Meal Prep 101

 

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So I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me how to meal prep…. therefore! I’m going to show you how easy it is, the trick is to do it all at once.

Meal Prepping is a great way to stay on track, especially when you are low on time and just want to grab something fast. Our first instinct is to go to fast food or something simple when were in a rush right? … So this way, you’ll already have it made and set to go so therefore your diet and all the hard work you’ve already put in with trying to eat clean and workout doesn’t go down the drain.

So what it basically is, is preparing everything you’re going to eat for either that week or more (depending on how much you cook). I like to do my meal preps about every week or even twice a week depending on what days I have off work.  In a nutshell- its cooking in bulk and eating left overs….

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First things first though, you’re going to need a good variety of Tupperware.

Then, you may be asking…. “but what do I cook???”

Well pretty much anything that your diet calls for… My meal preps usually consist of these things:

– LEAN PROTEIN ( chicken,  catfish, tuna, tilapia, salmon, shrimp, beef (shoot for the leanest you can find) , turkey, game meat(deer, elk) protein powders … eggs and egg whites would be good too. Hard boil them, it will make it easier too. )

– VEGGIES ( pretty much all is accepted. I like salads with different green blends, mixed veggies (frozen or fresh) zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus…. you get the drift…)

– COMPLEX CARBS – Yams, sweet potatoes, brown and wild rice, quinoa, couscous, Oats, Whole wheat bread, beans.

– FATS (almonds, cashews, pistachios, avocado, coconut, walnuts, peanut and almond butters, flax, chia, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and oils and oil based dressings. )

– FRUIT – obviously you don’t have to “cook” these..  (pretty much any, Berries, apples, banana, peach, pear, orange, strawberries …etc. )

DAIRY- I don’t eat dairy for the most part, it makes me sick… every once in a while Ill have a Quest bar which has Whey protein isolate in it and I seem to do fine. If your going to add dairy, pick these! ( Low fat mozzarella, low fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt (shoot for plain and add your own goodies!), low-fat milk and creamers for coffee and whatnot  )

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Now that we’ve got the basis of whats pretty much “healthy” and whatnot, how much do you cook? ? ?

Well that all depends on how many days your prepping for. You can do an entire week or a few days. Up to you. Best part of this way of eating (notice I didn’t say diet) is that you DONT STARVE and your constantly eating to rev up that metabolism to ultimately .. lose weight or gain muscle. You ideally want to eat every 3 to 4 hours so that makes about 5-6 meals a day. Now these meals .. since there are more than your average three, are going to be smaller in size, but that’s ok because every 3 hours your going to eat more.

Here is a basic every day meal plan for me currently.

Meal 1: Oats with 1 banana

(this is the time I workout usually)

Meal2: Protein Shake with a piece of fruit

Meal 3: 4oz grilled chicken, 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup mixed veggies

Meal4: 4 oz fish, Big salad with as much veggies as I want. 2 tbsp. oil based dressing  (you can add in a complex carb here if you’d like )

Meal5 : 4 oz turkey, 1 cup veggies (add carb if wanted)

M6: Protein Shake

SO in example I really only need to “prep” 3 meals per day. The oats and shakes take like 2 minutes for me to make on the spot … So when prepping keep in mind how much you actually need to make. Now I’m not saying to follow THIS plan, this is just an example .. Do what you want, make it fun, add in some fricken cottage cheese ( man I miss that stuff haha) and make it YOUR meal plan and make the food towards Your Goals!!

So basically cook like your having a party or barbeque haha. Light up the grill and grill up some chicken and turkey burgers, meanwhile while that’s going, cut up salad and veggies and also have either some rice on the stove or a few sweet potatoes in the oven. Its really quite simple, just start cooking and see how it ends up. Use different spices so things don’t always taste the same or seem bland. (I like Mrs Dash a lot because its salt-free yay!)

Put it all in Tupperware and you can even mark what day they are for on the containers if you want. The more organized you are the easier it gets. Preps usually only take me an hour (that’s 4% of my day) .. You have time, just find or make the time =)

Also, get creative, find new recipes and learn to have fun with it =)

HAPPY PREPPING!

