A Beginner’s Guide To Healthy Meal Prep

vegan-meal-prep

People on social media and food blog writers continually promote the concept of meal prep to maintain healthier diets. Not only is meal prepping incredibly easy, but it also makes eating healthy convenient and fun. The problem that most people have, however, is that they don’t know how to prep healthy meals. They think it is a daunting task that involves hours and hours of prep. That’s a false notion and we are going to illustrate how to prep clean and healthy meals.

 

What Is Clean Eating?

If you don’t know how to eat cleanly, don’t beat yourself up. Put down the burger and lettuce explain (that was a little clean eating pun to start you off). It’s important to clarify that clean eating is more than looking at labels that say “heart-healthy” or “fat-free.” Major food manufacturers mislead consumers with these terms and people end up buying “healthy foods” that are not healthy at all. To eat healthily, follow the tips below.

 

Avoid Artificial Ingredients:

Artificial means fake, and you shouldn’t eat fake food when so much real food is available. You can identify artificial ingredients by looking for terms like “artificial flavors” or “artificial colors” or artificial sweeteners. Don’t eat foods with artificial anything! They aren’t healthy!

 

Don’t Eat Processed Foods:

Processed foods and artificial flavors go hand in hand because most processed foods contain artificial ingredients. Besides having little to no nutrition, processed foods contain an array of chemicals and preservatives that extend the shelf life. Do your best to avoid foods with shelf lives.

 

Don’t Forget Fruits And Veggies:

Omitting fruits and vegetables from your diet is mistakes one, two, and three on your path to a healthier body. When it comes to meal prepping, you must include fruits and vegetables in your recipes. They should be your first priority! It is also imperative that you eat the rainbow to obtain different nutrients.

 

Count Your Nutrients, Not Calories:

We aren’t saying that you should ignore your caloric intake; rather, we are saying that you should focus on getting your calories from nutritious foods. The calories you get from a hotdog are not equivalent to the calories and nutrients you get from a home-cooked meal that consists of vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

 

To set yourself up for meal prep success, it is integral to prepare you favorite healthy options in bulk. Don’t be intimidated by preparing a lot of food at once. It is actually a great way to save money, save time, and save yourself from eating unhealthy food!

 

You Don’t Have To Cook Everything:

Most people overcook food, especially when it comes to vegetables. High heat kills a large percentage of the nutrients, which is why it can be beneficial to prepare a few raw meals like salads or smoothies. You can make smoothie bags or divide a large salad into several containers for a couple lunches during the week.

 

Knock It Out In One Day:

It is best to meal prep for the week the same day that you head to the grocery store to buy all your food. Your ideas about meals are fresh in your mind, which makes the preparation aspect fun and exciting. Make sure to do this on the weekend, or whatever days you have off, because you’ll need free time.

 

Change Up The Standards:

You don’t want to make the same salad more than twice. You have to alternate flavors in order to keep you interested in the food. Make a southwestern dressing and add chickpeas, which have been sautéed in taco spices, to the salad with pickled onions, cilantro, and salsa. Instead of doing fried rice, blend some cauliflower and use that as the rice base. Add diced vegetables, sesame oil, liquid aminos, and other seasonings to the pan and enjoy! Check our recipe section for more information.

 

Pick Your Meals:

You can use recipes that you’ve created or find healthy recipes online. The important thing is to choose two or three recipes that have a healthy balance of vegetables, protein, whole grains, and healthy fats. If you want to dive in headfirst and wing it, include at least one item from each column of the following table.

 

Proteins Vegetables Fats Grains
Green vegetables Broccoli Olive oil Barley
Tempeh Salad greens (arugula, red leaf, spinach, kale) Avocado Quinoa (not technically a grain)
Wild Caught Fish Zucchini Nuts Wild rice
Lentils Tomato Seeds Buckwheat
Chia Seeds Sweet Potato Macadamia nut oil Bulgur wheat

 

Don’t forget that you need to get solid containers for your prepped meals. Glass containers are best! You can choose containers that have divided areas, but that is up to you. If you have any meal prep questions, let us know in the comments.

 

Sources:

http://www.mealprephaven.com/blog-1/2015/9/21/meal-prepping-101-for-beginners

https://healthyhappysmart.com/healthy-meal-prep/

 

2018-11-29T14:54:27+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: I am currently doing the Full Body Cleanse and my "meal" is typically a salad. To keep it interesting, I add different vegetables and fruits to it. I am not creative enough to think of other meals that I can possibly eat that consists of only raw foods. Any suggestions. I am struggling and I have two weeks to go.

