Eating healthy while in college or having a hectic schedule is extremely difficult. One of the ways to avoid fast food, snacking, and starving is to plan out your meals for the week. As a busy college student, my class and work schedule doesn’t allow for me to make it to the cafeteria for lunch during the week. Because of this, I have to pack my lunch for the day. I could easily just pack peanut butter sandwiches or Easy Mac. But after living off those freshman year (and gaining the typical freshman 15), I have no desire to continue this unhealthy lifestyle. Yes, planning out your meals for the week requires extra time and thought. But I promise it’s worth it.
One of the easiest meals to prep for the week is mason jar salads! These are really popular on Pinterest and one of my coworkers makes them regularly. So I decided to try it out for myself and have been pleased to find that it is a life-saver! Not only are they super quick to prepare, they are extremely healthy and convenient.
What you need:
– a mason jar or any kind of air-tight jar
– salad ingredients of your choice
How to pack your mason jar salad
Step 1: dressing
– add one or two tablespoons of your choice of dressing first to the bottom of the jar
Step 2: non-soluble (non-absorbent) veggies
– add any kind of non-absorbent veggies such as corn, carrots, etc.
Step 3: beans, grains, pasta, seeds
– pour in your source of carbs or vegetarian protein by adding beans (rinsed and drained), grains, pasta, whatever you choose
Step 4: cheese, eggs, meat, protein
– add in whatever cheese or hard boiled eggs, chicken, meat, or tofu you’d like
Step 5: absorbent veggies and fruit
– add your fruit or more soluble veggies such at tomatoes
– if you are prepping these for the week, add these ingredients the morning you plan to eat the salad just so they stay as fresh as possible
Step 6: absorbent grains, nuts, and seeds
– this is where you can add more absorbent products such as quinoa and flaxseed
Step 7: salad greens
– now you can add your fresh spinach or lettuce
– this should fill your jar to the brim. Pack it fairly tightly
Ta-da! You’re done! Now seal the jars and store them in the fridge. You can make these on Sunday night and they will remain fresh until Friday afternoon! Keep in mind, although they are stored in air-tight containers, they will only stay fresh for 5 days. When you are ready to eat your salad, pour the contents into a bowl, toss, and enjoy!