Nutrition Blog

5 Tips For Easy Meal Prep This Holiday Season!

5 Tips For Easy Meal Prep This Holiday Season

Reduce your stress and enjoy yourself more!

The holidays are a time of excitement, food and fun, but sometimes the joy can be hampered if planning for a party or a holiday dinner becomes overwhelming. It is especially important to keep stress levels down during the holidays since we are asked to do so much more in a shorter window of time, all while still managing our regular daily tasks… Let’s break this down so we go from frazzled to organized this holiday season! Please consider these 5 holiday meal prep hacks to get you on the right track. If all goes well, you will hopefully have some time for an extra long bubble bath at the end of the day!

1. Stock up on basic essentials.

Make sure your pantry is stocked with holiday essentials like herbs, spices, whole grains, canned beans, canned tuna, low sodium chicken broth, frozen fruits and vegetables. These basics will come in handy when you want to whip up a quick and easy lunch or brunch like yummy sandwiches, grain bowls or delicious soups or salads. You definitely don’t want to be waiting in line at the supermarket for basic staples during the holidays!

2. Buy pre-cut and washed vegetables.

This might cost you a little more, but will end up saving you big on time and money if the fresh vegetables you purchased are not consumed because they have spoiled. These veggies can be easily thrown into a broth with a whole grain like leftover quinoa or brown rice and leftover protein like turkey or chicken to make a hearty soup or casserole. They can also easily be microwaved or stir-fried to make a quick and easy delicious side!

3. Use an Instapot or Crockpot to prep and freeze meals.

Consider making large batches of soups, casseroles or chili that you can stash in the freezer and have on hand to serve when you have impromptu guests or when time is tight. This hack will also help with weekly dinners when you are busy with holiday shopping and your only dinner option may be unhealthier take-out fare. You can also use your Instapot to make a batch of oatmeal for overnight guests, apple cider or even sides like mashed potatoes!

4. Buy pre-cut fruit platters or bowls.

Maybe not the most cost-effective option, but it will certainly cut back on your prep time and will reduce the extra clutter in your kitchen. Who wants extra knives and cutting boards sitting by the sink when you are busy preparing the main dish or sides during the holidays? People will appreciate a platter of fruit on your appetizer or dessert table, giving them variety and healthier options to choose from. Consider adding a bowl of plain or vanilla yogurt next to the fruit platter so people can consider dipping their fruit in!

5. Make a meal and repurpose it!

Consider a weekly recipe you can double and repurpose for your family or guests. This way you are essentially cooking only once and recreating different meals with the leftovers. As an example, consider buying extra protein like chicken, turkey or fish. Your protein of choice can be grilled one night and the leftovers can be used over a salad, added to a buddha bowl, or even tossed in a quick stir-fry with frozen veggies… and Voilà, dinner is served!

Holiday meal prep doesn’t have to be stressful!

These tips will hopefully get you through the holiday season without the pressure or the stress. A little planning and helpful shortcuts can help you get the job done more efficiently and effortlessly. If you have friends or family who are willing to help with prep and meal times, please graciously accept. They offered, which means they want to help. Even clean up can be something a guest who is visiting can do after a meal. It takes a village, so knowing how to delegate tasks is always a great strategy to help keep calm, cool and collected this holiday season!

If you would like to learn more about how I can help you manage your weight peacefully without the diets, please visit my Services page.

References: https://health.usnews.com/health-news/blogs/eat-run/articles/2018-12-17/9-meal-prep-secrets-to-get-you-through-the-holidays

Voula Manousos’ writing is featured in the “Winchester Living Magazine” and “The Winchester Star” of Wicked Local.

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