    A:

    A typical detox raw food program looks like this

    Breakfast:

    Green smoothie: 1 1/2- 2 cups water / 1 cup greens / 3-5 medium pieces of fruit blended.

    (see "Green Smoothie Revolution" Boutenko for more info)

    Bridge: 2-3 medium sized fruits

    Lunch:

    Raw Wraps: collard greens as wraps/ tomato, cucumber, bell pepper / fresh herbs / Sauce (salsa/tahini/guacamole/ etc))

    Bridge:2-3 medium pieces of fruit

    Dinner:

    Raw pasta: Zuchini sliced with a potato peeler / veggies / Homemade pasta sauce made in blender / sprouted quinoa or legumes 

    Snack: Sorbet: Blended frozen fruit in a blender

     

    Hope this helps,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I notice that my 5 year old son as a cavity, and also his teeth are of a grayish color. He does not eat a lot of sweets, and artificial foods. I try to eat food that is organic, lots of fruits and vegetables. My concern is that, he is not getting enough vitamins, protein, and calcium. Is there of particular diet that you would recommend for my child?

    A:

    To make sure your child is getting enough nutrients, give the child Dherbs.com Children's Nutritive Formula 9, Calcium Extract, and Moringa Seed Extract. (Read our article on Moringa in the articles section of our site).

    Article:
    Moringa

    Product Links:
    Children's Calcium Extract
    Children's Iodine Extract
    Moringa Seed Extract

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    Q: Do you believe that one should eat 3 meals a day or 6 small meals a day? Sometimes I don't feel like eating 3 meals. Back in the day people would fast longer than 15 days and were healthy.

    A:

    I BELIEVE PEOPLE SHOULD EAT ACCORDING TO THEIR SPECIFIC LIFE STYLES ... THE LESS THE BETTER. FOOD IS KILLING US TODAY!

  • Click here to view in a new window

    Q: Thank you for always answering my questions. I have about two more. Okay, I'm currently living overseas where I'm limited on raw fresh foods (vegetables and fruits). I want to do the detox but I'm concerned that I won't have everything as far as raw food to be successful. I have access to basics (apples, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, melons, lettuce, cabbage, bean spouts, carrots, celery, peppers, green beans, peas, bagged nuts,) but nothing exotic by any means. Then I was told to safely eat some of the food in the local economy that we should wash it with a 5% bleach solution (is that safe...and if on the detox I'm thinking that would be a no go). Two questions?Given the mentioned availability of raw foods could I be able to successfully complete the detox (I don't have an issue with eating the same things over and over again) and two what can I do to clean local produce so that its safe for consumption? Apparently part of the issue is that they use human feces to fertilize. Thank you for your time and I look forward to your response

    A:

    Yes, it seems you have enough raw food available to you to complete the cleanse.

    In order to clean local produce, rinse thoroughly with apple cider vinegar to "disinfect" it. If apple cider vinegar is unavailable, just use water.

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    Q: I have incorporated fish into my diet because I have been craving. Is moderation okay.... meaning my fruits for breakfast a regular lunch with salad and a salad for dinner okay to pretty much moderate other foods? It is challenging for me to become a vegan. Do you have any suggestions on how to still eat healthy to maintain an alkalized body with certain foods with moderation that are not raw? I still drink my green veggies at least twice a day. I am praying that my results will be negative.

    A:

    FISH IN MODERATION IS OKAY FOR YOU. TO MAINTAIN ALKALINITY, DESPITE THE ACID-FORMING THINGS YOU EAT, JUST MAKE SURE TO EAT AS MANY GREEN FOODS AS POSSIBLE. YOU CAN ALSO TAKE 6 CAPSULES OF ELECTRIC GREENS CELL FOOD TOO! YOU’RE DOING GOOD SO KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS POSITIVE AND ON YOUR DESIRES.

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    Q: How often should one eat cook food? I'm a vegan, I do not consume any meat, seafood, milk what so ever. I eat water cresses like everyday so as cook food. Like white rice with black bean sauce, spinach, and pasta at time's I'll eat some Chinese fried rice, veggie roll, steamed vegetables, any advice?

    A:

    You can eat cooked food as much as you like. However, try to incorporate as many nutrient-dense raw foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, raw nuts and seeds, into your diet to make sure you are receiving an adequate amount of nutrients.

