NORMAN — Q: I seem to be on the go quite a bit and don’t make the best choices when I eat. What are some fast and easy but also healthy ideas?
A: Allow me to introduce the concept of “pre-prepping.” Essentially what this means is setting aside some time — be it a few hours, a morning, afternoon or evening — to wash, chop, cook, arrange, organize or assemble snacks and meals for your upcoming week.
This will save you the time of preparing a few meals later in the week when you are too tired from your action-packed days and also will guarantee healthful options for you to take with you.
First, pick a day or time that works best for you. Dedicate this day or time for pre-prepping. Then, commit to making a grocery list.
Keep in mind some healthy snacks and meals that you can envision yourself having. Examples can be as simple as string cheese or yogurt with fruit, vegetables with a dip like hummus, or a homemade trail mix.
Salads can stretch among many days and can be very versatile if you invest in a variety of ingredients such as fresh or dried fruits, nuts, seeds and fresh vegetables. Think of how you can use the same ingredients for multiple dishes as well to save time and money.
Once you have made your grocery list, have shopped and have brought your food home, start washing, chopping and portioning out your items. Having plastic bags or a few containers on hand is helpful. You can now begin to prepare snacks and meals ready to grab and go or just have your ingredients ready to throw together for dinner.
If you are still struggling to find time to do most of the pre-prep, many grocery stores will have prewashed and chopped produce ready for you, either refrigerated or frozen. These are fast and easy ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet.