I have partnered with Dannon® Light & Fit ® to help promote their Show Us Your Meal Prep Challenge. I have been compensated for my time commitment. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.
The summer is upon us, so it seems to be the perfect time to talk about meal prep and meal planning. Summer brings holidays, parties, BBQs, vacations and more, so many people become sidetracked from their healthy eating. I usually try to do a little meal planning each week to prevent myself from eating cereal for dinner every night. Most days, I pack my breakfast and lunch for work along with a variety of options for snacks depending on what I’m in the mood for. While those meals are pretty standard, my dinners require a little more forethought. Keep reading to learn my best practices and tips!
My breakfast is oatmeal almost every day. It’s quick and easy-to-prep, plus it’s delicious and filling. I will generally prep my oatmeal and salads on a Sunday night so I’m ready for the week. For lunch, I typically have a salad piled with veggies and I make sure to include a carb, fat, and protein choice so I’m satisfied. Protein sources include tuna, chicken, beans, lentils, etc. Carbs are generally on the side, such as bread, quinoa, or a muffin. My favorite fat source comes from avocados or nuts. I cook any grains and chop veggies in advance so all I have to do is fill my container or plate.
Snack prep is the fun part! Since I usually workout right after work, I try to make sure I have a snack in the late afternoon. One of my go-to snacks is Greek nonfat yogurt since it has protein, a nutrient that is linked to satiety and is also essential for maintaining healthy muscles (aka a great workout snack!). The Dannon Light & Fit Greek Nonfat Yogurts are my favorite since they have 12 grams of protein per serving. Eating one yogurt every day is an important first step toward creating a more balanced diet and a healthier lifestyle. Yogurt can be part of a healthy eating pattern as a smart snack, convenient breakfast addition, delicious cooking ingredient, or as a tasty dessert. Other snacks I sprinkle throughout the afternoon are dates, nut butter with fruit, nuts, carrots and hummus, as well as snack bars.
Dinner is the most difficult meal for me to plan. Days vary by scheduling and so does my appetite, so planning ahead isn’t always the easiest. However, I do have some general tips that can make meal prep more successful.
- Use the crockpot for at least one meal/week so you have less “cooking” to do.
- Make a pan of roasted veggies to incorporate into meals throughout the week.
- Convenience foods are key – use that prepackaged item on a night you are short on time.
- Frozen veggies are a savior – just pop in the microwave for a few minutes and they are ready.
- Hardboiled eggs are a quick, cheap, and easy protein source that can be added to almost any meal. Or when in doubt, breakfast for dinner is always a win.
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about dessert! If you are anything like me, you require a taste of something sweet every day. Some of my favorite dessert options are homemade treats, dark chocolate, or a Dannon Light & Fit Greek yogurt. The Mousse and Crunch options taste decadent, plus both are a good source of calcium! Light & Fit Mousse Nonfat Yogurt contains 80 calories and 9 grams of protein per 4 oz. serving, while Light & Fit Greek Crunch contains 130 calories and 11-12 grams of protein per 5 oz. serving. My favorite flavors are the Greek Crunch Peanut Butter Delight and the French Vanilla Mousse, or if you’re feeling fancy make a parfait! And follow Light & Fit on Instagram here for more inspiration!
Meal prep doesn’t have to feel like rocket science – just stick to a few small tips and tricks to be successful! What are your best meal prep tips?? Please share 🙂