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    Q: I am on my 3rd day of the fully body cleansing. I am definitely doing this to lose weight. I am a 52 year old, black, Christian, wife, mother to 21 and 14 year old girls, legal secretary who is 450 lbs. I am to the point now where if I don't do this I'm going to be housebound. I can barely move some days that is why I started this because I feel so unhealthy. I have a question about the nuts. I got all gun-ho and ordered $135.00 worth of organic nuts from nuts.com. I got raisins, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios and cashews and mixed them all up together (well I purchased 2 lbs of each but I only mixed up 1 lb of each together). Anyway, I was reading about how much calories are in nuts. Should I not pay attention to that because I was consuming a lot of calories in the first place or do I have to watch how many nuts I eat? I have put some nuts in a sandwich bags and basically filled it up and that is supposed to be my nuts ration for the day. I am also eating fruits and vegetables. So far the fruit have been grapes, grapefruit, red apples, pears, green apples and bananas. The vegetables have all been in a salad: tomatoes, celery spinach leaves, carrots, mixed in balsamic vinaigrette. I only ate the salad Monday night all the other times I have just eaten the fruit and nuts. I am also consuming approximately 75-100 oz of water. Sorry I’m long winded I just wanted you to get the entire picture.

    A:

    Thanks for the question, I can definitely help you.

     

    I am currently writing an eBook for www.dherbs.com called "Losing weight the healthy way." I have been a weight loss counselor for many years. I am also a health coach, personal trainer, bodymind nutritionist, and a vegan lifestyle coach. 

     

    When it comes to weight loss most programs want you to lose weight to get healthy. My mindset is to get healthy and lose weight. 

     

    In my health/fitness/nutrition coaching program www.theveganeffect.com I use a lowfat/high carb/ high raw/ nutrient dense/ high alkaline diet to achieve long term weight loss success. So far I am 100 percent in getting clients long lasting weight loss. If you are interested in my program please fill out the health history form on the side of the web page. We could have a free 1 hour initial consultation over skype to see how I can best help you.

     

    Nuts are best kept to a minimum if you use them at all. Nuts are extremely high in fat and have the opposite omega 3- omega 6 ratio that is optimal for health. Seeds are best as far as ratios are concerned. Also nuts are truly easy to over eat and cause your nutrient ratios to be off.

     

    A healthy vegan diet is a high raw fruitarian diet. 

    Example:

    Breakfast: green smoothie. (500-1000 calories of fruits blended with a handful of greens and water)

    Bridge: Dates and strawberries (500 calories) 

    Lunch: Salad with low sugar fruits (cucumber, tomato, squash, bell peppers) topped with fruit, beans, psuedo grains, 

    Bridge: 2-3 apples

    Dinner: Raw wraps (collard greens) with low sugar fruit and tahini

    Snack: Sorbet

     

    Hope this helps

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT BMI VLC

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    Q: I see also that you recommend a complete diet with these programs. I am guessing its a vegan diet right? I wanted to ask something on that is coconut milk and coconut oils ok for that? I personally had a very hard time trying to eat that many vegetables and many ph balance vegans seem to think fruits aren?t good either. I eat that many vegetables one it tears me up the next day and two I just cant consume enough calories that way. I can try and make up for it by eating things like almonds but I eat to many almonds I get the same problem the next day. Now coconut milk (unsweetened) and a digestive enzyme works for me for picking up extra calories.... but I hear very conflicting information about coconut and its saturated fat content. Is it ok to use daily as a part of the diet for cleansing? And your oxy-drops are those the same as the drop for ph balancing water?? Or is it something different? I am wanting to start lifting weights as I need to put on some muscle and I?m wondering if its something that would be beneficial in combating muscle soreness by increased oxygen in the body.

    A:

    The diet we recommend is vegan-based, and RAW FOODS. Fresh fruits, vegetables, raw nuts and seeds are ideal.

    Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil are excellent products to have in your diet. The healthy fats will keep you fuller.

    Oxy-Drops can help balance your electrolytes that need to be replenished after a workout in order to keep your body performing efficiently. 

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    Q: I just completed the Full Body Cleanse about two weeks ago and started the Pancreas Formula for my pancreas... I don?t have the money for the full kit but after the Full Body Cleanse I?ve notice my blood averaging +-200.....it had reached a low of 124 during detox. I bought cromium and have used it since the onset of detox at about 1200 mcg per day! My Pancreas is a piece of crap!!!!! I haven?t had ANY thing with added sugar or artificial, just green tea with stevia to sweeten it. NO Treats! The only regular food I get now is like lean cuisine type once or twice a day with fresh vegetables or fresh made Veg juice....I had went from 327lbs to 289lbs during detox but since I?ve went back up settling at about 296 and stable. I have cut everything I love out of my life! No Sugar, No Milk Products. About 6 ounces of meat A WEEK eat mostly live vegetables yet I see a Pancreas that needs to be punished for ruining my life!!!!! I try to help it and this is what it does for me! I don?t know what to do next.

