FUNCTIONAL FOOD | PREPPING IS THE NEW BLACK
Sometimes, after a long hard day, the last thing we want to do is get home and cook. I can relate: you are tired and you just want to put your feet up and relax. But! you are also starving and want to nourish your body with wholesome food; you want to eat something that will nourish your body, your mind, and fuel those muscles with all the goodness that they need to rebuild, repair, and get them ready for that next workout at Motivate. Who has time for that?!
Although there are options that are readily available (hello, postmates delivery), there is nothing quite like a home-cooked meal in terms of quality, taste, and nourishment. Enjoying food with your partner, family, or just by yourself is a ritual that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Food is life!
So, what to do when you have so little time but don't want to eat microwaved dinners?
Enter meal prepping! If you dedicate just 45 minutes of your week to prepping food in advance (that's less than 7 minutes per day!) you will be able to whip up a bowl-like meal in a matter of minutes any given day! yeah, I said it!
Here's my go-to prepping method:
1. Bake a big batch of vegetables: Carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, red peppers, even onions are delicious roasted! All you need to do is literally cut them into chunks (in the case of onions they are even more delicious when roasted whole or cut into halves), sprinkle on some dried thyme, fresh rosemary, pepper, a sprinkle of sea salt, and toss them (optional) with 1 tbsp of coconut oil or avocado oil and bake ‘em for 40 minutes in the oven at 400º F. Yum!
2. Make a big batch of quinoa, brown rice, amaranth or buckwheat. These pseudo-grains (technically seeds, with the exception of brown rice) are extremely nutritious and filled with B vitamins, iron and magnesium. Cook a big batch of one (or two) for the week, and then rotate with another one the next week so you get a different variety of nutrients and you don’t get bored ("Variety is the spice of life" ☺️). Don’t be afraid of complex carbohydrates! These grains contain a good amount of fiber which will prevent your blood sugar from spiking. Complex carbohydrates are essential for energy production–always keep that in mind.
3. Make a big batch of lentils or beans while you are making your grains.
4. Steam some broccoli or any vegetable of your choice; you can even sauté them if that's what you fancy.
5. Make sure you have avocados. Just adding half an avocado to your lunch or dinner plate gives you much needed wholesome fat, necessary to make hormones, for optimal brain function, and for your skin! And you can make guacamole! Guacamole makes everything better! EVERYTHING.
6. Have a good sauce you like on hand (made out of whole foods with no fillers, or additives). I’m a sucker for hummus. I also like to play around with salad dressings. An easy one is tahini sauce. Mix ¼ cup tahini with 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, ¼ cup warm water, 1 tsp honey, a dash of pepper and that’s it! (Makes about 4 servings)
7. Always make sure to have some fresh greens. You can simply dump them on your plate. (Kale, which is even more delicious massaged with some avocado, is a great option too. You can do this in advance. Check out Cereza’s recipe). Spinach, romaine….and even fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley and oregano can offer so much nutrition and taste at the same time!
8. Optional: Have some kind of probiotic food in your fridge to feed your gut. Sauerkraut, plant based kimchee, or organic miso are great ideas.
That’s it folks! The only steps that really require time are 1 through 4, and they are literally just cutting things and sticking them in the oven, or preparing them however you prefer. That won’t take you more than 45 minutes. If you have a slow-cooker, then lucky you because you can leave your grains and beans to cook and forget about them while you check your instagram feed. It's a win win.
Every couple of weeks, I will be posting nutrition and wellness advice, recipes, and interesting findings worth sharing with all of you. I know that we all have different interests and needs so I will try to cover different topics with every post. I would love to read your feedback so I encourage you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comments section below.
If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website Alimental G.