You know the saying, “Good health is only 30% exercise and 70% nutrition.” So although you are dedicating 30 min an hour of exercise most days of the week, the real results won’t come in until you address your urge to grab a sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich on the way to work every morning or that quick slice (or slices) of pizza for lunch on busy days.
Below I’ve listed for you some quick and easy meals and snacks to satisfy your taste buds while thanking your body with good nutrition.
1. Overnight Oats
Grab a cleaned out, re-sealable jar and begin by filling 1/2 to 2/3rds of the jar with steel cut oats. Next add a liquid to be soaked up by the oats- Low fat milk, almond or soy milk. The rest is up to your taste and imagination! I usually go for raspberries, blueberries, bananas, almonds or walnuts, and a big pinch of chia seeds. Last thing to do is leave the jar in the fridge overnight. Enjoy in the morning! Tip: don’t fill the jar to the top. Leave some room for the oats to expand!
2. Frozen Fruit Smoothie
This is another breakfast time satisfier that you can customize to your wants and needs. Toss frozen fruit, ice, and flax seeds into a blender. You can even add a splash of juice or milk or a scoop of protein powder. Blend until smooth. Tip: save money by freezing your own fresh and cleaned fruit instead of buying fruit from the freezer section.
3. Veggie Burger Wraps
In a rush to get out of the house? Just get a microwaveable veggie patty cooking and lay out the components of your wrap- a tortilla, lettuce, tomato, a slice or two of cheese, and a sauce to bring it all together such as honey mustard, Dijon, hot sauce, BBQ whatever you like. Assemble your ingredients plus your veggie burger and you’ve got lunch on the go!
4. Leftover PB snack
What do you do when there is too much peanut butter at the bottom of the jar to throw it away, but too little for a sandwich? You cut some pieces of celery or carrot smaller than the size of the jar, slice up an apple, and stick them all into that layer of PB for a portable and tasty snack!
5. Sweet grapes
This one will calm your sweet tooth while adding fiber and extra water to your diet. Leave a bunch of grapes to freeze overnight. Before heading out the door, toss some into a cup or container, add some whipped cream, and you’ve got yourself a sweet, handheld snack.
6. Cold Zoodle Dish
Ah, zoodles, one of my favorite ways to trick myself into adding more veggies to meals. Zoodlers are cheap and available at many grocery and household stores. Simply choose a couple veggies that have longer shapes (e.g., zucchini, carrot, sweet potato), grab some leftover meat from dinner, and choose an oil for taste (extra virgin olive, sunflower, sesame). “Zoodle” your veggies into long noodle-like strings and combine all ingredients in a portable container! Tip: no microwave needed, but because of the meat be sure to refrigerate it sooner than later if you’re not consuming the dish ASAP.
7. Beef Jerky
Although the media has led to me associate beef jerky with lumberjacks and long distance hikers, I’m here to present beef jerky as a great form of low fat protein to anyone looking to gain muscle while cutting body fat. Tip: Since beef (or turkey) jerky is merely dehydrated meat, avoid brands that have very long lists ingredients.
8. Roasted chickpeas
Here’s a crunchy alternative to salty chips or buttery popcorn. Chickpeas are high in fiber, protein, and complex carbs to keep you full without weighing you down. Set the oven to 400°. Rinse a can of chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans) and pat them dry. Lightly coat them in oil and toss them in your favorite spices. Spread them out on a baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, shaking them every 10 minutes.
9. Fruit Waffle
This quick meal is transportable, nutritious, and delicious. Spread two toasted whole wheat waffles with peanut butter and add the fruit of your choice to one waffle- banana or strawberry slices, raspberries, or blueberries. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg and combine the two waffles to make a sandwich! Tip: add all ingredients to a single waffle to cut down on carbs.
10. Avocado Toast Fiesta
A simple meal with an exciting twist. Add sliced or mashed avocado onto a sturdy piece of whole grain bread or Ezekiel bread. Next add black beans, diced tomato, and a pinch of shredded cheese topped with salt, pepper, and chili powder for a filling snack with excellent flavor.