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Easy Peasy Healthy Meal Prep Ideas To Simplify Your Life

A lot of people dread the idea of meal prep despite knowing how beneficial it is to stay on track with healthy, clean eating. If preparing quick healthy meals just seems too hard basket while juggling duties as Mummy CEO, I encourage you to have a read of this. These super simple tips, and with a little planning ahead, I promise you’ll rethink meal prep altogether and be blown away by how easy it can really be!


Easy Peasy Healthy Meal Prep Ideas To Simplify Your Life | Eat Nourish Glow
Easy Peasy Healthy Meal Prep Ideas To Simplify Your Life | Eat Nourish Glow

There are so many ways to meal prep — not all of which involve spending a whole Sunday afternoon cooking dishes for the week to come. When I help my clients learn to meal prep, I teach them how to always start off simply. You can honestly make some of the most nourishing meals within a matter of minutes that will feed you all week if you practice a few basic principles. The perks far out weigh a few extra minutes here and there to prepare wholefood meals for the coming week (s). Here's how you can get started...


Get In The Habit Of Thinking Ahead

Meal Prep 101: Get In The Habit Of Thinking Ahead | Eat Nourish Glow
Meal Prep 101: Get In The Habit Of Thinking Ahead | Eat Nourish Glow

At some point you will be over the stove making dinner, stir frying or baking for this kids. So, why not double or triple batch? This is by far the easiest way to ease into meal prep. Simply cook double the amount of brown rice or quinoa you need for Asian stir fry. Triple the pasta and make enough to free for next week or beyond. You are investing the time in stirring the pot anyway; getting into the meal prep habit is excellent time management when you double or triple recipes.


When you plan ahead like this, cooking double or triple the amount, you end up saving money and time. Look for specials and buy the ingredients in bulk so you make a few meals from one base recipe. Bulk cook similar meals that all use the same ingredients to make fast work of preparing nourishing, wholefood meals for the week.


Super Fast & Convenient Smoothies

Meal Prep 101: Super Fast & Convenient Smoothie | Eat Nourish Glows
Meal Prep 101: Super Fast & Convenient Smoothie | Eat Nourish Glows

There is good reason why smoothies are so popular. Smoothie provide a fast and easy wholefood meal with a well-balanced serving of essential nutrients and macros. A handful of this and that in the blender, makes quick work of breakfast or lunch when you're on the go or rushed in the mornings.


MY BASIC SMOOTHIE RECIPE

  • 250ml milk (I use oat or almond, unsweetened)

  • 1/2 banana (frozen is best and creates a creamy texture)

  • 1-2 scoop of protein powder (I use @AussieBodies 'Nourish" which is dairy-free)

  • 1-2 tsp chia seeds (these provide trace minerals and heaps of fibre)

You can add just about anything else to this base including fresh or frozen fruit, greens, veggies (yes I said veggies. I use raw cauliflower, cooked sweet potato and raw broccoli to name a few). Blitz on high in a Nutri-Bullet and enjoy over ice or as a smoothie bowl.


Do you Pin? I have an entire Pinterest board devoted to smoothie making hacks, and pre-made smoothie freezer bags is the top pick. A smoothie is how I usually start my day and kick start healthy eating with a hearty dose of phytonutrients, fibre and superfoods. It's so simple on those crazy busy mornings when my Aspie son is fussing, and my hyperactive miss is doing loops of the lounge room while our other three are struggling to crawl out of bed. I'll just grab a freezer bag and drop the ingredients into a high-powered blender, blitz and go.



Keep It Cool, Lovely


A big part of meal prep is keeping your delicious homemade meals cool and fresh. I highly suggest you invest in a good insulated lunch bag and gel cooler packs to take with you to work, on the go or in your travels like this one. You can find fun, affordable functional designs at Kmart or the dollar store for under $10 or invest in a more 'adult' looking bag like this pretty feminine one or a floral designer look like this, and this one. I can't choose, gimme gimme. I want them all!



The Secret Is To Batch Cook


Batch cooking, I touched on this above, and this definitely something my clients get to learn all about. Many people resist making the time for meal planning, but once you give it a go and stuck with it consistently, it makes everything so much easier and less stressful. And you'll find you save money too!


Do you ever dread the days that you have no idea what is for dinner? Usually it leads to less-than-ideal food choices like whatever if convenient or takeaway. Preparing meals at home might seem like it takes more time initially, but when you double or triple the recipe, you can cook once and then eat 2 or 3 times during the week without a worry. From freezer to table in mere minutes, and very little mess to clean up.


Batch cooking your meals and little planning ahead totally alleviates the problem of what's for dinner. You can bake savory muffins or chicken while roasting your veggies at the same time. Stir a big pot of pasta while whisking chia pudding for desserts and breakfast parfaits. Once you start, you'll find you get things done much faster. And if you need someone doing all the meal planning for you… work with me to achieve your health goals through a 4 week completely done-for-you meal plan.



Learn To Love Mason Jars

Learn To Love Eco-Friendly Mason Jars For Meal Prep | Eat Nourish Glow
Learn To Love Eco-Friendly Mason Jars For Meal Prep | Eat Nourish Glow

I absolutely love glass mason jars! First of all, they look super stylish as a serving pot (I know, I love pretty things too) but they are also very practical. Mason jars are typically used for jams, preserves and such, but they are cheap, most are microwave safe and perfect for storing overnight oats, chia pudding, smoothies and superfood salads. I get mine from Kmart for mere pennies (but long term, they don't seem to be as durable as ones you'll find at the kitchen shops, so shop around).


