“Failing to prepare, is preparing to Fail”
Meal prepping is a great way to start the week off strong. Without meal preparation, you increase your chances of eating junk or convenience foods if you get busy or caught without food. It not only helps you to save your sanity but it also helps you save time, money, and calories!!
Here are 5 Benefits of Meal Prepping
1. You’ll Save Money
For those who think eating healthy is way too expensive, think again. Meal prepping will save you money because you can buy items in bulk and take advantage of your freezer. When you set aside time to prep your food, think big in terms of volume.
Don’t be scared to buy five pounds of chicken instead of one. You can cook one pound at a time if you want to, and freeze the rest so it will always be ready to defrost. Always stock up on staples when they’re on sale, such as olive oil, spices and mustard. Not only will cooking your own food save you money; it will save your waistline as well.
2. You Can Multitask
Meal prepping is perfect for busy individuals. Once you get the gist of it, it will be a non-negotiable. After making dinner and cleaning up, do you really want to take everything out again to make lunch? While dinner is cooking, pack food for the next day.
This simple task will help you cut time in the kitchen, and you will feel organized and ready to go for another day of clean eating. Also, don’t be afraid to fill your oven with different kinds of foods at once. For example, you can cook two pounds of chicken breast, three sweet potatoes, roasted vegetables and even eggs all at once.
3. Grocery Shopping Will Be Fun
Before heading to the store, be sure you have a list. Mark categories: veggies, fruits, proteins, frozen foods, dairy, grains and fats. Try to include at least one new food a week in each category. For instance, if you bought salmon last week, try another fish, such as haddock or swordfish.
All foods have different nutritional components, and your list should vary so your body doesn’t get too used to one way of eating. Making a list will eliminate buying sugary, processed food you don’t need. Try including one item in your cart that you will enjoy in moderation, such as organic dark chocolate.
4. You’ll Learn Portion Control
When focusing on weight loss or muscle gain, you should consider your calories in versus calories out. When you prep your food in advance, it’s a sure way of knowing what you are consuming. Preparing your own meals will give you insight into what a true portion of food is.
As we all know, most of the time the food in restaurants, even ‘healthy’ ones, are providing you with a way bigger portion. By paying attention to your own food when cooking, you will be less likely to overeat.
5. It’s Not All Or Nothing
Remember that you don’t have to spend hours in the kitchen for meal prep to happen. Focus on one thing at a time, and nail it before overwhelming yourself with everything all at once.
Have vegetables pre-washed and cut; and the same goes for fruit. Start small: Once you master one small task, you will feel confident in moving on to prepping meals for an entire day.
Meal Prep Ideas & Recipes
Now that you are clear that meal prepping can only benefit you and support you with your goals, let’s put the information you learned into action.
Since you already have your breakfast handled with your Herbalife Nutrition Shake, let’s focus on our snacks and your balanced meals. And if you don’t have breakfast handled, let’s talk!
For snacks, have ziploc snack bags and small sized Tupperware available so you can divide up your bulk snack foods into daily portions. Some of your snack options are already portioned out for you like string cheese or pre-packed containers, just be careful as they tend to be more costly but does save you time.
Here are some snack ideas:
• Container of cottage cheese – divide into your 1/2c – 1c Tupperware
• Container of Greek yogurt – divide into your 1/2c – 1c Tupperware
• Bag of almonds (or other nuts) – divide 1/4c into your snack Ziploc bags
• String Cheese – already packaged individually
• Protein Bar – already packaged individually
• Herbalife Shake – scoop your powders into small Tupperware containers or Ziploc baggies
For meals, try to pick 1 or 2 protein sources (chicken, turkey, eggs, tofu), veggie sources (broccoli, asparagus, green beans) and complex carb sources (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa). Make enough to serve 4. Have one meal for the moment and save the other 3 meals in Tupperware for lunches/dinners for the rest of the week.
Keep in mind:
* Many of these food suggestions can be fresh or frozen options
* Every dish can be made in bulk – measure out according to how much extra you want to make
* Quantities and measurements are not listed so you can choose how much of each item you want to use
* For your meal prep shopping list, sign up for the #FitTribe Newsletter and get your freebie today!
Here are some bulk meal ideas:
Balanced Meal: Lean Protein with Grain & Veggies
• Lean protein of choice (i.e. fish, turkey, chicken, lean beef, tofu)
• Brown rice, quinoa or sweet potato
— I will either use frozen, already made grains, or will cook in bulk using a rice cooker
— For sweet potatoes, I cube the pieces and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes
• Veggie of choice
— For green veggies I will coat with olive oil and salt and then bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes (about 30 minutes for spotatoes)
Cook protein with desired seasonings. Heat/cook grain of choice. Prepare veggie of choice. Serve together for a balanced meal
Protein & Veggie Stir Fry
• Lean protein of choice (i.e. salmon patty, turkey, chicken, lean beef, tofu)
• Stir Fry Veggies (I use the frozen bag from Costco)
• Coconut oil
• Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat oil over medium heat in deep frying pan or wok. Add onions and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add stir fry veggies and stir together until cooked. In a separate pan, heat oil and cook protein choice. Add protein to veggies and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Chicken & Peppers
• Cooked chicken breast, cubed
• Bell peppers, cut into ½”-1” pieces
• Onion, cut into ½”-1” pieces
• Olive oil
• Salt to taste
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions and garlic in large pan. Add bell peppers and cook to desired softness. Add cooked chicken. Add more olive oil and/or salt to taste.
Shrimp Pesto over Spinach
• Pesto sauce
• Olive oil
Add olive oil to frying pan and cook or heat shrimp. Add a minimal amount of pesto to the shrimp. Set aside. Add more olive oil to pan and sauté spinach until wilted. Remove spinach to serving dish and top with shrimp. Sprinkle with salt to taste.
Big Ass Salads
• Lettuce in a bag
• Cherry tomatoes
• Red onion
• Feta Cheese
• Pre-cooked chicken, canned tuna or chicken or protein of choice
• Olive oil and balsamic vinegar
• Or really what ever toppings you like
Separate lettuce into 2-3 serving containers. Chop and cut toppings and place on top of lettuce. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
• Ground turkey or 96% lean beef
• Taco seasoning packet
• Tomatoes, diced
• Avocado or guacamole
• Onions, diced
• Fat free refried beans
Make into a taco salad by laying down lettuce first and layer with your favorite toppings.
Quick Meals on the Fly
And if you’re looking for some quick meals, always keep a few food items in stock (these tend to last more than a few days in the fridge)
• Box of egg whites
• Lean protein deli meat (i.e. turkey, ideally low sodium and no additives)
• Bread – whole grain or Ezekiel (100 cal deli thin bread is a great option to reduce calories and carbs)
• Avocado (after ripened you can leave in fridge for a few days)
• Low fat cheese
• Pre cooked chicken
* Breakfast for Dinner: Eggs topped with salsa an avocado
* Turkey & Cheese Sandwich
* Tuna & Avocado: Mix canned tuna with ripe avocado, salt and pepper to taste
* Herbalife Waffles: 2 scoops Formula 1, 1 scoop Protein Drink Mix, ½ cup egg whites; stir and cook in waffle maker or pour into frying pan for pancakes