Meal Prepping in a Pinch

Hey guys! Meal prep Monday is almost over! I wanted to get real with you guys today and show you what my meal prep week looks like this week! It isn't the prettiest, it isn't measured out into individual containers, and it's nothing extravagant. This meal prep post is all about going back to the basics, promoting eating home cooked meals by keeping it simple, healthy, and delicious! Anybody can meal prep! Let me show you how!

This weekend was crazy fun and busy. I have been on the road since Friday going down to Las Vegas with my family and friends! We had a blast and got home just earlier today around 3. I am exhausted today from a fun weekend, but I didn't want my health to go. My husband and I ate out in Vegas and on the road, and I wanted to make sure to meal prep this week so that we can save money and eat healthy! Completely exhausted while trying to do the laundry, I threw some rice in the instapot, chicken in the oven, and heated up a bag of frozen veggies in my wok. Once everything was finished, I threw them into big tubber-wear to store for the week. When I am ready for a meal, I can build a quick rice bowl, top it with my favorite sauce, and heat it in the microwave! It isn't the prettiest meal prep week, but it is real. If I can do it, so can you!

The important thing about meal prepping and what makes it so great is that it is ready to go! My rice and chicken is made ahead of time, vegetables are prepped and chopped, so that leaves no time for excuses to not eat a nutrient dense meal! Nutrient dense foods are foods that are low in calorie and high in nutritional value such as chicken and vegetables. Energy dense food is what you get in fast food places and with some restaurants. Energy dense means that the food is high in calories and low in nutritional value such as hamburgers and fried chicken. Energy dense foods will make you feel full, but it will not last. You will find yourself getting hungry sooner. Nutrient dense foods will fill you up, and keep you full until your next meal.

Why do I always use brown rice? I like brown rice for a lot of different reasons. I like brown rice because I like the texture of it. Have you heard the saying "the whiter the bread, the sooner your dead"? I don't know how true that is, but I believe it. When I am choosing my grains and my carbohydrates, I try to steer clear of white, processed flours. I have learned in my nutrition classes that when you choose whole wheat or brown rice, you are choosing a more nutrient dense option. Brown rice has more micronutrients and a lower glycemic index than white rice. But, brown rice does have more calories and more carbohydrates per cup. White rice, has the bran and germ part of it removed, which is the most nutritious part of the grain. Overall, looking at the numbers and going for nutrient dense foods, I choose to consume brown rice.

Whatever rice you like, however you like to choose your chicken, whatever vegetables you like the bets, all are a step in the right direction. Eating out is expensive. It is hard on your wallet, and it is hard on your body. All things are good in moderation, I am a firm believer in that. Every day for lunch, I prefer to have a nutrient dense meal ready to go in my fridge that makes eating healthy a easy choice and convenient. It doesn't have to be pretty, portioned out exactly, or made with the healthiest ingredients. If it was made in your kitchen and purchased fresh, then you are doing awesome! Keep up the good work! Meal prepping is tedious and time consuming some weeks, but the return is worth it. It is healthier, cheaper, and it's quick and ready to go!

Meal Prep Basic

4-6 chicken breasts (or 1 package Costco rotisserie chicken)
1 large bag frozen vegetable mix
2-3 cups rice (brown or white)
Favorite sauce
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Place rice and water (1:1 ratio) into the instapot. Manually set the pressure time for 24 minutes.

Place chicken on parchment lined cookie sheet. Top with salt and pepper. Cook for 45-50 minutes depending on the thickness of the breasts. Chop into bite size pieces for storage.

Place frozen vegetables in the wok or in a frying pan with a little olive oil and cook on medium heat until defrosted. Don't cook all the way, they will finish cooking when reheating in the microwave.

Store all prepped food in air tight containers in the fridge.

For reheating: Place rice, chicken, and vegetables in a microwave safe dish. Top with your favorite sauce, mine is Island Soyaki from Trader Joe's, and reheat for 2 minutes.

Like this recipe and want to save it for later? Make it easy by pinning it to Pinterest HERE

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