With summer coming to an end and school back in session, falling back into a balanced routine is essential. Sometimes life gets in the way of the most essential piece of my own routine –my weekly meal prep ritual. However, I find that those weekends I fail to plan and prep always tend to create more stress and challenge throughout the busy week ahead. For me, getting organized in the kitchen is one of the first steps I take to regain control of my both my physical and mental health. Nourishing my body with clean, whole foods that I prepared myself makes me feel good.
Yes, it is a time commitment (but it gets better with practice!) . And yes, sometimes it feels like work that I just don’t want or have time to do. But for me, personally investing the time in this is what makes me feel healthy, energized, happy, focused, and successful over the upcoming week so it is worth it!
But that’s just me.
Now is the time to think about what YOU can do to set your mind and body up for success this month. Want to give meal prep a try but need some inspiration? Check out some healthy meal ideas and take a peak into what’s been cooking in my kitchen over the past few months!
**I draw inspiration from various sources and nothing I make is ever exactly as called for in the recipes I choose (which is probably why I suck at baking!) so I’ve included links to some of the recipes I’ve adapted my own version from. Most of the time though, I just kind of throw things together and hope they work!
Weekend Meal Prep
Fresh produce from a client’s ranch. (Thanks Cecily!)
Foxy is always standing by in case I drop something — carrots are her favorite (well, besides bacon of course!).
An easy streusel recipe –just sub any fruit in season !Check out my previous blog post How to modify a recipe to use local foods in season for the recipe. Besides almond meal, I sometimes substitute hazelnut meal, not as high in protein but a nice change once in a while!
A shot of some of last weekend’s food prep:
- Cutting and storing veggies makes for easy weeknight meals or pack together for a quick snack or lunch. My favorite “dipping” veggies for prepared snack packs are carrots, sugar snap peas, radish, Persian cucumbers, and endive.
- Simple Mashed Pea Dip adapted from Every Last Bite (use it as a dip for your raw veggie snack pack, or spread on toast for a protein-packed and high-fiber breakfast!)
- Vegan Chickpea Mixed Veggie Frittata adapted from The Mostly Vegan.
- Cream of Broccoli Soup from Lyn Genet Recitas’ The Plan for a high protein lunch option.
Mixed veggie egg-free scramble! Eggs get old. You can boost protein by adding eggs, animal protein, or cheese, or get creative with some plant-based protein sources like hemp seeds, beans, or nutritional yeast!
Chickpea flour pancakes and a fresh berry compote, adapted from Feeding Your Beauty. I also like to use buckwheat flour for crepes, cakes, waffles, or muffins for another high-protein, grain-free flour option.
The Daily Grind breakfast potatoes and spinach topped with my own blend of raw pumpkin and sunflower seeds to boost protein.
That’s right folks, I’m not perfect and I don’t ALWAYS get my weekend meal prep done so this is an example of how I modify a restaurant meal so at least I have some control over what I’m eating. (By the way, if you haven’t tasted the Daily Grind‘s breakfast potatoes, you haven’t lived! I don’t even want to know what they put in them to make them taste so good…)
I make sure to keep my pantry and freezer stocked with essentials for those days I didn’t plan or shop ahead and find that my fridge is empty! These are just a few things you might consider keeping on hand in the pantry and freezer for when you’re in a bind:
- Nuts and seeds – sprinkle on restaurant veg dishes (see above), make an easy chia pudding, grain-free flax seed granola, add to smoothies or breakfast cereals like oatmeal or rice porridge, etc.
- Coconut cream – for chia pudding, baked goods, smoothies, breakfast cereals.
- Dried fruit like raisins, dried cranberries, dried apricots, shredded coconut.
- Whole grains like rice and oats – Not a fan of oatmeal? There are several other whole grains out there that you can use in lieu of oats!
- Frozen fruit for smoothies, pudding, baked goods, etc.
- Frozen veggies like spinach or other greens, peas, edamame, potatoes, leeks for easy additions to egg dishes and smoothies.
- Frozen ginger and lemon or lime juice cubes, bone broth cubes for smoothies, soups, and porridge.
- Previously prepped meals: batches of chia or buckwheat breakfast muffins, single-serving containers of compote, streusel, or frittata, meatloaf, meatballs, sausage, etc.