If you’ve ever been curious about meal prepping, but aren’t quite sure where to start, we’re here to help! In this blog, you will find some building blocks to start on your meal prep journey and some delicious dishes to eat.
Step One: Start With A Plan
Meal prepping can include preparing your food for the week ahead or simply grocery shopping with a meal plan in mind. Not only will meal prepping help you eat healthier but you usually also save money by not splurging on fast food.
- Pick a day to plan – Every week, this will be your day to sit down and decide what you want to cook during the following week and make a grocery list. Most people choose Sunday because they don’t work and usually don’t have many social events.
- To help you schedule, you can use an Excel sheet, a favorite notebook or a free calendar app.
- Choose the meals – If this is your first time, we suggest focusing on just one meal per day and having healthy snacks on hand. Pick your recipes and then make a list of what you need. When you’re at the grocery store, your list will help you save time and not overbuy.
- Don’t forget storage – You will want a container that is broken into sections so every part of the meal has its own part. This will help prevent cross-contamination. Also, look for some that are airtight; this will help keep your meal fresh until it is time to eat it.
When choosing the right food container for you consider:
- Freezer Safe
- Dishwasher Safe
Step Two: Helpful Recipes To Begin With
For some people, choosing what to cook can be the hardest part. We are sharing three different recipes to help you get started and be excited to start meal prepping.
Thai Chicken Lunch Bowls – Serving of 4 meals
Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 495kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 596mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 10g
Ingredients: ¾ cup uncooked rice; 2 chicken breasts, 12-16 ounces total; 2 tablespoons olive oil; 1 tablespoon soy sauce; 2 cups vegetables cut into bite-sized pieces (recommend broccoli and carrots)
For Sauce: ¼ cup natural peanut butter, 1.5 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or substitute honey or brown sugar), 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ½ tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 2 tablespoons of water
- Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside to cool slightly before dividing between four meal prep containers.
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Place the chicken in a small baking pan and drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil and soy sauce. Turn to coat.
- Toss the vegetables in the remaining olive oil and arrange on a large baking sheet.
- Place chicken and vegetables in the oven together.
- Bake the chicken for 25 minutes total or until an internal temperature of 165 F is reached, turning once halfway through.
- Bake the vegetables for 15-20 minutes, until softened and cooked through.
- While chicken and veggies are baking, shake together the peanut sauce ingredients. Portion out into condiment containers if you have them (if not, you can drizzle the sauce over everything).
- Divide chicken and veggies between the meal prep containers, and place a serving of peanut sauce on or with the container.
Storage: Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat until steaming hot, drizzle with peanut sauce and enjoy.
Egg Roll In A Bowl – Serving of 4 meals
Serving: 1bowl (1/4 of the batch) | Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 1045mg | Potassium: 535mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 370IU | Vitamin C: 81.3mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 2mg
Ingredients: 1 pound ground pork, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (finely grated), 3 cloves garlic (minced), 12 ounces broccoli coleslaw, 1/4 cup liquid soy seasoning (For example, Bragg’s liquid aminos or substitute for low sodium soy sauce), 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon monk fruit sweetener (or 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey), optional sesame seeds and green onions, for topping
- Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat.
- Add the pork, and cook, breaking it up with a spatula, until it is no longer pink. Drain if there is excess grease in the pan.
- Make a space in the middle of the pan, and add the sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Cook for one minute.
- Add the bag of coleslaw, and cook for 3 more minutes, stirring frequently.
- While slaw is cooking, shake together the soy seasoning, apple cider vinegar and monk fruit sweetener. Pour it evenly over the pan and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with sesame seeds (optional) and sliced green onions and enjoy.
- Portion out into 2-cup capacity storage containers, and store for up to 4 days in the fridge.
- Enjoy cold or heated through.
Hearty Vegetable Soup Recipe – Serving of 6 meals
Serving: 1/6 of the batch | Calories: 159kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 955mg | Potassium: 655mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3915IU | Vitamin C: 22.6mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 3.1mg
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 onion (chopped), 3 cloves garlic (minced), 2 carrots (peeled and sliced), 2 celery ribs (peeled and sliced), 1 cup cauliflower florets (cut into 1 inch or smaller pieces), 1 cup zucchini (cut into 1 inch or smaller pieces), 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 bay leaf, 15 ounces canned diced tomatoes (including juices), 4 cups vegetable stock and 15 ounces canned kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook for 5-7 minutes, until soft.
- Add the garlic and cook for one minute.
- Add the carrots, celery, cauliflower, zucchini, basil, oregano, salt, bay leaf, diced tomatoes and vegetable stock. Stir, cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the carrots and celery are soft.
- Stir in the kidney beans and enjoy! Don’t forget to pull out the bay leaf before serving.
Storage: This soup can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Step Three: Setting Boundaries
You need to set boundaries around your prepping day. Let people know that you are busy. Last-minute things arise and that is ok, but the more you let your family and friends know how serious you are about meal prepping, the more they will understand and support it.
This also means setting boundaries with yourself. Remind yourself about the wonderful, yummy meal you already made. Get excited instead of upset that you can’t go get your favorite fast-food sandwich for lunch.
Step Four: Remembering Your Goals
If you want to start meal prepping for your health, don’t lose sight of that. Listen to what your body is telling you. If it needs a little bit more food, don’t be hard on yourself for eating more veggies. If you have a cheat day, forgive yourself and do better tomorrow. Remember, you got this! 😊
If you need more support or help getting started with your healthy lifestyle, we are here. We customize our medical weight loss program for each person, and help you stay focused on your goals. Call 📞 us at 816-214-5276 or visit http://bit.ly/2R9I5IY to learn more.