Meal Planning & Prepping 101
Why it’s helpful:
-Meal planning & prepping makes eating healthy easier and more convenient, especially for those who are busy and on-the-go.
-Limits the decision-making needed at each meal.
-Reduces the need to exert willpower and settle for less-healthy meals out of convenience.
-Saves you $$$$$!!!! You can save a significant amount of money over time by choosing to bring lunch to work everyday rather than order out with your co-workers!
Questions to ask yourself:
What are your favorite foods?
How can you build balanced meals (protein, carb, fat + fiber) using your favorite foods? Having staple meals is super helpful!
How much variety do you need?
Can you eat repeat meals/leftovers, or do you get bored of foods quickly?
Which meals you do need prepped (ie: lunch & snacks for work) and which meals can you make at home (ie: breakfast & dinner)?
What days of the week can you food shop and set aside time to prep?
How many “flexible” meals a week would you like? (ie: dinner out, birthday lunch with a co-worker, brunch with friends, ice cream on a weeknight just because).
It can be helpful to plan these “fun” meals into your week.
You may choose to plan out your meals Monday-Friday, and leave the weekends open for flexibility, or you may prefer to have some”fun” meals throughout the week. Choose what works best for you!
Here’s an example of how to plan “fun” foods into your week:
Note: the salad simply represents healthy homemade meals 😉
Step 1: Pick your meals
~Aim for balance of carbs, protein, fats & plenty of fiber from fruits & veggies
~Aim for whole foods
~Give yourself as much variety as you like
~MUST include foods you love! 🙂
~Plan your meals for however many days you’d like
Step 2: Make your grocery list
You can organize your list into the categories: Produce, Pantry items & Proteins
Step 3: Prep!
You can prep each meal, one at a time starting with breakfast, or prep one category at a time: produce, pantry items & proteins.
Any meals that you’ll need to take on the go can be placed into glassware/containers so they are ready to grab & go! For the meals that you can cook at home, prepping the ingredients helps make cooking a breeze!
Meal Prep Example:
~Make overnight oats
~Assemble yogurt parfaits (keep granola separate so it stays crunchy)
~Wash and chop fruits & veggies
~Portion out snacks
~Hard boil eggs
~Assemble lunch boxes
~If you’re sitting down to a meal that you prepared, but are truly not in the mood for it, you can absolutely opt for something else! However, I find that when you prep meals using foods & flavors you LOVE, you’ll usually be super satisfied!
~While meal prep day may feel time-consuming, think about how much time it is saving you the rest of the week & remind yourself of the benefits:
>>Makes life easier
>>Makes eating healthy easier
>>Saves you time & money
Now go get your meal prep on!