If I'm being honest, meal prep sounds like a lot of work—work that I'm not entirely willing to commit to on a Sunday afternoon. Which is why I found registered dietitian Keri Glassman's list of realistic meal-prep ideas so helpful. As she shares over on Women's Health, Glassman simply clears her schedule for one short half hour each week in order to prep a few basic foods (and eat healthy all week long). "Sure, you want to reach for a healthy snack—but if you forgot to pack cut-up veggies and the vending machine is right there, then odds are you're going to go with the bag of pretzels," she writes.
We've all been there; here's exactly what she preps to "keep her nutrition game on" each week.
Quinoa: Simply cook two cups of quinoa in four cups of water, and you'll have the base for a stir-fry, oatmeal, or a grain bowl all week. Try it with "almond milk and chopped walnuts for breakfast, on top of a kale salad for lunch, or heated up with frozen veggies and veggie broth for a side dish at dinnertime," she suggests.
Fresh-cut veggies: Cut up carrots, celery, broccoli, cauliflower, jicama, red peppers, and whatever else you like, and you've got snacking covered for the next five days. "Before work, pack some veggies in the bag with an individual pack of hummus or guac," she suggests. "After work, snack on raw veggies with salsa to keep your hunger at bay pre-dinnertime. Whenever and however you eat raw veggies, they're super nutritious."
Hard-boiled eggs: The perfect breakfast or a protein-rich addition to any salad or grain bowl, hard-boiled eggs are "beyond easy to prep and are super-portable," notes Glassman. "I like to leave a few in the fridge at work for midday or afternoon munchies. Not only are they convenient, but they're also a low-cal, satisfying protein choice."
Roasted veggies: Sheet-pan veggies are possibly the easiest way to meal prep. "Take Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and any other veggies, sprinkle with olive oil and fresh herbs, and roast at 400° F until slightly burnt," she instructs. "You can toss them into an omelet in the morning, place them in an airtight container and bring them to work to pair with nuts for an afternoon snack, or have them ready for a side for dinner."
Head over to Women's Health for more from Glassman, and share your favorite meal-planning hacks below!