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ps. I do a lot more “prepping” and what not on my instagram! FOLLOW ME! @amanda_fit_

 

 

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Tilapia with Quinoa and Veggies!

tilapia

You’ll Need:

1 large tilapia fillet

Olive oil cooking spray

3-4 lemon slices

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon rosemary

pinch of oregano

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup quinoa or whole grain brown rice

Veggie of choice (preferably green)

How to:

Preheat oven to 400

Spray oven safe dish with a little olive oil, and place fish into dish. Sprinkle spices and seasonings on top place lemon slices inside dish as well.

Bake for about 15- 20 min. Until cooked all the way through.

Cook quinoa or brown rice according to package and steam your veggies! add a little salt and pepper to taste!

quinoa

Clean Eating Meal Plan (Month 2)

So this month is going to be a little less strict, but still make it so that your eating a cleaner and healthy diet! I made this plan so that you can choose from the options for each meal so that way you wont feel bored or overwhelmed. Try to mix it up as you go and remember, you’re eating to fuel your body and give it the optimum nutrition it needs… therefore picking whole, complete and nutritious foods are ideal.

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A cheat is ok here and there (hell, were all human right?!) But now I want you to start to notice how you feel when you eat healthy as opposed to not healthy and also remember to pace yourself, don’t push yourself too hard and don’t think miracles are going to happen over night, changing your lifestyle can take weeks, months and even years to learn how to incorporate into your life. Remember where you started and be proud of your accomplishments, but also don’t loose sight of what’s to come =)

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TIPS BEFORE STARTING:

  1. Drink 2-3liters of water a day..  if not more
  2. You may have tea, coffee with stevia ad light creamer if needed
  3. NO soft drinks and sugary juices!!! – make your own juice!
  4. Make sure you’re getting a good amount of sleep
  5. Get active! Find and new sport or play with your kids, there are many ways to “be active” without a gym.
  6. No negative thoughts, stay positive!

Upon waking – 8oz water

Breakfast:

**Add a multi- vitamin with breakfast (make sure you eat first because it will make you nauseous otherwise)

    • Protein shake made with low-fat milk or almond milk
    • Smoothie with both fruit and veggies
    • 3 whole eggs, 3 egg whites scrambled with as many veggie as you want
    • 1/2 cup plain oats – I have great oatmeal recipes here:   Oatmeal 101
    • Greek Yogurt with 1/4 cup granola and fruit of choice
    • 1/2 grapefruit with stevia (if needed), 1 slice whole wheat toast with almond/peanut butter
    • 1 rice cake with almond/peanut butter on top, 1 piece of fruit
    • 1 whole grain or gluten free waffle with1 tbsp. agave nectar
    • Whole grain cold cereal (Cheerios, Oat Squares, Kashi) – make sure to read the serving sizes! and feel free to add a piece of fruit! =)

Snack (Pick one):

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • Any veggies – pretty much as much as you want (no corn)
  • Greek/ dairy free yogurt with low-sugar granola
  • 1 low-fat string cheese with 10 almonds
  • Protein shake made with milk or almond milk
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • Rice cake with 1 tablespoon peanut/almond butter on top
  • Mixed nuts (unsalted)
  • 10 sticks of carrots or celery dipped in hummus
  • 1/2 cup plain oats made with water – dash of cinnamon
  • 3 oz of any lean meat
  • 1 apple, 10 almonds
  • 1 apple dipped in 2 tablespoons of almond/peanut butter
  • Pretty much any fruit, pair it with a nut of choice (1/4 cup)

Lunch (pick one):

  • Mixed Greens Salad with 3 oz lean meat on top, add whatever veggies and as many as your want on top. Top with 2 tbsp. of Balsamic Vinegar or Olive oil and vinegar dressing.
  • 4oz lean meat with 3 cups veggies of choice, 1 cup brown rice
  • 4oz grilled chicken with 1/2 large sweet potato and 2 cups of green beans
  • Lightly sauté 2 cups spinach and put 4 ox salmon on top

Snack (Pick One) :

