Food Prep Time SaversWritten by: Nique Callantine

This guest post comes from Nique Callantine, a personal health, wellness and fitness coach and an Independent Herbalife member.

Eating healthy food can be a challenge when you’re busy (who isn’t?). And that’s true even when health is the major focus of your life and business, like it is for me. With the time I spend every day helping people through Herbalife, I’ve learned an important lesson: Prepare, prepare, prepare. And I’m not talking about the product—I’m talking about preparing food ahead of time.

As I’ve coached others on how to get fit, maintain a healthy weight and support heart health, I’ve developed a system for making sure I eat plenty of nutritious food throughout the week. Here are seven tips I implement in my kitchen:

#1 Wash all produce at the same time

After a long grocery trip, it’s tempting to unload the produce and forget about it. Instead, I wash everything at once (except berries, which tend to mold if they’re washed well before they’re eaten). Not only does this help keep my fridge sanitary, but it also makes it much easier to quickly chop an apple or grab some grapes on the way out the door.

#2 Prep veggies at the beginning of the week

Here’s a good use of 30 minutes: prepping vegetables ahead of time. About once a month, I buy a large bag of whole carrots, then wash, peel and cut them up into easy-to-grab carrot sticks. At the beginning of each week, I wash and cut celery and cucumber. I also keep a bowl of washed grape or cherry tomatoes in the fridge, right at eye level, so it’s easy to choose a handful as a snack. With four children in the house, having veggies on hand means they’ll be more likely to eat nutritious snacks than packaged foods.

#3 Cook extra salmon

The American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids twice per week. But most of us don’t have time to prepare fish that often. Instead, plan to make fish once per week—but make a little extra. Enjoy freshly cooked salmon for dinner, then use the leftovers throughout the week on sandwiches and salads. The best part about salmon is that it takes about 8 minutes to cook a filet. Just follow this easy recipe, with or without the pasta: Kale Walnut Pesto Pasta with Salmon.

#4 Cook a batch of quinoa

Quinoa is loaded with potassium, fiber, protein, iron, vitamin B-6, magnesium and other nutrients. You can eat it hot or cold: top it with curry or beans, add it to a salad, mix it into a soup—the options are endless! The grain is also quick to cook and lasts well in the fridge. I make a big batch, then split it into two, leaving one plain and making a salad out of the other half with chopped veggies and balsamic vinaigrette.

#5 Boil and peel hardboiled eggs

One large hardboiled egg contains 6 grams of protein and is a fast, convenient snack. I’ll boil about two dozen eggs at the start of the week, then place some in the refrigerator door so I can grab and peel one or two when I’m hungry. I also peel, rinse and dry a dozen and place them in a container—this makes it simple and fast to get protein, no matter how much of a hurry I’m in. Hardboiled eggs are also super healthy and filling for kids as they snack throughout the day.

#6 Make healthy muffins and granola bars

I like to make easy, protein-packed muffins with apples, carrots, chia and flax, then freeze them. I do the same with granola bars and usually add Formula 1 French Vanilla Nutritional Shake Mix to increase my intake of protein, fiber and essential nutrients. Throughout the month, I just defrost muffins or granola bars the night before. Quick, healthy and delicious!

#7 Keep things in your bag

When I’m out and about, it can be tempting to pick up an unhealthy snack from a fast food restaurant or vending machine. Instead, I keep healthy snack foods in my bag. Almonds or Herbalife Protein Bars are my go-to choices.

The only way eating healthy becomes convenient is by making it “prepackaged” through preparation. It doesn’t take that much time. It just requires being intentional and making it happen—much like other components of a healthy lifestyle, like exercise.

How do you make sure to eat healthy? Do you have any healthy food prep time savers to share?

NiqueNique Callantine is a personal health, wellness and fitness coach and an Independent Herbalife member.