Set yourself up for three days of healthy eating with diabetes by preparing key ingredients ahead of time.

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Breakfast Beans with Microwave-Poached Egg

Summer is a season where produce is plenty, making it easy and flavorful to throw together healthy meals. Some weeks are busier than others, and planning ahead can make it more realistic to get a healthy meal on the table. We created this 3-day diabetes-friendly meal plan that you can prep ahead of time to keep you focused on whatever the summer throws at you.

Each day of this meal plan clocks in at around 1,500 calories and each meal has between 3 to 4 servings of carbs (or about 45-65 grams of carbs). We also included snacks that are around 1 carb serving (15 grams of carbs) to tide you over between meals as needed. This helps keep your blood sugar steady after and between meals so you can feel good all day long.

How to Meal-Prep Your Meals:

Prepare these four components before Day 1 to save time later.

1. Make a batch of Anchovy Vinaigrette: Peel and crush 1 medium clove garlic and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle with 1/8 tsp. salt and mash into a paste with the side of a chef's knife. Transfer to a small bowl. Add 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, ½ tsp. anchovy paste (or white miso), and ¼ tsp. ground pepper; whisk until blended. Whisk in 1/3 cup white-wine vinegar until blended. Gradually whisk in 1/3 cup olive oil. Makes about 2/3 cup. Refrigerate for up to 4 days. You will use ¼ cup for the Catchall Lunch Salad for lunch on Day 1 and the remainder for the Niçoise Salad for dinner on Day 3.

2. Make Hard-Boiled Eggs: Place 2 large eggs in a small saucepan; cover with water. Set the pan over medium-high heat. When the water just begins to bubble vigorously, reduce the heat to achieve the barest simmer; simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour out the hot water, and cover the eggs with ice-cold water. Let the eggs stand until cool enough to handle before peeling and refrigerating. You will use the eggs for dinner on Day 3.

3. Cook 1 1/2 cups of Barley: Simmer 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley with 1 cup water in a small covered saucepan until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain off water, if necessary. Makes 1 cup. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. You will use ½ cup for the recipe that makes breakfasts for Days 1 and 3, and ½ cup for dinner on Day 2.

4. Prepare Vanilla-Cranberry Overnight Oatmeal: Follow recipe on p. 98 to have breakfast on Day 2.

Shopping List

These are the foods you will need to follow this plan, split up by section of the grocery store.

Produce

  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 6 scallions
  • ½ avocado
  • 1 romaine heart
  • ½ small head red cabbage
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper
  • 2 limes
  • 2 ears corn
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small red or yellow onion
  • 7 medium strawberries
  • 4 oz. small red or white potatoes
  • 4 oz. green beans
  • Parsley or cilantro (1/2 tsp., plus more for garnish)

Dry Goods

  • ½ cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1 15-oz. can low-sodium black beans
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas
  • 1 2½ oz. pouch light tuna (or ½ 5-oz. can)
  • 3 Tbsp. panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 whole-wheat hamburger rolls
  • 1 Tbsp. sliced almonds
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 4½ Tbsp. almond butter
  • 1 Tbsp. dried cranberries
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 2 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1 5-oz. can chicken
  • 3 slices whole-wheat bread
  • ½ tsp. anchovy paste (or white miso)

Meat

  • 5 oz. 99%-lean ground turkey breast
  • 3 thin center-cut boneless pork chops (9 oz.)
  • Refrigerated Foods
  • 1½ oz. pepper Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup 2 tsp. low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. no-salt-added cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs

Pantry & Fridge Items

  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • White-wine vinegar
  • Distilled white vinegar
  • Cider vinegar
  • Mayonnaise
  • Dijon mustard
  • Hot sauce
  • Honey
  • Vanilla extract
  • Dried oregano
  • Chili powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt & pepper
Breakfast Beans with Microwave-Poached Egg

Day 1

Breakfast (364 calories, 32 g carbs)

Lunch (488 calories, 36 g carbs)

Afternoon Snack (242 calories, 32 g carbs)

Dinner (446 calories, 43g carbs)

Daily Totals: 1,520 calories, 128g carbs, 32g fiber, 14g sat fat, 1,973mg sodium

Black Bean Salad with Grilled Pork Cutlets

Day 2

Breakfast (422 calories, 44g carbs)

Lunch (436 calories, 36 g carbs)

Afternoon Snack (TK calories, TKg carbs)

  • 1 serving Cottage Cheese Bruschetta

Dinner (448 calories, 34g carbs)

Daily Totals: 1,444 calories, 129g carbs, 23g fiber, 15g sat fat, 1,605mg sodium

Classic Niçoise Salad

Pictured Recipe: Classic Niçoise Salad

Day 3

Breakfast (364 calories, 32 g carbs)

Lunch (453 calories, 29g carbs)

Afternoon Snack (242 calories, 32 g carbs)

Dinner (471 calories, 30g carbs)

Daily Totals: 1,509 calories, 109g carbs, 25g fiber, 17g sat fat, 1,829mg sodium