Meal Prep Breakdown: How To Meal Prep For Your Lifestyle
A few weeks back I posted a blog about Meal Prep Hacks … a topic that is always highly in demand when I ask what you struggle most with.
The blog raised some further questions so I wanted to follow up with a breakdown of how to meal prep with the specifics!
First things first, there is no wrong way to meal prep! It depends on your lifestyle, and who you are prepping for. Obviously a single gal will have a different system than a Momma who is feeding a family of 6!
It’s what works for YOU… what brings you more peace of mind and ease in the week, so you can make healthier, more conscious choices to look & feel your best.
Here are 2 Ways To Breakdown Meal Prep:
1. Just the basics.
This is me! Most weeks, I don’t do a ton of cooking. It’s just my husband & myself, and sometimes we’ll grab takeout at Whole Foods, or go out for dinner… and honestly we are both pretty happy with our easy, same-old, go-to meals. (Which is great because I work a ton- and would rather be working vs. cooking!) That being said, I always have certain grocery items stocked up, and keep certain things prepared. Here is what that looks like for me…
lettuce (I like spring mix)
fresh veggies: (broccoli, cucumber, carrots, red peppers and jicama sticks are favorites)
lean ground turkey
unsweetened cashew or almond milk
high fiber bran cereal
brown rice or quinoa
bars like Quest Bars or Bulletproof Collagen Bars
plant based protein
My version of prep. each week I will:
Wash/ prep/ cut up veggies to throw into salads or omelettes, or to snack on with hummus or guac!
Grill or broil chicken breasts for quick salads, wraps or bowls
Prep brown rice or quinoa
Some of my go-to meals with the above items…
Turkey Meatballs w/ Marinara: (meatballs are just ground turkey + egg + ground up GG crackers, then baked) with zoodles (a.k.a. zucchini noodles... THIS is the spiralizer I use!), marinara, and goat cheese. I’ll use zoodles for my dish, and brown rice pasta for my husband’s. BONUS: If I have fresh basil I’ll throw that on top… and voila!
Burrito Bowl: chicken, black beans and choice of cauliflower rice, brown rice or quinoa. Top with salsa, onions, avocado or guacamole, lettuce.
Egg Salad (one of my favorite lunch options… especially when I’m not working from home): for 1 serving I will mashed up 2 eggs with avocado mayo + a little Dijon mustard and sea salt. I dip GG crackers into this to eat… paired with a side salad, or raw veggies with guac or hummus. (I try to get some greens or veggies into almost every meal!)
GG “Pizzas” (great for a snack, or light lunch): GG crackers topped with marinara sauce, sprinkled with goat cheese, artichokes and fresh basil. You can add some chicken as well if you’d like! Bake at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes. Top with lemon juice & sea salt. (Trust me!)
Each week I might throw in ONE new recipe to make… just to switch things up, but not overwhelm myself. I keep my go-to grocery list on my phone on an app (I use one called "Buy Me A Pie"), so if I’m adding in one new recipe I only have to add those ingredients, and I’m set!
2. The Working Mom
I get it. A lot of my clients will tell me they work at an office or have kids to get ready for the week and meal prep just seems completely overwhelming. Trust me, it’s not! Making sure to have plenty of tupperware and planning ahead will help save you time throughout the week (I promise).
Must- have items:
Before we get into these, it’s important to sit down and take a look at your week ahead. What kids activities do you have? What meetings are scheduled? Are the meetings catered? What days are you traveling? Once you know this, it’s important to pick the easiest meals for the busiest days. Your crock pot may be your best friend- which is a great way to make a lot of food in a short amount of time!
2-3 types of meat (I recommend at least one to be a lean meat such as chicken or turkey, and if you’re a fish person, at least one type of fish like salmon, cod or swordfish)
2 types of leafy greens: spinach, kale, arugula, collard greens, or romaine
2 options for healthy carbs or grains: this could be rice, quinoa, or sweet potatoes
Other veggies you love: broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, sugar snap peas, or really any veggie you like eating!
Fruit: apples, bananas, cherries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.
To prep, try this:
Write down what you’re having for dinner each evening, and who will be eating with you (husband out of town? Don’t count him!)
Plan what nights you’re eating out or have busy days and need to use the crock pot
On the evening you are cooking, make 1 extra serving of all food and place it in a tupperware container to use for lunch the next day. Just that easy, you don’t have to think about the next meal!
For each meal, make sure to have a lean meat, vegetables and a grain or healthy carb. Then, if there’s an ice cream sundae at school or the next evening you need to eat out; it’s easy to maintain that balance with your busy lifestyle.