The Best Clean Eating Meal Prep Ideas
2. Make a meal plan.
For our 21 day cleanse we only ate lean protein + green veggies + fruit in moderation. I made the graphic below so that you could add it to Pinterest f you needed a list of easy clean eating dinners.
It only addresses dinner because we would eat salads every day for lunch or sometimes I would scramble myself some egg whites.
To stick within our clean eating guidelines for the salads we would do lettuce + veggies + a protein and either a no calorie dressing or the healthiest vinaigrette we could make from a tiny bit of olive oil and vinegar + seasonings.
For the lettuce wraps I would just brown ground chicken on the stove, add salt + pepper and then top with shredded carrots, cucumbers and diced tomatoes. For breakfast we wouldn’t eat and just drink black coffee (a.k.a. intermittent fasting) or we would have an apple.
3. Get organized.
If you are going to successfully meal prep you can’t be spending all day doing it because you will just give up or quit. The key here is to be fast and efficient. Here is how we do it.
When you get home from the store put everything on the counter with a cutting board, knife, strainer, bowl for remnants and your containers of choice.
If your trashcan is next to your prep station then you won’t need the bowl but I like it so that I can just throw in the ends I cut from the fruit and veggies to keep me from walking over to the trashcan every two seconds.
The first thing I do is wash my fruit and then lay it out on paper towels to dry. Then while those are drying off I wash and prep my veggies. I circle back to the fruit and then I save my meat for last. Which if I’m being 100% honest I save the fact that my husband cuts up the meat for last.
You see I’ve had an aversion to chicken since I was pregnant with Hayden and while I am finally able to eat grilled chicken I can’t quite get near the raw version without a gag or 10.
Also, salmonella totally freaks me out and I handle it as if there has been an anthrax outbreak in our kitchen. Remember how I said I don’t cook???
4. Prep everything. And I mean everything in advance.
Seriously everything. I chop up my brussels sprouts and asparagus so that all I have to do is pre-heat the oven, spray a pan, dump out the container and top with salt and pepper.
Maybe I’m extreme but if I have to wash something, dry it, cut it and then prep it that’s just one more opportunity for me to give up and call the pizza man. Another thing I do is go ahead and snap my asparagus in half because I like it crunchier and it stores better.
For the chicken I buy a huge thing of it and half it. I marinate one half in a certain dressing and then chop up the other half for kabobs and marinate it in a different dressing. We really love Italian and Ginger Sesame dressings for marinating.
I also go ahead and open cans or put fresh veggies in containers for the girls that I can easily pop in the microwave. When it’s the witching hour every second counts – no opening, pouring, rinsing, draining, putting into a bowl, microwaving etc. Just a pre-made container of black beans, lima beans or corn for the girls that I can nuke for 30 seconds and serve.
5. Bite sized pieces are your friend.
Cut everything into bite-sized pieces! This is a pro-tip because a) it saves you space in your containers and b) it tricks your mind into thinking you are eating more than you are. This especially holds true for fruit.
Fruit makes a great treat but it’s called nature’s sugar for a reason and you can’t lose weight by only eating fruit all the time. If you cut it in half it takes twice as many bites to eat and if you store in small containers you will be more likely to exercise portion control and not troll out on three pounds of strawberries.
Not that there is anything wrong with strawberries so please don’t send me an email. I’m just saying if you are trying to kill the sugar urge in your body you need to practice some discipline when it comes to fruit and work to make yourself eat as many green veggies as possible.