Living YSE(ly)

The YSE Woman's Guide to Meal Prep Faves and Kitchen Time Savers

Written by Elizabeth Gehl

Somewhere in between huge accomplishments and major life changes, we lost the luxury of a slow morning. At one point existed the 8am alarm, the continental breakfast and the lackadaisical steamy shower before the day began. Nowadays, your 5am military-style workout concludes with the chime of the laundry machine’s final load, and your so-called “me time” is over before you know it. 

The truth is, you deserve a little more leisure. Mornings are precious, and if you can find the time for a pocket of self care, the rest of your day will benefit. Thus, the best way to squeeze in a few extra minutes is to prepare for madness ahead of time – that is, the time you spend feeding yourself and the family, and getting everyone to the right places at the right time.  Because most days, a sit down meal doesn’t exactly fit on the agenda.

Just for you, the YSE team put their heads together to spill their at-home kitchen hacks for a busy ass week – for the business woman, the mom of many, or simply the gal with the overflowing plate.  So forget the stigma of cutting corners, because a little shortcut here and there does no harm – especially for an overachiever like you

Egg Bites

A fool-proof breakfast option you can prepare for the week ahead is a batch of egg white muffins. Think Starbucks egg bites with cleaner ingredients and no drive-thru line. They’re an easy heat up for a run-out-the-door type of morning and a time savor in relation to the scrambled eggs you’re so tired of. The YSE way usually includes bell peppers, onion, spinach, and salt and pepper to taste, but dress them up any way you choose. Try whole eggs with bacon and cheddar for the kids, broccoli and mushroom for a new flavor profile… or toss in the rest of last week's veggies and call it a day. Regardless, divide them up equally in a muffin tin – they take 15 minutes in a 350º oven and hold up for a week in the fridge (and even longer in the freezer). To heat up, wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 40 seconds or so. We use that time to finish up our morning skincare with some Skin Glow, but do as you may.  They’re a winner every time in our books. 

The Power Smoothie

The throw-it-all-in-there smoothie is another morning signature, better known as the vehicle for your AM supplements. We love this as a quick breakfast not only for its ability to get all our multi’s in at once, but also for its simple assembly. We reach for Isopure or Truvani when it comes to protein powders, and love to include collagen powder for the skin, and flax seeds for digestive health.  And to top it off –  add some blueberries, vanilla almond milk and a scoop of almond butter, all measured with your heart.  It’s an easy pour for a to-go cup kind of morning, or as a post-workout treat.  It’s filling, protein packed, and hits every time. 

Super Food Snacks

Protein balls are another ultimate snack hack to have on hand. They’re lazy-chef friendly and the kids think they’re dessert – but what they don’t know won’t hurt them. The ingredients consist of a few cups of oats, peanut butter, vanilla protein, chia seeds, honey, and chocolate chips, and they come together in a large mixing bowl with a fork. We form them into two inch balls, toss them on a baking sheet and slide them into our freezer next to our stash of Golden Sculpt Face Rollers.  They’re an easy midday bite for you and a mindless addition to a school lunch.  Keep them stocked in the freezer for as long as you need, but don’t be surprised if they disappear within the day… because they’re that good. 

Lean Mean Proteins

Quick plate-ups are key to a calm kitchen, and the rotisserie chicken was invented for that very reason. We love to keep one ready to go in the fridge, whether it’s to shred up for a lunchtime harvest bowl or to use as the base for a no-sweat dinner. They save a heck of a lot of time and can be found at most grocery stores, both seasoned and plain. And for variety, a pound of ground turkey never hurts. Ground meat is a versatile kitchen staple – we love tossing it in a pan with a bit of taco seasoning and fajita veggies, cooking it into a red sauce for a healthier bolognese, or plating it on beds of iceberg with a ginger sesame sauce for Thai lettuce cups.  Anything to keep us on the right side of the 10-minute meal is welcome – especially if everyone is still licking their plates clean. 

Everything Else

And for grocery staples, we try to keep it fuss free. Common come ups include cauliflower rice as a base for bowls, spaghetti squash for pasta dishes (P.S. you can find some pre-shredded in the freezer aisle if it’s that kind of week),  sweet potatoes, and any seasonal veggies.  For the minis, cheese sticks are always on deck for a grab and go snack, as well as the ever-so-nostalgic Snow Days Pizza Bites (Yola Robert approved!).  Honorable mentions go to Simple Mills for pantry stockers, from crackers to pancake mix… they can really do no wrong. 

So, in a world that seems to run on fast-forward, a little bit of Sunday prep is always worth it for a smoother (and much more nourishing!) Monday through Friday. Take a cue from the YSE playbook and indulge in a little efficiency to ease your own mind — because in the end, a well-prepped kitchen is a form of self-love.. and that's always worth the time.