Meal Prep: Carbs
Let’s be honest, I think most of us are pretty awesome at including carbs in our diet. So, let’s cover some pointers help with convenience and quality!
· In terms of general quality, try to choose mostly high fiber carbs with minimal added sugars. Choosing fewer processed options will help with this. The fiber in starchy veggies, whole fruits, beans, lentils, and whole grains will help promote healthy blood sugars and encourage a healthy gut. Less processing will help maximize nutrient value.
· Watch convenience carb snack bars, beverages, and meal replacements. A good number of these have added sugars that make the carbs go up and can make the quality go down. Always read the labels. These are excellent options for quick-grabs on the go, travel snacks, planned snacks through the week, but try to keep them to where they’re needed, and maximize the fresh stuff elsewhere.
· Like rice? Invest in a rice cooker. They’re inexpensive and well-worth the counter space. Follow the instructions and set it to cook while you’re preparing everything else.
· Root vegetables are a great “throw it in the oven and forget about it” option while you’re preparing other things. For most, 30-40 min at 400 degrees will do. If you have an InstantPot, take a look at the instructions for cooking potatoes.
Favorite convenience products: Carbs are already pretty easy, but there are still ways to make them easier! Microwavable single serving minute rice for lunch prep, 90 second microwave steamer bags of lentils, quinoa, and rice, whole fruit for portable options (every day!), baby food fruit purees for shelf-stable carb sides, freeze dried fruit as a snack, whole grain crackers to go with some tuna salad, overnight oats to-go, whole grain cold cereals in to-go cups, low sodium canned beans and lentils to throw in a salad, single serving rice puddings for post-workout, brown rice cakes with peanut butter for a snack, the list goes on…