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Food and Nutrition

Meal Prep Ideas if You’re Short on Time

Vanessa Martin, RD | Nutrition Specialist
/ May 5, 2023
Mason jar salads - one of our meal prep ideas

Strapped for time? We’ve got you covered with meal prep ideas for the time-constrained Enara member.

If you’ve been working with your Nutrition Specialist for some time, you may already understand the benefits of meal prepping. They include: 

  1. Saves time: If you already feel like you have limited time, preparing meals in advance can help tremendously! You can save a significant amount of time during the week with meals ready to go when you need them.
  2. Saves money: Meal prepping can reduces food waste and also prevents the need to purchase expensive convenience foods or eat out frequently.
  3. Promotes healthy eating: Meal prepping allows you to have control over what you eat, making it easier to choose healthy, nutritious meals rather than opting for meals based on cravings.
  4. Reduces stress: Having meals planned and prepared in advance can reduce stress and anxiety around meal times. It is one less decision you have to make for the day, thus freeing up mental energy. 
  5. Helps with portion control: By pre-portioning meals, you can avoid overeating and ensure that you are consuming the right amount of food.

Overall, meal prepping can help simplify your life, improve your health, and save you time and money in the long run. But what if you feel like you have very limited time? Or you simply don’t like or want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen? Well, here are some meal prep ideas that are quick and easy to put together and can last for multiple meals!

Meal Prep Ideas for Breakfast and Lunch

If you want to save time in the kitchen, you can make:

  1. Overnight oats: Mix rolled oats with equal parts milk and yogurt, add your favorite toppings like fruits, nuts, and seeds; then leave it in the fridge overnight. It’s a quick and nutritious breakfast.
  2. Hard-boiled eggs: Boil a batch of eggs at the beginning of the week and store them in the fridge. You can use them for breakfast, snacks, or add them to salads for a protein boost throughout the week.
  3. Egg muffins: Mix eggs with your favorite vegetables and protein, pour the mixture into muffin tins, and bake in the oven. You can store them in the fridge and reheat for a quick breakfast or snack.
  4. Breakfast burritos: Scramble eggs with vegetables and protein, wrap the mixture in a low carb tortilla, and store in the fridge or freezer. You can reheat them for a quick breakfast or lunch option.
  5. Mason jar salads: Layer your favorite vegetables, protein, and dressing in a mason jar. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days — this makes a convenient and healthy lunch option.

Meal Prep Ideas for Dinner

  1. Slow cooker meals: Throw ingredients in a slow cooker in the morning, and by the time you come home from work, you have a delicious, hot meal waiting for you.
  2. Sheet pan dinners: Roast vegetables and protein on a sheet pan in the oven. It requires minimal prep and clean-up. 
  3. Stir-fry: Stir-fry vegetables and protein in a wok or a large skillet. It’s a quick and easy meal that that you can make in under 20 minutes.
  4. Freezer meals: Make a large batch of your favorite meal and freeze it in individual portions. This way, you can have a quick and easy meal whenever you’re short on time.

Remember, meal prep doesn’t have to be time-consuming or complicated. The key is to find recipes that are quick, easy, and adaptable to fit your plan and taste preferences.

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