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healthy backup plan meal formula

We’ve all, at some point in our lives {and some more than others!} come home from a long day of work, tired and starving, with nothing that even closely resembles a healthy meal in our fridge.

What typically comes next is a mad dash for the pantry, shoveling anything we can find in our faces like chips, crackers, or cookies, followed by feelings of remorse, guilt, shame, and promises to start again tomorrow.

And I don’t know about you, when I eat processed sugary and salty foods like that, I don’t feel good after. My energy drops, I’m irritable, my focus and concentration suffers. I can’t be my best self.

So what can you do about it? How can you prevent this from happening or end this cycle that you’re in?

Healthy Backup Plan Meal Formula for a 10 Minute Meal

The first step is to really get aware and conscious of what’s holding you back from taking the actions you want to take. Notice any patterns you have, stories and excuses you’re telling yourself – all from a non-judgmental, observational place.

Then see where you can make some tweaks to set yourself up to be more likely to take the actions you want to take to reach your goals.

You can apply this concept to any type of behavior change you’re looking to make!

In this example, the taking the action I want to take is eating a nutritious dinner.

What’s preventing me from taking that action? When I come home I’m famished and tired, I don’t have anything healthy ready to eat, so I overeat sugary/carby foods.

Since I come home starving, I can try eating more food earlier in the day or eating a snack before I leave work to tide me over.

Since I come home tired, I can try to listen to fun, upbeat music and sing along or an inspiration podcast on my drive home to give me a quick energy boost.

Since there’s NOTHING in my fridge that’s healthy & ready to eat, I could meal plan and prep in advance OR arm myself with a healthy backup-plan meal!

A healthy backup-plan meal is super helpful to have on-hand for any time you find yourself in a pinch: you unexpectedly had to stay late at work, bring the kids somewhere, dinner plans fell through, or you didn’t plan in advance.

I created a formula based off of the balanced plate concept to make it simple to whip up a quick 10-minute meal that’s delicious, nutritious, and leaves you looking and feeling great!

don't let stress make you sick

The formula gives you a basic starting point, and makes it easy to make swaps to include lots of variety, and transform flavors with just simple tweaks. 

Simply choose 1 thing from categories 1-3 below, and add it to a large skillet with a splash of water. Cover it, and let it cook for about 10 minutes or until warm and thawed. Then, add as many as you want from category 4 to add flavor & healthy fats!

The key is every item can stay fresh for an extended period of time, so I love using lots of freezer foods.

Category 1, Complex Carbs:


Most important energy source for the body, great for improving energy, digestive system, keeping you feeling fuller longer.

Some ideas to stock your freezer: pre-made frozen bags of rice, quinoa, frozen sweet potatoes, butternut squash. You could also use a whole wheat bread or DeLand (my favorite) bread, or quick-cook rice pasta.

Category 2, Protein:

Great for balancing hormones, and promoting strong bones and muscles

Some ideas to stock your freezer: pre-cooked meats like sausages, chicken breasts, and turkey burgers, veggie burgers. You could also use canned beans or canned tuna.

Category 3, Vegetables:


Veggies are loaded with nutrients the body needs to stay healthy and fiber to help things work smoothly, these frozen ones are great because they won’t go bad (for a long time) and don’t contain preservatives or sodium like canned.

Stock your freezer with lots of varieties of frozen vegetables, there are so many unique combinations to keep things filled with variety and fresh.

Category 4, Toppings/Flavors/Healthy Fats:


This is where you can add variety to make it taste good, and feel like a whole new meal every time you make it just by using different toppings/spices.

I love keeping things on hand like infused oils and vinegars, spices (pre-mixed for even more of a short cut), chopped nuts in bowl, adobo sauce, coconut aminos or soy sauce, ghee, mustard, diced tomatoes, even frozen herbs. Check out how to stock a healthy pantry for more ideas!

Your entire meal can be ready to eat in 10 minutes!

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