Y’all. Meal Prep Sunday is a holiday– in case you didn’t know.
No two ways about it….I love meal prep. I LOVE my Sunday meal prep.I love helping others be successful meal preppers. Have I always been that way? NO! I have had my fair share of consistent drive-thru days, supersize the fries and the Dr. Pepper please. When I slowly transitioned to weekly meal prep, I quickly realized that it supersized my life in ALL areas…beyond the fries, people. There is life beyond a Supersized #4.
Why did I stick with it? As a mom of 3 who works from home as well as outside of the home -commuting and traveling (I run an online fitness business and am a hair restoration surgical tech and national trainer.) I completely get it! My routine is really simple – I make the food, I take the food, I eat the food. To give you an example of my upcoming week- I work 5 days- commute is an hour plus each way. I’ll wake up at 4am, workout. 6am get kids up, 630am to bus stop. Then, I hit the road. I pack up/set out EVERYTHING I possibly can the night before. Type A? Possibly. Obsessively consistent? That too. Organized? Yes.
It really is the number one reason that I am able to stay on track with my nutrition and it also helps me to start my week off with a healthy, fresh, FUELED mindset. Having all my meals planned out and my fridge stocked with optimal food choices excites me a great deal! Plan your success…it doesn’t happen on accident.
Weekly meal prep can be a tad overwhelming at first but once you wrap your mind around the benefits of it, you can scoot it up to one of the top spots of your priority list. That being said, let’s dive right in and take a look at some of the benefits:
BENEFITS TO MEAL PREPPING:
Strength during those times of weakness: Truth x100. When I prep my meals every Sunday, I always make a list of what I need at the grocery store and stick to it. BUT…what about my kids??? I buy them what they like, within reason. The difference is backing it with education. They know how to make healthy choices. They know how to have a cookie, not an entire box of cookies. My job as a parent is to educate them on the importance of eating healthy so that they are empowered to make those healthy choices on their own as they get older. However, when there are prepped meals, the temptation for me to crumble to the almighty cookie is decreased. You’ll find that your tastebuds will change as you continue to eat healthy food too! BONUS. Who knows, your cravings for kale may be fierce 😉
Money saver. Cha-CHING! I don’t know about you, but before meal planning I was in the ‘wing it’ category of life. I was either hauling ass into the store after work to make whatever, or ordering delivery or spending a lot on going out to eat or the drive thru diet. Let’s be real…going out to eat after work with 3 kids in tow IS work. Occasionally is good, consistently is not good for my sanity. I decided to hang up my straight jacket and plan a week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches and snacks. Less waste too!
Time Management. It gives me more time during the week to get other things done besides hanging out in the kitchen. Not to mention, the more time I spend in the kitchen the more likely I am to be faceplanted in the pantry. Meal prep = saving grace. Last thing I want to do after working all day and sitting in an traffic for 1.5 hours is think about what’s for dinner.
Helps to meet GOALS- in all aspects of life.
Food is FUEL. I know I say that a lot but I cannot stress the importance of understanding and embracing that. Eat like crap, feel like crap. Don’t eat like crap, don’t feel like crap. Planning out meals teaches not only portion control but also puts your body in an optimal state because you are fueling it with real, whole, nutrient-dense food. BRAIN POWER. It gives you energy, sharpens your focus and really just makes you so much more driven and ambitious! The bod you live in requires healthy food for endurance, strength and even weight loss so …meal prep for the win!
Great way to try new foods. I hear it often …Mylene, I cannot eat the same thing for every meal. Ummmmm….where’s that rule? Who said you had to? Look, if everything I have made in the past tasted like cardboard and styrofoam…I would not still be in it AND sharing it! Meal prep doesn’t have to be boring. If you choose to get creative and try new things, I promise you the meal prep mafia will not come looking for you and steal your spatula. Pinterest is a great source of healthy recipes. You don’t have to make them all at once. Pick a couple and roll with it. If prepping for the entire week intimidates you, start by doing just a couple of days and see what it does for you!
FAVORITE BREAKFAST RECIPES/ITEMS:
Protein Pancakes – I use Kodiak brand, simple instructions on box! (I like to add sauteed cinnamon apples as a topping)
Amy Lu Organic Chicken Sausage (Costco)
Berries! Specifically blackberries and blueberries
Salad for breakfast- YES! Just mix the dressing and keep on the side to avoid wilted, sad greens. http://australianavocados.com.au/recipes/blt-breakfast-salad-soft-boiled-eggs-and-avocado
FAVORITE LUNCH/DINNER RECIPES:
https://savorandfancy.com/2016/10/22/aip-paleo-whole30-instapot-recipe-sesame-garlic-beef-short-ribs/ (can serve over rice, quinoa, zucchini noodles, riced cauliflower or a sweet potato! Or, I like to add a little Bragg’s Liquid Aminos,steamed broccoli and bean sprouts to give an Asian twist. Get creative!)
Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup: http://whole30.com/2016/12/whole30-cookbook-1/
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (I literally will stuff just about anything into a sweet potato! Almond butter and cinnamon is one of my favorite combos.) http://livinglovingpaleo.com/2015/02/20/enchilada-stuffed-sweet-potatoes/
Paleo Turkey Meatloaf -I like to add shredded zucchini and carrots to mine. http://paleogrubs.com/easy-turkey-meatloaf
If making bulk recipes aren’t your thing, you can always just stick to the basics.
When you’re prepping, focus on staple items that are easy to cook and store well. From there, you can mix and match all week long. Create a meal!
Here is a brief list that you can choose from:
- Protein: Chicken breast, lean ground beef, pork tenderloin, flank steak, lean lunch meat (I like Applegate brand turkey breast or roast beef) and low-fat beef jerky
- Fruits and Veggies: fresh is best, frozen/canned no sugar or chemicals added works too!
- Carbohydrates: Oats, quinoa,sweet potatoes, red potatoes, couscous, brown rice, wild rice, white rice (it’s ok, really! Portion is KEY.)
- Healthy fats: walnuts, almonds, nut butters, avocado, coconut oil, MCT Oil, raw/unsalted seeds, macadamia nuts, cashews, olive oil, avocado oil…
Other Meal Prep Items I Like:
To avoid your fridge looking like Tupperware Tetris, I would highly suggest investing in containers such as these BPA free, reusable, stackable ones .
An insulated meal bag, cooler or backpack. This may sound like a luxury item but really makes life easier if you are going to tote around your food. There are many to choose from. I personally LOVE my bag from Six Pack Fitness.
Portion control containers + cookbook can be found here.
Whew! I wanted to make this short and sweet but also as informative as possible. I hope that this helps you to step out of your comfort zone and give meal prep a try! It’s always good to do with friends- have a meal prep & mimosa Sunday (I hope to be able to offer that service to you soon!)
Successful meal prepping requires a plan. Results require consistency. Make this non-negotiable! Most of all make it FUN! Whether you do your meal prep for the week or just a few days at a time, doing so will help you stick to your meal plan and give you more time and energy for other things. How can I help you make meal prep your B@$*&?!!? Let me know! Your results are a direct reflection of your efforts.
In this together,