Meal Prep 101 For Beginners

meal prep combinations for beginners

How To Meal Prep : The Perfect 3 Ingredient Meal Prep Template

A few things to consider before getting started:

  • Did you write Out Your Goals?
    • Weight loss
    • Fat loss
    • Build  muscle
    • Save money
    • Free up time during the week
  • Are these other things you need to achieve your goals?
  • Do you have a system?
    • Meal prepping doesn’t have to be done on Sunday night!  Some people work night shifts, some people have weekends off… this needs to be a plan that fits your lifestyle.  Sometimes, just simply having a few ready-to-go meals available, but having the flexibility to pick what to eat on the fly, is the best strategy.

Step 1: Plan Your Meals

Make sure each meal includes a balance of lean protein, carbohydrates (starch), and vegetable.  One suggestion is, 2-3 days before your meal prep day, email yourself a list of meals that you will want to eat the next week.  When you go shopping, just buy for those meals.  This will save you money in the store because you won’t be overrun with impulse buys.

NOTE: It’s also important to include one of the healthy fats listed below.

Comment below: What's your favorite 3 ingredient #mealprep combo?

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Protein

Chicken breast*
Chicken thighs
Turkey breast*
Salmon
Cod
Haddock
Shrimp
Tilapia
Tuna
Steak
Ground Beef*
Pork*
Sausages
Bacon
Eggs
Greek Yogurt
Cheese
Protein Powder
*Cutlet, ground, strips, etc. Try to look for options that are 93% – 99% lean.

Plant-Based Protein Options:

Black beans
Lentils
Garbanzo beans
Tofu
Tempeh
Edamame

Carbohydrates

Quinoa
Rice (brown, white, jasmine, black, wild grain)
Potatoes (sweet, Japanese, red bliss)
Whole grain pasta
Rolled Oats
Oatbran
Whole grain cereal
Whole grain bread

Vegetables

Spinach
Green beans
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Asparagus
Kale
Carrots
Snow peas
Squash (butternut, acorn, spaghetti squash, kabocha)
Jicama
Salad fixings (lettuce, tomato, cucumber, peppers, onions, etc)

Fruit

Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries)
Oranges
Bananas
Apricots
Plum
Apples
Kiwi
Melon (cantaloupe, honeydew)
Pineapple
Pumpkin

Healthy Fats

Oil:
Coconut oil
Avocado oil
Olive oil
Flax oil

Nuts:

Almonds
Macadamias
Cashews
Peanuts
Brazil nuts

Seeds:

Hemp seeds
Chia seeds
Flax seed
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin Seeds

Ghee

Avocado
Almond Butter
Peanut Butter
Toasted Coconut
Cheese

Step 2: Create your shopping listed based on the meals you planned

You don’t want to be mid-prep and missing an ingredient! Check what ingredients you already have on hand and then add what you are missing to your list.  Check out our resource page for multiple checklists, grocery lists (low carb, whole30, paleo, gluten free, etc) , and calendars.

Step 3: Prep, prep, prep!!

In less than 2 hours you can have a full weeks’ worth of healthy, wholesome and delicious meals ready to go!

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2 Comments on "Meal Prep 101 For Beginners"

  1. So I can meal plan for a whole week with 5 meals a day

    • Hi Ariel – When I meal prep, I make 10 meals on Sun night, that will be eaten Mon-Fri. During the week, my meal schedule is a 5am (protein shake), 9am (meal 1), 1pm (meal 2), and dinner at 5pm. I only prep meals for my 9am and 1pm meal, so I don’t have to worry about cravings or going out to eat when I’m working.

      What is your schedule like? It’s possible that you would only want to prep for 1 meal per day, if you’re able to accommodate your other meals. You should definitely be eating a breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the least

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