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How to meal prep for five days of healthy eating | LA Galaxy Sports Science Blog – LA Galaxy

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Meal prepping might sound like a lot of work, but it can become quite simple once you’ve created a routine. 

There is no “correct” way to meal prep. What works for someone else might not make sense for your schedule. Maybe you have time to eat lunch at home, and you’d prefer to focus your meal prep on breakfast and dinner for the week. Or maybe making dinner at home each night brings joy to you and your significant other. Find what works for you and make it stick!

The first step is determining your needs for the week. In this sample week of meal prep, we will give tips for a single person who would like to prep breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for Monday through Friday.

Once the amount and type of meals are determined, the next step is planning your menu (see sample below). This will help you create your list. Yes, this step happens before you hit the grocery store. This way, you are heading to the store with a list and a plan. You’ll save money, make healthier choices and waste less food at the end of the week. This step is key.

Trust!

SAMPLE MENU

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Snacks

Monday

Overnight Oats

BBQ chicken salad

Shrimp pasta

Hard boiled eggs

Apple + nut butter

Tuesday

Egg muffins + orange

Chicken fajita bowl

Salmon + veggies

Greek yogurt + berries

Veggie sticks + hummus

Wednesday

Overnight oats

Teriyaki rice bowl

BBQ chicken salad

Hard boiled eggs

Apple + nut butter

Thursday

Egg muffins + orange

Shrimp pasta

Chicken fajita bowl

Greek yogurt + berries

Veggie sticks + hummus

Friday

Overnight oats

Salmon + veggies

Teriyaki rice bowl

Hard boiled eggs

Apple + nut butter

The grocery list is created based off of the menu selected above. It’s best to choose ingredients that can be mixed and matched in a variety of meals to help keep the cost down. See the “Recipe List” at the end of this post to determine which ingredients are needed for each meal.

GROCERY LIST

Produce

3 apples

1 avocado

3 bananas

2 bell peppers

1 container blueberries

2 heads of broccoli

1 cucumber

1 bag baby carrots

1 yellow onion

2 oranges

1 bag spinach

1 container strawberries

1 sweet potato

2 tomatoes

Grains

1 bag brown rice

1 canister old fashioned oats

1 box whole grain pasta

Proteins

1.5 lbs chicken

1 carton eggs

6 oz salmon

6 oz shrimp

Dairy

1 carton milk or Almond milk

2 Greek yogurts

Other

BBQ sauce

1 can black beans

1 can of corn

Flax seeds

Hummus

Maple syrup

Marinara sauce

Nut butter

Olive oil

Salsa or hot sauce

Seasoning

Teriyaki sauce

Vinaigrette dressing

Next up, hit the grocery store on Saturday or Sunday morning, so that meal prep isn’t a last-minute Sunday night activity. The following directions will help your prep feel less overwhelming. Forewarning: you will need a lot of food storage containers for prepping! This prep alone will require at least 13 containers. I recommend investing in quality Tupperware or glass storage.

Directions:

  1. Produce prep: Fill your kitchen sink half-way with water and 2-3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Add fruits and vegetables, and let soak for 15 minutes. (Unnecessary for fruits with skins/peels you won’t eat). Gently scrub, rinse and dry.
  2. Chicken prep: Divide chicken breasts and cut into 3 oz portions (1.5 lbs should give you roughly six 3-ounce portions (about the size of your palm). Coat two portions in BBQ sauce, two portions in teriyaki sauce and two portions in salsa. Place in dish and leave in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
  3. Hard-boiled eggs: Fill a medium saucepan with water and 6 eggs. Bring water to boil. Turn heat off completely and cover with lid for 10 minutes. Transfer eggs to ice water. Leave until they cool. Remove and store in the refrigerator.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Produce prep continued:
    • Chop broccoli, carrots, and sweet potatoes into small pieces. They should be similar in size to help with cooking time. Set aside.
    • Dice bell peppers and onion. Set aside.
    • Slice cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes. Set aside.
  6. Egg muffins: Whisk together 4 eggs + 4 tablespoons milk. Add in spinach, bell pepper and tomatoes. Coat 4 muffin tin cups with nonstick spray. Pour mixture into each spot. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Allow to cool and keep in refrigerator until ready to eat.
  7. Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Sautéing fajita veggies: Heat pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Sautee peppers and onion until translucent.
  9. Sautéing shrimp: Heat pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Add shrimp + seasoning to pan and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  10. Cooking veggies, salmon & chicken: Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes and salmon on one baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and your choice of seasoning/herbs. Place marinated chicken breasts on the other baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. It’s important to make sure chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  11. Rice: prepare per package directions. You will need 2 cups of rice total.
  12. Pasta: prepare per package directions. You will need 1 cup of pasta total.
  13. Overnight oats: grab three mason jars or Tupperware and fill with “Overnight oats” ingredients. Stir well until all items are mixed. Store in refrigerator until ready to eat. Will need at least 6 hours before oats absorb the milk completely.
  14. Assemble lunch & dinner meals:
    • BBQ chicken salad (2) –using the BBQ sauce chicken breast.
    • Chicken fajita bowls (2) –using the salsa chicken breast.
    • Teriyaki rice bowls (2) –using the teriyaki chicken breast.
    • Shrimp pasta (2)
    • Salmon & veggies (2)
  15. Prepare remaining snacks (Greek yogurt + berries, veggies + hummus, fruit + nut butter) into small Tupperware or Ziploc bags.

RECIPE LIST

Breakfast

Overnight Oats

(x3)

½ cup old fashioned oats

1 cup milk or Almond milk

2 tsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp ground flax seeds

1 sliced banana

Egg muffins

(x2)

2 eggs

2 Tbsp milk

¼ cup chopped bell peppers

Diced tomato

1 handful spinach

Lunch/Dinner

BBQ chicken salad

(x2)

3oz chicken breast

2 large handfuls spinach

¼ cup corn

Diced tomato

¼ of an avocado, diced

2 Tbsp BBQ sauce

2 Tbsp vinaigrette dressing

Chicken fajita bowls

(x2)

3oz chicken breast

½ cup brown rice

½ cup black beans

1 cup fajita veggies

¼ of an avocado, diced

Salsa or hot sauce

Teriyaki rice bowls

(x2)

3oz chicken breast

½ cup brown rice

½ cup carrots

½ cup broccoli

2 Tbsp teriyaki sauce

Shrimp pasta

(x2)

3oz shrimp

½ cup whole grain pasta

1 cup broccoli

¼ cup marinara sauce

Salmon + veggies

(x2)

3oz salmon

½ cup diced sweet potatoes

2 cups choice veggies

Snacks

Veggie sticks + hummus

1 cup sliced cucumber & carrots

¼ cup hummus

Hard-boiled eggs

2 eggs

Fruit + nut butter

1 apple or banana

2 Tbsp peanut or almond butter

Greek yogurt + berries

1 Greek yogurt

½ cup blueberries

This meal prep will take about 2 hours to complete. The directions are meant to help complete it in steps that will save you the most time. See if you can prep veggies while boiling water, or cook rice while chicken is baking in the oven. It might take some time to get the hang of it, but each week you will get quicker!

Setting yourself up at the beginning of each week will keep you on track with money, health and productivity goals!

Nutrition for the win!

Brooke

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