Meal Planning & Prepping will change EVERYTHING for you! I know it may seem daunting at first, but please trust me that this will be THE game changer for you. Otherwise you will find yourself running to the pantry, the vending machine, not eating at all, or going through drive throughs, and, spending lots of extra time and money that you don’t need to.
Knowing what to eat, how much to eat, when to eat, and then preparing your meals is one of the important aspects of achieving a healthy, balanced diet, and I promise you it doesn’t need to be complicated. In our family, we focus on whole foods, real food, non packaged foods, anti-inflammatory nutrition: limiting exposure to preservatives and chemicals and processed carbohydrates, and loading up on fruits, veggies, lean protein, fiber and smart carbs. Keeping it fresh and super simple.
The key to getting ahead with meal prep is to have a few staple foods that you can prepare and cook ahead in batches, then use in a number of different ways.
Taking that extra time to prepare for the week ahead and you’ll be rewarded with:
- Better Nutrition: Having your meals on hand during the day means you don’t have to go to the local cafe for food. Studies have proven that his not only saves you time but also your waistline. You have full control over the portions and ingredients.
- Better Metabolism: You’ll be prepared at meal or snack time when hunger strikes with something nourishing.
- Better Pocketbook: Another significant advantage of planning and prepping your meals is saving money. Skip the $15 a day you spend on a salad covered in croutons and unknown dressings, in addition to the that high empty calorie sugary filled coffee drink that only leaves you sugar crashed in a few hours, and (often filled with preservatives and chemicals), and you’ll pocket $75-$100 per week. BONUS!!
5 Top Meal Prep Tips
- PLAN IT OUT! Plan ahead to reduce waste and keep meals interesting. Sit your family down and make a plan together – so that everyone is engaged and excited about the weeks’ meals. I also do this for the kids school lunches and mine too. Start small when you first start meal prepping – I have included three meals and snacks below! Find a core set of recipes your family loves – in no time, you will have reliable favorite, have them memorized, and it will make this endeavor so easy! Many people ask if I eat exactly the same as my kids – at first, no, I was making my own version of healthy meals for me, and a kids version for them, some days I still do depending on the meal, but usually we always have the same lean protein, example, grilled chicken, then I may give them alfredo noodles and homemade alfredo sauce, where I will have zoodles with a tablespoon of alfredo sauce, and then we both have a side salad or side of broccoli.
- Set aside a few hours each week to chop and cook – it will save you hours in the long-run. In our family, Sunday is meal prep day! Invest in plenty of reusable glass containers, mason jars, zip-top bags, in addition to portable BPA free plastic take and go containers – they’re your new best friend and are crucial to your success. Look for divided containers – these will help keep your meals organized.
- Place berries and chopped veggies in large divided container, making grab and go for your family easy for snacking or throwing into containers! (I do not wash berries until we eat them, I do wash everything else before I place into the refrigerator to be eaten for easy grab and go)
- Make a shopping list – and stick to it. I personally love to shop online and drive to pick up at my local grocery market as it definitely keeps us from tossing in something that was not on the list – that soon can add up to $25-$50…that is of course unless you needed it. Most times we don’t and its a packaged, processed, boxed item.
- I like to “buffet style” meal prep. As I plan out our meals for the week, I am choosing 2 lean meat proteins and basing my meals off of that; example (crock post chicken (some shredded and some left whole) and salmon). I will cook those both on Sunday, and add to our meals through the week such as (chicken taco night, chicken vege stir fry, chicken cobb salad, chicken omlette, chicken salad wraps) then for the salmon I may eat that every day for lunches). Have no-cook, grab and go items on hand – fruits, chopped veggies, nuts, homemade protein energy balls or bars to throw into containers.
Another great example would be; crockpot shredded chicken, white rice, broccoli – make these 3 items and use them different ways;
Meal 1: Chicken tacos with spanish rice made from white rice (basically add in fresh made salsa, some Flavor God Taco Tuesday seasoning and avocado oil and you are good to go with your own spanish rice!)
Meal 2: Chicken, broccoli, rice bake (includes cheese)
Meal 3: Mexican Chicken bowl (spanish rice made from the white rice, black beans, corn, tomatoes, avocado, cilantro, pico de gallo, green chilis, lettuce)
* You’ll need to asses how many people for how much chicken and rice, but you can make it all at one time.
PLAN —> SHOP —> PREPARE—>SAVE (time, money, energy)—> GET RESULTS—> FEEL & BE AMAZING
Items You Will Need
You will also want glass storage containers to store for meal prepped/cooked items. These are much safer than plastic, microwave, oven, freezer, dishwasher safe, and they look much prettier in the refrigerator or freezer. PLUS, you can see into them much easier as well. I get so annoyed when I cannot see what is in the container. I also take a sticky note, sharpie marker and tape and label my items.
I also like to organize my refrigerator with these cute slim stackable containers. When it looks organized, easy to grab and pretty – everyone will see it, grab it, eat it, and there is less waste, and more healthy foods everyone is eating.
2 Supplements Every Woman Should Take
Omega-3 Fish Oil
Scientists keep screaming it. Keep your Omega 3 – Omega 6 ratios balanced, as an imbalance is proven to cause inflammation, and inflammation is proven to lead to disease. The typical western diet gets tons of Omega 6 already (I’ve heard as high as 16:1!), so it’s generally recommended that most people take a fish oil supplement. Check out this high quality Omega-3. Note: Fish oil pills do go rotten, so if you have some at home, cut one open and smell it. If it smells bad, then it’s spoiled and do not eat it. Only take fresh fish oil pills. Fish oil supplements are
Vitamin-D is the most important vitamin that the majority of people are deficient in. It’s present in very few foods and most people aren’t in the sun enough to satisfy the amount of Vitamin-D they need, especially in the winter. Check out this 5,000 IU Vitamin-D supplement on Amazon (1 year supply). Note: Vitamin-D is a
fat soluble vitamin so eat some healthy fats with it (I like olive oil, which is very high in Omega 6 so you’ll need that fish oil supplement).