Time is everything in the professional world. With a growing work-load, and only so many hours in a day, one must make every second count in order to thrive and survive.
However, if you're committed to living a healthy lifestyle, you find yourself wishing for more hours in a day so you can squeeze in some time to cook. Although there are establishments that offer healthier food options, the reality is most readily available meals in most restaurants and fast food joints are rather unhealthy.
Preparing nutritious meals is a particular challenge for health nuts. Most fitness-obsessed working professionals have likely blocked their precious mornings for Plana Forma or yoga, so they don't have time to cook breakfast. And who has the energy to stand in front of a hot stove after an evening spent in killer Barre3 and spinning classes? Who has the foresight to pre-plan and prepare their low-carb, low-sugar, high-protein, high-fiber meals for the week every Sunday night? Who has the superhuman abilities to bake gluten-free bread whilst juggling, work, family, exercise, and vegetative Instagramming?
Therefore, those who wish to eat wholesome meals run the risk of resorting to unhealthy junk because of lack of time and food options.
And therein lies the main problem with maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The effort, commitment, and dedication to stick to a fitness routine, combined with the perceived added weight of preparing your own meals is just too much to handle.
Fortunately for you, we can help you get your daily fix of protein, fiber, healthy fat, and complex carbs before walking out the door.
Don't worry, mostly you’ll be slicing, mixing, and refrigerating!
1. Overnight Oats with Almond Milk
Some meals can even be prepared the night before a particularly challenging day.
Add equal amounts of rolled oats and almond milk in a mason jar, mix, contemplate the meaning of life, and let your refrigerator do the rest!
Mixing fruit--dried or fresh--is highly recommended.
Overnight Oats can be stored in the fridge for up to two to three days (or even longer if you don't add fresh fruits).
Recipe variations include mango and pineapple, almond butter and cocoa nibs, blackberry maple, apple cinnamon, raspberry and peanut butter. You can scrape some vanilla beans if you're feeling snazzy. You can even add banana Nutella on your cheat day. I promise I won't tell anyone.
Aside from its make-ahead convenience, this dish is also packed with protein, calcium, and fiber. Seeds and nuts are recommended last-minute sprinkles for added nutrition and to make you feel full longer.
2. Soy Chia Seed Pudding
Another overnight recipe that’s enjoyable for anyone.
To make – add equal amounts of soy milk and Chia seeds, a dash of sea salt, and your choice of sweetener in a bowl, whisk vigorously, and leave it overnight in the fridge.
It maintains all the creaminess and flavor of regular pudding, while being entirely gluten-free and vegan. Kids will dig this too, because it's reminiscent of taho (sans the burnt vanilla sugar sauce that makes young ones extra hyperactive).
Chia seed pudding is also as versatile as oats: it can be flavored with virtually anything. Heck, you could add some cocoa powder or melted dark chocolate to kill that intense champorado craving.
Aside from being incredibly tasty, this superfood is also loaded with calcium, potassium, Vitamin B, and antioxidants. These neutral-tasting seeds are also a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids and help balance blood sugar.
3. Salad in a Jar
On the savory side, try preparing this super tasty Burrito Bowl Mason Jar Salad, which can be served cold or hot.
The preparation process is a bit more advanced, but portions will last the entire week. You’ll need several pint-sized mason jars, depending on how much you prepare.
Start by dumping canned beans (rinsed and drained) at the bottom of a mason jar, followed by a sprinkling of red pepper powder and a bit of cumin, then topped with store-bough rotisserie chicken (chopped), avocados (with a squeeze of lime and a dash of salt), canned corn (rinsed and drained), kefir, tomato (diced), kesong puti (or a few chunks of pepperjack cheese), iceberg lettuce (shredded), red onion or scallions (chopped), and cilantro.
When your tummy starts grumbling, simply pour the contents of the jar in a bowl.
You’ll probably be tempted to eat at least two servings, but try limiting yourself to one jar per day.
This recipe is also flexible. You can replace the canned beans with quinoa or red rice, you can omit spices if you want, you can replace chicken chunks with grilled steak or bacon (if you're not too lazy to cook, or if you can cajole someone into cooking for you), you can mix and match veggies too.
Hummus is perfect for those looking for an appetizer or quick snack.
Technically, it’s a dip for sharing, but you’ll find yourself keeping this all to yourself.
All you need is a food processor, canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained), along with traditional ingredients, garlic, lemon, and tahini (sesame seed paste).
Sprinkle generously with olive oil, and finish off with a pinch of smoked paprika on top.
Serve with toasted pita wedges. Or if you're controlling your carb intake, carrot sticks and celery sticks.
And yes, you can totally stuff these in a mason jar!
5. Greek Yogurt Granola Parfait
You can do this in your sleep: dump yogurt in a jar, add store-bought granola, seeds (chia seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds), nuts (almond, walnuts, pecans, cashew, pili nuts), fruits (strawberry, kiwi, blueberry), and a tiny bit of honey or agave syrup.
There you go! Now you can whip up quick, filling, delicious, and nutritious snacks in a snap.
All ingredients mentioned are available in Rustan's Supermarket.
Now go share this post with your workout buddies!