Easy 4 day meal prep with using real, whole-food ingredients!
First of all, Happy New Year to everyone!! We had such a great Christmas and Holiday this year. It's magical all over again to live Christmas through your children's eyes. There's nothing better and we loved getting to spend quality time with our family. So did they, which is even more important than all 800 Christmas presents they got! Ha
We all know the holidays come with a ton of cookies, sweets, big meals, and more cookies. And I'm all about being way more relaxed and having balance when it comes to the holidays. I had roughly 150 sugar cookies. (WHY, WHY are sugar cookie cutouts with simple basic frosting so good?) Most of them were meant for Santa, but I think I may have eaten most of the tray. Sorry, Santa.
So when it's not the holidays and I'm in my regular routine, I love to meal prep! I also love cooking with real whole-food (lots of plant-based) ingredients. Eating this way will do your body good, I promise! If you eat real food, not processed on a daily basis you will instantly notice a difference in energy levels, your mood, your skin, your digestion, just to name a few, the list goes on!
I'm passionate about if you're adding meat to the meals (which is totally fine), that you know where your meat is coming from. My personal opinion is finding a local farmer and buying your meat from someone who takes pride in what they not only feed their animals but how they treat them. I promise this makes a HUGE difference in how you will feel yourself. It may sound silly to some, I understand, I really do because I did not always think this way. I didn't even know to question things like this very topic. Not eating sick animals pumped full of terrible things so they can become bigger and stronger faster will do your body good. Not eating stressed animals who live in TERRIBLE conditions from the moment they are born, will make you feel better. We are what we eat, even what our food eats. Okay enough with this topic, I just had to touch base a little ;).
So I love creating simple meals for myself and my family! Things that are easy to prep and stay on track during the week for this busy mom is a must. I also chose only 4 days of meals because I think it's easy not to get overwhelmed with buying groceries and prepping for 4 days. I also think your food stays fresh!
Also if you're an active person who works out daily or often making sure to fuel your body all day long is a must! Otherwise, you will lack energy or not see the results you're looking for. Not eating or skipping meals puts your body into a starvation mode, which stores fat and makes your body crave (unhealthy) carbs and sugars even more! There's a great article on this very topic, read it here. So I always try to eat every 2-3 hours! That's where meal-prep is a savior!
So I am inviting you into my kitchen to come and hang out with me and my kiddos for roughly 17 minutes. haha! I show you exactly how I prep for 4 days and how to put everything together. It's really easy I promise! It's usually a mess afterword, but it's worth it. Plus then you don't have any mess for the 4 days to follow. I have posted all the recipes as well below. Please let me know if you have any questions! Don't hesitate to reach out!
4 Day Meal Prep (Ingredients for 4 days) 1 person
Immunity boosting green smoothie
1 green apple
4 cups of kale
To prepare each baggie for ready to go, cut and dice everything up. Peel ginger and add roughly 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger to each bag. Divide other ingredients up into each bag. The morning of add 6-8oz of water and ice to your blender then dump your bag into the blender. Squeeze the lemon into the mixture! I squeeze one whole lemon a day.
Oatmeal bowl to go! (Meal 1)
Each mason jar should contain:
1/2 cup of oats
1 tablespoon Flax
1 tablespoon of Chia Seeds
I love prepping these in mason jars because you can throw them in the microwave morning of and have them on the go if you must! I use water but you can fill your jar (up to your oats) with almond or coconut milk as well. I top mine with Purely Elizebeth granola (gluten free) and fresh blueberries!
Protein Smoothie (Each Day) (Meal 2)
1 scoop of Vega Protein (or any plant-based)
8 oz of water or almond/coconut milk
Optional (My favorite)
a handful of spinach
Blend all of the ingredients for a great post workout drink! I honestly keep my protein in my car and fill up a giant bottle of water and leave with that in the morning. Or I will make this all ahead and put it into a thermos for after the workout.
Cilantro and Kale Salad or Wrap! (Meal 3)
Each Container: (4)
1/2 cup Kale
1/2 cup of Chickpeas
a handful of red onion (I chop a half of a red onion for the 4 days)
a handful of green pepper (I chop one green pepper for the 4 days)
2 tablespoons of cilantro freshly chopped
1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds or pine nuts (both my fav)
a pinch of cranberries (1/2 tablespoon)
Lemon Dressing: This is enough for 4 days
2 tablespoon of olive oil
dash of sea salt
1 teaspoon of honey
squeeze two lemons
I also love throwing this salad into a whole wheat tortilla wrap some days! If you feel like you need to add chicken you can! This salad is definitely one of my favorites. The fresh cilantro is definitely the secret ingredient, s0 make sure to not skip out on this!
4 ingredient Banana Bites (Meal 4)
2 ripe bananas
1 cup of oats
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Mash the bananas and then add oats, cinnamon, vanilla and lastly the chocolate chips! Make into small balls and bake for 15-20 minutes. These are so good and my kids love them! Also for meal 4 I love just having a apple and some almond butter. Or carrots and hummus. Those are some of my favorite afternoon snacks!!
Spicy Salmon (Meal 5)
4 wild-caught filets
4 tablespoons of spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon of red pepper flakes (or less if you don't like a lot of spice! )
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of honey
Pre-heat oven to 350. Mix the mustard and ingredients together, spread over the salmon filets. Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on how thick your filets are! I always like mine well done, so I'm more of the 15-17 minute girl. I usually make my dinners fresh but can prep the mustard beforehand and have it ready to pull out for the night of. I also love adding Whole Foods fresh pineapple salsa to the top! It's amazing. I usually just add one tablespoon to each filet!
Brussel Sprouts (My favorite side)
1 bag of uncooked and fresh Brussel Sprouts
1 tablespoon of olive oil (or any oil of your choice)
dash of salt and pepper
2 chopped garlic cloves
Pre-heat oven to 400. Cut Brussel sprouts in half. Mix the olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic into a bowl then pour on top of the Brussel Sprouts. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Make sure to keep an eye on them and toss them while cooking. I like mine crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. YUM!
OR...I don't like eating the same dinner every night, so this is a great way to change it up!
Shrimp Taco Bowl (Serving Size for 2 meals) (Meal 5)
1 tablespoon of Olive oil
2 cups of wild-caught shrimp (I buy the frozen)
3 tablespoons of spicy taco seasoning
1 cup of red onion
1 cup of green pepper
2 cups of spinach
1 cup of brown rice
1 cup of black beans
Toppings (Avocado, Jalapeno, Fresh Salsa)
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp then the taco seasoning. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add the onion and pepper. Cook until shrimp is done roughly another 5-7 minutes. To assemble the taco bowl I first add the spinach. (One handful). 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1/2 cup of black beans, half of the shrimp and peppers, and then add the toppings of my choice! Avocado, Jalapeno, and Fresh Salsa! This is not only a favorite of mine but also my husbands!
Let me know if you try any of these recipes or decide to do the full 4 day prep! Everyone can make it through 4 days of clean and healthy eating. Plus you will feel great. Also drinking a TON of water is also a huge part of eating clean and healthy. While you're doing this for the 4 days, don't drink anything besides water. No sugary drinks, no alcohol, but you can have black coffee. Make sure to drink a large glass of water with each meal!