Meal Prep…Not for Me!
I like to cook when I have the time or when I’m not exhausted, but during the school year that rarely happens. I come home from work and have to walk my dog and workout. The last thing that I want to do is cook dinner. This is usually when people reach for something quick, and unhealthy. Thankfully for me, I don’t. I feel so much better when I eat healthily, and so I stick to my healthy eating.
It has taken me years to figure out that “healthy” looks different for everyone. My version of healthy could, and most likely does, look different from your version of healthy. A few years ago I took a food sensitivity test at my nutritionist’s office. I learned that I have a sensitivity to eggs, dairy, and a thousand other random things.
At first, I didn’t completely eliminate everything that I was supposed to. It was too hard. I’d go out to eat, and I wouldn’t be able to order anything. I was also embarrassed to be “that person” who had to ask the waiter what was in each dish that I was considering ordering.
About six months ago, I finally buckled down and committed 100%. Every single food that was on my “no” list I started saying no to. Game changer. My stomach just feels better. No bloating or uncomfortable feeling after I eat. After about three months of not eating eggs, I had some. BIG MISTAKE. I was sick to my stomach for an entire week and felt terrible. I had cramps that would not go away no matter what I did.
I think that it is really important to figure out what works for you. There are so many food sensitivity tests out there now. If you haven’t taken one, and your stomach hurts regularly after eating, do it! Here is a link to an at-home food sensitivity test: EverylyWell.
As soon as I wake up, I am hungry! It doesn’t matter if I wake up at 5:30 am or 10:00 am: I need food ASAP. I also like to have “a morning” before I leave for work. I like to wake up and take my time. Rushing is not for me. If I feel rushed, by entire day feels unorganized. I prefer waking up early, walking my dog, eating breakfast, drinking coffee, and getting ready for the day without feeling the pressure of having to hurry.
Because of this, I like to do an easy breakfast. I typically have oatmeal. I pour some quick oats or old-fashioned into a bowl and pop it into the microwave while I put the K-Cup into my Keurig for my coffee. (I have another coffee pot for the weekend that I like to use when I have time for more than one cup!)
Once my oatmeal comes out, I pour a dash of almond milk on the oats and chop up a banana. When my coffee is done brewing, I put some more almond milk in the cup so that it doesn’t taste as strong. Easy (healthy) breakfast, with minimal effort!
Lunch is tricky for me because I am at work all day and can’t leave. Because of this, I have to make sure that I prep this meal beforehand, which I hate to do! However, if I don’t, I end up eating random food that I find in my desk drawer, which results in me being either 1) still hungry, or 2) annoyed that I am not eating something healthy.
Recently, I have been bringing in a fruit, sparkling water, and a veggie/rice mix. To make this veggie mix, I honestly just pour frozen cauliflower and veggies into a pan. I add a bit of olive oil and salt to the pan. Once everything is cooked, I divide it into two or three containers, and BAM! Lunch for a few days. It takes about five minutes, tops. I buy the frozen cauliflower and veggies from Trader Joes, and each bag is about $2-3 dollars. Most inexpensive lunch ever! If I see some fresh veggies that look good at the grocery, I do the same easy meal! I take the fresh vegetables, sprinkle some salt and pepper (maybe another spice), put a bit of olive oil on top, and then stick it in the oven for about twenty minutes. Again, super easy!
I love a good snack. I try to have a lot of snacks on hand so that I don’t reach for the wrong thing. I love Kind Bars, fruit, sparkling water, popcorn (air-popped!), Cliff Bars and Kombucha drinks.
Snap Kitchen is my new go-to for easy meal prep. Snap Kitchen is a game changer. Snap has locations in a handful of major cities. Other similar meal services exist in other states. Snap is fantastic because they cater to all people’s food preferences and limitations.
There is a Paleo, Whole30 section, Vegan, Vegetarian, Low-Carb, and Keto section in the store. Picking up meals is easy. You can go in and “shop” the meals like a regular grocery store, or you can do what I do: take advantage of the app. You can also select a meal plan option and receive pre-planned meals created by a dietitian.
The app is awesome. It allows you to pre-order your meals and schedule a time for pick-up. If you are too busy to even pick up your meals, they can drop them off to you for a small fee. I like to schedule my meals for pick-up. I select on the app the foods that I want and can sort the food by my limitations so that I can see only foods that work for me.
Snap can be a bit pricey. Each meal costs about $7 and each snack is about $2-3. However, I do not mind spending the money for Snap’s dinner options. If you eat out at dinner, I guarantee that your meal would cost more than $7!
And there you have it!
Meal prep during the work week, 100% not for me. Shoutout to all the people who somehow manage a job, working out and meal prep! I hope that my lazy “meal prep alternative” helps you realize that intense meal prepping isn’t the only way to be healthy! As long as you are mindful of what you put in your body, and understand what works for your body, you are a million steps in the right direction. Being healthy shouldn’t be as hard as a lot of people make it out to be. A lot of people give up eating healthy because they think it is too difficult. If it is too difficult, you need to find a way to make it easier. I found frozen veggies and a meal service. Do all of my meals look Instagram worthy? Um, no! But they are healthy for me and easy!
1). Do you have any easy/minimal meal prepping ideas?
2). Have you ever taken a food sensitivity test? What were your results?