Meal Prepping for the Week for Beginners
This blog post is all about meal prepping for the week for beginners. When you are just starting out on a new healthy journey one of the best ways to help yourself add in quality food is to meal prep.
We all need simple, smart tips for inevitable success. Today you get them from a certified health coach and I’ve included a meal plan and shopping list download to help you get started on your first week.
This busy boy mom, fiction bookie, health blogger, Pinterest addict has to meal prep. Yep, I admit it. If I don’t meal prep, I won’t eat healthy or clean. At least now how I want to. It just doesn’t happen. I know I am not alone. The struggle is real my friends.
My life is busy. My days start at 5 am (4:30 if I want quiet, prayer time) and I usually don’t sit down till about 8:30pm. That’s right– when the kids go to bed. It’s the norm. I know your life is probably something like that, too. #shoutouttobusymoms
If I haven’t shared with you before my journey toward a healthier me, is all about gut health, clean eating, keeping my stress down, and creating new habits. I am not a fan on one diet fits all. If that was the truth then we would all be fit and healthy. We would never have started the yo-yo diet life. I have found that plus size weight loss is all about healthy habit and just constantly trying to move the needle away from fake processed food to clean vibrant real food. There are many tools I have I found to help keep me on this path. One major tool I have is meal prepping for the week.
Meal planning or prepping is a time to eliminate the stress and time factor of having to cook every single night. It will save you time in the kitchen and helps keep you on track with healthy eating! At least that’s what it does for me. You can prep and plan for just dinners, lunch and dinner, or even all three meals of the day and snacks too!
Need good snack ideas check out my blog on Healthy Travel Snacks which are great for the on the go woman and her family. There you can grab your own copy of my “Health Coaches top 15 Travel Snacks”.
The best part is there are no rules and, you can’t really mess it up. You just have to start, and to set aside a little bit of time each week to do it. Then after a time or two you will begin to find what works for you and your family.
Here is what I have found that works for me
I like to start on Saturday mornings. You know those mornings when you are the first one up, the house is quiet, and you are just sipping herbal tea while surfing Facebook or Pinterest. Yes – that’s when I start looking for motivation and start planning my week. I like to simply sketch out a meal plan for the week. I plan for breakfasts, lunches and a few dinners. This is including leftovers so I don’t cook nightly. It might look something like this that I have pictured. ——>
Here is a one of my favorite meal prepping hacks Instant Pot Cauliflower Rice Healthy Hack. Check it out after you . finish this article.
Then on Sunday I work out a grocery list. The hubby and I use Grocery IQ. An app on our iPhones that syncs between the two of us. It allows us to save favorite grocery items, create lists for different stores, and even track prices from week to week. We love it! After everything is in the app, I head to the grocery store. While there, be sure to get champagne and orange juice. Mimosa’s make meal prepping more fun! Just kidding, grab a LaCroix and keep it healthy. Save the adult beverage for another time.
3. Prep and Cook
Once I am home it is time to start prepping. I may not cook every meal ahead of time, but I will prep them the best I can. I will brown the meat for the taco salad and add the spices. Then I store it in freezer baggies to quickly grab when I need them. On a week night, I can defrost the meat, add a salad and some salsa, and it’s all good! Quick and easy. Another thing I like to do is toss some chicken on the grill to store in the fridge for later use. You can do this with hamburger patties, veggies, or anything of your choosing. During the winter, just pop them in the oven. Easy peasy.
Next, I will cut and clean all the fruit and veggies for the week. I am terrible about losing fresh produce when I don’t prep them ahead of time. Likewise, when they are ready and waiting, I am better at grabbing them for a quick side dish or snack. When I am really feeling motivated, I will even pre-bag the fruit and veggies in single serving sizes for lunches, snacks, and smoothies. It’s days like this that I feel like homemaker of the year. (Where’s my crown?)
Along this line, I ALWAYS make up a big salad every Sunday to eat on throughout the week. It will work in our lunches or sides with dinner. Truth be told, I’ve had them for breakfast too.
While everything is cooking, I will also hard boil some eggs to keep ready to go. This is one of my favorites. They are full of protein, easy to grab and go, and No carb. Win win in my book. A tip I have found over the years is to cook them in a pressure cooker. They peel so easily when you do this. Plus it only take about 3 minutes of pressure cooking to hard boil the eggs. Awesome right?!?! If you are making other items like Egg muffins or low carb breakfast tacos make some time to prep those too. They will keep all week in the fridge for a quick healthy breakfast as you run out the door.
4. Relax and Enjoy Your Week
This is the best part of meal prepping for the week. Taking the time you would otherwise be in the kitchen or driving to a restaurant to do something for yourself. Listen to music, read from a favorite book, spend time with your kids, do some yoga, play on Pinterest… just relax. Then when you are ready to enjoy a prepared dish, think about what meal prepping gave you in saved time and how it supported you in your healthy living.
Basically this is what I do with slight variations for each menu. Want to see one of my weekly menu plans and the shopping list. Download my Meal Prep for the Week for Beginners meal plan and shopping list here.
I want to encourage you to give meal prepping for the week for beginners a try. Play around with it and find a system that works for you. Everyone is different and there is no right or wrong way to help get your week off to a good start. We all know that every little bit counts, so get in there and move that needle a little closer toward living the healthy life you want for yourself.
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Here are few friends of mine that also love to meal prep. All three ladies are clean eaters and you can see that in their food choices. Check out your Facebook feed and see who you notice that meal preps! Thanks ladies for letting me share your posts. #mealprep #cleaneating