meal plan

3 Reasons to Start Meal Prepping & Root Vegetable and Bean Soup by Toby Amidor

Between clients and workshops, I've been talking about meal prep a lot lately. It seems to be on everyone's mind, and for good reason. Having a well stocked pantry and homemade meals ready to grab and go helps make it easy to eat healthy throughout your week. But you may be wondering, should I really be doing this, is it really worth it? 

Meal prep looks different to everyone. Some like to set aside a few hours each sunday to prep meals for the week. I prefer to prep things here and there, often while I'm doing something else, to save time on my weekends. So while my sheet pan dinner cooks, I'll prep a soup in the crockpot or roasted veggies or a salad to eat throughout the week. I may make some egg muffins if I have the oven on anyways, prep some overnight oats, or slice peppers and cucumbers for snacks throughout the week. Meal prep takes me no more than an hour each week, and I'm still stocked and prepped for a healthy week ahead. Find out how we can work together to make this your reality too. 

Whatever meal prep looks like for you, it definitely has it's benefits.

See my Top 3 Reasons to Start Meal Prepping below:


1. Eat Healthier & Feel Better

My number one reason to meal prep is to EAT HEALTHIER. Keeping healthy ingredients on hand makes it so much easier to make healthy choices. And by having the ingredients actually prepared makes it that much easier to choose them.

My meal prep routine includes something as simple as keeping my go-to snacks on hand. Right now I'm loving siggi's plain yogurt (or whatever plain Greek yogurt is on sale), hummus and sliced bell peppers and cucumbers, and peanut butter or nut butter packets with apples or nectarines. I know by keeping healthy meals and snacks on hand that are prepped and ready to go, I'm far more likely to make a healthy choice when I get hungry. I'm also less likely to order takeout for dinner when I have ingredients prepped and ready to throw together a healthy dinner in minutes.

 

2. Save Money & Prevent Waste

When we go to the store without a plan, it's easy to buy everything that looks good or is on sale. But by planning ahead for the week and going shopping with a plan, it's easier to leave with just the items you need. Having just a few meals and snacks in mind can help prevent you from going overboard and spending too much. Meal prep will also save you money by encouraging you to eat out less. When you have prepped and planned meals at home you won't be tempted to stop on your way home or need to grab a muffin with your morning coffee because you have better-for-you, homemade meals ready to go.

 

3. Save Time

Yesterday I took 15 minutes to made a crockpot soup and I'll probably get at least 3 meals out of it this week. I took another 15 minutes to cook up some extra veggies and a big salad with my dinner last night to use in other meals this week. By using my time wisely, batch cooking, and figuring out my favorite, easy, go-to meals, it saves me an hour of cooking each night. So even on the nights I don't feel like cooking, it's easy to eat something healthy.


Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz

Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz

Over the summer, my colleague, Toby Amidor, released the best meal prep cookbook! The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook is the perfect tool to help you try new recipes, get organized with meal prepping, and keep your food safe all week long (Toby is a food safety pro!).

The book includes 6 different weekly meal plans, including Clean Eating, Weight Loss, and Muscle Building meal plans (2 weeks each). Each meal plan has recipes, a grocery list, and a plan of action for your meal prep day. Each recipe includes tips for storing to keep your prepared meals safe to eat all week long. 

I'd highly recommend this book for anyone getting started with meal prep or healthy eating. Get your copy here and be sure to try her Root Vegetable and Bean Soup recipe below - it's perfect for this time of year!

Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz

Copyright Toby Amidor, The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook: Easy and Wholesome Meals to Cook, Pre, Grab, and Go, Rockridge Press, 2017. Photo courtesy of Nat & Cody Gantz


What meal prep questions do you have? Ask me here!

Be sure to download my Meal Prep Made Easy Workbook - for my best meal prep tips and tricks, freezer meals, make ahead meals, shopping lists, worksheets, and more.


Toby's Recipe RootVegetableBeanSoup.jpg

5 Things Every 20-Something Should Keep In Their Pantry

Whether you're just making the transition to adulthood, living on your own for the first time, or have been at it for a few years it can be hard to know where to start when it comes to your own health and wellness. Meal prep can feel overwhelming and you may feel like you don't even know what foods to eat. You're not hungry for breakfast or lunch and it's easier just to pick something up on the way home from dinner.

