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  • Richard R. Fay, DC

Ideal Protein: Fall Meal Planning Tips

Fall can be a super busy time of year — kids go back to school, and it takes everyone some time to settle in to the routine of homework, sports, and after school activities. All this added bustle can stretch time even thinner, making it more challenging to stick with healthy cooking and eating.

It can be tempting to hit the drive thru or order out — who has time to cook a healthy dinner? Well, with a little help, everyone does!

Here are some tips to make it happen:

Plan in advance. Take a few minutes to look over your schedule and note the days when you’ll be late getting home or it will be otherwise challenging to get a healthy meal on the table. Besides eating out, what are your options? Maybe you could block out an hour or two on the weekend for meal prep or cooking ahead. Or on the days when you do have time to cook, prepare for more than one meal by chopping extra vegetables, cooking extra chicken, or doubling a main dish recipe and freezing half of it.

Stock your pantry, fridge, and freezer with healthy, quick options for meals and snacks. Have canned or fresh tuna and salmon, boneless chicken breasts, and other healthy protein sources on hand. Round out meals with frozen veggies, just steam or microwave. Most supermarkets stock prepared fresh vegetables like spiralized zucchini or stir-fry mixes in the produce department. These options cost a little more than preparing everything yourself, but they’re much healthier options than fast food for when time is short .

Dust off your slow cooker. Imagine coming home to the smell of simmering chicken chili or a beef and vegetable stew. Search the Internet or consult a cookbook for modern takes on slow cooker recipes.

A pressure cooker can also reduce the time it takes to get dinner on the table. For a smoother cooking experience, read the recipe from start to finish, and do what prep you can in the morning to reduce waiting time at night. You can use both a slow cooker or a pressure cooker to make breakfast, too.

Another option is ordering one our Ideal Protein cookbooks. Follow the cooking instructions and you’ll have dinner on the table in a snap —and you won’t have unused specialty ingredients languishing in your refrigerator or pantry.

Don’t let a busy schedule derail your weight loss and healthy eating efforts. and shortcuts to stay on track

Look below for a recipe!


What's for Dinner?

Crab Cakes with Cucumber and Jicama Salad!

Crab Cake Ingredients:

  • 1 portion lump crab meat, squeezed very well of any excess water and picked through for shells

  • 1 tsp avocado oil

  • 1 tbsp IP broccoli cheddar soup mix

  • 1/2 tsp hot mustard

  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill

  • Compliant hot sauce for serving (optional)

Salad Ingredients:

  • 1/8 tsp salt

  • juice of half a lemon, plus a wedge of lemon for serving

  • 1 cup kholrabi or jicama, peeled and spiralized

  • 1 cup English cucumber, spiralized


  1. Mix crab meat, broccoli soup mix, mustard and dill together. Chill in the refrigerate for 20 min to overnight to ensure they stay together when baked.

  2. Toss salad ingredients together and set aside.

  3. Preheat oven to low broil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Brush with avocado oil.

  4. Pack half of the crab cake mixture tightly into a disk. Place on aluminum foil and repeat with remaining mixture.

  5. Broil for 10 min. The tops should be golden brown and crispy. Serve with salad, lemon wedge and optional hot sauce.


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