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5 Easy Steps to Meal Prep for 2+ Weeks in One Day!

Have you ever heard the saying “fail to prepare, prepare to fail“?  If you have tried to adapt a healthier lifestyle I am sure you know this statement to be very true.  We go into our morning with the best of intentions, we think “I am going to make healthy choices today no matter what!” and then as the day goes on we get more and more tired, temptation is around every corner and by the end of the day that “I can do anything” attitude is replaced by “I am tired and I just don’t care“.  So how do you keep the motivation flowing all day long?  There is one BIG factor when it comes to your success at this – to become the ultimate planner.

Sounds crazy at first I know – how does being a good planner relate to losing weight, getting in shape and keeping it off?  If you have a plan of attack, if you know what meals you’re going to eat, if you know exactly when you’re going to workout and what you’re going to do – your success rate is going to be FAR higher than if you just expected yourself to always find the motivation to do it all by the end of the day.

So to start you need to conquer one of the hardest parts of the healthy lifestyle: meal prep.  For many meal prep can seem very daunting – the writing of meal plans, the grocery shopping and the cooking.  BUT if you do it right and come up with a strong plan it doesn’t have to feel like such a chore! Use my 5 tips for meal planning to set your self up for success!

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1. Keep it Simple.

Too often we get caught up looking for recipes that look fun and exciting but when we end up cooking them we realize there are far to0 many instructions, too many ingredients and the next thing you know you are spending 5 hours in the kitchen trying to complete one recipe.  So take my advice: choose recipes with less than 5 ingredients, pick one or two items you can throw in a crock pot or a soup pot, and use similar ingredients for recipes so you can keep the groceries to a minimum.

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How I applied this rule to my meal prep this week: I always choose at least 1 crock pot recipe, 1 soup recipe, and 1 spiralizer recipe (an awesome tool you can use to turn vegetables into noodles!) because it keeps things simple and easy to execute.

this weeks paleo meal plan: 

– cauliflower pizza crust salmon BBQ pizza (find the recipe here for the pizza, and the crust recipe here) I made 9 servings total 

– spiralized bell pepper bison picadillo (get my recipe here) I made 12 servings total

–  chicken chili (get the recipe here) I made 9 servings total

– crock pot ground chicken lettuce wraps (get the recipe here) I made 12 servings 

= 42 Meals

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this week’s pescatarian meal plan: 

– zucchini noodle pad thai with quinoa (get the recipe here) – I made 4 servings

– garlic salmon over zucchini noodles with cauliflower basil sauce – I made 3 servings

– tempeh and asparagus saute (get the recipe here) – I made 3 servings

– lentil soup (get the recipe here) – 1 made 4 servings

= 14 servings 

TOTAL MEALS MADE: 56 MEALS

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2. Schedule Exact Times.  

Instead of leaving cooking up to just when you’re feeling like doing it you need schedule exact times for when you will begin each part of your meal prep.  When will you meal plan?  When will you leave the house to head to the grocery store?  And what time exactly will you begin to cook?

How I applied this rule to my meal prep this week: I made sure I got my meal plan done by 10am (started at 9am) on Sunday morning.  Then I left the house by 10:30am to head to the grocery store.  I was back home by 1pm for lunch and I started cooking by 2pm. I was done by 7pm for dinner.

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3. Cook the Same Day as You Grocery Shop.  

Many of us go out and buy all sorts of fresh produce and protein with the best of intentions.  We think “If I just have the stuff in the house I know I will make healthy decisions” but then you put off cooking it and you end up eating out every night because you’re too tired to cook the salmon and broccoli that is sitting in your fridge.  My best advice: cook the same day so you don’t have any excuse later on in the week as to why your vegetables are all rotting in your fridge drawer.

How I applied this rule to my meal prep this week:  As soon as I get home I started washing my fruits and vegetables with my fruits and vegetables spray (it helps get off the excess dirt and pesticides, get your own here) and get them set up for chopping.  This makes me feel far more organized and motivated than if I put them in the fridge first.

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4. Make Multiple Servings at Once and Freeze For Later:

Instead of only making a few servings at once make the most of your time by doubling up your cooking quantity and freezing your meals for later.  Things like soups, my vegan enchiladas, and crock pot dishes can all be frozen for later.  Soups can be put into gallon zip lock bags and laid flat in the freezer, cover things like the enchiladas with foil and then wrap, and freeze vegetables, protein pancakes, or sweet potato fries by placing them in a single layer on a sheet pan until frozen and then you can transfer them to a ziplock.  Make sure you label your bags, frozen foods should be good for up to a month.

How I applied this rule to my meal prep this week:  If I was cooking just for myself I would have made extra servings of my lentil soup and zucchini pad thai and froze them for later.  But since I do meal prep for other people I had to keep in mind how many meals I could actually fit in my fridge/freezer at once.

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5. Make it Fun:

if you dread cooking in the kitchen every day you are going to have a very hard time succeeding at this long term.  You’ve got to make this ENJOYABLE – light a candle, cook with a friend or a significant other, play some upbeat tunes, or listen to an inspirational podcast like Lewis Howe’s “School of Greatness“.  When you do these things you will find the time goes by much quicker.

How I applied this rule to my meal prep this week:  I lit my “happiness” candle from candlehappiness.com and I listened to this amazing playlist from 8tracks.com to keep me moving and inspired.

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1 Comment »

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    Comment by easy recipes for kids to make for dinner — October 18, 2015 @ 2:41 am

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