Meal Prepping & Planning

Meal Prep & Meal Planning by PamperedPaleoWell, guys, it’s time I let you in on a little secret: my paleo-ish-ness has not been quite on point lately. My Fall has been filled with gluten and the occasional dairy, and my tastebuds have been loving it, but my stomach has not. I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I know you’re all probably so disappointed in me. But this week, I’m getting back on track. After trying a sugar detox and strict paleo among other ideas to get me back in the swing of this ancestral diet, I’ve decided to just do what I should: go back to strict meal prepping. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” millions of times, especially if you’re into eating healthy and ‘gettin fit’. I totally agree with the statement, but there is one downside to it: I hate meal prep. If I had the time to cook every meal fresh I would love it. Let’s be honest, does anyone really enjoy soggy broccoli and slimy chicken? No, but it’s a price we often pay when it comes to being healthier. I began eating healthy when I first tried this one week meal plan from Women’s Health Magazine and lost 6 pounds in a week. Most of it was probably water weight, but it got me interested in diet and nutrition and convinced me that with the right food, I could reach whatever goals I wanted to. Since I’ve recently been slipping up a lot, I thought I should go back to the very beginning. Where it all began. So I revisited the meal plan, and tailored it for myself, so it would be all paleo. (The first time I did this, I was still in the “protein powder and greek yogurt is so amazing for you and all you need in life” stage–thank God I grew out of that). So while I haven’t discovered the magic trick to keeping all of your food fresh for the entire week, I have-through trial and error-discovered what’s easiest, quickest, and healthiest for me while prepping, and I’m going to share my tips below. I hope you enjoy, and if you have any suggestions for me, please feel free to share!

Tip #1: Put it on Paper

The best way to remember and remind yourself what your plan is, is to write it down. I usually list what I’ll be having for breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner. I then make a list of groceries I need to buy and a list of what I will have to prep ahead of time. This is a great way to figure out which recipes you’ll need to dig up, what things are going to be an easy fix, and it can help you incorporate new recipes into your daily lives!

Tip #2: For Fastest Preparation, Plan Basic

I know no one wants to be basic, but if you’re new to healthy eating and/or meal prepping, it’s the best way to go. It’s also best if you’re trying to get done in a short amount of time. If all you have to do is cook chicken breast, steam broccoli, and bake sweet potatoes, you can be done in about an hour. However, if you want to try three new recipes, one for each meal, it’s going to take all day. It’s also faster if you eat the same thing every day. Be careful with this, though, because eating the same thing can also lead to more cheating. Know yourself and what you’ll be able to put up with. If you need a fairly new meal every day, pick something that’s simple, but still delicious.

Tip #3: Keep off plan foods limited

My biggest struggle with prepping all my meals is that I’ll head to the fridge to grab it, and eat 10 other things while I’m there along with my meal. This defeats the entire purpose of meal prepping, and can be one reason you aren’t reaching your goals as soon as you’d like. The easiest way to stop this is to keep them away. I realize that that’s not always an option, however, with family and others living with you. Make sure you have your own sections in your fridge and cabinets to put your food (preferably somewhere that you’ll see right away over in a hidden drawer, you’re more likely to grab it there).

Those are my three basics along with looking at the recipes ahead of time, having a designated day to prep, and putting each meal in it’s own tupperware container so it’s easy to grab.

Below is the paleo modified meal plan from Women’s Health Magazine. I realize that a few of the things still aren’t strict paleo, ex) protein shakes, eating every few hours, etc., but one of my main goals is to lose weight, and these are things I implemented when I first did that. Plus, being ‘paleo’ is all about being the best you, and I feel like these are things that will help me get back on track. I’m not one for following meal plans strictly because I believe most people stress over it and end up worse in the end. Adapt it to you, do what works best for your lifestyle! :)

Days 1 & 2:

Breakfast:

  • 4 egg white + 1 egg omelet with 1/4 cup minced broccoli (optional: 1 teaspoon grass-fed cheese)
  • 1 cup green tea
  • 20 oz water

Snack:

