Small Business Owner Nutrition- Meal Preparation Keys to Success

Healthy meal prep containers with chickpeas, chicken, tomatoes, cucumbers and avocados. Healthy lunch in glass containers on beige rustic background. Zero waste concept. Latin Business Today

Here are five meal preparation essentials

 

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two part article. Part one is entitled: Meal Preparation: The Secret to a Successful Work Week

Meal Preparation Keys to Success

As a Registered Dietitian, I always recommend my clients look to include three things in each meal and snack: lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

Lean protein is a protein source that is not high in animal fat, which tend to be the kind of fat that can have detrimental health effects when eaten in excess.

Examples of lean protein include: chicken breast, low-fat cheese, fish, eggs, and low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt. Protein is important for muscle and bone health and many functions in the body.

Healthy fats are found in many vegetable sources and are important for heart health and many important bodily functions.

Examples of healthy fats include:

Avocado, olive oil, fats from nuts and seeds, and fats from fish like salmon and tuna.

While many people used to believe that all fats we bad for you and made you fat, we know that fats are essential for many life functions and are an important part of a balanced diet.

That being said, we want to consume all fats in moderation, as there is too much of a good thing and it is important to remember that fat has more than twice the calories per gram than both protein and carbohydrates.

Fiber is your friend.

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Fiber takes longer to digest, which will help keep you fuller, longer. It also has the added benefit of being both heart healthy and excellent for digestive health.

When you think about your meal planning, think of how you can incorporate something from each category into each meal and snack.

For example, for breakfast, a healthy choice could be a Plain, Non-Fat Greek Yogurt topped with fresh or frozen berries and sliced almonds. With this meal, you would get protein from the Greek yogurt, healthy fats from the almonds, and fiber from the fruit.

This winning combination is full of nutrition and will keep you full all morning without weighing you down.

By choosing the winning combination of lean protein, healthy fats, and fiber, you will set yourself up for a well-balanced meal.

Five Meal Preparation Essentials

These are my favorite five items to keep on hand that will save you time and help set you up for a successful week.

By stocking these items at the beginning of the week, you will have easy access to them, making it more like you will choose them over convenience foods or fast foods.

1.   Yogurt

I choose Low Fat or Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt as healthy breakfast or snack option. It is an easy item to reach for when you are on the go and the only Preparation required is purchasing them.

I recommend avoiding flavored varieties as they can be high in sugar, but you can add flavor by adding fruit to yours.

2.   Veggies:

At the beginning of the week, I pretend that I am preparing a crudité platter for a party. I cut up non-starchy vegetables, such as tomato, cucumber, carrots, peppers, and zucchini to munch on throughout the week.

If you take the time to cut up your veggies and make them accessible, you will be more like to reach for them for a crunch instead of chips.

3.   Fresh Fruit and Frozen Fruit:

Keeping fruit on hand makes for a quick an easy snack. Having it readily available will make it the easy choice when you are craving something sweet.

Placing the fruit at eye level in your fridge, rather than keeping it in a bottom drawer will make it more available to you. Also, frozen fruit is a great option to keep on hand for a sweet and frozen treat. Eat on it’s own or mix with yogurt. Just make sure the only ingredient on the frozen fruit label is the fruit you are buying.

Avoid varieties that have added sugars or flavorings.

4.   Low Fat Cheese Sticks:

Low Fat Cheese Sticks are high in protein and make for an easy grab and go options when you are on the run.

If you pair with a piece of fruit or some whole grain crackers and veggies, you will find yourself with a very balanced snack to keep you going.

5.   Nuts:

Keeping Nuts on hand for snacking or including in a meal can be a very simple way to incorporate protein, healthy fats, and fiber from one super food.

Choosing almonds or walnuts are a great choice as they have the greatest amount of healthy fats of the different nut varieties. Just make sure to watch the portion and avoid consuming more than a handful of nuts at a time.

This is also an excellent item you can keep in your desk, bag, or car for on the go snacking.

Related articles:

Part 1: Meal Preparation: The Secret to a Successful Work Week

Small Business Owner Productivity is an Ounce of Prevention

Understanding and Serving Your Customers

Business Leader, Heal Thyself” 

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