Health consciousness appears to be on the rise, and we at Konscious Keto are taking note. We are all making better food choices with more accessible, high-quality nutrition information, and the role it plays in our overall well-being.
But workdays packed to the brim with to-do items, the struggle of work-life balance in our non-stop culture, and other miscellaneous demands of parenting can make healthy meal prep a challenge.
Let's face it; if eating healthy is too complicated we won't stick to it long-term. Once the initial excitement of getting healthy fades, we'll likely return to less healthy eating habits out of convenience.
So where does that leave us if we want to eat healthy keto meals throughout the week, without too much fuss or hassle? We’re glad you asked.
There are many easy and simple recipes perfect for those living low-carb. Recipes that can start you tinkering with ingredients, to tasting a delicious keto-friendly dish faster than you can express reorder your go-to cheat meal on Seamless.
We get it. You're about the business of chasing your dreams, traveling, and mothering your active children—just generally living your best life—but the following tips will take your meal prep to new heights that will help you keep it keto, despite your busy schedule.
Tip 1 - Cook in Bulk
Prepping meals or elements needed to create meals ahead of time is a lifesaver during the week when your discipline may wane, and motivation to make a healthy meal from scratch is non-existent.
Yes, meal prep does require planning and setting aside time during the week to batch produce dishes.
However, the time invested in preparing for success is one of the most reliable ways to stick to your eating program, regardless of your mood or current energy level.
Meal prep is a fantastic way to ensure that every bite you eat during the week is part of a well-laid plan and geared to produce your desired result, be it weight loss or muscle gain.
Also, you can get additional mileage out of your meal prep efforts by batch cooking, or doubling and tripling recipes, so you have many portions to eat throughout the week, or even the month depending on your level of ambition.
If you plan to bake a keto lasagna, make two and freeze one to eat later in the month.
The more food that you can prepare ahead of time and have ready whenever hunger strikes, the better off you'll be. Thoughtful preparation is like a repellent of Murphy's Law; when ready for the disaster, it often never occurs.
Many keto-friendly dishes are well suited to meal prep and even freeze for long-term prep. Try some of the following quick recipes and see which you love most:
- Cheesy Spinach Keto Puffs
- Warm Me Up Slow Cooker Keto Chili
- Keto Pumpkin Bread
- Creamy Keto Pumpkin Soup
- Golden Keto Cauliflower Bake
We can't stress the importance of meal prep on a ketogenic diet, enough. Planning eliminates the guesswork and stress that can surround meal time when eating on-the-fly.
For more tips to make meal prep a breeze, see a more thorough article here.
Tip 2- Keep Keto Simple
Keto offers so many options to remake high-carb favorites, and some of those recipes require many steps.
But it is equally enjoyable to keep things simple on keto: bacon and eggs, salmon and asparagus, half an avocado sprinkled with coarse sea salt—keep it simple and delicious!
Toss fresh veggies and pre-cooked protein, like chicken strips, into a quick stir-fry. Also, it's easy to pull together a salad in 10 minutes or less: think dark leafy greens, cucumbers, and mackerel with a dollop of homemade keto dressing.
Also, eggs are an excellent option—they're nature's fast food! It's so easy to whip up a veggie and cheese omelet or poach some eggs and eat them with some keto-friendly zucchini hash; there are so many ways to incorporate eggs into your meal plan as an affordable, go-to option on keto.
Also, shop the frozen section at local markets like Trader Joe's, if you have one near you. It's possible to score many types of meat, seafood and veggie ingredients for a quick, nutritious, low-carb bowl or salad when you're short on time.
Tip 3 - Choose Organic Clean Ingredients
'Health is wealth' is a well-known adage for a reason. Although the financial cost will be a bit higher when buying organic and clean ingredients today, the physical cost of eating foods filled with preservatives and chemicals contain a much higher potential cost to our health, long-term.
Budgetary restraints play a role in everyone's food choices and how to eat healthy on a budget is often seen as an obstacle by those considering a ketogenic diet.
But the fruits and veggies listed below are affordable options to add to your meal plan to keep costs down.
Some foods, particularly those whose skin we consume with the fruit or vegetable, should always be organic (e.g., cucumbers, tomatoes, etc.), but foods with thicker skins like cantaloupe and avocado, we can peel away without buying chemical-free options.
The following is a list of foods that we advise buying organic whenever possible to avoid ingesting high amounts of pesticides and herbicides:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Cherry tomatoes
As there is a list of dastardly picks, there is also a list that we can eat without fear of consuming elevated amounts of herbicides, pesticides, and preservatives if grown conventionally, and those keto-friendly options are as follows:
Keep an eye on veggies and produce that are in season for lower prices and make sure to compare pound for pound to ensure you are buying the best deals.
Tip 4 - Plan Ahead
Planning meals ahead of time are the perfect way to automate the meal plan and remove any stress or confusion during mealtime.
Prepping can start with deciding upon a few meals to eat throughout the week and working backward to compile a shopping list. This will ensure you're not flowing through food prep only to realize at the last minute that you're out of a critical ingredient like heavy cream—imagine, the disappointment.
You may be the type that gets bored quickly and may not want to do traditional meal prep with all pre-portioned meals set aside ahead of time—no worries.
If you're a bit fickle about your daily food options, consider a more freestyle approach where you make a few essential dishes like cauliflower rice, Brussels sprouts or cloud bread to mix and match as your tastes dictate, so you don't feel too hemmed in by the process.
Also, make super-simple meals throughout the week if you’d like something new to keep things exciting. It’s easy to throw together a show-stopping frittata full of veggies and cheese when you’ve prepped all the ingredients ahead of time.
Tip 5 - Repeat Your Favorite Meals
There's no need to reinvent the wheel every week. As you experiment with different recipes, you'll find a handful of favorites that you'll return to time and time, again.
Also, repeating your favorite recipes will simplify meal prep every week and enable you to batch prepare dishes in advance without any extra effort, an excellent timesaver!
For instance, make several keto pizza crusts, add a variety of different toppings to each, vacuum seal them and store them upright in the freezer to ensure you're ready for pizza night every week. See, this 10-minute-meal-prep stuff is entirely doable!
Beginning a new eating style or finding ways to add excitement to your current meal plan can be simple and hassle-free.
Planning is queen and preparation is a close second in terms of the tools needed to stick to any dietary lifestyle change, long-term.
Aside from the many meal options available for baking, broiling or frying, remember that quick-and-easy meals like a massive salad or dolling out a big bowl of slow-simmered chili are excellent options to get healthy, keto-friendly food on the table in minutes.
The simplest meals can be the most delicious. Add mayonnaise, tuna and a sprinkling of sour pickles to a bowl for a fast and flavorful lunch.
Also, a side of creamed spinach is easy to prep ahead and pair with seared flank steak for some fuss-free fare that's sure to please, even the most discerning taste buds.
Keep it simple. Plan and execute to prime your fridge and pantry to support your commitment to healthy eating, and you'll see that eating healthier is easier, less time consuming, and more satisfying than you may have ever imagined.