How Two Registered Dietitians Meal Prep For A Week

Plus, what science says about meal prepping. 

#MealPrep is insanely popular are Instagram right now for a reason: it’s scientifically proven to deliver results. A study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity reports that women who plan their meals ahead of time are less likely to be overweight than those who don’t plan ahead. Another study shares that adults who spend less time preparing their meals spend significantly more on food. Finally, it’s RD-approved.

To save yourself lots of time and money,  here are a few ideas for how to meal prep for the week from HUM registered dietitians.

Alex Caspero’s Vegan Meal Prep

Every weekend, I set aside some time to get meal prepping done for the week ahead. This usually happens on Sunday evening, but I’ve also been known to get up earlier that day and knock it out if we’ve got a busy day ahead. While my menu rotates each week, I almost always prep the following items: a soup, cut vegetables, breakfast item, cooked grains, a protein and a healthy snack. Having these items done makes for effortless mix and match breakfast, lunch and snack items throughout the week.

This week, I cooked a big batch of quinoa, sesame ginger tofunutella energy bites lentil soup, and baked oatmeal. The entire process took roughly 2 hours to complete, which is a huge time saving for the week. Breakfast was then either baked oatmeal or a smoothie. For lunch, I packed 4 containers of the cooked quinoa, sesame ginger tofu and steamed broccoli into containers with a few nutella energy bites for snacks. This prep gave me a healthy lunch option Monday-Thursday, with the option to go out on Friday. The lentil soup was an easy dinner two times this week, and I popped the leftovers into the freezer for a healthy option later this month.

Sarah Greenfield’s Paleo Meal Prep, Two Ways

I also like to carve out time on the weekend to prep my meals for the week. Whenever I am cooking I always try and have all of my food groups represented. I love to focus on low glycemic fruits, complex carbs (like brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes), lots of low-starch veggies, clean sources of protein, and healthy fats. I think about these food groups when I am shopping and grab a couple of options in each category when I am at the supermarket.

There are typically two ways that I meal prep.

The first way is to create a couple different larger batch dishes that I can combine in different ways. That way if I feel like getting more variety throughout the week, I have options. For example, in the photo above, I was feeling inspired by places like Sweetgreen. To get that vibe at home, I create a bunch of side dishes that can be combined in different ways. If I want a salad I can combine all of the ingredients. Or, if I want a warm meal I can combine just the avocado, chicken and sauteed cabbage.

Another Option

The second way I meal prep is to put together actual meals so I have even less to think about during the week. I use these three-compartment glass containers which help me get more creative with my meal prep.

One thing I like to do is make an entire roasted chicken and use the meat for meal prep. (I can use the bones to make a homemade bone broth.) Then, I add sautéed veggies and a carrot, apple and sweet potato roast. I also love making quiche because it can be a very balanced meal. I always load my quiche up with veggies and make a barley gluten-free crust and the whole quiche is dairy free. Its a great source of protein, fiber and healthy fat!

I try and keep things as simple and straightforward as possible. I really enjoy cooking and being creative in the kitchen. Its not only good for your body, it can also save you a lot of money in the long run!

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