Tips for Planning and Preparing Meals with a Busy Holiday Schedule

Nov 8, 2022 | Healthy Living

Do you create a busier schedule for yourself during the holidays? Do you have many added pressures that you put on yourself? This is often the case for many of us. We are putting added stress on our bodies to make the holidays special each year. Our schedules get out of control and we go to bed asking ourselves how are we going to possibly get everything completed. The first thing we drop from our schedule is exercise to give us more time in a day. Next, we begin grabbing foods that are easy to eat on the run.  These foods often consist of starches and sugars and, in turn, do not fuel the body for it to run efficiently during even non-stressful times. We begin to set ourselves up for failure.  Our health goals are forgotten and we begin to feel exhausted. We are also not getting the sleep we need.  Hunger starts, our energy drops and cravings begin. I would say this is not a fun start to what I like to call the “holiday health failure”.

Don’t let this happen to you. Plan a day to prepare your meals so you have go to foods in the refrigerator when you are on the run. Make sure these foods are ready to go in a container so you can grab and go.  We have been giving you tips over the last months to keep you on track. If you don’t have time to cook than you, definitely, do not have time to look for recipes.

First, let’s discuss the food items to store in your home that can help you create meals on the run. Make sure the foods you choose to have on hand are ones that work with your nutrition goals. These food staples will be incredibly important to your success.

  • Place organic salad greens in a few separate glass containers with covers.
  • Cooked animal protein including turkey, beef, chicken, salmon or buffalo
  • Raw vegetables cut up in a glass container like broccoli, carrots, celery, mushrooms, radishes, etc.
  • Steamed vegetables already prepared in the refrigerator
  • Cooked brown rice, quinoa, or millet
  • Cooked beans – black beans, cannellini beans, adzuki beans, kidney beans
  • Leftover soups like turkey, chicken or beef
  • Miso, wakame seaweed, and green onions
  • Olive oil, flax oil, vinegars, lemons, limes and fresh herbs to make salad dressings. The best option is to have two to three types of dressings made up in advance that you can grab.
  • Roasted veggies – yam or sweet potato, carrots, parsnips, and onions tossed in olive oil and bake in oven on 400 degrees for 45-50 minutes
  • Nuts – walnuts, almonds, pecans, macadamia
  • Seeds – sesame, pumpkin, flax, chia, sunflower
  • Salsa and other toppings you enjoy on your foods
  • Hummus
  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Fruits – fresh is best but frozen is also good
  • Milks – almond, rice, soy
  • Yogurt
  • Herbs and spices you enjoy – Herbamere, sea salt, Himalayan salts, fresh pepper corns, thyme, rosemary, oregano, cumin, coriander, Tabasco, chile pepper

Here are a few options for healthy, nutritional meals in fifteen (15) minutes or less broken down by meal types:

Breakfast Options:

  1. 1 slice of a whole grain toast with 2 teaspoons of a nut butter; 2 eggs prepared with oil and 1 ½ cups of steamed spinach or kale
  2. Energy/Protein Smoothie: 2 Tablespoons of Whey, Soy or Rice Protein Powder blended with ½ cup blueberries, ½ cup strawberries, ¼ blackberries, 1 Tablespoon of Flax Oil, six almonds or walnuts, 4 ounces of a milk option and 8 ounces of water; blend in a high speed blender for 1-2 minutes.  Pour into a to go cup and drink.
  3. Brown Rice Farina Hot Cereal: ¾ cup of water, 3 Tablespoons of farina cereal, ½ medium apple or other fruit choice, diced, 3 Tablespoons of chopped almonds or walnuts and 1 Tablespoon of Maple Syrup/Rice Syrup or 2 drops of liquid stevia.
    Directions:  Bring water to a boil over medium heat; add farina; cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes; remove from heat; put cereal in a bowl and top with fruit, nuts and sweetener; stir and eat.
  4. Soup heated up and put in a stainless steel container

Lunch Options:

  1. Mixed greens including raw spinach with an animal protein of choice or 2 or hard boiled eggs topped with nuts or seeds and a 1 Tablespoon of salad dressing of choice.
  2. Heat ½ cup of beans or lentils with ¾ cup of brown rice or quinoa; add 1 teaspoon of organic olive oil, a dash of cumin, ¼ teaspoon of coriander, 1 teaspoon Bragg Liquid Aminos and Himalayan salt to taste. Eat with salad greens with 1 Tablespoon of dressing.
  3. Miso soup with salad; boil 2 cups of water over medium heat; turn off heat and add 1 Tablespoon of Miso paste that has already been mixed with 2 to 3 Tablespoons of hot water, 2 Tablespoons of wakame and 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  4. Romaine lettuce wraps with turkey or chicken, hummus, and cucumbers; remove 4 pieces of romaine lettuce from head of lettuce, spread hummus on lettuce, slices of cucumbers and turkey or chicken, Herbamere or sea salt for flavor; roll up and eat like a lettuce wrap.

Dinner Options:

  1. Stir fry veggies with an animal protein of choice or beans over rice or quinoa
  2. Raw veggies dipped in hummus with a piece of chicken, turkey or steak
  3. Salad with taco meat, salsa and 1/3 of an avocado
  4. Roasted veggies heated on stove with ¼ cup of rice and ground buffalo or beef.
  5. Soup heated on the stove and small salad with dressing and 2 Tablespoons of toasted pumpkin seeds or slivered almonds

Snack Options:

  1. ½ medium avocado and 1 medium carrot
  2. 1 cup of blueberries with 15 raw nuts
  3. 1 medium apple with 15 raw almonds or walnuts
  4. ½ cup prepared quinoa with 1/3 medium avocado
  5. 1 medium pear or other fruit with 1 Tablespoon of nut butter
  6. 1 hard boiled egg with 6 to 10 whole grain crackers
  7. Celery, green bean and/or carrot sticks with 2 Tablespoons of a nut butter or hummus

When you do have time to prepare meals, make sure to have some leftovers that you can grab and heat up.  Planning is the key to being successful. When you are working and have a quick break or right before you head off to bed, plan meal options for the next day. I always prepare my meals the night before and take them with me or meal prep on Sunday so all I have to do is ‘grab and go’ in the morning. I even have been known to grab enough for dinner in case I am out and about and do not have time to stop and eat.  Planning ahead will stop you from eating foods that you would not eat on your plan when your schedule is not so busy. You can even utilize these tips and recipes throughout the year when you find your schedule getting busier than normal.

I wish you nothing but continued success on your health and healing journey. We look forward to seeing you be successful this holiday season.  Creating Wellness Naturally!

Still need help? Check out our “Healthy Eating Program Here”.