Setting up an easy meal prep routine on the weekend or during the week can completely make your healthy eating dreams for the week come true!
It takes the guess work out, wondering what to eat, eating unhealthy options because you are too tired to make something, feel like you have nothing in the house or just don’t feel like cooking.
Making the prep work that you have to do every day easy and simple will make you much more likely to eat healthy!
That is the beauty of meal prepping on one day a week!
You are ready for the entire week with minimal cooking!
I like to meal prep for 6 days during the week.
There is usually at least one day that we are eating outside the house, bringing food home, or just eating leftovers and so I leave that day open for flexibility in my eating.
I typically will rotate between a couple of different things.
My husband and I are not picky eaters at all nor are we elaborate so you will probably find this meal plan very simple to follow and even implement!
I am currently not training for a marathon or going out on “long” distance runs.
This meal plan would include more brown rice, quinoa, oats, etc. if I was training for a marathon or even half marathon.
Dessert (yes! We have dessert 2-3x a week!)
Based off of this menu, here are the steps I take to accomplish a healthy meal prep routine for the week.
Figure out what fresh ingredients you need to get for your easy meal prep.
I tend to pick up the same things: bananas, apples, oranges, pineapple, berries, broccoli, spinach or kale, onion, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots.
If you also regularly pick up the same foods you could make up a list of foods that you like to have always on hand to make your planning even easier.
Make a store run or do a curbside pickup.
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Prep as many of your ingredients as possible.
This could be washing your fruits and vegetables, measuring portions, browning meat, cooking chicken for shredding or cutting, cooking rice, steaming or roasting vegetables.
Look at the recipes you will be making and ask yourself what you can do ahead of time to make your cooking for the week easier?
You might find yourself fumbling and taking longer than you thought but after meal prepping even once, you will learn ways that you can become more economical with your time and food.
Do a grocery home delivery shop for non-perishable items that you need to replenish for future weeks and recipes.
Keep your grocery list out and handy as you meal prep so that you can add ingredients that you have used up to your list.
Then between home delivery services (I use Walmart and have them ship me foods such as oats and raisins) and the store pickup you will have a very fast, easy and efficient shopping system set up and in place.
This will leave you more time to do your easy meal prep and come up with other easy meal prep ideas for the week!
Remember, for this specific easy meal prep routine, I am working off of the previous mentioned menu plan.
Cut veggies for my omelets:
I like to prep bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms. I also enjoy have spinach and tomatoes inside my omelets but have found that prepping these ahead of time causes sliminess and so I add these on the day I am heating my omelet up.
Store all of the vegetables layered in paper towels in an airtight container in the fridge.
Make sure I have all of the eggs I need.
I usually put 3 eggs in my omelet so I would need to make sure that I have at least 18 eggs on hand for the week.
Sometimes I will simply scramble up all of my eggs at once for the week.
Then, on the day that I will be eating the eggs, I will then add the veggies and re-heat everything together either on the stove or in the microwave.
Mix up a batch of quick oatmeal.
I usually will have ½ cup serving size of oatmeal about 3 times a week if I don't want eggs and will therefore combine and mix together:
Store everything in an airtight container.
On the day I have oatmeal, I will heat some water up in my electric kettle (you have one right?), pour it on my oatmeal, let it sit for about 4 minutes and then gobble it up!
Stock up on a couple of individual sized Greek yogurts.
Light and Fit as well as Kroger has a great option that has low to almost no added sugar content and high protein (13 grams) making either of them a great choice.
Another healthy option is the Chobani Plain Greek individual yogurt cups.
Wash any fruit that I will be using in the yogurts. Also store away out of sight so it does not go missing during the week. *wink
Tip: store any fruit that you wont be able to eat in a reasonable time in a ziploc bag and freeze it. Here two tips to reuse the frozen fruit:
Grill chicken or cook in an instant pot(both are the fast options!)
Grill enough for salad throughout the week, tortilla wraps, soup (if chicken will be included) and as dinner for at least 2 nights.
Wash any spinach/salad lettuce and any vegetables that you will be putting in your salads.
Make sure there are plenty of fresh vegetables in the fridge, washed and ready to go.
Make one soup that will serve several lunches throughout the week.
I really like doing a vegetable barley soup. It is ready in about 20 minutes and will last for days! The box comes with two different recipes on it and both are delicious!
There are so many soups though that you could find and add on rotation. It's fun to mix it up week after week since you will be eating a lot of it at once during the week.
Cut all the veggies up that you plan to roast.
Roasting is such a delicious way to eat vegetables! If you don't like vegetables you just need to find a way that you enjoy them the most and for me that would be roasting them with olive oil and salt and pepper!
Some people choose to cut the veggies up and store them uncooked in the fridge. The day they will be eating them they will them cook them up.
Most of the time I prefer to roast up a big batch of vegetables and then store and reheat them throughout the week as needed.
My go to vegetables to roast are:
Cut veggies for salmon/fish sides.
If you want to saute your vegetables in the pan that you cook your fish then you could simply cut up the vegetables that you will need for that meal.
At this point you can store them separately or cook your fish, saute your veggies and then store in airtight containers (separately or together) for meals during the week.
Decide how to use the extra chicken you cooked for dinner and prep it!
I love chicken as a lean protein source and how versatile it can be in recipes.
You can make it into:
Therefore, I will usually prep a sauce, make a casserole, soup or chicken taco meat so that I can reheat or just add finishing touches to the meal the night that I will be eating it.
Here's a quick list of some ideas for desserts and snacks that you could make ahead of time:
You may feel as if you have a too many things cooking and simmering at once but I promise once you figure out an easy meal prep routine for yourself and you know how it works, then it will save you so much time and heart break over poor eating choices!
Easy meal prep routines are where it's at!
What's one food that you like to always have prepped and ready to go each week?
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