Meal Prep Your Way to Better Type 2 Diabetes Management
Last updated: July 2022
Don't fall into the pressure of needing to make healthy and balanced meals from scratch on a daily basis. There is an easier and more effective way to manage your type 2 diabetes without being chained down to the kitchen. Prepping foods will take the guesswork out of meals and ultimately free up precious time, minimize food waste, and keep blood glucose levels under control. Check out these tips to meal prep your way to better type 2 diabetes management.
Organization is essential in meal prep
Meal prep is key to preventing unwanted sugar lows...and sugar highs. After all, motivation to cook a healthy meal when you are tired and ravenous can often feel slim to none. Keep on track with your blood sugar and weight goals by getting mealtime organized.
Choose one day to shop for groceries
But first, at-home healthy options need to be available. So, choose a day in the week to go to the grocery store. Easy enough, right? But, with personal and professional commitments, it can be more challenging than it seems. If carving out extra time to go to the store is difficult, you can utilize technology and build an online order that gets delivered to your home or that you can pick up curbside at the store.
Save time with meal planning systems
You can consider prescribing to an online meal planning system that connects to a shopping list. If you’re not sure if it’s got the right amount of carbohydrates, ask a dietitian or certified diabetes educator to review it. You can also consider having meals, or a meal assembly kit, delivered one week out of the month to give yourself a break from meal prep. Don’t forget to include an abundance of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and heart-healthy fats!
Cook once, enjoy over and over again
Meal prepping with type 2 diabetes doesn’t have to mean bland chicken and steamed vegetables on repeat. You can create meals that are balanced, satisfying, nutritious, and oh-so-delicious by batch cooking staple ingredients like roasted vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Keep everything as a blank canvas and let your daily mood dictate the desired flavor profile.
The perks of batch cooking
Reap the benefits of batch cooking by mixing and matching different ingredients to avoid the dreaded "food boredom." For instance, your leftover sautéed kale can be used as a side dish, component of a hearty grain bowl, tossed into a whole grain pasta, or transformed into a kale pesto! Bulk-cooked sweet potatoes can be chopped into mini squares and drizzled with tahini sauce, or half of a potato can make a great side with Greek yogurt and hummus. Say goodbye to hangry meal choices that are less conducive to your health goals. Instead, prep for success to take out the mealtime distress. Set your goal for three bulk items that can be mixed and matched for tasty meals this week!
The freezer is your friend
Frozen foods have an undeservingly bad reputation. In reality, it’s a food preserving method that can lock in nutrients and cut down on mealtime preparation. Not to mention, it can help decrease food waste and saves precious dollars.
Healthy frozen food options
Utilize your freezer as storage for large batches of go-to favorites that can be ready at a moment’s notice. Veggie burgers, grilled salmon, turkey meatballs, chili, and breakfast sandwiches are among the many foods that you can freeze. Then, simply defrost and enjoy! Remember to cook once, eat three times. Freeze the extra servings, date them and schedule them in to eat next week, so you’re not carving them out of freezer ice next year!
Snacks to prepare ahead of time
Don’t get stuck with low blood sugar levels and nothing to eat! Keep between-meal options on hand to enjoy at a moment’s notice. Use snacks to your benefit with these nutritious options.
- Hard-boiled eggs and whole-grain crackers or pita
- Hummus and crudité
- Fruit and Greek yogurt dip
- Homemade trail mix with nuts and dark chocolate
- Low-fat cheese and whole-grain crackers or fruit
- Nut butter and apple slices
- Tahini sprinkled with cocoa powder on whole-wheat graham crackers
The meal and snack preparation possibilities are nearly endless!
What are some of your favorite meals to prepare for the week?
Have you tried to decrease the amount of bread you eat since being diagnosed with diabetes?
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