One: Pack Mason Jar Salads
I love mason jars, and I’m always finding new uses for them. Building mason jar salads are an awesome way to pack a healthy, summer lunch. It only takes 5 minutes to make. The night before, here’s what to do:
- Add dressing to the bottom. This is important so the dressing doesn’t make the salad soggy before you’re ready to eat it. We recommend avoiding creamy dressings and opting for simpler ones like a basic balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
- Scoop in the grains and proteins. Next you can add the grains, proteins, or anything chunky. This protects the more delicate ingredients from being crushed. Rice, tomatoes, beans and legumes, sliced hardboiled egg, potatoes, peas, and animal protein would be the types of ingredients in this layer.
- Sprinkle on the fixings. This third layer is where your additional ingredients like nuts, dried fruits, and cheeses can be added. These are the ingredients you want to stay dry until you are ready to mix the salad. But be careful, these are high in calories and should be used sparingly.
- Top it off with greens. The final layer are the assorted greens you’d like to finish this salad off. We recommend romaine, spinach, butterhead lettuce, and looseleaf lettuce. Please avoid kale at this time of year – kale is very heating to the body and would be better eaten in the fall and winter months.
Two: Reach for the Fruit Bowl at Snack Time
Most people have a tendency to keep their apples, pears, and oranges in the fridge. But out of sight is out of mind – and eating fridge-chilled fruit can compromise the Qi available to you went you are ready to eat it. It’s best to eat fruit at room temperature.
Keep a fruit bowl on the counter with some of those fruits in the bowl. When they’re not hiding out in your crisper and out in full view, you’re more likely to pick a healthy snack from the bowl. Just replace what you eat from the fruit in the fridge, so there’s a constant flow of fresh fruit within reach.
Three: Quick Prep for Rice Bowl Yumminess
We always have ready-to-assemble rice bowl fixings for quick preparation to take to the office or to make after the workday. Every Sunday it takes me about 60-90 minutes for a week of healthy meal options for Hadyn and I:
- Long-grain brown rice. Make a large pot of rice in your rice cooker. If you want to mix up your carbohydrate, try roasting diced red potatoes with olive oil and a little salt instead.
- Assorted vegetables. While the rice is cooking, steam and/or sauté veggies like bok choy, zucchini, broccoli, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Be sure your cooking method for veggies in the summer is higher heat and quickly cooked. I only spend about 5-8 minutes cooking these veggies in a wok or steamer and never overcook them – vegetables should stay bright in color. I usually end up cooking another batch of vegetables mid-week, since Hadyn and I eat a heavily plant-based diet.
- Protein of choice. Cook any protein so it’s ready to go. We recommend an egg or beans – such as lentils, mung, kidney, or black beans. You can either used canned beans or cook your own. Please be sure to eat beans in moderation and only in small quantities – only about ¼ to ½ cup daily – as eating too much can cause the spleen to get out of balance.
If packing a rice bowl for lunch, the night before or morning of add rice, veggies, and protein into a to-go bowl and you’ve got a balanced, delicious meal.