Planning ahead is the key to eating well and thriving with PCOS and making the most of your PCOS diet. Waiting until you are starving and get home at 6:00 is a sure-fire way to eat the wrong foods.
As a busy mom of 3, I often have to get dinner on the table quickly, and there are plenty of nights that I’m exhausted, busy and tempted to order takeout. But ingredients for a fast healthy meal are always in my freezer, fridge or pantry. I’ve even taught the kids how to make fast healthy food!
For me, preparing for weekly meals is a two-step process. The first step is to plan a meal, or even better, a week’s worth of meals. For great info on planning PCOS diet-friendly meals, read my article, “PCOS Diet Friendly Meal Planning: 9 Best Meal Planning Tips.” Second, prep as much as possible ahead of time.
Here are my favorite tried and true PCOS Diva Prep Tips:
- Use your freezer. Keep your freezer packed with healthy foods that can be prepared quickly. I always try to liven up frozen foods with fresh herbs and serve with fresh salad greens. Here is what I keep on hand:
- Frozen marinated grilled chicken breasts and cooked pre-shredded chicken
- Slice or dice breasts in a salad, chopped salad, or kale/quinoa bowl
- Chop and sauté in a little oil and seasoning to use in tacos, stir fries and frittatas
- Stir shredded chicken into soups or chili
- Ground turkey, chicken or grass-fed beef– Cook the meat ahead of time for a super shortcut. Use this for quick meals like:
- Cook extra brown rice and quinoa and freeze in 2 cup portion sizes in quart bags. Use this for quick meals like:
- Stir fries
- Frozen veggies- buy them frozen or freeze when they are in season
- Homemade stock – freeze in ice cube trays
- Soups and Stews – always make double batches of soups/stews/gumbos/chilis and freeze half for a quick dinner later.
2. Spend time prepping on the weekend (including lunches).
- Pre-cook ground meats
- Pre-make soups, stews, chili, casseroles
- Pre-slice veggies
- Wash berries and fruits and prepare for snacks
- Assemble Salads-in-a-Jar (see Jumpstart for recipe)
3. Make double batches and freeze half.
- Soups, stews, chili, casseroles all freeze well and last about 2 months
- Place meat in a marinade and freeze together
- Casseroles freeze well for about 3 months
4. Make ahead hard boiled eggs. Hard boiled eggs last up to 1 week in the refrigerator (do not freeze).
5. Freeze or bag smoothies. Smoothies are my go-to breakfast food. They are quick and easy, but I’ve learned a few ways to make it ever quicker and easier!
- Measure out all of the non-liquid ingredients (protein and fiber powder, fruit, seeds, etc.), and place in a storage bag in the refrigerator or freezer. When you are ready for your smoothie, add the non-dairy milk and greens and blend! For an even easier method, use PCOS Diva Power Greens!
- Alternatively, whip up a huge batch of smoothies and freeze portions in a muffin tin. When you are ready, pop a few in the blender.
6. Make ahead oatmeal. Steel cut oats can be a nice breakfast choice for women with PCOS. Make enough for the week and store in an airtight (glass) container in the refrigerator. In the morning, scoop out what you need, and heat it with a little non-dairy milk.
7. Use Your Crock-Pot. I use my crock-pot year round. Remember, every crock-pot is different, so play around with cook times on recipes. I like to keep a few crock pot favorites in the freezer. Depending upon the recipe, I thaw it in the refrigerator the night before (when it contains meat) or just throw it into the crock-pot still frozen. For some great recipes to get you started, check out my PCOS Diva Crock-Pot Meal Plan.
Practice the PCOS Diva (and Boy Scout) motto- “Be Prepared,” and you will find yourself making better choices and thriving!
Do you have a great food prep tip? Share it below!