Your Guide to Meal Prep
Don't get ready, be ready
By Amy Lorraine Lohbihler
Instagram doesn’t show the spills, sweat and tears that go into being healthy. What we need to do isn’t new to us, but our busy lives get in the way of us reaching our health goals. Over the past couple years however, I have adopted a few health hacks that I want to share to inspire and help others be healthier.
This Basic Meal Prep plan will help set up future-you for success in health, time management, and money saving. I have versions that involve no appliances, but this one assumes you have a stove, fridge and microwave to create your meal prep masterpiece. Preps may take from 1-3 hours, depending on the recipes, and as time goes by, you will become quicker. All things take practice.
I recommended starting Sunday night to prep for Monday because it will set a productive tone for the rest of your week. Starting with prepping breakfast is a great place to begin because it is simple, takes minimal time, and gives you a delicious and energizing start to the day. Once you have the hang of preparing breakfast, you can move on to lunch and dinner. All three meals have similar techniques, so acing breakfast is a great beginning. Let’s prep!
Beet-it Breakfast Smoothie:
Plain Greek Yogurt (Vegan option: Soy or Coconut yogurt)
1 Large Beet
Optional: Cinnamon and Coconut
Large Ziploc Bags
Travel Cups (I use a Mason Jar because it’s cute)
Put a sliced banana, 1 cup berries and 1/3 of the chopped beet into each Ziploc bag and then in the freezer.
Remove prepped bags from freezer when ready to bled because it is best fresh. If you don’t have time in the morning, you can make it the night before and it will taste just as good!
When ready, put in ¾ cup of yogurt, 1 bag of your frozen goods, ½ cup of warm water, a dash of turmeric, a dash of black pepper (which helps boost the turmeric absorption) and 1 big spoon of chia seeds.
Blend all together until smooth and pour into your Mason Jar.
Top it off with cinnamon and shredded coconut to make it look pretty!
Approximate Calories Per Serving: 374
Green and Bean Power Salad:
1 cup of Kidney Beans, or any bean of your choice
1 Granny Smith Apple
6 Spring Onions
1 cup of Celery
1 cup of Broccoli
1 cup of Quinoa (I used a multi-coloured kind)
1 cup Spinach
3 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
2 cloves of Garlic
1 tsp. of Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp. Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
2 Small Pots
Large Mixing Bowl
Set aside your kidney beans beforehand to soak for a few hours.
Once they’re soft, rinse them and place into a small pot with 3 cups of water and boil for 10 minutes, then simmer for about 45 minutes until cooked.
In the meantime, chop your green apple, celery, spring onions, spinach and broccoli and mix them in a large bowl.
Rinse your quinoa and pour it into a pot with 2 cups of water on medium. Cover and simmer until all the liquid is absorbed and set aside to cool.
Start your dressing by mincing garlic, squeezing lemon, pouring Apple Cider Vinegar, Dijon Mustard and Olive Oil into a Mason Jar or small bowl. Mix and add salt and pepper to taste.
Once your beans are cooked and cooled, add them and the quinoa into the large bowl with the greens. Add your dressing and mix it all up.
Divide evenly into your 3 containers and you are prepped for lunch!
Approximate Calories Per Serving: 241
This is a version of a Chana Masala by my friend inspired me to make this so I’m re-naming this dinner recipe:
1 Red Pepper
2 cups of Tomatoes
156 mL of Organic Tomato Paste
2 Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp. of Ginger
½ cup of Fresh Cilantro
1 cup of Chickpeas/Garbanzo
2 tsp. of Olive Oil
1 tsp. of Cumin
1 tsp. of Ground Coriander
1 tsp. of Turmeric
Optional: Cayenne Pepper
Large Stock Pot
Just like your kidney beans, soak your chickpeas beforehand and when soft, drain them with fresh water.
Set your chickpeas aside, and begin to dice your onion, tomatoes, red pepper, celery, ginger and garlic.
Heat your stock pot at medium and add the oil, onion, garlic ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, and if desired, cayenne pepper and stir for a few seconds.
Add in your red pepper, celery, tomatoes, chickpeas, organic tomato paste, and ½ cup of water.
Let simmer for 15 minutes.
Add fresh cilantro, salt and pepper to taste, then let simmer for another 15 minutes.
I recommended making brown rice to serve it on or you could even wrap it like a burrito!
Once cooked, divide your dinner into 3 portioned containers and set aside to cool before putting in the fridge. You can throw your rice in there too!
When ready to eat, pop in the microwave for 3 minutes, pausing to stir every minute!
Approximate Calories per serving (with one cup of rice) = 437
Meal prep has helped me define the importance of health in my life, and that is why it has become a healthy lifestyle rather than just a diet. It helps you gain control and know what you are fueling your body with. Always remember success is found in process.