Often I would just rely on dinner leftovers as opposed to specifically planning any easy lunch ideas or trying to find some healthy meal prep recipes online. Well, times are a changing and now you can find so many lunch ideas for work on the web! I've rounded up my favourite healthy meal prep recipes from my fave healthy living bloggers so you can switch up your weekly meal prep routine and give some more thought to the creative side of lunch time!
Schedule it. For the first month, you have to work your meal prep into your routine, so it is smart to schedule off a block of time dedicated to your meal prep. Set a reminder in your phone. At first you might feel like it’s a chore, but I’m betting once you get going, and you see how AWESOME it is to not have to worry about your meals during the week, you’ll look forward to it!
In addition to the quality of the foods you consume, the quantity matters when considering good eating habits. Taking in the same number of calories as you burn ensures your weight remains steady over time. Consuming more than you burn, on the other hand, results in weight gain as your body converts extra calories to fat tissue. When you accumulate fat tissue, you increase your risk of developing one or more health problems, including heart disease, hypertension, respiratory issues, diabetes and cancer. A healthy meal plan without excess calories helps you not only feel better but can prolong your life.
If you want to lose weight and feel better, you need to eat nutritious food that will keep you full for longer. Protein and fiber take longer to digest and therefore keep you feeling full for longer than simple carbohydrates and sugars. Whether you eat three bigger meals or five or six smaller ones throughout the day is entirely up to you, as long as you keep in mind the number of calories you consume. Typically, a woman should eat approximately 1400-1700 calories each day to lose weight, depending on their specific bodies and nutritional needs.
Meal prep is a once or twice a week large batch preparation of meals to last for 4-5 days. Meal prep is a great way to save time because you only cook a few times a week as opposed to cooking every single day. It’s also a great way to eat healthier – you’ll be a lot less likely to hit the fast food drive through if you have a meal ready to go in the fridge. You’ll also save money because cooking in bulk tends to be cheaper, and it’s way less expensive than going to a restaurant for lunch.
Ginger: Ginger is classified as a carminative (reducing intestinal gas) and an intestinal spasmolytic (soothes intestinal tract) while inducing gut motility. Ginger is known to reduce fever related nausea, motion sickness, and feelings of “morning sickness.” Additionally, it helps aid in the production of bile, making it particularly helpful in digesting fats (16, 17).
Even the USDA has abandoned the confusing food pyramid in favor of a simpler “healthy plate” diagram. To build a healthy plate, fill half your plate with vegetables — and, no, French fries don’t count! Choose “crunchy” vegetables, such as broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and leafy greens like kale and Swiss chard. On the other side of the plate, put whole grains or legumes in one quarter and a serving of healthy, lean protein in the other.
SS: Ask yourself why you’re doing an all-juice diet. Is it for a reset? To detoxify? To lose weight? Remember, the body is designed to naturally detoxify itself with the help of the liver, skin, through sweating, kidneys, and through breathing. A three-, five-, or seven-day juice cleanse is not the answer to rid your body of toxins, especially if you go right back to the toxic exposures and habits you were engaging in before a cleanse, such as overconsumption of fast or fried foods, refined sugars, and artificial ingredients. The answer is to fuel your body daily with the key nutrients that support proper detoxification, like antioxidants, soluble and insoluble fiber, high-quality proteins, and herbs and spices that have anti-inflammatory properties. A fruit/vegetable juice can be a part of this healthy diet. You will reap far more health and weight benefits long term by partaking in eating and lifestyle habits that aid natural detoxification versus a juice cleanse.
Some juicing proponents say that juicing is better for you than is eating whole fruits and vegetables because your body can absorb the nutrients better and it gives your digestive system a rest from working on fiber. They say that juicing can reduce your risk of cancer, boost your immune system, help remove toxins from your body, aid digestion and help you lose weight.
Make the right changes. When cutting back on unhealthy foods in your diet, it’s important to replace them with healthy alternatives. Replacing dangerous trans fats with healthy fats (such as switching fried chicken for grilled salmon) will make a positive difference to your health. Switching animal fats for refined carbohydrates, though (such as switching your breakfast bacon for a donut), won’t lower your risk for heart disease or improve your mood.
Much like planning out your meals, doing meal prep saves you a lot of time—which is super helpful when the going gets busy as hell. When it comes to meal prepping, there are a few things you'll need to get yourself started: The right storage containers (AKA a sturdy set of BPA-free Tupperware), a well stocked pantry, fridge, and freezer, and a couple hours to spare on Sunday night.
Putting down the salt shaker and skipping sugar in your coffee is a step in the right direction, but that’s not where most people get the majority of their salt and sugar. Sodium and sugar are rampant in most packaged foods from pasta sauce and mac and cheese to rice mixes and soups. Start by checking the nutrition label on your breakfast cereal (some pack up to 20 grams of sugar per serving!).
Spinach: Spinach is a powerful source of chlorophyll and glycoclycerolipids that protect the digestive tract from inflammatory damage. These glycoclycerolipids are the main fatty acids that makeup the cell membranes of light-sensitive organs in chlorophyll containing plants. They have powerful immune boosting and anti-cancer effects (8). Additionally, spinach is an important source of copper, zinc and selenium which boost immunity.
Each of our 7 healthy homemade juice recipes provides about a quarter of the average daily recommended fruit and vegetables per glass (5 1/2 cups for a 2,000-calorie diet). Several studies show that adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet can improve your mental health and sense of well-being, yet most of us don't get enough. While smoothies generally contain more fiber (because the whole piece of produce ends up in the final product) and more fruit, fresh juices can be loaded with dark leafy greens and lots of red, orange and/or purple vegetables to help maximize the nutrients in every glass. Our 7-day juice plan gives you delicious recipes every day to help you add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
Prepare more of your own meals. Cooking more meals at home can help you take charge of what you’re eating and better monitor exactly what goes into your food. You’ll eat fewer calories and avoid the chemical additives, added sugar, and unhealthy fats of packaged and takeout foods that can leave you feeling tired, bloated, and irritable, and exacerbate symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
The important differences involve calories and fiber. One of the myths of juicing is that when pulp is removed, there goes all the fiber. The truth is some fiber is lost, but not all. Much soluble fiber remains in fresh juice while most insoluble fiber is removed. The pulp is additional calories so juice is preferred for weight loss. But those with digestive issues will find more help in the fiber-rich smoothie. Also, one of the most powerful cholesterol-lowering compounds is insoluble fiber so a smoothie would be our choice for lowering cholesterol.