Does the thought of prepping an entire week of meals stress you out and also sort of nauseate you? It does me. I have never liked cooking vats of food and individualizing it for the whole week. I can’t even think of eating the same chicken over and over all week long. I know that some people cook multiple meats, starches, and multiple veggies to try to break it up. For some this really is the only way they can adhere to a diet or work it into their schedule. And that is perfectly fine. It does work. But for me, it has always been overwhelming.
What I like to do is a little simpler. I make too much for dinner the night before and then individualize myself a portion for lunch the next day. If I make too much chicken I can use it the next day for a salad, wrap, or just eat it on its own. For my schedule I always am able to make myself breakfast in the morning and dinner at night, it is only lunch that needs to be packed each day. I imagine for the majority of people this is the case although I know some professions require a couple meals to be eaten on the job. Basically, just make a little too much at the time you are able to cook so you can reuse it (even in a different form) at another meal.
Below I have listed a few good staples to have around for lunch or dinner that you can also use to create your next day meals with:
- Frozen steamable veggies you can throw in the microwave
- Greek yogurt for a snack- I like Dannon Light n Fit
- Individualized rice cups if you just want rice every now and then and not every day of the week.
- Josephs pita wraps- you can put your chicken tuna, or even lunch meat in. They are low carb and they are actually good!
- fresh fruit- bananas, apples, berries
- Some lettuce or spinach for salads. You can use up your chicken or turkey from the night before and make a salad for lunch the next day
- Cottage cheese- If you like it. And let me tell you, I never in a million years thought I would ever like it. But it grew on me. I always buy fat free and honestly it tastes better in my opinion than the fattier versions. I usually put some blueberries in it too
- Protein powder or bars. Always good to have on hand just in case you need a quick snack and don’t have time to eat.
The key is to try to keep it simple but yet not boring. Boring meals are hard to adhere to. Sometimes I don’t even want to eat my lunch that I made for myself the night before let alone one that I made 4 nights ago. Usually if I really enjoyed dinner the night before I am excited about having it again for lunch. If it was something relatively plain (like grilled chicken) this is when I spice it up with a wrap or a salad. If those are getting boring, play around with different low calorie dressings or adding different veggies. Whatever keeps you wanting to eat it. This lessens your chances of wanting to order out at work or stop to a drive thru for something quick to eat.
Just wanted to throw this out there if there is anyone that feels the same as me. 🙂