It’s taken me a few months to get this meal prep thing down and although I still have some work to do I think I’ve got a nice little routine going. You may be wondering if meal prepping is right for you, well only you can decide that but I can tell you that yes it takes extra work on the weekend but I literally cook nothing all week when I do this meal prep the right way. My breakfast is made, my snacks are ready, my lunch is ready and dinner is a salad that I just throw together. And keep in mind when I say that I don’t have to cook any meals all week I am strictly talking about cooking my own meals, I still make food for the family when I need to. (***there are affiliate links in this blog post)
Another thing you might be concerned about is how much food should you be eating. In no way do I support diets that lack nutritional value or super low-calorie meal plans. I follow a meal plan created by 21 Day Fix/Beachbody, I eat about 6 small meals a day and I use portion control containers to manage my food intake…but more on that later.
Packing Your Food
You don’t need special containers to pack your food in but I do find that its easier to pack in the fridge and let’s be honest it’s fun to use new products! I use meal prep containers that I purchased on Amazon, I love these things! The come in a pack of 10 and we use them for lunches, Alex uses 5 and I use 5. So simple! They’re only 13.99 and you can use them in the microwave. We did have one set break, the lid cracked and the tray also cracked. We’re not sure why or when but besides that we’ve had no other issues with them so they seem pretty durable.
Budget & Grocery Shopping
I’ve got a little guy and taking him in and out of the car into a grocery store can get pretty annoying so I minimize my stops and try my best to do most of my grocery shopping at Costco and WinCo. Costco has a lot of healthy choices in bulk and WinCo is my favorite because of price and their bulk food section! I also really like Fred Meyer for produce but like I said, I try to keep it to Costco and WinCo.
Water is probably my biggest struggle at this point. I prefer to live off of coffee and wine! But water is so important so I do try. I’ve tried a few different water infusions. I’m growing orange mint and rosemary in my backyard so those are fun to use in my water. For the meal prep pictured I used half of a cucumber (sliced), 1 lime and 3 diced strawberries. I let the water infuse for about 8 hours then took all the ingredients out. I’ve left things in too long and ended up with water that tasted bitter so don’t forget to take everything out!
When Do You Cook All of This?!
Well my meal prep is a 3 day process. I know that sounds crazy but that’s what works for me. And don’t get freaked out I don’t spend 3 days cooking, come on!
- Thaw out frozen chicken and marinate (I like to put a few slices in sideways to make sure the marinade gets in there), put in the fridge for Sunday grilling. I use lemon for marinating or low fat Italian dressing.
- Grocery shop (if needed)
- Steam veggies, corn
- Make quinoa
- Grill Chicken, cut it up into cubes if you’re using the meal portion containers
- Combine ingredients for Quinoa/Black Bean/Corn salad (equal parts quinoa, black beans and corn – throw in some cilantro and squeeze a lime over it then refreigerate – this is your healthy carbs)
- Infuse Water
- Make protein waffles
- Hardboil eggs
- Section out all meals – I make sure everything is cooked, grab my portion control containers and just scoop everything out and put it where it goes!
You could easily steam your veggies and make quinoa on Sunday but I just like to save time and not be too busy on Sunday so that’s why I choose to do it on Saturday. Either way, whatever works for you!
Ok ok, lets get down to it! Here’s this meal preps grocery list, you might already have a lot of this in your kitchen!
- Kodiak Cakes (Costco)
- Pure Maple Syrup
- Shakeology (you can order at my site if you’re interested www.shakeology.com/jesmandujano)
- PBFit (optional)
- Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
- Frozen Chicken Breast (Costco)
- Frozen Veggies (your choice)
- Quinoa (I buy in the bulk section of WinCo)
- Frozen Corn
- Canned Black Beans (I buy Organic at Costco)
- Fresh Strawberries
- Raw Almonds (I buy in the bulk section of WinCo)
- Power Greens salad mix or salad mix that has spinach/kale
- Low-Fat Italian Dressing
- if you want to add to your salad: cherry tomatoes, strawberries, green onions….I like to keep it simple
- Ingredients for infusing your water (you choose!) I used strawberries, lime & cucumber
Like I said earlier, I follow a meal plan created by Beachbody that works for the 21 Day Fix program and here’s how I found out how much I should be eating every day:
If you’re having a hard time reading the chart here’s how you do the math:
A. Your current weight in pounds x 11 = Your Caloric Baseline
B. Your Caloric Baseline + 400 (Fix Calorie Burns – from your workout) = Your Caloric Needs
C. Your Caloric Needs – 750 (Calorie Deficit) = YOUR CALORIE TARGET
I use this chart to track my food intake by color coded meal portion container.
If you’re Calorie Target is below 1,200 then go with 1,200. I use the 1,200-1,499 column which means I get:
- 3 Green
- 2 Purple
- 4 Red
- 2 Yellow
- 1 Blue
- 1 Orange
- 2 Tsp
Sectioning Your Food
Meal 1 – Protein Waffles: Pack them in a ziploc bag and put them in the freezer. I eat one before my morning workout. Pop it in the toaster and use 1 tsp of pure maple syrup. 1 Yellow
Meal 2 – Shakeology. You can buy the individual packets for easy shaking or put a scoop into a snack size ziploc bag if you’re shaking on the go! I blend mine with 1 tbsp of PBFit, 1 frozen banana – you can do that before you leave the house and drink it during your break or on the way to work. 1 Red & 1 Purple
Meal 3 – Lunch (this is where I use the meal prep trays). I use the color coded meal portion containers to section out 1 Green (Veggies), 1 Red (Protein) and 1 Yellow (Healthy Carbs), you’re lunch may need to be bigger than mine! 1 Green, 1 Red and 1 Yellow
Meal 4 – Again I use my meal portion containers. In a ziploc bag 1 Purple (Fruits) and in a snack size ziploc bag 1 Blue (Healthy Fats). 1 Purple and 1 Blue
Meal 5 – Dinner. I use 2 Green (Veggies), 1.5 Red (Protein), 1 Orange (dressing) and create a salad. 2 Green, 1 Red, 1 Orange
Meal 6 – Snack. Low Fat Cottage Cheese. 1 Red
This may be different for you! Find out your calorie intake goals and create your own.
- Meal 1: Protein Waffle w/pure maple syrup
- Meal 2: Shakeology w/banana & PBFit
- Meal 3: Grilled Chicken Breast, Veggies, Quinoa/Corn/Black Bean Salad
- Meal 4: Strawberries, Raw Almonds
- Meal 5: Salad w/choice of protein (mix &match: hard boiled egg, turkey bacon crumbles, grilled chicken) veggies and low-fat Italian dressing
- Meal 6: Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
I quickly realized that this is a lot of food. I still have a hard time eating everything I should but when I do I always wake up the next day feeling energized and ready for the day!
Now I understand that this may all sound very confusing when I’m talking about color coded containers but, for me, using these containers has really made this so much easier and honestly took all the guess work out of meal prepping. I don’t measure 1/2 a cup of this or 3/4 of that. I know how many containers I’m allowed and I plan my meals around that. Before I started using these containers my healthy eating consisted of mostly making things up and my diet was seriously lacking healthy carbs, veggies and especially fruit!
Meal Prep Portion Control Containers are available on my site, if you’re a new Beachbody customer sign up for a FREE account with me so we’re connected! www.beachbodycoach.com/jesmandujano
I hope this gives you some ideas and helps you reach your own healthy eating goals! If you have any questions about my meal prep or are looking for some more tips comment below or message me on social media 😀