How to Keep Lunch Meal Prep Super Simple
A non-foodie, hungry dietitian’s tips to fast meal prepping for one.
By Jana Spindler (Online Nutrition Counseling, Calgary Dietitian & Sports Nutritionist)
The Lunch Challenge:
I am a very hungry person.
I am a very lazy cook!
I don’t allow much time for cooking meals.
I like a hot lunch during the week.
I don’t want to eat the same lunch five times a week.
My Solution: Mix & Match Meal Prep
Step 1 – Choose 2-3 proteins for the week
- I will make usually 3 portions of 2 types of protein for my lunches so I have variety day to day.
- If I have more than an hour to prep my meals, I will cook with chicken, turkey, beef, sausages, pork, etc.
- If I have under an hour to prep my meals, I make fish, deveined shrimp, edamame, veggie ground round or other vegetarian protein sources like lentils, tofu, beans, or textured vegetable protein.
Step 2 – Keep staple grains/ starches on hand all the time
- I keep rice, lentils (dry or canned), beans (dry or canned), potatoes, pasta and whole wheat wraps (kept in the freezer) on hand all the time.
- I choose 1-2 of these for my meals each week.
Step 3 – Use frozen vegetables!
- I always keep a big bag or two of frozen vegetables on hand to add to meals or even to increase my vegetable content in a meal to reach my “half-your-plate” goal.
- Alternatives to frozen vegetables are using vegetables I don’t have to chop (mini cucumbers, baby tomatoes, mushrooms, etc) or bagged salad mixes.
- Another alternative is mass roasting pans of vegetables (carrots, onions, peppers, parsnips, sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, etc).
Step 4 – Add flavour
- I like to use different flavours on the same items to make lunches feel more exciting.
- I will often alternate using salsa, guacamole, spicy mustards, Traders Joe’s “Everything But the Bagel Spice” or chili powder with lime juice.
So there you have it, meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t need to be a gourmet cook or devote huge amounts of time to eat well.
If you are seeking support to help to make meal planning simple if you are cooking for one, don’t want to spend oodles of time in the kitchen or find yourself eating out often, we can help. We specialize in health without guilt or complexity. Our Registered Dietitian team can work with you in person at our Calgary office or online through our virtual private and secure video conferencing services. C
For more information about our Calgary Dietitian / Online Nutritionist services by our experienced nutrition counseling team visit: NUTRITION COUNSELING.
Disordered Eating, Emotional Eating & Sports Nutrition
Fitness enthusiast and lover of all things food, Jana is passionate about helping her clients improve their relationship with food and their body. She is a strong, motivational leader. Jana also offers the balance of a warm, supportive coaching style to nudge her clients from their comfort zone while feeling safe and supported. She specializes in mental health, eating disorders, body image and sports nutrition.