    A:

    If you can't afford the full kit or kits, order and drink some of our Herbal Teas to help maintain the pancreas in its normal healthy secretion. Cinnamon Tea can also provide additional benefits.

    We also recommend a daily pancreas regimen of: Pancreas Aid, Pancreas Formula, and Sugar Control.

    Your vegetable juice should consist of GREEN BEAN (Snap pea) and/or BRUSSEL SPROUTS, to help maintain pancreatic health.

     

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    Q: What's the best way to start on a vegan/raw food diet? I am not sure what to eat to make sure I would get a nutritious diet-you may not be able to go into that much detail but how can I get sample meal plans for breakfast, lunch and dinner incorporating this type of diet-perhaps there is somewhere on the web I find something like this? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

    A:

    If I do say myself, the best way to start a raw food diet is to be coached by me. I run a 6 month health coaching program that is 60-90 percent raw and 100 percent vegan/gluten free/ allergy free. You can find out more about my program at www.theveganeffect.com. I am running a special of half off my program if you sign up before march 1st. 

    Here are some other tips to get started.

    1: Join a raw food meetup group or community. Surround yourself with supportive people who can point you in the right direction. Try meetup.org or 30bananasaday.com 

    2: Read books like "beauty detox solution" by snyder, "80/10/10" by Dr. Graham., or "The Paradigm diet" by Adam Dave

    3: Start simple with breakfast. Always start your day with a green smoothie. read "Green smoothie revolution" by forget authors name at the moment. heh.

    A sample meal plan would be.

    Breakfast: Green smoothie

    Bridge: raw bar, handful of nuts or seeds, or fruit

    Lunch: Raw wraps made from collard greens. use a base of tahini, hummus, or nut butter. Fill with sprouts and colorful veggies

    Bridge: raw bar, handful nuts or seeds, or fruit

    Dinner: Raw pasta with a large salad

    Snack: Sorbet 

     

    Hope that answers your question,

    Gary Gibson HHC CPT VLC BMI

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    Q: Do you have any suggestions for a breakfast, lunch & dinner schedule? I'm making the transition to a healthier diet due to fibroid tumors. Currently I have broken my eating menu into 3 parts, breakfast - fruits, lunch - salads, & dinner - baked potato or any other heavy meal I intend to eat. Is this a good start? Any suggestions you can give on healthier meals for dinner are most appreciated.

    A:

    Please purchase our ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL e-book for the alternatives you seek. It's a great little resource, especially for new people starting their transition diet. You off to a good start, Beloved!

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    Q: I am on day 4 of the FULL BODY DETOX and was wondering what else can or should I eat besides toss salad and fruits and veggies. I know I can do organic non-salt nuts, steamed veggies, fruits smoothies and wild rice but is they’re anything I am not suppose to eat besides meat and sweets (sodas)? I have eaten toss salad was it ok that I put cheese on it? I am struggling to find other food options. Please help!!

    A:

    I WOULD SUGGEST YOU ORDER OUR ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL E-BOOK. IT HAS WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. IT'S A GREAT RESOURCE.

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    Q: While doing a candida cleanse, it was told to me that I should be following a raw food diet full of fruits and vegetables. Fruits have high sugar content and can feed a candida overgrowth, as it is a well known fact that candida albicans thrive on sugar. How can I justify eating fruits high in sugar? Thank you for your comments. Ozzy

    A: Yes, when you have a candida issue it's best to avoid refined sugar. Sugar from a natural source like fruits should be consumed moderately. In your case it would be best to consume fruits mainly in the mornings for breakfast when your body maximizes on food the most, avoiding the ones that are very high in sugar.

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    Q: What Are Some Natural Sweet Treats (Junk Foods) I can Consume? Under free will you can consume what you like, but healthier products are best. You will find plenty of "healthier" snack, treat, and junk foods at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market, PCC Natural Food Stores, Erewhon, Trader Joes, Natural Grocers, New Frontiers, etc. Just make sure to abstain from salt, sugar, and other harmful chemicals in the products you buy. We list many companies of alternative foods and products (and their website addresses) in our ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL.

