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Wellness Wednesday–Lunches for the week!
For this week’s #wellnesswednesday, I’m going to give everyone some insight on what I do to prep lunches. I get asked all the time about meal prepping, and most people’s main concerns are as follows:
- They don’t have time
- Eating healthy is expensive
I’m going to demonstrate how dedicating the time on the front end of your week is not only cost-effective, but in almost all cases it will SAVE you time at the end of the week.
Here’s how it goes:
Step 1: I have a glass pan that I use for baking. Turn the oven on to 350 degrees. Throw a bag of frozen, boneless chicken thighs (I buy mine at Aldi’s and it’s about $6.49 for the bag) in the pan. Toss with taco seasoning and salsa (I never measure anything!). Put aluminum foil on it and throw it in the oven–set kitchen timer to 99 min (it’s as long as it can go for!).
Time spent on step 1: 2-3 minutes
Step 2: Go do something else for 99 minutes–after all, you’re busy, right???
Step 3: When the kitchen timer goes off, start your rice cooker. The quantity of rice you need to cook may vary depending on how much protein/carbs you need in your lunches, but let’s say you cook up 1.5 cups of uncooked rice (that’s 1.5 cups white rice, 3 cups water). I like to throw a couple of chicken bouillon cubes in there for added flavor.
Time spent on step 3: 2-3 minutes
Step 4: When the rice cooker is done, everything is done! You can either wait for things to cool a bit before portioning or you can portion it out right there, but I would recommend not throwing the hot food directly into your refrigerator. I portion out about 7-8 oz chicken with about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of white rice per meal. The bag typically makes about 4-5 meals, or about 3 meals if I am divvying it up between Maggie and I (she eats a smaller portion as you might guess!). Combine each lunch with a steam fresh veggie bag and you can’t get a whole lot easier of a meal to take with you to work!
Time spent on step 4: 3-5 minutes
There you have it! Granted, there’s down time while you wait, but it’s time you can spend doing a multitude of other productive things. For a net total of about 7-12 minutes of actual WORK, you have meals prepped for virtually the entire week. Not only is the total cost of all those meals right around $7-8 COMBINED, but your total time you spent would be less than if you added up all the time you’d have to spend sitting in a drive through window, or ordering lunches by phone all week long to have them delivered. My argument: it SAVES you time rather than costs you time.
The choice is simple, and I like to remember the following advice: Failing to plan is planning to fail. I’ve become so accustomed to planning my meals out ahead of time that it is a huge inconvenience in the rare occasion I fail to do it. Make it a habit–your wallet and calendar will thank you for it!