Community Seniors Learn How to Meal-prep Like a Pro

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By Juan Ysaguirre

On Monday, September 18, at the Way of Life Facility, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Health and Wellness department held a “Meal Prep Like a Pro” class for Community seniors. The goal for the class was to inform and educate Community seniors about the many health benefits of meal preparation.

Meal prep involves cooking and storing meals for a short or long period of time for later consumption. Health and Wellness Program Director Celinda Joe shared with the class a popular method of meal prep that is currently gaining tons of attention on social media.

“There is an account on TikTok where the person buys a family meal at a steakhouse and then splits the meal up into smaller portions they can eat later in the week,” said Joe. She then added how she plans out her own meals in advance. “When I do my meal prep, I plan for four meals,” said Joe.

Inside Room 56 at the WOLF, the seniors were given a free copy of the meal-prep cookbook The Workweek Lunch Cookbook, written by Talia Koren. The book details healthy alternatives for meals as well as instructions on how to meal prep.

The seniors then made their first meal-prep dish, turkey avocado wraps. Each senior was given low-carb tortillas, light mayonnaise, deli-sliced turkey, avocados and roasted red bell peppers. At only 410 calories, the dish was a perfect example of the many meals that people of any age can make at home and refrigerate to eat a few days later. However, their turkey avocado wraps were too delicious to pass up, as most everyone in class decided to prep their lunch and eat it too.

For those who wanted to save calories and not use a tortilla for their wraps, leaves of iceberg lettuce were offered to the class as a substitute. “You can meal prep with your family, your grandkids. They’ll love it,” said Joe.

As part of the class, each senior was given their very own bento box, which is a two-sectioned food container. The top section was for their turkey avocado wrap and the bottom section was for healthy snacks, like peanuts, walnuts, mandarin oranges and blue corn tortilla chips.

The September meal prep class was hosted by the SRPMIC Diabetes Prevention Services, and the program served up plenty of good food and valuable information for the Community seniors. Gone are the days when eating healthy means eating bland and unsavory foods. Now, with their meal-prep cookbook in hand, the Community’s seniors are ready to eat more healthy and delicious meals they’ve planned out themselves.

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