January is a time when you may be more motivated to change your diet and start eating better. Sometimes it feels so difficult though no matter how hard you try. Am I right?
Well, it doesn't have to be that hard. Today I share with you 7 'prep' tips to make eating plant-based meals easier. Putting in a little effort ahead of time can save you more time, energy and calories in the long-run. A little effort goes a long way here.
Apply these tips in the beginning of the week and/or some in the middle of the week. Whenever you chose, just make sure you do them and you won't only eat better, you'll eat more delicious food as well.
7 'prep' tips to make eating healthier easier
1. Prep salad toppings. Salad topping may include different sliced veggies, diced fruit, toasted nuts or drained and rinsed canned beans. Additionally, you can rinse and dry salad greens and place in a zip lock bag with a paper towel.
Place your toppings in tupperware containers (I love this one!). This makes eating salads throughout the week much easier because you have an assortment of yummy toppings to chose from and assemble immediately.
2. Cook a batch of a whole-grain. Cooking 1 batch of your favorite whole-grain such as brown rice, farro, whole-grain pasta, quinoa or barley, will make eating a variety of different meals easier throughout the week. Cooking 1 batch of quinoa (takes 20 minutes AND you can chop your salad veggies while it cooks) can then be used as a whole-grain breakfast, as a salad topping, for a whole-grain salad with veggies, avocado and garbanzo beans or with a veggie and bean stir-fry.
3. Make a sauce or a dressing. A thick sauce such as hummus or a cashew 'cream cheese' can not only be used as a spread for sandwiches, dips and pitas, but can also be thinned out to use as a dressing for salads or grain bowls. A decadent and versatile sauce or dressing will make eating leafy greens and healthy whole-grains much more exciting and easy!
4. Make a large batch of a meal. If you put the energy into making a meal, you might as well make a large batch of that meal. You'll spend less time than if you'd make it twice (much less!). Save the left-overs for lunch the next day or freeze left-overs for a quick meal later in the week.
5. Find and prep a recipe. Find a recipe you'd like to cook. Take a picture of it or keep it saved on your phone. This way when you're at the store, you'll actually have it with you to ensure you buy all the necessary ingredients.
6. Freeze bananas. I LOVE banana ice-cream. Taking 2 minutes to freeze banana chunks has saved me so many times when I come home hungry and yearning for something sweet. If there's frozen bananas, I can make banana ice-cream (many different flavors) in a matter of minutes. I also enjoy adding frozen banana chucks to my oatmeal in the morning with blueberries and chopped dates.
Simply freeze very ripe bananas by removing the peel and cutting or pulling them into 1 inch chunks and placing in a zip lock bag and place in the freezer until hard. Learn how to make my traditional banana ice-cream here or berry-chocoloate ice-cream here.
7. Make a batch of baked sweet potatoes. Cook 5 or so at a time and enjoy baked sweet potatoes as a snack, for breakfast or use as part of a meal like black bean sweet potato quesadillas. Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 45-60 minutes. Smaller yams or sweet potatoes won't take as long to bake.
Now I'd love to hear from you. Answer today's Take Control Now question by clicking 'comment' below.