(In my Sophia Petrillo voice) ...
Picture this, Suriname, 2015 ... and I've just been volun-told that I'll be working on an overnight shift for the next 16 days in a row.
Now that overnight shift did happen to fall over Christmas AND New Years, which meant OVERTIME pay!!!
(This was definitely raising the roof worthy!)
However, the con beyond not being able to see the light of day for the next 16 days was that I would need to get to work to plan out all my meals ahead of time.
For one, this was before meal delivery services like UberEats and DoorDash were a thing. And, for two, I lived overseas at the time, in Suriname and there were very limited delivery options at the time.
Since I was just starting to get into the groove of healthy eating and meal planning I didn't want the next two weeks of work to hinder my progress.
So, I created a plan that helped me eat healthy even though I pretty much had NO TIME to meal prep. I'll share that plan in greater detail during my FREE workshop, Your Meal Planning Bootcamp! You can signup here.
You don't have to wait to get some easy, actionable steps that you can implement this week to eat healthy even when you don't have time to prep.
In this post, I share four of my favorite go-to meals to make when there's no time to cook!
Breakfast might not be the "most" important meal of the day, BUT eating the right meal at the beginning of the day can be the thing that kicks your morning off right. That's why I'm a huge fan of overnight oats. Not only are you getting a nice healthy carb, but oats are a great source of protein as well.
All you really need is a good set of mason jars, some oats, your milk of choice, and whatever toppings you would like for your oats, and you'll have a delicious meal that you can enjoy that required little prep.
Looking for a delicious overnight oat recipe? Try these Chocolate Strawberry Overnight Oats!
Yes, there is such a thing as the "spiced up" salad and I'm all for it. When I was a kid I loved going through the salad bar at Ruby Tuesday and adding all the ingredients my mama would NEVER add to the salads she whipped up for us at home.
Now, as an adult, I'm all about adding new and interesting ingredients to my salads. From quinoa to apple slices, I'm all about taking the traditional boring iceberg lettuce salad we all know and hate and spicing things up with new and interesting ingredients.
Looking to spice things up for lunch? Try this delicious Grilled Chicken Burrito Salad Bowl.
If you don't have a slow cooker in your kitchen arsenal, I will unapologetically tell you that you are missing one of the most important tools in your kitchen. The reason is that the slow cooker was a true gamechanger for me while I was working those overnight shifts. Remember I didn't have time to prep, but I did have time to throw some ingredients in my slow cooker, set the timer, and come back to a delicious dinner ready and waiting for me to devour.
My personal favorite is the Hamilton Beach Set it and Forget-It Slow Cooker, because it is programmable, cleanup is a breeze, and you can even take it with you on the go. While I wasn't bringing this to work with me, it is great for a potluck.
Looking for an easy slow cooker meal? Try these Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs!
Now, I want to make this clear that I'm not a huge fan of drinking your meals. However, I've found that in between meals when I need a quick energy boost, I love having a smoothie or protein shake on hand.
Not only are smoothies and protein shakes a great snack option, but if blended right they can be a quick infusion of vitamins and minerals to help you get through the day.
Picky about your smoothies? Try this Orange Smoothie with Berries and Pineapple!
So, there you have it!
Four meal options that you can choose if you're way too busy for meal prep. Now, you might be thinking, Tomesha, these still require me to do some work.
Yes, they do!
And, that's sort of the point. While it might be "easier" to use a meal delivery service, there are a few unknowns when you're not preparing the foods you're eating. Even though I do enough myself a chef-prepared meal from time to time, a great portion of the meals I eat is prepared at home.
If you're new to meal planning or simply need a strategy to integrate meal planning into your weekly routine, signup for my FREE workshop, Your Meal Planning Bootcamp! You can learn about all the details and signup here.
Dinner time doesn't have to be stressful or require hours in the kitchen. Using simple ingredients you can easily find in your local grocery store, I have 5 healthy dinner recipes you can easily prepare on even the busiest of weeknights!