  • 12 oz protein shake (made with grass-fed whey powder and almond milk)
  • 20 oz water

Lunch:

  • 6 oz chicken breast
  • 3 cups salad
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli, asparagus, carrots, peas, or green beans
  • 20 oz water

Snack:

  • 12 0z protein shake OR 8 almonds OR apple OR banana with 1 Tablespoon sun/almond butter
  • 20 oz water

Dinner:

  • 8 oz grilled chicken breast, turkey, or beef
  • 1/2 cup steamed broccoli or asparagus
  • 3 cups salad with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar
  • 20 oz water

Snack:

  • 1/2 cup mixed berries with (optional) coconut milk/almond milk yogurt OR 6 cherries

 

Days 3-7:

Breakfast:

  • 4 egg white omelet with 1/4 cup minced asparagus or broccoli OR 12 oz protein shake, apple, & 1 Tablespoon sun/almond butter
  • 1 cup green tea
  • 12 oz water

Snack:

  • 1/2 cup mixed berries with (optional) coconut/almond milk yogurt OR 6 cherries OR 8 almonds
  • 20 0z water

Lunch:

  • 6 oz chicken breast, tuna, or turkey
  • small sweet potato

Snack:

  • 8 almonds OR 6 cherries OR apple with 1 Tablespoon sun/almond butter
  • 20 oz water

Dinner:

  • 6 oz sirloin, turkey, beef, or chicken OR 8 oz tuna, salmon, or white water fish
  • 3 cups salad with lemon or balsamic OR 1/2 cup mixed veggies OR 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • 20 oz water

Snack:

  • 1/2 cup mixed berries with (optional) coconut milk/almond milk yogurt

So today I spent the whole day prepping this and here’s what it looks like:

Snack Day 1 & 2:

Meal Prepping & Planning by PamperedPaleo

Lunch Day 1 & 2:

Meal Prepping & Planning by PamperedPaleo

Snack Day 1 & 2:

Meal Prepping & Planning by PamperedPaleo

Dinner Day 1 & 2:

Meal Prepping & Planning by PamperedPaleo

Snack Day 1-7:

Meal Prepping & Planning by PamperedPaleo

Lunch Day 3-7:

Meal Prepping & Planning by PamperedPaleo

Snack Day 3-7:

Meal Prepping & Planning by PamperedPaleo

Dinner Day 3-7:

Meal Prepping & Planning by PamperedPaleo

Meal Prepping & Planning by PamperedPaleo

 

3 thoughts on “Meal Prepping & Planning

  1. Great post! I was in the exact same boat. I also enjoyed a little too much gluten and dairy and my IBS flared up. Not fun! 8 days into meal planning and avoiding my trigger foods and I’m back on track and less 4 pounds of bloat. Happy Monday!

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  2. Good post for making a meal plan. I’m confused by the menu though. Why do you use mostly only egg whites in your omelets? Most of the nutrition of the egg are in the yolk. And if dairy is a problem for you why would you use whey protein powder?

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    1. This was actually a menu made by Pop Sugar that I decided to follow for just a week. I altered it by the end of the week by making omelets with 2 or 3 egg yolks instead of just all whites. What they had on their website was a plan that was extremely high in protein, decent in carbs, and extremely low in fat. As for the whey, if it is grass-fed, I don’t have an issue with it. The whole whey debate is very controversial when it comes to “paleo”, but the way I see it, it should be whatever works best for your body. Again, I just followed this for a week to try and get back on track. My typical prepping would just be cooking meat and roasting some veggies and sometimes trying a new entree recipe. It would look something like this (ideally):
      Breakfast: 2-3 eggs with spinach or asparagus, guac or avocado, and kraut, optional: 1-2 slices of bacon
      Snack: 1/4 cup nuts or banana/apple with nut butter or homemade jerky
      Lunch: protein (usually chicken or a grass-fed burger) with roasted vegetables and some fat from homemade mayo, organic olive oil, or nut butter
      Dinner: protein, roasted vegetables or salad, and a sweet potato with a little grass-fed butter

      Sorry for the long reply, I just wanted to clear up any confusion!!

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