    A:

    Recommended: ALTERNATIVE DIET AND LIFESTYLES MANUAL

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    Q: Do you carry enzymes that one can take after eating a meal? It seems that I have problems with digestion after eating a meal. Any recommendations?

    A:

    For digestive problems after a meal, we recommend Electric Greens Combo and/or Digestion Aid. These formulas can help your problem.

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    Q: I started the full body detox today, and found that I DO NOT like the salad dressing I made with the olive oil, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. I found I could not tolerate it on my salad. What can I do instead? Another question is... I noticed lentils on the food combining chart. Those have to be cooked. Are those actually allowed to be consumed warm? I love the raw fruits and vegetables. I don?t have a problem, cause I love salads. I just need help on what I can have on it.

    A:

    Check out our website for raw salad dressing recipes. You are bound to find one you like.

    As for lentils, you are NOT allowed to have them while on the cleanse.

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    Q: On WebMD there is information stating that high fiber foods such as raw fruits, and vegetables can irritate or flare up Crohn's disease. But, your article on Chron's disease says to switch to a vegan diet after detoxing. Why would raw fruits and vegetables flare up Chron's disease? Why do your articles suggest to eat raw fruits and veggies when people say it can irritate the disease?

    A:

    We don't subscribe to that. We do our own homework at Dherbs.com. There is no confusion at Dherbs because we use logic, reason, common sense, intuition, wisdom, etc. So we are not confused in regards to food and health.

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    Q: It's been 2 weeks now since, I started eating exclusively raw. I'm even baking whole wheat bread in the sun. This was a great substitute for the cooked rice I used to eat. I'm also eating quite a large amount of grapes (red and white), as my body seems to ask for it. But recently, I noticed that my heart is beating quite strongly, and I find difficulty to bear the hot weather as a consequence. Also, I noticed a white pimple on the tip of my tongue, and this was a confirmation that there was maybe too much stimulating energy in the heart (according to oriental diagnosis of the tongue). When I eat sun baked bread, I automatically feel heat in the body. So I'm wondering if this is a good food to continue with or not. Isn't it more "neutral" (in terms of energy) to include a small portion of cooked brown rice along with the raw regimen? Just want remind you of my health issue: HPV and bacteria in the urinary tract.

    A:

    Greetings! No need to feel helpless. Feeling is very powerful and you will attract more of what you are feeling if you don't control your feeling. Please consider ordering and READING (digesting) our "Mental Science Manual" and "The Love Manual" e-books. If you had sex with the guy who cheated on you, you ignited stored residual feelings from the initial violation of your trust. Forgive yourself (and him) and move on. Okay, as far as the sun baked bread, LISTEN to your body. If you're feeling heat, it's stimulating. Cut back on eating this bread. Go back to a little brown or wild rice (very balancing). Remember to detoxify your body periodically! Full Body Detox and Anti-Viral Formula.

    Product Link:
    Full Body Detox
    Anti-Viral Cleanse and Regimen

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    Q: I've been taking the Full Body Cleanse for almost 2 weeks. In general, I feel much better. My question is if I can eat spirulina. and/or Ultimate Meal (mainly is Quinoa, millet, brown rice, yellow pea protein, spirulina and another natural ingredients) as breakfast or lunch. In case you do not know Ultimate Meal you can see it at www.ultimatelife.com Thank you. Ricardo. Your customer service rep told me after full body detox is good to take cholesterol formula. Is enough or Do I need to take lose weight tabs? after the full body cleanse? I am taking care of my diet and exercise 3 -4 times a week 2 hours each with stationary bike or tread mill and exercises with weights.

    A:

    Spirulina and Ultimate Meal are excellent supplementary products to take in order for your body to receive an adequate amount of protein while on the cleanse.

    Yes, take Cholesterol Formula (and Intestinal Cleanser) after you complete the cleanse. These products will serve as a transitionary period as your body slowly accustoms to returning back to normal routines.

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    Q: Hi, I'm a 36 year old African/American woman with 4 children whose been trying to lose weight off and on for the past 16 years. I lose the weight but then I gain it right back after I go off of my diet. I know that I need a good body/colon cleanse, but what I need to learn how to do is to eat the right food's to keep my body healthy. I've been conditioned to eat the foods that I do eat, I need to know how do I go about "de-programming" myself from the bad food's and program myself to want and crave the healthy one's? I'm open to any suggestion's you have, even using crystals and meditation. Thank you.

    A:

    Time is limited here in "Ask the Herbalist" so I humbly request you consider a full length health consultation. However, I can tell you that you'd greatly benefit from a FULL BODY DETOX Cleanse.