Meal preparation can be intimidating, scary, overwhelming, frustrating – choose your adjective. This topic is one that I cover often because it’s really easy to have a busy week or weekend and get completely off track. I remember being flustered and lost when it came to meal prep. It should be easy enough but when you think of 7 days’ worth of meals and then blend a family into that, it’s not that easy!
So with this post, I’d like to share with you the actual steps I take every Sunday.
Use the KISS formula – Keep it Super Simple
- I pick 2 proteins – think about how many servings will you need? (There’s some trial and error here, but it doesn’t take long to figure this out for your family.)
- Select 3-5 vegetables (balance them between raw/making salads or roasting them) – my regulars are carrots, celery, cucumber, peppers and sweet potato – then I may select one or two that are seasonal.
- Choose 1 or 2 fruits for snacks or breakfast
- Select your grains – rice or quinoa (my choices but feel free to experiment)
I think about what I want to eat or make with these basics. It goes like this:
- A great go-to snack or breakfast is greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit, mixed nuts and veg sticks! Okay, that’s a start.
- I had stew last week for lunches and chili the week before so I think tuna salad would be a good change.
- Salad is versatile and offers good variety based on the veggies that are in season.
- I love my smoothies! I can change it up by what I put inside. Chocolate or vanilla protein powder, a banana, almond milk are the base and then I can add whatever fruit and even veg to change it up for different flavours.
- Dinners are easiest when the protein and side is already cooked. I’ll cook some chicken and roast beef this week – pork and ground beef next week. Include a fish meal this week and beans next week. Select some vegetables to roast. Next week, I’ll mix things together and make a Shepherds Pie.
Now that I have my ideas thought out, let’s put a menu together and start some easy prep:
- Breakfast/Snack – Greek yogurt with chopped fruit – easy – put in little containers in the fridge for grab and go.
- Lunch – Tuna salad made with cottage cheese or real mayo and put on rice cakes, pepper wedges or crackers with cut up veggies on the side – again, simple to mix this up and put in the fridge.
- Mid-Day Snack – Protein super shake – portion or have items at hand ready to use.
- Dinner – chicken, beef, salad, quinoa, rice, roasted veggies – On busy weekends, I have my “go to” recipes. On more relaxed weekends, I’ll look for a few new recipes to try and add to my collection if I like them. Dinners require a little more prep – that’s Step 4.
The bigger prep:
- Wash and cut in advance and store in a domed container – peppers (in wedges), carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes or other raw veggies
- Wash and cut romaine lettuce and spinach – spin and put in a Ziploc bag without air
- Dice potato or sweet potato, onion and add some peppers and celery and ROAST with olive oil and seasonings
- Cook rice or quinoa while you cut the vegetables
- Cook 2 proteins for dinners
- Cook in bulk – use a crock pot or soup pot for chili, soup or stew – it’s ok to use frozen or canned veggies
- Store individually or large containers in the fridge.
- Cottage cheese instead of greek yogurt with fruit or berries
- Overnight oats
- Omelettes, hard-boiled eggs, etc.
- soup, stew, chili
- tuna salad on peppers or cucumbers
- Short on time – you can have salads, soups, stir-fries, omelettes, veggies, and dip… You are only limited by your imagination. Mix and match your flavours.
What meals do you like to have on a regular basis? Make your life easier by preparing them in advance or make larger portions for meals to use later. Make a double batch and freeze some for weeks that are really busy.
With some practice, an hour or two on the weekend can save you hours throughout the week. Make it a family event to spend an hour or two in the kitchen on Sunday mornings preparing meals. Kids will learn how to prep, cook and eat healthily too.
Try this new routine and you’ll find that you have more time to spend with your family or you’ll find some new ‘me’ time. And you’ll stay on track with your health and fitness goals.
It’s a plan that just fits!
Need help? Have questions? I’m here to make it easier. If you have questions, then let’s connect. I will help figure out what you need in order to become stronger and healthier version of yourself.