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • Any veggies – pretty much as much as you want (no corn)
  • Greek/ dairy free yogurt with low-sugar granola
  • 1 low-fat string cheese with 10 almonds
  • Protein shake made with milk or almond milk
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • Rice cake with 1 tablespoon peanut/almond butter on top
  • Mixed nuts (unsalted)
  • 10 sticks of carrots or celery dipped in hummus
  • 1/2 cup plain oats made with water – dash of cinnamon
  • 3 oz of any lean meat
  • 1 apple, 10 almonds
  • 1 apple dipped in 2 tablespoons of almond/peanut butter
  • Pretty much any fruit, pair it with a nut of choice (1/4 cup)
  • Egg Whites with hummus or guac inside them instead of the yolk!

Dinner: (You can mix and match these, I’m just going to give you a couple of examples. * Make sure you have a lean protein, a good carb and TONS of veggies!)

  • 6oz lean meat (Chicken, steak, turkey, game meat, fish, shrimp, crap, lobster, bison)
  • Starchy (healthy) carbohydrate – around 1-2 cups (Brown Rice, Quinoa, Couscous, Sweet Potato, Baby Potatoes, Black, Pinto, Kidney, Garbanzo Beans, Whole Wheat or gluten free pasta)
  • With as much veggies as you’d like! (preferably green!, Asparagus, Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, a salad, squash, zucchini, green beans… ohh the list can go on forever!…. limit the corn… )

Snack (if needed): NO FRUIT in last “snack for the day” too much sugar and carbs.

  • 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • Any veggies – pretty much as much as you want (no corn)
  • Greek/ dairy free yogurt with low-sugar granola
  • 1 low-fat string cheese with 10 almonds
  • Protein shake made with milk or almond milk
  • 3 hard boiled eggs
  • Rice cake with 1 tablespoon peanut/almond butter on top
  • Mixed nuts (unsalted)
  • 10 sticks of carrots or celery dipped in hummus
  • 1/2 cup plain oats made with water – dash of cinnamon
  • 3 oz of any lean meat

Before bed- 8 oz water.

** Note: you may switch lunch and dinner if wanted.

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Jump Start Clean Eating Meal Plan! (Month 1)

Chris Powell Stax System

Chris Powell Stax System (Photo credit: mrcd@sbcglobal.net)

This meal plan is designed to either get you accustomed to a cleaner way of eating but can also help you drop some unwanted weight as well. Since I know starting something new can be scary, I made it so you will still feel full throughout the day, and it will also be lighter on your wallet.

Before you start :

  • Make sure you drink 3-4 liters of water a day, if not more, depending on activity level! Stay hydrated!
  • Make sure your getting a good nights sleep, you cant feel healthy or be healthier when your constantly drained and tired.
  • Stay Positive!

Month 1

  • (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday)

Wake: Drink 8oz water!

Meal 1: Mixed Egg White Scramble!

1/2 cup egg whites, with whatever veggies you want to add! ( I like peppers, spinach, mushrooms, black olives, and Italian spices! )

Top with 2 tbsp. of Salsa (optional)

Snack: 10 Almonds (natural, unsalted), 1 low-fat string cheese

Meal 2: Grilled Chicken Salad. (can substitute for steak or fish if wanted)

Grill 3oz lean Chicken breast and serve over…

2- 3 cups of mixed greens

1/4 cup black beans

Diced tomatoes (about 1/4 cup)

Shredded carrots (1/4 cup)

Cucumber slices (6 slices)

Chopped bell peppers  (About 1/2 of a whole bell pepper)

* Feel free to substitute or add/take away any veggies, but make sure you add some in their. (Pick 3 of choice)

Top with 2 tbsp. of a oil based dressing like Balsamic Vinaigrette , or 1/2 of an avocado.

Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs, 1 large apple with 1 tbsp. of Almond or Peanut Butter. (Dip apple in butter!! YUM)

Meal 3: Clean Eating Chicken Dinner 

 6oz Lean Chicken Breast (grilled or baked with spices and olive oil)

1 Sweet potato with cinnamon sprinkled on top (cinnamon is optional)

2 cups of steamed broccoli

Snack:  Pick one!

