Meal prepping is a fantastic way to plan ahead and make sure you are eating healthy throughout the week. Some people choose one day to meal prep for the entire week, while others choose to break it up and meal prep on two separate nights. Either way, prepping your meals can save time and money so you don’t have to eat out during your work day.
Meal prepping also allows you to be more consistent with healthy eating. Not only is eating out expensive, oftentimes it isn’t the healthiest choice either. Although many restaurants offer healthy options- they sometimes load up your meals with extra salt or give you extremely large portions that can lead to weight gain overtime. When you make your meal at home, you can ensure you are using clean and simple ingredients and prepare your food the way you want it.
Ensuring you are creating well balanced meals with adequate nutrition and calories can be difficult; So we are here to help you navigate meal prepping. We will make it simple for you by breaking down exactly what you need to create a healthy and satisfying meal.
Step 1: Choose Whole Grain Carbohydrates
When it comes to carbs- you need them! No matter what you hear on the internet, carbohydrates are essential to your energy levels. Carbohydrates provide your brain and body the energy and fuel it needs to take on your day. When meal prepping, we suggest using whole grains when possible. Whole grains have more fiber and protein than simple carbohydrates meaning you will stay fuller for longer.
The portion of your carbohydrate also matters. Typically, you want to have about ½ cup of carbohydrates for each meal. This should make up 25% of your plate (or tupperware). Depending on your activity level and size,, you may require ¾ cup or even a full cup of carbohydrates.
Here are some great choice for your carbohydrate:
- Brown Rice
- Sweet Potato
- Whole grain bread
- Whole grain pasta
Step 2: Add Some Healthy Fats
Another diet myth is following a low fat diet. What people don’t tell you is that fat is essential to your health and well being. Filling up on healthy fats, especially omega-3’s is an important part of following a healthy well balanced diet. (Did you know CF(Protein)® is a great source of omega-3?) When meal prepping, make sure to include some sort of healthy fat.
Here are some ideas:
- ⅓-½ of an Avocado
- ¼ cup of Nuts
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp of nut butter
- 2 tbsp chia or flax seeds
- 1 bottle of CF(Protein)®
Step 3: Choose lean protein
One thing you can’t forget when meal prepping is your protein. Your protein source should fill up 25% of your plate. Depending on your size and activity level, your protein needs will vary. It is safe to say everyone should have at least 15 grams of protein per meal. If you are eating meat or fish, at least 3-4 ounces is a good starting point (this is about the size of the palm of your hand). When choosing a protein, consider prepping some days plant based. You can even grab a bottle of CF(Protein)® for 13 grams of plant based protein.
Here are some protein options:
- Grilled chicken
- Baked fish
- Black Beans
- Grass fed meat
- Ground Turkey
Step 4: Don’t forget your veggies and fruits
Filling your tupperware with veggies and fruit will increase your fiber intake and help you stay full longer. Not only that, vegetables and fruits provide you with essential vitamins and minerals to keep your body healthy and strong. Try to fill 50% of your plate with veggies. This equals about 1 cup of veggies. Mix it up and add one or two different veggies next time you meal prep. Fruit is important to- so make sure you add a handful of berries or add an apple to your lunch bag!
Step 5: Add a small treat
Ever get a sweet tooth after lunch? Well it’s actually very common. We recommend planning ahead and packing a sweet treat so you don’t find yourself at the vending machine for a king sized chocolate bar when that 2 oclock slump hits. Pack a small treat and you will thank yourself later.
Here are some sample ideas for meal prepping:
- ½ cup of complex carbohydrate (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato)
- 4 oz of lean protein (grilled chicken, salmon, tuna, lean ground turkey)
- 1-2 cups of veggies
- 1 piece of dark chocolate
- 1 bottle of CF(Rehydrate)®
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread
- 3oz of deli meat
- lettuce and tomatoes
- 1 handful of nuts (or ¼ avocado on sandwich)
- 1 dark chocolate covered peanut butter cup
Now you have all the tricks and tips to head into your next meal prepping session! Don’t forget to check out the blog every other Thursday for more health and wellness tips!