I used to think that meal prepping was only for people who spend their lives in the gym. My Instagram feed was packed with pictures of plain chicken, brown rice, and broccoli stuffed into plastic Tupperware containers that looked seriously boring and not very appetizing. I honestly had no desire to try meal prepping because all of the food looked so bland I couldn’t fathom the idea of eating the exact same thing every day. It wasn’t until I started the Tone It Up challenge on January 1st that I gave meal prepping a second thought. And let me tell you, I am SO glad I did. Here’s why:

  1. Meal Prepping is a HUGE time saver. I set aside one to two hours every Sunday to prep my meals of the week. This saves me from having to prep, cook, and pack my breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the rest of the week. It’s nice not to have to scramble in the morning to throw a lunch together and I always know that I have something healthy to bring with me to work.
  2. It saves money. Because I have my lunches pre-made, buying my lunch isn’t even on my radar. If I buy lunch from a restaurant, I would typically spend 8-15 dollars depending on where I’m buying from. For the same amount of money, I can meal prep my lunches for the whole week.
  3. It doesn’t have to be boring. There are SO many main dishes, side dishes, and snacks that are meal-prep friendly. You don’t have to limited to boring chicken and brown rice. Healthy muffins, overnight oats, salads, soups, quinoa, homemade granola bars, energy bars, fruit salads, and roasted veggies are some of my absolute favorite things to prep. I also DON’T prep my dinner ahead of time. I chose quick, simple dinner recipes that are time saving but allow for a little bit of variety each day.
  4. Making healthy food choices encourages me to make other healthy choices. When I am eating nutritious, whole plant foods I truly feel my best. My energy levels are higher and I find I have more motivation to exercise and get things done. I also have more TIME to work out because I’m spending less time in the kitchen.
  5. Portion control helps you manage your weight. Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain weight, build muscle, or maintain your current weight, meal prepping can help you meet your goal. You portion out each meal ahead of time, which encourages you to eat the “right” amount for your body.

Here is what I prepped for each week of the Tone It Up challenge (I do not prep my dinners. I make dinner fresh each night):

WEEK ONE:
Meal Prep | Busy Girl Healthy WorldBREAKFAST: Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats from the TIU Nutrition Plan
AM SNACK: Non-dairy yogurt with strawberries and blueberries
LUNCH: #ILoveKale Salad from the TIU Nutrition Plan
PM SNACK: Cucumbers with Greek yogurt ranch dip
extra sweet treat: Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cups

WEEK 2:
Meal Prep | Busy Girl Healthy WorldBREAKFAST: Green Egg Muffins (egg white muffin cups with spinach, green bell pepper, and onion)
AM SNACK: Non-dairy yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries
LUNCH: Kale salad with green apples, quinoa, and feta
PM SNACK: Larabar
extra sweet treat: White Chocolate Cashew Cookie Energy Bite

WEEK 3:
Meal Prep | Busy Girl Healthy WorldBREAKFAST: Blueberry Bombshell Smoothie from the TIU Nutrition Plan
AM SNACK: Apple with almond butter
LUNCH: Creamy Crock-Pot Broccoli Potato Soup
PM SNACK: Carrots with hummus
extra sweet treat: dates

WEEK 4:
Meal Prep | Busy Girl Healthy WorldBREAKFAST: Crock-Pot Maple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats
AM SNACK: 1/2 grapefruit + 1/2 orange
LUNCH: spring mix salad with roasted broccoli, chickpeas, and pepitas
PM SNACK: no-bake cookie dough oat bar
extra sweet treat: Justin’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups

WEEK 5:
Meal Prep | Busy Girl Healthy WorldBREAKFAST: Lemon Honey Overnight Oats from the TIU Nutrition Plan
AM SNACK: Non-dairy yogurt with strawberries and blackberries
LUNCH: Crock-Pot Vegetarian Baked Beans + LifeEquals Balance Shot (use code DAH50 for 50% off subscriptions!)
PM SNACK: Buffalo Cauliflower
extra sweet treat: Peanut Butter + chocolate chunk stuffed dates

WEEK 6:
Meal Prep | Busy Girl Healthy WorldBREAKFAST: PB & J Overnight Oats (recipe coming soon!)
AM SNACK: Apple with almond butter
LUNCH: #ILoveKale Salad from the TIU Nutrition Plan
PM SNACK: Roasted carrots with thyme and rosemary
no extra sweet treat for the last week of the challenge!

Written by Christina

    3 Comments

  1. Hilqueas February 18, 2017 at 3:54 am Reply

    Hi Christina, my name is Hilqueas and I’m in love with your website! I had my son 3 months ago and I’ve been trying to loose weight and trying to eat healthy. Reading your website totally helps and motivates me more.. I really want to try meal prepping. Just wanted to know.. the meal prepping you do is for breakfast, snacks, and lunch for the whole week?

    • Christina February 21, 2017 at 10:10 pm Reply

      Hi Hilqueas! Thank you for commenting. I think meal prepping would be a great way to help you reach your goals! I love it and it has definitely helped me a lot. I usually meal prep my breakfast, lunch, and snacks but I actually usually break it up a little so that I don’t get bored. I will prep on Sunday for Monday-Wednesday (e.g. I’ll make overnight oats for breakfast in mason jars, salads for lunch, cut up fruit to eat with yogurt for a snack) and then I will prep separately on Wednesday night for Thursday-Saturday because sometimes I know I will have leftovers from dinners that I will be able to eat for lunch those days or I will be bored of the salad I made Mon-Weds and make a different one for Thurs-Sat. Does that make sense? I do know people that prep for the whole week on Sundays, but I get weird about leftovers sitting in the fridge that long and I tend to get bored of the same thing 6 days in a row. Just making little switches half way through the week helps me stick to it better. I also don’t prep my dinners, but you could absolutely prep your dinners too if you wanted to. Hope this helps and wasn’t confusing!

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