We all know that planning and preparation is the key to almost everything, whether it’s travel, work, or school. It’s also essential for healthy and balanced eating. It’s one of the simplest things you can do to guarantee successful clean eating, but you have to plan it, and you have to take the time to organize and institute it.
I find that my Sunday food prep can make or break a good food week. Case in point: last week. We were out of town all weekend and I did not prep. As a result, I spent most of the week grabbing leftovers, eating them cold (standing up) and noshing more than I should. Consequently, I felt like crap all week and now I will be spending this week undoing that damage. If I had just taken a couple of hours on Sunday, and done some preparation (I had all the ingredients!), this could have been prevented. Lesson learned. Again.
The above image is what I prepped for the week yesterday. It took about an hour, if that. I am a big snacker, and typically eat every couple of hours. Therefore, the planning process is essential. Here’s how I set myself up for success:
:: Sunday Food Prep ::
- Hard Boiled Eggs: these are a basic. If I’m headed out the door early and need a quick breakfast, I’ll have an egg. If I’m suddenly famished at 4 pm, I’ll have an egg. Usually though, I add sliced hard boiled egg to my lunch salad of spinach, avocado, red bell pepper, lentils and a quick vinaigrette of olive oil, lemon & dijon mustard. It’s a nice extra boost of protein.
- Cut Red Bell Pepper & Carrot Sticks: Carrot sticks are my go-to snack, when I need a bit of crunch (which is usually what I crave). If I’m really hungry, I’d add a couple of tablespoons of hummus and that keeps me going until dinner. The red bells are good snacking too, and they will also get added to salad (above).
- Washed & Trimmed Radish: Again, the crunch factor. I also add them, sliced, to a lunch salad of romaine, sliced red onion, a few kalamata olives and feta cheese for a little Greek salad (topped with olive oil only).
- Cooked French Lentils: I’ve tried several varieties of lentils and have settled on the black French lentils as my favorite. They have a great nutty taste, are full of satisfying protein and when added to my salad (#1), really keep me content until dinner. I buy them in bulk at Whole Foods.
- Blueberries: I don’t eat too much dairy, but sometimes will have non-fat plain Greek yogurt. The blueberries get added, together with some walnut pieces, flax seed powder & bee pollen. This is usually a mid-morning snack. Or, I’ll nosh on the blueberries with lunch.
Slightly off topic, but relevant: I’m working on phasing out our plastic containers for glass. I’ve noticed that food stays fresher and crisper longer, and there are plenty of studies citing the benefits of glass over plastic. Plus, glass doesn’t stain or retain food odors. And, my food looks pretty in glass.
Other items that are pantry staples around here are:
- Nuts (cashews, walnuts, almonds & macadamia – all raw)
- Almond butter
- Brown Rice Cakes
- Baby Spinach & Romaine lettuce
- Lara Bars
- Green tea
- Almond Milk
- Avocado – big time!
This list primarily covers breakfast, lunch and snacks. Another post soon will cover planning healthy dinners for clean eating success!
So, I’m curious. Do you food prep on Sunday? Does it help with meal planning or healthy eating? Please share – I’m always curious to hear other planning and prep ideas!