Meal Planning and Prepping (Including a Free Download)

Meal prepping made easy | www.ashleybrookedesigns.com

 

Meal Planning 101

You can do it!!

I have a love hate relationship with meal planning. I don’t know why, but it always feels like a such big task and that it will take my entire day, which it never does. And in all reality it saves me a million hours throughout the week. So I’m not sure why I fuss over it each Sunday, because it is 100% worth my time and I ALWAYS regret it when I don’t plan. So if you are on the fence about meal planning or are sometimes grumpy about it like I am, then this post is for you! 

 

Write It All Down:

First off, leave nothing to chance! I like to have a written meal plan complete with breakfast, lunch, and dinner the entire week as well as my shopping list. Otherwise when the week gets hectic I am liable to forget what meal we’re supposed to have when, or end up with the wrong ingredients during the ‘prep’ phase.

But don’t you worry, there is a super helpful FREE downloadable/printable Weekly Meal Planner I designed at the end of this post!

 

The Prepping:

I think this is by far the hardest hurdle to jump over, so if you can get past this you can 100% turn this into a habit. It’s like what they say about getting to the the gym, showing up is always the hardest part. 

I have a few go-to recipes (my favorites are listed here!) that I tend to cycle in and out along with a few websites that I’m constantly going to for inspiration Skinny Taste, Gimme Some Oven, Minimalist Baker, Two Peas in Their Pod, and Cookie & Kate

When I make my list I use a notepad and an app called MealBoard. I love this app because I can import recipes in directly from my favorite websites and it instantly makes a shopping list for me… it honestly has saved me from going back to the grocery store more times than I can count! I also love that the app makes it possible for you to plan out your meals and specify the days. And lastly, my favorite part is that it stores all of my recipes, it’s magical. 

 

The Shopping & Chopping: 

For the most part I try and make this happen each week, except for the weeks where we travel, because those weeks are a bit nutty in general. 

Typically I try and knock out my meal planning and prepping on Sunday after church. We’ll stop by the grocery store on the way home and once we get home I’ll turn on an audio book and get to work chopping, washing, and slicing!

I’m always worried that meal planning is going to take up the entire day on Sunday, but in all actuality it’s about 3ish hours from start to finish, including the shopping portion. So it’s really not all that bad! If  you are concerned that meal planning will take over your life, don’t be it actually does the opposite!

 

What I Prep:

In regards to prepping, I have noticed that it is one thing to meal plan, but it is another thing entirely to prep. If I meal plan but don’t prep I will waste food. It’s a proven fact. Our weeks get super busy and the yummy dinner I had all picked out to cook will get repaced for something faster like popcorn and almond butter. So in my case it is completely useless to plan without the prep, they must go together or the whole thing just falls apart. 

When it comes to prepping, I mean just that. I wash and cut fruit making it easy to grab. Chop kale, cucumbers, carrots, herbs, etc. I boil eggs, roll up turkey, grill chicken, and portion out nuts. 

I also put the ingredients to each meal grouped together in the refrigerator easy to grab and go! 

All of this combined makes making dinner at 7:30 on a Tuesday night after waking up at 5 a.m. and working all day feel totally doable. 

 

This Week’s Meal Plan:

Now, if you saw my tweet last night you’ll know that at around 8:15pm my refrigerator was completely empty. But Ryan sweetly offered to go to the store and pick up a few essentials.  I said “YES!!” of course and quickly scribbled out a meal plan. Ha! So don’t for one second think I have it all together over here. You win some you loose some! So next week I’ll take my own advice and this morning you can find me chopping, washing, and slicing to make up for lost time. 

Monday:

Breakfast – Cashew milk latte // Scrambled eggs with sautéed kale and chopped chicken sausage with 1/2 a piece of toast (we are breakfast people! Also, we get up super early so I need an incentive to get out of bed at 5 am!).

Snack – Handful of mixed nuts & and a cup of green juice (kale, pear, lemon, & banana)

Lunch – Kale Chicken Salad (recipe here)

Snack – Apple & Almond Butter

Dinner – Spaghetti Squash & Meat Sauce (recipe here)

Tuesday:

Breakfast – Cashew milk latte // Scrambled eggs with sautéed kale and chopped chicken sausage with 1/2 a piece of toast.

Snack – Handful of mixed nuts & a cup of green juice (kale, pear, lemon, & banana)

Lunch – Turkey sandwich with apples 

Snack – Carrots, hummus, pickles and olives

Dinner – Leftovers from Monday night. 

 

Wednesday :

Breakfast – Cashew milk latte // Homemade Oatmeal with almond butter, apples, and spices

Snack –  Handful of mixed nuts & a cup of green juice (kale, pear, lemon, & banana)

Lunch – Kale Chicken Salad (recipe here)

Snack – Carrots, hummus, pickles and olives

Dinner – Chicken and rice soup (recipe here)

Thursday :

Breakfast – Cashew milk latte // Homemade Oatmeal with almond butter, apples, and spices.

Snack –  Handful of mixed nuts & a cup of green juice (kale, pear, lemon, & banana)

Lunch – Turkey sandwich with apples

Snack – Carrots, hummus, pickles and olives

Dinner – Leftovers from Wednesday night

Friday :

Breakfast – Cashew milk latte // Scrambled eggs with sautéed kale and chopped chicken sausage with 1/2 a piece of toast.

Snack –  Handful of mixed nuts & a cup of green juice (kale, pear, lemon, & banana)

Lunch – Kale Chicken Salad (recipe here)

Snack – Apple and almond butter

Dinner – Salmon Bowls (recipe here)

 

Free Download:

And to help you out on this new lifestyle of yours 😉 I whipped up a little free download so you can map out your meals in style! I hope you love it and good luck with you meal planning adventure, I’m rooting for you! 

 

Download the full size, high-res. printable meal planner:

 

Meal prepping made easy - Free Download | www.ashleybrookedesigns.com

 

Photographed by: Dani Nichol Photography 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. Jessie
    January 22, 2018 / 2:31 pm

    Amazing!!!!! So helpful you should do more prep ideas every week or so

    • Ashley Brooke
      Author
      January 23, 2018 / 9:49 am

      Yay!! So glad you loved it Jessie! I will definitely start working in more downloads! xo

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