Personal trainers will tell you that much of the effort to get toned and in shape comes from diet. Make it easy to eat like an Olympian this summer by picking up weekly food preparation. It can sound like a daunting task if you've never tried it before, but you can start with baby steps. Step one is storage for your weekly meal prep. Freezer-safe containers are a great asset to eating fresh through the week. Dedicate part of your kitchen cabinets to meal prep materials and containers. Once you've got the essentials, spread out all of your fresh ingredients across your kitchen island and organize your recipes for the week! Think about items you can buy and use in multiple ways over multiple days.
Healthy snacks for meal prep include carrots with hummus, celery or apples with natural peanut butter, or raw trail mix. With the latter, you might want to mix your own to ensure nutritious ingredients — almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, and dried apple pieces.
When you start thinking about meals, consider what lean proteins you might use in multiple dishes for the week and cook them all at once, refrigerating or freezing the rest. Grilled or boiled chicken breast could be used in wraps, grain dishes, salads, and more. Also consider ground turkey, which can be used to make burger patties or used in pasta dishes among other recipes. Fish is best to cook and eat on the day of, but you might also try shrimp, which are easy to buy frozen and boil for multiple meals.
In addition, there are versatile vegetables that you might like that can be used as both side dishes and components of recipes. An example could be roasted squash and zucchini that are also used in a veggie lasagna made with whole wheat pasta and organic marinara sauce. If you're extra tight on time, consider frozen vegetables and mixed vegetables. Sometimes frozen vegetables are at an even higher level of nutrients than their fresh counterparts.
You might also prepare your starches and grains, such as quinoa, farro, brown rice or whole wheat pasta. Just keep ratios in mind for meals. In general, it's best to make the majority of your meal vegetables, then protein, and then grains.
Before you know it, you'll be prepping meals like a pro!
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