What’s on your plate today, my friend?
It’s an important question, because what you eat today becomes a part of your makeup tomorrow. You’re literally creating yourself—cells and muscles, energy and skin—with every forkful.
Are you eating your way toward more health and vitality?
The easiest way to tell is to examine your meals. Specifically, their color.
- If they resemble a fresh-from-the-field, vibrant garden, you’re likely fueling up with the good stuff.
- If a beigey, processed option is making up your meal, you’re probably doing your body a disservice.
But let’s be honest for a sec…
Cooking healthy meals can be a challenge—especially on busy weekdays.
That’s been the case for me lately. To be honest, with the hustle and bustle of the fall season—and our big move from New York to Connecticut—some of my healthy meal prep habits have gone out the window! And, of course, everything going on in the world right now hasn’t exactly made things feel less stressful…
I’m not too proud to admit that in hectic seasons like this, I’ve sometimes found myself relying on crappy, premade, vegan food, filled with the processed stuff that I suggest eating sparingly.
You can probably relate…
But I’ve recently found some brilliant solutions that have kept me on track, no matter how busy the season. And today I’d like to share my 5 favorite tips for easy, healthy eating.
My hope is that these tips make your life a little easier—and help you get a rainbow of healthy produce onto your plate this week.
5 Tips to Make Healthy Meal Prep Feel Easy This Fall
Tip #1 – Wash n’ chop
Easy meals can actually start when you get back from the store.
When you get home, don’t just toss your fruits and veggies (AKA my favorite pharmacy) in the fridge. Instead, give them a little TLC.
I call this a “wash n’ chop” session (and it’s 10x better with your favorite music on in the background). Here’s how it works:
- Set aside 30 minutes when you return from the store.
- Wash all your fresh new produce. (You can find some tips for practicing extra care during COVID-19 here.)
- Then get chopping! Cut up and portion out the veggies you’ll use for dinner each night. While you’re at it, prep some fruit to toss in your morning oatmeal or smoothies (and tear some greens for those, too). And don’t forget about snacks. Slice up some fruit or veggies you can reach for anytime you need to nibble!
Your main goal for your wash n’ chop is simply to have things ready to go. This one small investment of time upfront will save you hours during the week.
Tip #2 – Batch cook
When it comes to healthy meal prep, I like to keep my freezer working overtime! Freezing leftovers is an important step in reducing food waste and giving yourself an easy array of home-cooked options for super busy nights.
I also love a “Cook-Free Friday,” where I just defrost a recipe I batch-cooked the previous weekend.
- The best place to start is by freezing big recipes, like soups or chili. They’re easy to multiply for leftovers and they reheat well, too! Just make sure to freeze them in individual portions. That helps reduce food waste because you don’t wind up defrosting more at one time than you can actually eat.
- You can also do some batch cooking during your wash n’ chop. Just toss a few trays of veggies in the oven to roast and simmer some grain on the stove while you work. Presto! Healthy meal prep for a week of hearty lunches.
This is just a small taste of how batch cooking can save you time and energy when you’re craving a night off. And FYI, most homemade things will last for 3 to 6 months in the freezer, assuming they’re stored well in airtight containers.
Speaking of freezer meal-prep…
Tip #3 – Blend your breakfast
I’m a big believer in ADDING before we subtract. We’re trained to think that getting healthy is about deprivation—about taking away. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Remember this: True, sustainable health is about abundance.
It’s about crowding out the stuff that doesn’t serve you by adding in vibrant things that bring you joy. On your plate, that looks like lots of fresh fruits and veggies you love!
A smoothie for breakfast may be the easiest way to do that since it allows you to start your day with big servings of the best ingredients. Just toss ice, filtered water, and your favorite produce into a blender and whir your way to better health!
To make it even easier, apply Tips 1 + 2 to your smoothie routine:
- As you do your wash n’ chop, prep your smoothie ingredients and toss them into some reusable silicone storage bags.
- Stick those in the fridge or freezer and, just like that, you’ve batch-prepped your breakfast for the week! (Do you see how these healthy meal prep ideas can layer together and make your life simpler?)
You can also use a vegan meal delivery service to make smoothies a breeze.
Tip #4 – Keep it simple
I love to try an ambitious new recipe from time to time. It’s fun to learn new tricks in the kitchen, after all! But to be candid…
A worn-out Wednesday is not the time for that, toots.
You’ve just finished a full day of phone calls and meetings, decisions and discussions, laundry and dishes—only to find out that the Sunday-afternoon version of you thought it would be fun to put a two-hour dinner recipe on the menu for tonight. Thanks, weekend me.
In your weekly meal-planning, be a little kinder to weeknight you.
- Stick to staples you know (and that your family likes)
- Keep your recipes to 30 minutes or so of active cooking
- Minimize dishes with one-pan recipes when you can
- And save the fancy footwork for your leisurely weekend days
It’s okay to go easy on yourself, gorgeous. A healthy lifestyle requires a rhythm that’s comfortable for you. So keep it simple and set yourself up for long-term success.
Tip #5 – Have a backup plan
Even with all the weekend prep and wise planning mentioned above, life still happens.
Occasionally, you’ll have a tough day or just won’t be in the mood to cook. And that’s totally okay! You’re human. It happens. Here’s the important thing…
Have a backup plan so that a no-cook night doesn’t automatically become an eat-junk night.
There are a lot of options here:
- Know a few healthy items you can order from a quality take out restaurant
- Have some of those batch-prepped meals waiting in your freezer
- Sub in another fresh smoothie (who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner?)
- Use all your pre-chopped veggies to make a tasty salad in five minutes flat
- Or have some dishes from a vegan meal delivery service on-hand just in case
Knowing in advance some healthy ways to respond will keep you from reaching for the super quick (but super processed) options by default.
BONUS Tip #6 – Get some support
One last bonus tip. Don’t be afraid to get some support!
I told you earlier about how busy things have felt this fall as I prepped for my big move—and how often I was reaching for the low-quality vegan junk foods I advise limiting.
It led me to explore something I’d never been open to before: a vegan meal delivery service.
All the ones I’d heard of were super salty and often packed with added sugar. So I’d always said no thanks.
But one of my team members had been raving about Splendid Spoon, so I finally agreed to give them a try. I was instantly impressed. It’s a vegan meal delivery option that’s:
- Low in sodium
- Free of added sugar
- Shipped in 100% recyclable packaging
- And 100% delicious
They made healthy eating feel easy for me in this jam-packed season.
I love having a healthy stash of Splendid Spoon in the fridge for those nights when Brian and I just want to enjoy a really nourishing meal with minimal effort.
And as a new meal delivery convert, I want to encourage you to get the support you deserve to stay on track when you need it, too.
This exclusive promo rate applies to any of their meal plans you decide to order, and one of my favorite things is that you can customize your order to get just breakfast smoothies—or load up on noodles, soups, grain bowls, the works! Plus they have plenty of recipes that are allergen-free and accommodate special dietary needs. Plus, there are no strings attached or commitments required, so you can try them for a week and pause if you don’t think they’re as scrumptious as I do. (And, with your special deal, each meal costs as little as $7.50!)
So if you could use a little support (in the form of some healthy smoothies, soups, and bowls), then I hope you’ll give their meal deliveries a try!
Healthy Meal Prep—Made Easy
I hope these tips have shown you an easier path to prep and enjoy nourishing meals, even on your busiest weeks.
Remember that you’re worth the effort. Your health and your glorious body both deserve some of the TLC that you offer so freely to everyone else.
So implement a few of these practices and take a satisfying bite of self-care.
Your turn: What’s your favorite hack for healthy midweek cooking?
Peace & delicious meals,