Meal Prepping 101

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently from family and friends about meal prepping, so I finally got my act together and actually posted a picture of my meal prep for the week! You can also find it on my Instagram page here but I’ll give you a run down of my plan for this week and what I used, what my day to day eating looks like, and why meal prepping is so important.

Here’s what my meals look like this week (and yes, I had to pull out my handy-dandy step stool just to get this picture! LOL.)

BREAKFAST

If you’re busy or in a hurry in the mornings it’s easy to just grab coffee or a piece of fruit or even just skip breakfast entirely. DON’T DO THIS. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – not only to get your metabolism going but to provide you with enough energy to get through your day. You need a healthy balance of protein, healthy fats, and carbs so that you can start your day off right!

I also like to give myself options for breakfast so that I get don’t bored. The following two options are two of my favorites for breakfast because I can grab them and go, eat them on the road or easily at my desk!

Cottage cheese + toppings

Overnight oats 

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oats
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp Navita’s Organic Cacao Nibs
  • 2 tbsp organic chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup soy milk
  • 1 tbsp organic peanut butter

See Also: Almond Joy Overnight Oats

OTHER BREAKFAST OPTIONS

Some of my other favorite breakfast options that I rotate include:

On-the-go breakfasts don’t just mean a protein bar or cereal, which are usually loaded with processed carbs, loads of sugar and cause your metabolism and energy to crash later on. If you make it a priority, breakfast can be healthy, delicious, and EASY!

SNACKS

Eating every 2-3 hour is going to be ideal for your metabolism and energy levels all day long. I, the self-proclaimed “Snack Queen,” eat about 6 small meals a day and always have snacks handy in my purse or at my desk at work. Society teaches us that eating more is bad, but if you’re eating THE RIGHT foods more frequently, your body and mind are going to thank you for it.

HIGH-PROTEIN SNACKS

Personally, I make sure to pick snacks that are high in protein and/or high in healthy fats to keep me full in between meals and give me a a little energy boost throughout the day. My snacks for the week are:

I usually rotate my snacks throughout the week and always have some kind of nuts handy in case I get hungry on the road or at work. I also like to switch up my snacks between nuts, fruits like apples or grapes and lots of raw veggies!

Pro-tip for snacking

Buy 3-4 different raw veggies, cut them up and place them in a big Ziplock bag, refrigerate and keep handy throughout the week for snacking. Raw veggies provide that crunch you’re craving, and are loaded with fiber! Some of my favorite raw veggies include carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, bell peppers and snap peas.

LUNCH

Lunch is my favorite because I get to actual cook and try out new recipes every week. I typically like to include some kind of protein (like ground turkey, chicken breast or fish) and healthy carbs like lentil pasta or a starchy vegetable.

This week I decided to go low carb with my own turkey Bolognese and sautΓ©ed veggies! sautΓ©ed some zucchini, bell peppers, spinach and kale with olive oil and minced garlic. Then I cooked up some ground turkey with lemon, garlic and added some Rao’s Homemade marinara sauce. I like Rao’s because they carry onion-free sauce (I’m allergic!) and their sauces don’t contain any added preservatives or chemicals like other canned items do.

Here are some other easy lunch preps I’ve made recently:

Poke bowls with brown rice + veggies

This one is from my favorite poke place in San Diego, but they are easy to throw together! All you need is some prepared raw fish (salmon or tuna), a little bit of soy sauce or liquid aminos, garlic, raw veggies of your choice,  brown rice, and lettuce. If you are not a fish person, these bowls are also great with some grilled chicken!

Ground turkey + starchy veggies 

This on-the-go meal prep was made with ground turkey, organic golden potatoes, zucchini, and sweet mini peppers. One of my favorite combos!

Protein bowls

My own take on protein bowls – inspired by Chipotle, of course.  Brown rice, black beans, ground turkey, fresh tomatoes, roasted zucchini, asparagus, and butternut squash topped with Primal Kitchen Ranch Dressing. Btw, Primal Kitchen has some AMAZING healthy dressing alternatives!

