There are endless combinations you can make and they all really depend upon what is available to you. It may be challenging for you to find some of the above mentioned vegetables so you have to go with what you can get. Be sure to check out local farmers markets where you may have access to fresh veggies you have trouble finding in your health food stores.
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.
At least half your grains should be whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats, barley, or brown rice. Whole grains retain the bran and germ and thus all (or nearly all) of the nutrients and fiber of the grain. One sure way of finding whole grains is to look for a product labeled “100% whole wheat” or “100%" of some other whole grain. You can also look for a whole grain listed as the first ingredient, though there still may be lots of refined wheat in the product. Another option is to look for the voluntary “Whole Grain Stamp” from the Whole Grains Council. Or try this tip: Look for less than a 10-to-1 ratio of “total carbohydrates” to “fiber” on the nutrition label.
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.
Parsley: Parsley is super rich in chlorophyll and also contains about three times the amount of vitamin C by volume as an orange. Vitamin C is extremely important for healthy immune function and youthful skin & joints. Additionally, it contains carotenoid anti-oxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which enhance eye function and help the body neutralize damage from UV radiation (14).
Now don’t get me wrong – that’s great – and it’s always amazing to see people becoming healthier, but there are some significant problems with the normal style of juicing – problems that especially athletes need to be extremely wary of. While juicing can be healthy and you probably know how nutrient-dense vegetables can be, there are two big juicing problems that you must be warned about: “obesity traps”and “performance drains”.
Preparing home-cooked, plant-based meals is simpler than most people realize. A simple recipe formula features legumes (such as lentils or beans) combined with cooked whole grains (such as bulgur wheat or brown rice) and raw or cooked vegetables, served hot, warm, or cold. To save time, people can prepare large amounts of dried beans and whole grains. Flavor enhancers include olive oil, lemon juice, and dried or fresh fruits, as well as spices and fresh herbs. (Locked) More »
There are pros and cons to both juicing and blending. Juicing provides a very nutrient-dense beverage in a smaller amount of liquid. For those who need a low-fiber diet, juicing may be a better option. It’s important to note that the portion size of juice should be smaller than a blended beverage. Otherwise, you can get many calories from sugar in that cup of juice. Juicing can also be more expensive, as you have to use a greater volume of produce (for example, about 2 oranges, 1 stem of kale, ½ red pepper, 1 cup berries, and 1 stalk broccoli will make about one cup of juice but about 3 cups of smoothie).
However, beware claims that juicing is the only way to stay healthy, that you should avoid solid foods, or that juicing is a substitution for a medical diagnosis or treatment. There’s not much research out there that proves that juicing is healthier than eating the whole fruits and vegetables; however, juicing does makes them easier to consume on a regular basis.
Without the energy you get from things like carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will likely dip which may lead you to feel sluggish and fatigued. And if you let yourself get to hungry, Rachele Pojednic, Ph.D., assistant professor in the nutrition department at Simmons College and professor at the Harvard Extension School, tells SELF that appetite-inducing hormones like ghrelin may even cause you to become shaky or sweaty.
In a nutshell: No. Health Matters turned to Shira Sussi, MS, RD, CDN, a clinical nutritionist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Helen Mullen, MS, RD, CDN, CNSC, clinical nutrition supervisor at NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital, who explain why relying on juice for weight loss or its so-called cleansing properties has its drawbacks.
If all you have time for is a quick snack from the gas station or drugstore, know that you do have options, and if you know what you're looking for, it will be easier to find. When we asked registered dietitians to recommend snacks to buy at the drugstore, they tended to go for things like nuts and seeds that pack plenty of flavor (hi, wasabi chickpeas), plenty of protein, and not a whole lot else.
Some meal prep recipes will freeze better than others. Proteins like chicken, turkey and beef will hold up well to freezing. Typically starches like pasta do not hold up well in the freezer as they’ll be mushy when thawed. Rice and potatoes are great candidates for the freezer. Many vegetables can be frozen, but veggies with a high water content, such as zucchini and lettuce, do not freeze well.
Shira Sussi, MS, RD, CDN, is a clinical nutritionist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center. She works at the Charles B. Rangel Community Health Center, part of NewYork-Presbyterian’s Ambulatory Care Network, and the Outpatient Nutrition Practice at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia. She primarily works with pediatric patients, pregnant women, and adults living with obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and heart disease.
