How To: Meal Prepping Basics

Let's talk meal prepping for minutes.  How many of you haaaattteeee meal prep?  I mean, why does it have to take a full freaking day?  For me I like to have food on hand that is readily available and healthy for myself, my husband and my baby.  Now I try to keep all snacks a free for all but meals we don't all eat the same (meaning my husband eats meat - chicken, turkey, meatballs, and etc) and Alexandra eats ONLY organic chicken right now.  I really am trying to limit any exposure to beef it at all possible.  If she does eat it with me, it will no doubt be organic:)

 Whole Foods: Example of weeks worth of groceries paired with our pantry basics.  Typical week of groceries like this is $130.

Whole Foods: Example of weeks worth of groceries paired with our pantry basics.  Typical week of groceries like this is $130.

Let's start with the basics of planning your shopping trip to planning out your meals for the week.  First, decide if you are the type of person that gets bored with food easily, or you can roll with it as long as its planned out.  I'm DEFINITELY the type that gets bored and I really don't life leftovers for more than a day MAX two post cooking.  I just prefer my ingredients fresh.

Second, pick your go-to proteins.  This can be a range or stick with one particular protein like chicken.  If you are vegetarian is it tempeh, beans, legumes, soy, etc.  Or maybe you want a variety.  That's fine too, just choose your proteins as a base.

 Tofu Brown Rice Miso Bowl - Example of a vegan bowl I threw together with some leftovers and a quick saute of kale and mushrooms!

Tofu Brown Rice Miso Bowl - Example of a vegan bowl I threw together with some leftovers and a quick saute of kale and mushrooms!

Third, choose your fruit and veggies.  I know I can do a kale salad for maybe 3-4 days in a row because the lettuce doesn't get wilty - or it does but it takes much longer.  I also really love broccoli, which can be preserved for a few days.  The other veggies you may want to grill every other day or every two days, whatever works for you.  Make sure when you're planning to your lunches and your dinners you have 2 servings of veggies. We will get the rest of your veggies as we go along.  Fruit salads are a great way to have pre-washed and cut up fruit to enjoy that's easily accessible throughout the week.  Otherwise, I like having whole fruits on hand like bananas, apples, pears and whatever is in season.  Great for snacking on the go!

Fourth, choose your grains.  Complex carbs or whole grains are always preferred.  If you are paleo, you may want to choose sweet potato.  I love brown rice, quinoa, kamut, buckwheat, barley and a host of other grains.  Use what works for you in the whole grain family.   Again, here is where I like to make a large batch of grains and use it as I go throughout the week.  Keep in mind, one serving is one slice of whole grain bread, 1/2 cup is a servings for rice, oatmeal and all of the above.  

Below is an example of some staples for the week that I prepared in large separate containers to have available as grab-and-go options for snacks or lunches. 

From top left working clockwise (right):

  1. Protein: Tuna Salad - 2-3 cans of tuna + 1 tbsp vegan mayo + 1 tsp spicy mustard + 1 chopped celery + 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  2. Fruit Salad: Organic Strawberries, raspberries & chopped pears
  3. Grains & Protein: Cooked Brown rice + Lentils boiled in water & organic veggie stock with sea salt
  4. Kale Slaw: Large bunch of kale (with stems removed) chopped and tossed with olive oil and black pepper massaged for 2-3 minutes to break down the leaves.  Add organic carrot shavings, chopped purple cabbage, sunflower seeds, chopped almonds and cranberries.

 

 

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For more meal inspo and posts simlar to this follow me on Instagram @AngieReneeFitLife !  I hope you enjoy!