Many people get discouraged when trying to eat healthy because they don’t have the time to constantly cook fresh food. Luckily, this is where meal prep comes in. Preparing healthy foods at the beginning of the week can help encourage you to eat well and save time.
If you’re trying to clean up your diet, but don’t have all the time in the world, try one of these eight easy meal-prep combinations that anyone can make.
1. Instant Oatmeal
Constantly feel rushed in the morning? Try making one of these instant oatmeal mason jars with freeze-dried (read: no sugar added) fruit, which are much more nutritious than buying prepackaged instant oatmeal from the grocery store. Just fill with hot water or milk in the morning, and you’re good to go.
Recipe: Clean Food Crush
2. Spicy Black Bean Bowls
Make a hearty mix of rice, beans, guacamole, and salsa for an easy lunch that’s loaded with south of the border flavor. This meal is great for vegetarians, but it will be sure to still keep you full throughout the day.
Recipe: Meal Plan Magic
3. Chicken Sweet Potato Bake
This delicious dinner just requires some chopping at the beginning of the week, and then you’ve got a mix of sweet potato, chicken breast, carrots, broccoli, and parmesan cheese that will keep you fed until the weekend.
Recipe: Apple of My Eye
4. Coconut Cilantro Tilapia
This low-carbohydrate meal can work great for lunch or dinner. It’s filled with coconut cilantro tilapia, carrots, peas, and a variety of spice and herbs. It sounds fancy, but it’s easy enough for even the most amateur of chefs.
Recipe: My Body My Kitchen
5. Chicken And Veggies
Take a few chicken breasts (or, to save time, buy a rotisserie chicken from the store), and add in a good variety of vegetables. The healthy balance of complex carbohydrates and protein will keep you nourished, and you’ll spend very little time prepping these meals.
Recipe: Gimme Delicious
6. Mason Jar Salad
No need for a sad desk lunch when you can have a fresh mason jar salad. These make-ahead meals are portable and don’t get soggy, as you mix it up later on. Bonus: They only take 20 minutes to make.
Recipe: Iowa Girl Eats
7. Taco Salad
Take a little bit of time to pre-portion some ground meat, lettuce, and your own little condiment cups for a week’s worth of Mexican goodness. You’ll feel healthier eating these taco salads than going to your local fast food Mexican joint.
Recipe: Rehabilitated Fat Boy
8. Chicken Pad Thai
Meal prep doesn’t have to be boring or uninteresting. This Pad Thai is easy to make and will definitely have you looking forward to your meals during the week, no take-out necessary.
Recipe: Fit Men Cook
RELATED: Here are five meal-prep recipes that you can make in under an hour and store in the freezer!