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Get an A+ in Meal Prep

By Ali Struhs

It’s time to ditch the take-out! With a little bit of effort, eating healthy can be just as easy as stopping by the drive-thru, even when your schedule is full again with getting your kids to and from school and sports practices. The key to success? Prepping and planning your meals ahead of time. While you don’t have to prepare your main meals, having fresh fruits and vegetables on hand and ready to go will make eating healthy a breeze. Here’s how to get an A+ in meal prep while on the Jenny Craig program.

Fix your Fresh & Free additions
Washing, peeling, slicing, and dicing all of that produce is daunting, especially when you just need a handy snack bag of carrots to take with you to your child’s soccer practice. Instead of skipping the veggies, try preparing them ahead of time. Take an hour on a weekend evening to prep and portion your Fresh & Free Additions, so you have healthy, fresh snacks at the ready. You can even spiralize yellow squash or zucchini in advance for non-starchy vegetable sides to add to Jenny Craig meals. These veggie noodles should keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

Pre-portion fruit
Fruit is nature’s candy, and it’s all too easy to overindulge. By pre-portioning your fruit in small containers, you’ll be less likely to eat one too many raspberries. Wash and pat dry your fruit, slice if necessary, and use a measuring cup to portion ½ cup servings of Limited Free fruits. To mix it up, try combining various fruits, such as strawberries and peaches or blueberries and apples, for a delightful fruit salad to accompany your breakfast.

Roast your snacks and sides
Vegetables make an easy, go-to bite to eat, but if you’re looking for a flavorful twist on your snack, try roasting vegetables in the oven on Sunday night. You’ll have sweetened, slightly charred veggies to munch on all week! To roast your veggies, line a roasting pan with foil, spread your vegetables of choice that have been tossed in a dash of olive oil across the pan, and season with your herb of choice, like basil, thyme or garlic. Bake at 400 degrees until slightly charred. Refrigerate in zippered bags for a portable afternoon snack or an easy side to a variety of Jenny Craig meals. Vegetables that are great for roasting include carrots, peppers, squash, and asparagus.

Make grab-and-go salads
The easiest way to skip the drive-thru at lunchtime is by bringing your own healthy salad in a jar. With a little bit of prep time, you can have lunch ready to go for the whole week. Wash and dry five glass jars with lids and layer lettuce, carrots, cherry tomatoes, and other Fresh and Free additions. A small square of paper towel placed on top will help absorb moisture to keep your salad fresh and crisp. Twist the lid onto each jar and refrigerate. Before you leave for work, simply grab one of your prepared glass jar salads, a plastic fork, and a packet of Jenny Craig salad dressing.

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