Meal Prep 101: Let’s Bowl!

Step 1: Grains. Making a large batch of grains in one sitting makes it easy to grab and go when you’re short on time. The healthiest options to choose from are quinoa, farro, whole grain pasta (*healthy bonus if it’s a bean made pasta), wild rice, bulgar, spelt, or barley. Cook the grains according to the directions on the packaging and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Step 2: Veggies. Adding colorful veggies to your nourish bowl is a MUST. You can use pre-cooked veggies like broccoli, sweet potatoes, carrots, and cauliflower. Or take it up a little notch with fresh, raw veggies like dark leafy greens, cabbage, cucumbers, and tomatoes. Using a combination of raw and cooked veggies adds different textures which can help improve nutrient absorption. Pro tip: prepare or purchase pre-cut and washed produce so you can Store them and then you can simply grab from the large container the night before or day of when assembling your bowl.

Step 3: Protein. There are a surprising number of options for a protein that can keep your bowl plant-based or even vegetarian; including pre-cooked or pre-prepped items like hard-boiled eggs, beans (chickpeas, black beans, lentils), and even tofu or hummus. If you’re still craving a hardier protein source, opt for lean sources like salmon, lean turkey, or lean cuts of meat. The goal is for your proteins to take up about one-third of the entire bowl, and the rest of the bowl full of veggies and grains.

Step 4: Toppings. In addition to the fresh veggies, you can add a variety of nuts, seeds, avocado, or even herbs and spices for extra flavor and nutrients. Try a handful of hemp seeds, walnuts, or pumpkin seeds for some satisfying crunch.

Step 5: Sauces. Now to the good stuff. Tying your favorite bowl together with the right sauce makes all the difference in flavor AND can either help or hurt all the healthy options going into the bowl. Try using pre-made sauces like pesto, chimichurri, hummus or simple salad dressings. Avoid condiments that are creamy or made with dairy as these usually add unnecessary calories and saturated fats. When choosing an oil-based dressing, opt for extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil for heart health and a happy ticker.

Healthy nutrition and good-for-ya foods are just as important as getting enough exercise. Get creative as long as you’re in the “change” it up mindset and try different combos of your favorite foods. Remember, keep things as colorful as possible and don’t be shy with the veggies!

Lindsey Gass

Lindsey Gass, RD, LD/N is a registered dietitian in Miami, FL. With a bachelor’s degree from Florida International University, Lindsey has years of experience in clinical, sports, long term care, and community nutrition. Lindsey currently works in critical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where she provides nutrition support and participates in trauma research. Outside of her career, Lindsey is an avid runner and Nike run club pacer working towards qualifying for a Boston marathon. Follow Lindsey on Instagram at @lin.health for nutrition tips and tricks. Learn more about Youfit’s Registered Dietician