crunch super refreshing, and it's a good foil for protein-rich dips. I cut up a whole head of celery at once and store the sticks in a bowl of water to keep them crisp.
- Hummus or Light Yogurt Dip - When I have extra time I make a big batch of hummus or baba ghanoush. When the week is busy I pick up a container of yogurt dip at the store. This plus celery sticks totally handles my snack needs during the workday.
- Boiled Eggs - OK, but what about breakfast? I have a newly discovered love of boiled eggs, thanks to our recent tutorial on cooking them to any level of doneness. I like mine gooey and soft-boiled, so I cook half a dozen at the beginning of the week and eat them with truffle salt for breakfast. So satisfying.
- Lentil or Bean Salad - As far as lunch goes, lentil salads have been my fix lately. Beans and other legumes have decent protein and fiber, which fills you up and keeps you satisfied. A bowl of hearty lentil salad keeps me going all afternoon.
That's my Sunday prep list now, and as long as I stick to it, I find myself eating a lot more servings of fruits, vegetables, and other nourishing things.
But that's just me — what about you? What's on your essential healthy eating prep list?
(Image credits: Faith Durand)