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You asked, we answered! Hundreds of Start TODAY members told us they wanted more healthy, balanced meal ideas to help them reach their health goals. This dietitian-designed meal plan gives you the flexibility to ease into healthy eating.
Here’s a blueprint for easy meal prep this week. You’ll see that breakfasts are a mix of some make-ahead meals and some morning-of options. Lunches also utilize the mix-and-match strategy using store bought items like rotisserie chicken or simple roasted chickpeas and vegetables. While we’ve offered different dinner options, you can streamline the menu by making enough for leftovers. From easy sheet-pan dinners to a better-for-you version of a Chinese takeout favorite, we’ve got you covered this week.
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Make breakfast a no brainer. Create a simple list of go-to options or make-ahead meals that make mornings easier or simply mix-and-match these recipe ideas:
Toast a frozen whole grain waffle and spread with ricotta cheese or Greek yogurt — you can have fruit on top or on the side.
Roasting a batch of your favorite vegetables is the key to easy lunchtime meal prep. Then, buy a rotisserie chicken (or roast your own!) and roast up some chickpeas to mix and match for quick salads and bowls all week. Make these dishes your own by leaning into easy seasonings like everything but the bagel seasoning, Italian and Greek seasoning, dried herbs and spices, lemon, pesto, low-sugar marinara sauce, tahini, and coconut aminos or lower-sodium soy sauce.
Below, we’ve put together some simple healthy recipes to make meal planning easier — feel free to swap out recipes for different days of the week, or make enough of one dish to serve as leftovers to save time on another night.
This sheet-pan dinner is a great way to eat a ton of vegetables — serve with whole wheat or bean-based pasta and jarred marinara sauce.
Packed with protein. If you have any leftover filling, freeze or refrigerate it and consider turning it into a salad topping for lunch the next day. Serve with a side salad for an added veggie boost.
The dish uses lemon zest, a little olive oil and a handful of fresh tarragon — it’s a simple 3-ingredient mixture that wows the tastebuds. It warms the soul, awakens the senses and, perhaps most importantly, can be made in 20 minutes. Serve it with brown rice and vegetables.
You’ll get all the flavor of your favorite takeout with less salt — and no added sugar! Serve with this dish with microwavable brown rice, cauliflower rice, or a blend of each.
Snacks that contain whole food sources of protein and fiber offer a winning formula that keeps you full for hours. Here are a few ideas:
Samantha Cassetty, MS, RD, is a nutrition and wellness expert, author and columnist. Her latest book is “Sugar Shock.” You can follow Samantha’s practical balanced eating advice on Instagram at @nutritionistsam.
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