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quinoa

Holiday meal prepping made easy
Food

Meal Prep for Happy (and Healthy!) Holidays

Having a hard time with your diet? Short on time? Want to try meal prep but feel lost? Here are some yummy, fast and easy recipes to jump start your healthy lifestyle for 2017!

Since I began working two jobs (Exec. Asst. by day, Pilates by night) I am constantly strapped for time, especially during the holiday season. Meal prep has become essential. Whether you are trying to hit a certain weight goal, or just lean out, a major key to your success is what you eat. (I abide by the 80% diet, 20% exercise rule) Here are some reasons meal prepping is a weekly routine you should start now. Keep scrolling all the way down for some fast and easy recipes (pictured here)that you can use for your next prep!

Stress reliever: It’s an accomplishing feeling to know that you don’t need to worry about cooking (cleaning after cooking), or figuring out what you are going to eat for the next few days. I feel so good after I meal prep because I know I have freed extra time to focus on all my goals for the week.

Keeps you on track: You get to choose exactly what is included in your meal prep. Nourishing your body is so important and meal prepping makes it easy to immediately replenish your body after a workout or long day at the office. Pre-packing into Tupperware also helps with portion control.

Added incentive: It’s tough to make healthy decisions ALL the time. When my hunger gets the best of me I too have found myself reaching for whatever is in sight. Or tell myself I’m only going to have a few cookies, and end up eating the whole sleeve. >.< Meal prepping forces you to hold yourself accountable. You’ve invested the time in preparing, why actively go out of your way to ruin it with junk? Suddenly the healthy meal becomes the convenient one, and the excuses to give into temptation are eliminated.

Saves you $$$: Let’s say you eat out for breakfast ($6) lunch ($12) and dinner ($15) during the 5 day work-week. That adds up to $165. Instead, for about $50, you can prepare 5 days’ worth of meals, easily saving you over $400 a month.

Here is how you can get started on your own meal prep and prepare the meals pictured below!

Meal Prepping made easy

Mexican quinoa bowl, Turkey Sausage pasta, and Overnight oats <3

Quinoa Mexican Burrito bowl with Chicken
Serving 4  Prep time: 20 min
1 cup of quinoa
½ lb. of chicken breast (cut into strips)
¼ cup chopped onion (small pieces)
2 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 can of black beans (Cuban style, but regular works too)
Handful of cherry tomatoes (sliced in halves)
½ can of canned, crushed tomatoes (fire roasted for added flavor)
Adobo seasoning (to taste)
Red pepper flakes (to taste)
Spinach (1 handful per serving)
1 lime (cut into four slices)
1 avocado (cut into four slices)
Mexican style shredded cheese

1. Season the chicken strips by covering in adobo and a few shakes of black pepper. Cook chicken in a large, non-stick skillet. 6-8 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink, stirring frequently so not to burn.
2. While cooking the chicken, add the quinoa and 2 cups of water to a pot. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. Once all the water is absorbed, (usually takes about 10-15 min) fluff and remove from pot. (Once water evaporates, quinoa burns quickly so keep an eye on it)
3. While cooking the quinoa, add the onion to another saucepan on medium heat. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add the black beans, crushed tomatoes (from the can) and cherry tomatoes. Add adobo seasoning and red pepper flakes to taste. Let the beans simmer for about 10-15 min stirring occasionally.
4. Divide and layer the quinoa first, then the tomato/black beans. Chicken is last. Top with cheese. Divide the lime, avocado and spinach between the four containers.

Turkey Sausage Pasta
Serving 4  Prep time: 23 min
Whole wheat fusilli pasta (8 oz.)
½ lb. of turkey sausage (Uncooked, Italian style I prefer the spicy kind)
2 cans of canned, crushed tomatoes (fire roasted kind for added flavor)
1 red and 1 yellow pepper cut into long thin strips
Handful of cherry tomatoes (sliced in halves)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons of minced garlic
Salt and red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/3 cup of (freshly chopped) basil

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Remove casings and divide turkey sausage into smaller (bite size) pieces.
2. Cook sausage for about 5 minutes in a large non-stick skillet. Once cooked through, move to a plate.
3. Add tomatoes, onions, chopped red and yellow peppers to the same skillet. Stir frequently until veggies are lightly cooked (about 5 minutes)
4. Add tomato sauce, crushed red pepper, salt, garlic and browned sausage to the skillet. Bring to a quick boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low/medium, cover and simmer until sauce is fully heated (about 10 min) While sauce is still simmering, add raw pasta to the now boiling water and cook until desired tenderness. Once pasta is drained, mix it into the sauce, and you are ready to serve.

Overnight Oats
Serving: 1   Prep time: 2 mins
Add 1/2 cup of rolled oats to a mason jar
2/3 cup of milk of choice (I use soy milk)
1/3 cup of plain Greek yogurt (I use 2%)
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
A few shakes of salt
2 tablespoons of natural honey
Optional toppings: flax, peanut/almond butter, fruits, hemp seeds, cocoa powder, cinnamon, raisins, the toppings are endless

Mix together before storing in the fridge overnight
Also pictured: Lenny & Larry’s cookies. With 16g of protein & 8g of fiber in every 4 oz cookie, it’s the perfect snack to satisfy a sweet tooth guilt-free. CLICK HERE to shop and receive $10 off $50+ order, code: 10AMB50, $20 off $100+ order, code: 20AMB100, $40 off $200+ order, code: 40AMB200

Voila! You can now maintain an easy, healthy, and stress-free diet for the next four days! Let me know your thoughts/questions below! If you try any of the recipes listed, post a pic and tag me @lanishea17 +hastag #mealprepwithlani – Cannot wait to see what you create! 