Have you found yourself struggling with the following scenarios:- Should I should spend times in the Sunday afternoon and do groceries shopping to kickstart the upcoming week, or just stay in and binge-watch on Netflix? Should I go on to reward ourselves to have an unhealthy but very tasty and highly satisfying meal on a Wednesday afternoon? Should I skip lunch in order to get more work done? Plus, I don’t want to feel sleepy after meal. If you are struggling with any of these scenarios, here are the best nutritious tips from Cameron on similar scenarios given from our readers:-
1. “What are something light and healthy that I can pack for lunch at work? More importantly, to make me feel energetic.”
Personally, I am a big fan of a hearty salad for lunch. Since I am a big parfait or oatmeal fan for breakfast and I often find myself going out for dinner, lunch is the meal where I’m mainly focused on to get my servings of vegetables. Plus, something too heavy can give me that post lunch “need for a nap” feeling, especially if you’re working a desk job. Salads are super easy to prep and bring with you to work, allow you to get creative with the ingredients in your fridge and pantry, and load up on vegetables. I personally love a good kale Greek salad with roasted chicken or a kale fall salad. It’s important for you to find a salad that you actually enjoy and pack a good combination, because there’s nothing worse than spending time prepping something and then sitting down, only to realize you don’t like the meal you’ve made. No sad desk lunches here! If you’re not a salad person, no worries! I’ve actually rounded up my favorite meal preppable lunch options here; they not only include some salad options, but also tons of soups, stews, and other easy and healthy meals to pack for your day at work.
2. “What are some light snacks I could carry with me around for when I need some motivation and energy booster?”
I’m a big proponent of having snacks on hand; you never know when hunger is going to strike! Personally, I love having energy balls with me when I am traveling. I make these on my own and they are packed with healthy fats, clean ingredients, and minimal sugars. Plus, I can use whatever ingredients I happen to have on hand and change up the flavor profile to experiment. Two of my personal favorites are my Coconut Cacao and Cashew Tahini balls. I love to prep them on the weekend and store in my freezer until I’m ready to enjoy either at my desk or on the go!
3. “Is it okay to just have smoothie in place of a proper breakfast?”
Smoothies are a great option for breakfast, but, like many foods, not all smoothies are created equal. Some of the store purchased smoothies can be loaded with sugars and not sufficient protein or fat, leaving you with a sugar crash just an hour or so after enjoying. I like to follow Kelly LeVeque’s rule that focuses on the “Fab 4”: fat, fiber, protein, and greens. My personal favorite is a smoothie that includes 1 handful of spinach, 1 scoop of protein powder, ¼ avocado, ½ banana, 1 tablespoon of nut butter, 1 cup of unsweetened nut milk, and water. This not only tastes delicious, but also keeps me full until lunch.
4. “I usually don’t have time to meal-prep, what food would you recommend if I want to start doing so?”
That’s fair, we are all busy! If you want to begin meal prepping, I recommend starting in the shallow end as opposed to jumping off the high dive into the deep end. Start small! I personally would try making just a few versatile dishes on a Sunday and using that as a lunch/dinner option for three or four of the week. See how you feel having something already made on hand and ready to enjoy without having to cook. If this is something that you happen to enjoy, you will be more inclined to start doing more of it and adding in more recipes than just one! To start with, I love doing a grain (rice, quinoa, farro, etc.) to have on hand, a protein (chicken, ground beef, ground turkey, etc.) and then two to three roasted or steamed vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli, asparagus, etc.). That way, you can mix and match the prepped ingredients to make different/exciting meal combinations to enjoy that week and not have to eat the same meal over and over again.
5. “Does meal prep affect the nutrition or freshness of the food?”
It is said that some nutritious value gets lost when any food is cooked, so it depends on how you are prepping. If the food is in raw form (i.e. a salad), I do not see it losing its nutritious value. However, freshness does come into play no matter what the ingredient is. As much as I would love to say that all meals taste just as great a few days later, that’s just not true. I recommend eating any meals you’ve prepped within a 3-4 day window in order to be safe. However, when it comes to salads, I usually consume those within 1-2 days and do not pre-dress them to maximize freshness. That being said, there are some recipes that actually taste better after having sat into their flavors for a bit. For instance, I believe that chili is always best the next day! Even if I’m making it to serve at a party, I’ll do so the day before so that it has sufficient time to thicken to my liking. It is all about your preferences at the end of the day!
Interested in working with Cameron Rogers? Visit www.freckledfoodie.com to learn more about her healthy living approach through health coaching and recipes. Connect with Cameron… Facebook: @freckledfoodie / Instagram: @freckledfoodie / Pinterest: @freckledfoodie