healthy meal prep for a week
Hi friends! How are you? I hope you had a wonderful weekend! We were at the pool with friends (the best), watching the Wildcats, and I trained a client and worked on Fit Team programming.
For today’s post, I’m updating an older post because there are so many helpful tips here on meal prep for a week!
Healthy meal prep for a week
Helping Out with a New Baby
Meal prep can be an amazing tool when you’re setting yourself up for success throughout the week. It was also KEY when Liv and P were newborns. It’s something I love to do for my new mama friends, in addition to making a dinner for their family. If I can make them some staples to have on hand, they’ll have an easier time nourishing themselves during quick nap breaks or with one hand.
Some of the things that truly helped me when the girls were babies:
-Naps and/or showers (usually courtesy of the madre or nana. I’d feed P or Liv and they’d say, “Go nap or shower.” And I would. And it was THE BEST.)
-Help with anything around the house or with the dogs. The poor dogs were often neglected, so my mom or MIL would leash them up for a walk around the neighborhood.
-FOOD. Takeout was awesome, and homemade was even better.
I remember eating a lot of sugar, and feeling so happy when my friend Whitney brought soup over. It had protein and veggies, warmed my soul, and I could heat it in a mug and eat with one hand. Done and done.
Here are some staples I made for a new mama friend: Paleo bread, overnight oats, salad beasts, lactation cookies, and hearty soup.
Here’s How I Did One Week of Meal Prep in One Hour.
Overnight oats (oats, almond milk, peanut butter, cinnamon, maple syrup, berries, cacao nibs)
Salads (chicken, quinoa, chopped veggies and kalamata olives)
Soup (chicken breasts, onion, chopped zucchini, carrots, bell peppers, garlic, broth, bone broth, fresh herbs). This is an easy dinner or a healthy lunch option.
1. Place 2 chicken breasts on the bottom of the Instant Pot. Season well with salt, pepper and garlic powder. You can also make the soup in the slow cooker, but it will take longer (about 5 hours). No big deal if you’re doing this on a Sunday and have time for it to cook!
2. Start chopping veggies for the salads and soup. For everything I chopped, half was reserved for salads, half went into the instant pot.
3 celery ribs (soup only)
4 carrots (peel and dice)
1/2 cucumber (salads only)
3 bell peppers
1 sweet onion (soup only)
3. Rinse and start boiling the quinoa. (You can also use white or brown rice instead of quinoa!) I did 1 cup of quinoa in 2 cups of chicken broth. Cauliflower rice is another great option.
4. Finish the soup and get it going! Add the chopped veggies to the Instant Pot (on top of the seasoned chicken), 2-3 cloves of minced garlic, add 1 carton of chicken broth, and 8 oz of bone broth (or more chicken broth).
Season well with salt and pepper, then top with 5 sprigs of thyme and 3 large sprigs of rosemary. Set on the “Soup” setting for 15 minutes. (I still can’t believe it cooks everything in 15 minutes of active cooking.)
5. Brown chicken for the salads. Dice two chicken breasts (into bite-sized pieces), and season well with salt, pepper, thyme, garlic, and smoked paprika. Cook in a little olive oil in a large pan until completely cooked. Remove from heat to cool.
6. By now, the quinoa should be done cooking. Fluff with a fork and remove from heat to cool.
7. Preheat the oven and start the Paleo bread. It was my first time making a double batch, and it came out really well. Just keep an eye on it because ours got a little toasty on top.
8. While the Paleo bread is cooking, assemble the salads. In Mason jars, I added the chicken, then quinoa, then the chopped veggies, kalamata olives, and topped with romaine. You can use any greens you love, but put them on top so they don’t get soggy. Later when you’re ready to eat, just add dressing, cover, shake, and serve. You can also add roasted veggies to your salads, cooked on a sheet pan with avocado oil, salt, and pepper.
9. Next, make the overnight oats. In each jar, I added about 1/2 cup of the Trader Joe’s gf super oats, and about 1 cup of almond milk. I drizzled in a little maple syrup, cinnamon, and mixed well. I topped each jar with a blob of almond butter or peanut butter, some cacao nibs, and berries. Raspberries and blueberries tend to hold their shape the best.
10. When the Paleo bread and soup are cooled and ready to go, pack everything up to either share with friends, or store in the fridge. I transported the salads and overnight oats in jars, the Paleo bread in a sealed glass dish, and the lactation cookies I had made previously and frozen.
So tell me friends: how’s the meal prep going? What’s your favorite thing to make ahead for the week? I love breakfast cookies, baked breakfast cookies, and this egg casserole.
I also love making a big batch of roasted veggies, hard boiled eggs, shredded chicken (so perfect for meal prep), stir fries, and seasoned cauliflower rice. Even when I don’t have time to do a full meal prep, 20 minutes or 30 minutes of making quick staples can make a huge difference in my week.
Friends with kiddos: what was your favorite meal post-baby?? Post-birth sushi was everything I’d been dreaming of.
More meal prep posts:
5 days of healthy daytime eats
An hour of clean eats
One week of healthy snacks
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