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Here’s a Quick Way to Eat a Healthy Dinner

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

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  1. K @ Finding a Skinnier me

    I have the exact same problem! Thank you for the amazing suggestions!

  2. Christi in MA

    I do the reverse of the crockpot freezer meal. I make something in the crockpot and then freeze the leftovers into ziploc bags. There’s just 2 of us and we have a small freezer too. We keep talking about getting a separate freezer but then I wonder if we’ll forget about things in the back. As it is now, if the freezer starts getting full, we start eating the frozen leftovers to make room. I’ve been making big batches of brown rice and freezing it too.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That’s a great idea Christi and I didn’t even think about it. I do that too. Sometimes I’ll make soups (stews, black bean soup etc) in the crockpot and it makes so much I freeze some of it for later. The hard part is REMEMBERING it’s in the freezer before it goes bad. 🙂

  3. Elaine

    What a great post! I am in the process of trying to find a good way to do lunches and suppers, and I have started doing “sandwich plus veggies” as my standard lunch formula, which is working out pretty well so far. I plan to occasionally switch it out for soup plus veggies or a hearty salad, such as a grilled chicken salad or taco salad, if I get bored with sandwiches. Now I just need to find an good supper formula that works for both me and my husband.

    I really like your idea of prepping veggies and other items right when you get home from the store. I am definitely going to put this idea into practice. It will sure save me time in meal prep later, and I think I’ll waste less produce that I’ve procrastinated on prepping and using.

    Thanks for the fantastic tips and ideas!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      It sounds like you have a good plan already. Grilled chicken salad sounds great. I’ve been doing something similar–taking a big green salad to work with whatever leftover protein I had.

      Prepping the veggies right after the store works well for me because I won’t procrastinate. If I don’t do it right away, I’ll never do it and I was finding I had to throw a lot of veggies away because they went bad.

  4. Jess

    Stirfy – I spend the extra $ and buy my meat precut into stirfry strips. Then it only takes a couple of minutes to chop some veggies while the meat cooks, add everything in and stir a packet of sauce through
    Spag bol – It only takes 20 minutes from start to finish!
    Meat with steamed veggies – My go to meal most nights
    Crockpot – I prep the night before and put the pot in the fridge. I take it out and put it on before going to work and come home to a yummy dinner!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      These are GREAT tips Jess! I agree, the precut meat makes it super easy for stirfies.

      We have a lot of pasta and pasta sauce on hand in the pantry. Of course, now that Michael is gluten-free that poses a challenge but…

  5. Beth

    One of the easiest meals is turkey or chicken tenderloins in the slow cooker with a jar of salsa – that’s it! I actually had some frozen and pulled it out for dinner last night – even better than when we had it originally.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I love easy crockpot recipes…just dump a few ingredients in and go!

  6. Lori

    As you know, I typically am protein/veggie/fruit for meals. My problem with working at home is that food is always available – even healthy stuff can be over eaten (hello dates and nut butter!). My problem foods (ie chocolate chips and granola) go up on top of the cupboards where I have to drag a chair over to get at them. Not that I don’t do that sometimes, but it really helps getting them out of the pantry where I can just grab a handful.

    I do pretty good except for evenings when cooking dinner. I get really snacky and can easily eat several hundred calories of chips or crackers or nuts while waiting for dinner to cook because I am hungry. I try to eat either fruit or have a mint or two. Doesn’t always work, though. Depends on the time of the month LOL

    1. Lisa Eirene

      ME TOO! I get super snacky when I’m fixing dinner. Standing in front of the fridge I can probably eat an extra 300 calories in cheese, olives, crackers, pickles…you name it. 🙁

  7. Lisa

    Portioning your boxed and bagged snack items and crackers is a great idea! Do you just put the portions in snack bags or do you use some other container that can be reused??

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Usually I use tupperware. I have a bunch of really small portion sized ones that I use for things like hummus, peanut butter and yogurt. I had some homemade Chex mix with my soup for lunch today and I put the Chex Mix in a tiny tupperware–if I had to guess I’d say it was about a 1/4 of a cup.

  8. Rachel

    My formula is lean protein + whole grain + veggies.

    I agree, having a formula makes it so much easier. My favorite fast whole grains are polenta and the 10 minute farro from Trader Joe’s. They both take on a lot of flavor when cooked with chicken broth. I am also currently obsessed with carrot puree. I steam carrots and then use an immersion blender to puree them with some butter and salt. It’s healthier than mashed potatoes but scratches the same itch.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I love the polenta too. It takes no time at all and it’s so delicious. I haven’t tried the farro yet, probably because I’m not sure what to do with it…?

  9. Joanne

    My weakness is definitely after dinner snacking! This is a great post with some awesome tips!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thanks for the comment, Joanne.

  10. Nick Goodall

    Right on with that formula! Protein + Vegetable + Salad, that’s a good one to follow for staying healthy. Like you I seem to struggle with the night-time eating, but going to bed relatively early sure does help with that. That then leads on to the burst of morning productivity, win-win situation! Enjoy a brilliant day, sun is gleaming over here!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Yep, going to bed earlier helps too. So does going to the gym in the evening, then when I get home I eat dinner and bedtime isn’t too far off.

  11. Karen P

    protein+veggies+healthy fat+ small amounts of fruit = weight maintenance and good health!

    Protein: I batch cook, use the crock pot, and re-heat many of my protein servings for dinner- Slow Cooker Chicken Curry, Pre-cooked at home portions of fish- salmon, shell fish, chili, chicken- then re-heated in the microwave.

    Veggies: While I’m reheating in the microwave I saute my greens ( kale, Brussels sprouts, chard, shredded cabbage, broccoli slaw in a little bit of coconut oil)., or I cut up bell peppers or make a salad.

    Fruit- usually berries. Sometimes half an in season fruit. Cinnamon is usually involved. 🙂

    Healthy fats- yes! Some at every meal. Examples Avocado slices, olive oil for dressing, small amounts of nuts, some coconut oil for sauteeing. I don’t miss grains at all when I include these at every meal. Smooth hair, less acne, keeps my weight in check, way -WAY less night time snacking.

    I have a 2 hour commute, full time job, and I’m a single parent. Every excuse in the world to eat out or eat crap for dinner. Once I made cooking at home a priority- it became much easier. Excuses left at the curb. We just eat real food now. Great topic. Love using the crock pot.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      GREAT reminder on the healthy fats. I can’t believe I didn’t add that. We buy a bag of avocados from Costco about once a week or every other week. Yes avocados are high in fat but they are so healthy and SUPER filling. Sometimes I’ll have a snack of crackers and avocado and I won’t be hungry for hours.

      For a single mother with a 2 hour commute (sounds awful) you have your shit together. Way to go!

  12. Stacie @ Snaps and Bits

    That’s my snacky time too, I think b/c the kids are home from school (and snacking). I try to eat a Greek yogurt/granola. Sometime nuts but it’s easy for me to eat too many.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Greek yogurt is a great snack. I eat that pre-gym with some raisins in it. Delicious!

  13. Diane, fit to the finish

    Great post and wonderful resources! Thanks Lisa.

  14. Miz

    poached fish.
    plopped on a bed of greens.


    1. Lisa Eirene

      I’ve never tried poached fish before. Great idea!

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