Keeping your pantry stocked with healthy foods and ingredients is key. With most of my clients, we spend a session writing out a grocery list of foods to stock your pantry, fridge, or freezer to help make healthy eating easy. Healthy eating is a million times easier when you're prepared and stocked with healthy foods you like and will actually use. See below for my top 5 things you should keep in your pantry to make healthy eating easy.


Contact me if you'd like help: 

creating a customized grocery list
brainstorming meal ideas,
or want personalized tips
and tricks to make healthy eating easier for you!
 

I would love to give you a little guidance :)

 

Or download my own Grocery List & Pantry Essentials Checklist here!


 
keep in pantry
 
 

1. Olive Oil

Olive oil is a staple. It's a heart-healthy oil you can use to season your roasted veggies, grease your pans, or use as a back-up or go-to salad dressing.

2. Pyrex Containers

Welcome to adulthood! You're now responsible for packing your own lunch. Pyrex containers (or other tupperware) are key in making healthy eating easy. By storing leftovers you instantly have lunch or dinner ready to go for the next day. They're also great for carrying snacks, sauces, dressings, overnight oats, and just about anything else you can think of.

3. Spices

Keeping a few of your favorite spices on hand are an easy way to add tons of flavor without extra calories, fat, or salt. A few of my essentials are : cinnamon, turmeric, & ginger for oatmeal, yogurt, and smoothies; rosemary for roasted veggies; paprika and cumin for veggies or roasted chickpeas; Italian seasoning for pizzas and pastas; and curry, turmeric, and ginger for stirfries.

4. Go-To Healthy Snacks

Find something you like that most people wouldn't consider a junk food. A snack should keep you full until your next meal - choose whole grains, lean meats, fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and fiber to fill you up.

5. Frozen Fruits & Veggies

I usually buy whatever is on sale - frozen fruit can sometimes be expensive. You can also freeze your own fruits and veggies that on on their last leg. I also shop the discount rack and stock up on almost bad fruits and veggies to freeze and use later.

Today my lunch was made entirely from frozen veggies. It's the end of the week and my pickings are looking pretty slim. Luckily my freezer was STOCKED. I defrosted a veggie burger, brussels sprouts, broccoli, & edamame and called it lunch. Life Saver. As far as frozen fruits, I literally use them every day - I add them to smoothies or defrost them add to yogurt or oatmeal or peanut butter toast.

 

Reach out! I'd love to hear from you and talk snacks, staples, and pantry essentials!

 


Download my own Grocery List & Pantry Essentials Checklist here!

DIY No Rise No Yeast 3- Ingredient Pizza Dough

Sometimes you just want pizza. It's an easy go-to and even healthy meal. But, who has time (or patience) to actually use yeast and wait for it to rise? Not me! Maybe on the days I plan ahead, but I'm not always that organized.

Sometimes you need a quick last minute meal and lucky for you I have the perfect solution. I made this just the other night- we got home late and needed a quick-fix dinner. I whipped up this dough, threw on some leftover spaghetti sauce, veggies, and cheese and called it dinner (and then lunch the next day).

It can be easy and affordable to buy the pre-made, Pillsbury pop-open can of pizza dough, but I'm personally not a fan of the hydrogenated oils (trans fat) and other mystery ingredients inside. There's a local bakery here in Bozeman that makes pizza dough and sells it at our local grocery store. For the longest time, this is what I would get until I discovered this super easy recipe (thank you, Pinterest!) and made it my own. As much as I love the local dough, at $2.69 each you can make your own for far less, with ingredients you likely already have on hand: flour, beer, and baking powder. (I'll be honest, it doesn't rise quite the same, but I think it tastes great nonetheless). 

I've tried making this with a few different beers. I've had the best luck with the local, lighter beers. I've used a local Amber Ale and a lighter Pale Ale and could not taste the beer at all. Last time, I used Budweiser (unfortunately, all we had), and it definitely had a slightly Budweiser taste. It was edible, but I probably won't be doing that again. Really any beer will work, play around with what you like. I'd recommend a more mild tasting one.

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Ingredients:

3 cups bread flour (I've also used whole wheat and white whole wheat, the bread flour rises a bit better)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 12 oz good beer
~1 Tbsp pizza seasoning (or Italian seasoning, Herbs de Provence, etc. - whatever you have)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
2. Spread on a lightly floured surface and roll flat into your desired pizza shape.
3. Lightly brush or rub on a bit of olive oil.
4. Bake for 3-5 minutes until dough is set.
5. Add sauce and toppings (more veggies, less cheese!).
6. Return to oven and cook for ~20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.