When you don’t have a lot of time but still want to have homemade meals to keep your health goals on track meal planning can seem overwhelming. Relax we have you covered with the simple meal planning ideas: the lazy persons guide. Whether you are lazy, have no desire to cook, or just in a crunch for time these ideas will get you in and out of the kitchen in a hurry.
Today we are going to run through a meal prep plan from start to finish to get you in the mindset of using your time efficiently and maximizing your results. We are going to go over one day of meals but you could make enough to last for several days. What I normally do is have similar breakfasts, lunch, and snacks and dinner is usually a different dish every night. So let’s see whats on the menu.
Breakfast : Protein Smoothie
Snack: Greek Yogurt and Berries Peanut Butter
Lunch: Tuna with Salad
Snack: Eggs and Veggies Chicken Bites
Dinner: Turkey Meatball Zoodles Marinara
Snack: Chicken Bites
Drinks: Coffee, Tea, Water, Limeade
- Plastic cutting board
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic bags or containers of choice
- Measuring cups
- Can opener
- Baking Sheets
Make sure your area is cleaned up and ready for cooking. This means plenty of counter space, an empty sink and dish washer, and a trash can that has plenty of space. I almost forgot make sure your fridge is cleaned out so you have room to store your containers! Its really easy to over look this step and then you are finally ready to put everything away and you are playing fridge Tetris.
Get your eggs out on the counter to warm up to room temperature.
Preheat your oven. I like to cook my chicken at 450 degrees. It seems like this allows my chicken to remain juicy and get done quicker!
Cover 2 baking sheets in aluminum foil. Add meatballs to one sheet and set aside until chicken is ready to go and they can go in the oven together.
Chop and separate your chicken into small bites. Add chicken to your tray and season. Try putting different seasonings on different sections of chicken for variety. Pop in the oven.
Set your water to boil on the stove for eggs. Put the lid on the pot to bring your water to a boil quicker.
Clean and up disinfect your chicken mess.
Wash your vegetables and start letting them dry.
Grab your containers for your yogurt and berries you may also add a bit of healty fat using peanut butter, almond butter, or walnuts. I’m smitten with peanut butter so thats my go to nut :). Measure out six to eight ounces of yogurt, 1/4 to 1/2 cup berries and 2 tsp to 1 tbsp of nuts per container you are fixing up. Tip If you are using frozen berries which is totally ok, they will stay best if you wait until the morning of to add them to your container. This only takes a second! Once your yogurt is done get it in the fridge and out of the way.
Tuna and Salad
Mix romaine lettuce, spinach, and shredded cabbage together in a container(s) or mason jar(s). Chop green onions and celery. Mix some lemon juice, lime juice, or red wine vinegar with 2 tsps. of olive oil for a tasty dressing.
Tuna Salad should only be made up 1-2 days at a time or it gets kinda funky, but if your salads are made up and all your ingredients chopped and ready it only takes a couple of minutes to add to the container.
Mix tuna with some chopped celery, green onion, mustard, and a bit of greek yogurt.
Veggie Snack Packs
Slice cucumbers and lay out on a paper towel sprinkle with a pinch of salt to help draw out some of the water so they don’t get mushy in storage quite as quick!
Chop other veggies you are planning to have for the week. I had celery, peppers, carrots, and my cucumbers. Bag up once cucumbers have released some of their water. Put away.
Turkey Meatballs and Marinara
Spiralize noodles using zucchini. I used pre-cooked turkey meatballs because they are convenient. The marinara sauce I used was also out of a jar but feel free to make your own. If you are making multiple multiple portions add your noodles, meatballs once they are cooled and marinara to each container and put away.
Back to the Chicken and Eggs
If they aren’t already done, your chicken and eggs should be about ready to start cooling. Once they are cooled put them away. Its best to peel your eggs now if you aren’t to worn out!
These can be made morning of or made on meal prep day and thawed the day you want them just don’t forget to thaw it can take awhile and you don’t want to be hangry.
Put your almond milk in a blender. Add banana, protein powder, powdered greens, and ice. Once all blended its ready to go or poured into individual servings to be put in the freezer. If you are going to freeze them make sure you leave an inch or two for expansion as the liquid freezes!
Ok its time to clean up your area and get the heck out of that kitchen!
What to Buy
Your grocery list will depend on how many meals you are going to be creating for this menu. Some people like variety some don’t. You will need to plug in your own caloric needs and nutrition goals to determine how many ingredients you will need and this is going to be a bit different for every person. The amount I eat for my goals may be less or more than you need for your goals.
- Turkey Meatballs
- Greek Yogurt Plain
- Berries Fresh/Frozen
- Nuts or Nut Butter
- Marinara/Tomatoe Sauce
- Fresh Vegetables : Cucumbers, red and green peppers, celery, carrots, tomatoes, green onions
- Shredded Cabbage
- Romaine Lettuce
- Olive oil
- Protein Powder
- Powdered Greens
- Almond Milk
- Cofee, Herbal Tea, lo calorie limited sweetener beverages
I hope you enjoy these Simple Meal Planning Ideas. This is a menu I used recently and with exercise I lost about 2lbs. in a week, which is perfect. So try out this plan and adjust it to fit into your healthy lifestyle. Do you have any great meal planning ideas for when you are super busy or would just like to do something other than be in the kitchen? We would love to hear your ideas!
If you are a beginner or just want some short cuts to meal planning please check out Productivity Tips from a Meal Planning Master to get started.