Tips For Healthy Meal Prepping
Mercy’s Leigh Tracy, RD, LDN, CDE, a dietitian in The Center for Endocrinology at Mercy, offers her insights into healthy meal prepping. Prior to her current role at Mercy she worked in Mercy's Center for Endocrinology to complete the clinical portion of her Dietetic Internship through the University of Maryland, College Park.
Why is meal prepping so popular now?
- Prepping meals ahead of time is a great way to save time and stay on track for eating healthful foods during a busy week.
- It could also help reduce food waste.
- Planning ahead and having part of the meal already done could help reduce stress when preparing the evening meal.
- Save money by planning ahead and shop in season.
What are the health/nutrition benefits?
- If you already have healthier options prepared at home, you'll be more likely to eat them and less likely to eat out or choose a faster option that may not be as healthy for you.
- You'll have more time to think about what you will eat and need from the grocery store, which can help reduce impulsive purchases.
What are your top tips for effective meal prepping?
- Cook whole grains that take longer to prepare, such as brown rice or whole wheat pasta, when you have more time.
- Wash and chop whole vegetables to have for a few days during the week or blanch and freeze the rest for a later time.
- Prepare healthy and easy, grab-and-go snacks for the week.
- Evening making your lunch the night before instead of the morning of can help you make better choices since you aren't running out the door.
Any suggestions on what to have in your kitchen to make your preparations/planning a success (pantry staples, cookware, etc)?
- Keep your food prep area clean and free of clutter to make it easier to work.
- Keep baggies or clear containers in an accessible place.
- After prepping your food, keep it near the front of the refrigerator and keep less healthy option in the back.
--Leigh Tracy, RD, LDN, CDE
The Endocrinology Center at Mercy
In addition to counseling patients with diabetes, Leigh works closely with Mercy’s outpatient cancer patients so they receive the best nutritional balance possible to help them through cancer treatment and recovery.
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit www.mdmercy.com, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.
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