If I am doing up a big cook up or batch cooking, I'll use little these reusable chalk label stickers I found to label my mason jars and other meal prep containers. All I do is jot down the jar's contents with the chalk pen, peel the labels off the backing and press onto the surface. Super easy peasy, and they look stylish too!


How To Make The Perfect Mason Salad Jar


Its super easy. Just add your oil and vinegar dressing or the wettest ingredients to the bottom. Then build to the top with the hard, crunch items next and layering up to the more delicate ingredients. Always add your lettuce or green leaves at the top so they don't become soggy overnight. Chill in the fridge overnight and grab as you go the next day!



Another reason I love mason jars so much is because you can easily see what’s inside. This is fabulous for presentation when you make up salad jars or breakfast parfaits for friends or family. Glass is also safer. It can be used in microwaves, won’t alter the taste of food if it is stored in there for a few days. Unlike plastic containers, glass containers won’t release any chemicals when heated to hot temperature like plastic. Clean up and sterilisation is also a cinch in the dishwasher!



Don’t Meal Prep Too Many Meals At Once


Once you start meal prepping, it can be hard to stop. I kid you not. However, I recommend you only meal prep 3-5 days worth of fresh food, if it'll be stored in the fridge. Many meals once prepared, won’t last more than 2-3 days in the fridge, so make sure you freeze the rest. Things like pasta bakes, curries, soups, and simmer sauce meals freeze really well, so keep one or two out for the next few days and freeze the rest immediately.


When you need something, I recommend that you take your frozen meals from the freezer the night before you plan to eat it and let it defrost in the fridge. This avoids any food safe issues. Just reheat at dinner time. Too easy.


Yeah, But What's The Goal?


Like anything else, you have to keep your eye on the prize. What's your goal for meal prep? Is it to just feed the family healthier meals or are you trying to lose weight, combat illness or quit sugary foods? If your goal is not something very important to you, it's all too easy to start strong and lose interest. Hold the end goal of calmer, happier kids, a slimmer waistline or improved health when you are planning how to fit meal prepping into your lifestyle.


Is your goal short term or long term? It will take time to detox the family from sugar and shift their taste buds to healthier options. Usually 14 days more depending on the dependence. It may take you a month or several to lose the muffin top from poor eating and lack of exercise.



My Top Choice For Healthy Meal Prep Recipes


Lastly, an article on the value of meal prep wouldn't be complete with you, you guessed it, recipes! The following meal prep ideas are super quick and are perfect for beginner meal preppers to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Let's tuck in...


Super Healthy Breakfast Ideas


Try these super easy and fast recipe ideas for quick breakfasts that provide a nourishing kick of high-fibre, protein and healthy carbs to start your mornings.

These are just a few wholefood recipes to try your hand at meal prep. In many cases, you'll be able to batch cook the recipes and have breakfast sorted for later in the week.



Wholefood Lunch Meal Ideas

Low Carb Lettuce Cups Make A Great Wholefood Choice
Low Carb Lettuce Cups Make A Great Wholefood Choice

Try these super easy and fast recipe ideas for quick lunches suitable for those counting calories or hoping to lose weight.

You can also use up your leftovers for lunches by mixing up the ingredients, adding them to a warm or cold salad, or as a low carb wrap filling.



Wholefood Dinner Meal Ideas

Get a little creative for dinner with these delicious and tasty wholefood recipes:

All of these recipes are nutritionally dense but lower in carbs and ideal for lunch or an evening meal menu.



Healthy Wholefood Snack Ideas


Snacking can make the difference between binging on unhealthy foods and rebalancing your blood sugar naturally without a hit of caffeine or sugar. AS a general rule choose snacks that are small in portion (palm size or smaller), and are wholefoods and protein-based for the best results.

  • Raw Cacao & Avocado Pudding made with avocados, raw cacao and milk.

  • Celery Sticks & Hummus, but you can also do this with other veggies.

  • Carrot Sticks & Beetroot Hummus

  • Cucumber "Biscuits" & Dip using cucumber slices for a low carb biscuit.

  • 10 Almonds & 1/2 Green Apple (be strict on the almond serving for this one.)

  • Apple Rings & Nut Butter are one of my personal favourites.

  • 2 Pieces Cheese & Pear Slices

  • 10 Walnuts & 1/3 cup Blueberries (be strict on the walnut serving for this one.)

  • Greek Yoghurt Fruit Bites

  • 1/4 cup Cottage Cheese & Handful of Blueberries

  • Protein Bars & Protein Balls

  • Infused Water & Chia Fresca

  • Homemade Frozen Bites

Meal prepping can be such a lifesaver, especially if you have a very busy schedule but you still want to eat healthy food. Just try it for a week and you will see a big change in your health and in your wallet!


Healthy + happiness,

Emma Lisa xx


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Guest
Sep 04, 2021

So many great suggestions, thanks!!!

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Unknown member
Sep 04, 2021
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You are most welcome, please check back for more.

Health + happiness,

Emma

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Guest
Sep 03, 2021

Love all these ideas! Great article Emma

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Unknown member
Sep 04, 2021
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Thank you kindly, which one was your favourite?

Health + happiness,

Emma

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Guest
Sep 02, 2021

I saved this and am trying these all next week. Don't know where to start! Thank you Emma, you're amazing!! Hope you're going good in lockdown? Kimmy 😘

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Unknown member
Sep 04, 2021
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