For the stir fry, drain the shirataki noodles well and place in a non-stick pan. Cook over medium heat for 8 minutes so the excess moisture can evaporate, you know the noodles are ready when the bottom of the pan is white and dry. Remove noodles from pan, roughly chop them a couple times and set aside. Pre-heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add 2 teaspoons of oil along with the onions, bell peppers, and green beans. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute and then whisk the eggs very well and add to the pan. Lower the heat to medium and stir well to break up the eggs, once they have scrambled add the noodles to the pan and mix well. Add 1 tablespoon of amino acid, 1 teaspoon of sriracha, and ½ teaspoon of toasted sesame oil. Mix well and check for seasoning, you may need more of the sauces. Lower the heat to low, slice the cooked chicken, and add to the pan. Remove from heat, serve and enjoy. Stir fry will keep in the fridge for 3 days, but can’t be frozen. The best way to re-heat is in a hot non-stick pan or if using the microwave, place a wet paper towel over the container and make sure not to over-heat or the food will get dry.
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!
I use the low carb shirataki noodles to make the pesto pasta and the noodle and veggie stir fry. My favorite brand is pasta zero by naysoya, they have no funky smell and work great as a noodle substitute. Just make sure to follow the directions below and cook the excess moisture out of the noodles in a dry non-stick pan, otherwise they will make the dish watery.
You know it’s a bad idea to go to the store when you’re hungry, but that’s not the only key to smarter shopping. The biggest mistake people make is not knowing what they need and, instead, browsing the aisles for inspiration. That leads to buying more packaged foods and less fresh, whole foods. Go in with a list based on recipes you intend to cook for the week, and focus your shopping on the store’s perimeter, which is home to the fresh produce, dairy, meat, and fish.
While there are many pasteurized, ready-to-drink options in the grocery store, it’s important that you check the ingredient list thoroughly before purchase. Many mass-produced juice blends go heavy on the fruit over vegetables, as the sweetness makes their product more palatable. The pasteurization process reduces the overall nutrition benefits, as many of the enzymes die off in the heating process.
Hi there, it’s Lacey! I’m the editor and main writer for A Sweet Pea Chef. I'm a food blogger, photographer, videographer, clean eating expert, and mommy of four. I also run the awesome free Take Back Your Health Community, am the healthy and clean weekly meal planner behind No-Fail Meals, and a little bit in love with Clean Eating. Be sure to check out my free beginner’s guide to eating clean and follow me on YouTube and Instagram to get my latest recipes and healthy eating inspiration.
“Juicing may be the fastest and easiest way to get in nutrients from the vegetables you’d rather skip at dinner,” Sharp says of the kales, celeries, spinaches, and other often-dissed veggies. “If you have a juice with a meal or otherwise, make sure you supplement with fiber to make up for what’s lost in the juicing process if you don’t leave the peel on.” (May we suggest a nice bed of lentils?)
Food containers come in all shapes, sizes and equally important – materials. Depending on your lifestyle, you can pick the ones that fit into your lifestyle (and your bag!) best. If you’ll be taking a lot of your meals with you on the go, the slimmer and lighter the container is, the better. Also, make sure the container is suitable for keeping in the freezer and/or microwave use, depending on what you’ll be using it most – that’s why I love these glass meal prep containers. There are plenty of options and after you’ve done your planning, it will be much easier for you to determine what kind of container is the best option.
Create an eating style that can improve your health now and in the future by making small changes over time. Consider changes that reflect your personal preferences, culture and traditions. Think of each change as a “win” as you build positive habits and find solutions that reflect your healthy eating style. Each change is a MyWin that can help you build your healthy eating style. Use the tips and links below to find little victories that work for you.
For many people, food is a chore, a challenge, even a source of dread, as they try to overcome poor eating habits. But eating should be a joy and a centerpiece of family life. Many cultures around the world emphasize the enjoyment of food, which includes cooking and eating with others, as an integral component of good health. The latest Dietary Guidelines say that eating healthfully involves “enjoying food and celebrating cultural and personal traditions through food.” According to some research, shared mealtimes, especially during childhood, may help protect against nutrition-related health problems as well as increase prosocial behavior in adulthood.