  • Protein Shake made with 12oz Almond Milk
  • 1/2 low-fat Cottage Cheese with peach slices
  • 5 sticks of celery or bell peppers dipped in hummus
  • 1 oz Plain tuna in water (drained) with 10 unsalted almonds.

Before bed: Drink 8oz water!!

meal plan

 

 

  • ( Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday)

Wake: Drink 8oz water!

Meal 1:  Oatmeal Mix

1/2 cup oats (made with water) Mix in 1 tbsp. flax meal

Top with 1 tbsp. honey or agave nectar (if needed) and 1/2 cup berries.

1 hard boiled egg.

Snack:  Make a smoothie (any in my recipe index are ok) w/ 1 scoop protein powder -OR- Protein shake with 12oz Almond Milk.

Meal 2: Chicken Lunch

4oz Grilled Chicken

2 cups of steamed veggie of choice (get creative and try things you haven’t tried before)

1 cup Brown Rice or Quinoa

Snack: 1 Greek yogurt cup with 1/4 cup low-sugar granola on top.

10 strawberries

Meal 3: Fish Dinner!

5oz Fish of choice (Tilapia, Salmon, Flounder, Trout)

Steamed Green Beans

1 Sweet potato with cinnamon (cinnamon optional)

Snack: Pick One!

  • Protein Shake made with 12oz Almond Milk
  • 1/2 low-fat Cottage Cheese with peach slices
  • 5 sticks of celery or bell peppers dipped in hummus
  • 1 oz Plain tuna in water (drained) with 10 unsalted almonds.
  • Handful of nuts and seeds (unsalted)
  • 1 All natural, low sugar fruit strip

Before bed: Drink 8oz water!!

** Helps if you make meals in advance to help you stay of track. =) ***

Paleo-vs-Clean-Eating

Tip of the week #9 Prep the week Ahead of time

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When wanting to loose weight or even practice clean eating prepping meals ahead of time can make it soooo much easier to stick to your goals. So next day you have (for most people its Sunday) take a couple hours out of that day off work to prep all your meals for that week.

Whether it be for just you, you and a significant other or even a big family, meal prepping can be easy and effective. Plus it makes it super easy when you get off work and don’t really feel like preparing a meal for the family. haha.

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There are tons of resources out there (blogs, pinterist, Google, you name it) to find clean eating recipes and frozen dishes. Ideally you’ll want to do foods that don’t go bad fast and eat the ones that do sooner in the week rather than later.

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I usually just prep my dinners because that’s the hardest. (usually some form of lean meat, veggies and a sweet potato or brown rice). For breakfast its usually something simple and quick like oatmeal (I can even put that in Tupperware and eat it on the drive to work) or sometimes I’ll prepare some scrambled egg whites with mixed veggies when I’m doing the meal prep too so then ill have a little bit of a mix for my mornings.

Usually prepare my lunch (usually a salad) the night before, throw some lettuce mix in a bowl, add a shit ton of veggie and viola!

But I mean you can find healthy options that you could probably freeze (like a lasagna) and be fine too. Find out what the family would like to eat, make a plan and stick to it! =)

Happy preparing!

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Stuffed Chicken Breast Dinner

chicken

Serves 3

You’ll Need :

3 bonless, skinless , free-range hormone free chicken breasts

2 springs of fresh rosemary, chopped up

2 tbsp. EVOO

3 wedges of low-fat laughing cow cheese or I like my Almond (Dairy free cheese) in Motsarella

The zest of 1 lemon

3 cloves of garlic , minced

2 cups of Arugula  (or you can use whichever Spring mix you have)

3 oz Fire roasted red peppers , Drained

salt and pepper

How To:

Combine oil, lemon zest, garlic and rosemary into shallow bowl and coat each chicken breast with mixture, leave in bowl and let marinate for 2 hours.

Pre-heat grill. Season both sides of the chicken breast with a little dash of salt and pepper and grill until cooked through, with no pink center.

Cut the chicken breasts in half but don’t cut all the way though to almost make a “sandwich” look. Spread or place cheese inside the chicken and stuff the arugula, red peppers inside of the chicken.

Serve with a veggie side, brown rice or a yummy salad.

(Oxygen Magazine Inspired)