One hour of food prep on Sunday = healthy eating so easy you don’t even think about it.
Excellent amazing news! You can eat healthy every day of the week without even really thinking about it, or trying that hard. It’s true.
The secret is to take some time on Sundays to prep a LOT of healthy food for the week. Then when you’re done, you’ll have so much good stuff stocked in your fridge and freezer that you’ll eat well all week without even trying, really.
BuzzFeed Life reached out to Abby Langer, RD, a registered dietitian and owner ofAbby Langer Nutrition. She heartily endorses this style of plan-ahead-to-be-lazy kind of healthy eating, and gave some suggestions that you might want to try out.
1. Chop celery and carrots into sticks, and create little hummus and veggie snack jars.
“Snacks! They’re so important!” Langer says via email. Each weekend, “get everything for snacks together and make sure you replenish what you don’t have.”
For these cool little veggie snack jars, stash them in your fridge and grab one each morning on your way out. Hits the spot.
2. Or package a few baggies of nuts + berries.
Like 1/2 cup blackberries with 2 tablespoons of raw, unsalted pistachios, for instance. Another great snack option that takes like 0.4 seconds to pull together, and even less time to grab on your way out the door in the morning.
3. Prepare a big batch of black beans for protein.
“Always make one or two proteins — I love black beans,” Langer says. “I pretty much always keep them in the fridge and use them on salads, in wraps, and in bowls with rice or quinoa and veggies.”
Get the recipe for those healthy sweet potato, black bean, and egg white breakfast burritos here, via Ambitious Kitchen. And here are 27 of the most delicious things you can do with beans, if you need some more inspiration.
4. Or roast a chicken or a tray of chicken breasts.
Great for salads, sandwiches, or just general veggie- and grain- dishes. And so easy to just grab and re-heat anytime throughout the week. “Protein seems to be the big barrier for a lot of people — they get home late and they don’t want to cook chicken or whatever, so having the protein part of the meal already done I think increases the likelihood that they won’t give up and order in instead of making something for themselves,” Langer says.
Here’s how to make the most delicious roast chicken of all time, if you’re looking for some guidance.
5. Or boil half a dozen eggs (or more).
These guys make great portable snacks (just add salt and pepper), OR you can slice them up and toss them in salads, on sandwiches, and more. Each egg is under 100 calories and has over 7 grams of protein to help you feel more satisfied.
Read How to Make the Perfect Boiled Egg, Every Time, Every Way, on Greatist, for more info.
6. Wash, chop, and prepare a bunch of different veggies for the week, and store them in tupperware containers.
Get some pointers on what to do with them from Jess at Girl Walks Into A Barbell.
7. Or ignore the whole chopping and washing veggies thing and just buy a veggie tray for the week.
“If you know that you’re not going to have the time, energy, or motivation to prep vegetables for snacks during the week, buy a veggie tray at the supermarket and get over it,” Langer says. “Some of us need to buy prepared vegetables and there’s no shame in that.” No shame in the veggie tray game indeed.
8. Make a tray of egg muffins for quick and easy breakfasts all week long.
“Scrambled eggs with vegetables, poured into muffin tins and baked,” Langer says. “Freeze them, then pop into the microwave for breakfast on the go.”
Get the recipe for those vegetable and egg muffins here.
9. Or pull together some slow-cooker oats.
“A big batch of oatmeal done in the slow cooker with apples and cinnamon, for example, and made with milk (for protein, or protein powder if the person is vegan) is something that’s good for breakfast for days,” Langer says. You just need to heat it up when you’re ready to eat it. “Overnight oats work as well — soaking the oats in yogurt and milk or milk alternative, and adding fruit and nuts, hemp hearts, chia; it’s all good.”
10. Roast some veggies to use in all of your meals throughout the week.
Langer recommends veggies that roast well, like asparagus, zucchini, and peppers, which you can make in batch and then use them all week in pretty much every one of your meals. Get the recipe for those gorgeous roasted veggies here.
You can also just roast or barbecue cauliflower or broccoli whole, and then just heat them up when you’re ready to eat them.
11. And roast some potatoes while you’re at it.
“Roasted potatoes are amazing in a salad, or what I did yesterday — I smashed roasted baby potatoes with hard boiled eggs, added mayo and chipotle powder and ate it for lunch,” Langer says. “I was annoyed that I had no avocado to put in there, but the potatoes and eggs were totally just leftovers and it took me 5 mins to make that lunch. Awesome.”
Get the recipe for these garlic ranch potatoes here.
12. You could also prepare a few cups of quinoa or rice, and then set it aside to use throughout the week.
Quinoa is another fantastic source of protein, and you can basically put it in anything, from salads to granola to pudding and more. Get the recipe for this quinoa, fennel, and pomegranate salad here, and then check out 32 Ways To Eat Quinoa And Succeed In Life for some more ideas.
Rice and quinoa can be used in like a million dishes, Langer says: “For sides. For bowls. For fried rice (yes, dietitians eat fried rice).” Good options to have, without having to worry about it.
13. And if you have the time or inkling, batch-prep a few actual meals while you’re at it. Like these quinoa breakfast bars.
Get the recipe here.
14. Or these burrito bowl Mason jar salads.
Get the recipe here.
Here are 18 Mason jar salads that make perfect healthy lunches, also, in case the burrito bowl isn’t your style.
16. Or this mac and cheese with squash.
Get the recipe here.
17. Or any of these other 27 make-ahead meals that you can freeze for later.
Get the recipe for these crock pot shredded beef enchiladas here.
Happy healthy eating!