Gluten-free tofu veggie lasagna

I know what you’re thinking, TOFU?! Yup, that’s right. I was never a fan of tofu but after some experimenting I can actually say that I enjoy it. For this dish I used the Blood Type Diet Tofu-Pesto Lasagna recipe but used marinara sauce instead of pesto. I have used both sauces and both were equally delicious!

As I always say, healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring!  You can still incorporate veggies and lean proteins without eating boiled chicken and veggies for every meal.

DINNER

For me, my dinner options vary depending on what my schedule looks like and how I’m feeling that day. Sometimes I have dinner plans, so I plan my meals accordingly. I typically workout in the evenings, so I don’t get home until around 7-8pm sometimes. I usually just opt for a protein shake since it’s easy to make and easy to digest before bedtime!

PROTEIN SHAKE

Sometime’s I make this shake for breakfast instead if I end up working out in the mornings, and I like to add a spoonful of instant coffee for a nice little morning kick πŸ˜‰

Other great dinner options are a balanced ratio of protein, carbs, and healthy fats like chicken, brown rice and some type of vegetable. It’s important to try to switch up your dinner options as well so you aren’t always eating the same things!

Meal Prepping Tips

These meal prep examples and amounts are just what works for ME and my body. Remember everyone and every body is different, so find the right foods for your lifestyle, eat when you’re hungry, and do what’s best for your ow body. Your body will tell you what it needs, so listen to it!  Here are 3 of my own meal prepping tips to stack on track:

1. Stay organized

There are two parts to staying organized: planning your meals and packing your meals. Typically I like to go grocery shopping on the weekend and then reserve my Sundays for meal prepping so that I am ready to go for the week ahead of me. Make a list of your “menu” for the week and stick to only buying the ingredients you’ll need. By doing this, I usually spend on average about $60-90 and that will last me for about 7-10 days. The average person spends about $30 per day  without meal prepping so I am spending in a week what a normal person is spending just in two days worth of eating out. So meal prepping doesn’t just keep your healthy eating on track, but it keeps your bank account on track too!

Once you’ve laid out your meal plan for the week getting to cooking, and then get to packing! I have a never-ending mixture of containers, plastic bags, and lunch pales. My cabinets are exploding with Tupperware of all shapes and sizes…and most of the time I can’t find a matching lid, but that’s another store. I also love to carry around extra Ziplock baggies for all of my snacks and goodies.I would recommend buying containers in bulk (like at Costco or Target) so that you can easily store all of your deliciously cooked meals, then just grab and go!

2. Drink plenty of water

To add to your meal prepping, stay away from caffeinated and sugary drinks. Caffeine and sugar cause bloating, fatigue and weight gain. Cut out those morning lattes, sodas and high-sugar juices and opt for a glass of h20 instead. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Not only should you give your body proper nutrition, but you should be getting adequate water too! Staying hydrated will add to your healthy lifestyle by helping with weight loss, brightening your skin, and detoxing your body. I carry a water bottle on me 24/7, seriously I don’t leave the house without it.

3. Don’t give up

At first meal prepping can be pretty overwhelming, but once you get the hang of it, it becomes part of your lifestyle! Don’t get discouraged if you don’t stick to your meal plan completely. It’s okay to indulge and go off-track sometimes. As you can see above, I only plan out my meals for 4 days at a time. That’s because I give myself one day during the week to improvise, and I am a little less strict on the weekends.

A lot of people tell me “I don’t have time for meal prepping” or “I’m too lazy to do that,” but the fact of the matter is…YOU DO HAVE TIME. No matter how busy or crazy life gets, if you choose to make healthy eating and meal prepping a priority, then you’ll always have time. 

Remember, meal prepping isn’t suppose to be a diet or a torture-device, it’s a lifestyle and learning how to do it is only going to help on your fitness journey and give you that boost you need to keep up a healthy, balanced lifestyle!

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