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  • Beth Chiodo, RD, LDN, CWC

No-Cook Meal Prep for Lunch and Dinner!

It’s been a wild week on the home front! The kids have shared ear infections and colds, and meal prepping has taken a backseat. It’s easy to keep up with healthy changes until life happens and other things take a priority. My hands couldn’t possibly move fast enough to cook when I walk in the door at night, and the rain this week has made my commute a nightmare!

When you have to give something up, the first thing tends to be something for yourself. You give up exercise, cooking, or relaxing because it becomes about survival and just getting through each moment. However, if you know what choices to make and what shortcuts to use, you can still do something for yourself amidst the chaos of everyday life. You don’t have to lose sight of your health and wellness goals just because things start crumbling. Sometimes, maintaining healthy choices is the one thing that is a constant in my life when everything else seems chaotic (that and a glass of wine).

If you need a quick meal and don’t have time to plan, check out some of the options below. It gets more difficult to make healthy choices and you have to be slightly more creative and nutrition savvy if you’re not cooking, but you can do it. Remember, pre-packaged food is typically higher in fat and sodium than what you might cook at home, but these choices are probably better than your alternative:

Lunch ideas:

  • Wawa turkey sandwich on whole grain bread with mustard and as many veggies as you can pick.

  • Wawa’s Superfood Salad

  • Sushi. Add the seaweed salad for a burst of antioxidants.

  • Salad bar with mostly vegetables, lean protein like chicken, tofu, or tuna, beans for protein and fiber, and about a tablespoon of your dressing of choice.

  • Broth or vegetable-based soup with a salad or half of a sandwich

  • Amy’s Organic Frozen Meals (My favorite is the Indian Palak Paneer)

  • Lean Cuisine with a side salad and piece of fruit (It’s not about eating perfectly; it’s about eating better!)

Dinner Ideas:

  • Any above lunch choice

  • Rotisserie Chicken, sweet potato, steamer bag vegetable of choice

  • Whole grain pita bread, cucumber, tomato, and feta cheese, roasted peppers, olives, and tzatziki sauce or hummus from the Mediterranean bar in most grocery stores.

  • Entrée and two vegetable sides from the prepared food section of most grocery stores (Wegman’s is delicious!)

  • Vegetable quesadilla, light on the cheese, side salad

  • Breakfast for dinner

  • Stir Fry: Frozen stir-fry vegetable medley; frozen bag of shrimp, tofu, or chicken strips; pre-made stir fry sauce; instant brown rice.

  • You can order a pizza. Add vegetables and a side salad.

These are just a few. See how creative you can get!

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