The weather is warm, the sun is shining, and the last thing anyone wants to do is spend time in a hot, stuffy kitchen. But unless you have the willpower of Chris Hemsworth training to be Thor, it might be hard to avoid summertime temptations like hot dogs, potato salad, and ribs. Meal prep can help. By arming yourself with healthy food for the whole week, it’s easy to stay on track with your nutrition goals.
And healthy food doesn’t have to take a long time to make! Our resident meal prep master, Social Media Manager Amanda Meixner, is a pro at coming up with yummy menus that follow the Portion Fix container system. Her schedule is packed with yoga teacher training and doing weekend workouts at the beach, and she doesn’t always want to spend her Sunday afternoons creating elaborate meal preps. But instead of skipping it, she just simplifies it.
This week, she made overnight oats with Shakeology for breakfast, and added in a different fruit each day. For lunch and dinner, she prepared roasted vegetables, shredded chicken, hard boiled eggs, and quinoa for a buffet-style meal prep fit for a queen. Throughout the week, she mixed and matched the already prepared food for quick and easy meals. Take a look below to see how Amanda combined the food to make healthy, well rounded meals. She eats at the 1,500–1,800 calorie level, but, depending on your goals, you might need to eat more or less food. Follow your portion plan to map out how you should fill your plate. A good rule of thumb for each meal is to have at least two Green containers, one to two Red containers, and one to two Yellow containers.
Here is what Amanda’s buffet-style meal prep looks like this week:
Here’s what Amanda is eating:
Raw baby carrots
Cucumber and bell pepper salad
Roasted broccoli and mushrooms
Sautéed red cabbage
Fruits (not shown)
Baked sweet potatoes
Healthy fats (not shown)
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing
Low-sodium chicken broth
With buffet-style meal prep, every meal can have variety. Mix and match the foods you want, when you want them. Here’s how Amanda combined these prepared foods into two different lunches:
Meal 1: ¾ cup shredded chicken, 1 cup cauliflower, ½ cup broccoli and mushrooms, ½ cup cabbage, 1 large sweet potato (Portion Fix containers: 2+ Green, 1 Red, 2 Yellow, 1 tsp.)
Meal 2: ¾ cup shredded chicken, ½ cup broccoli and mushrooms, ¼ cup cabbage, ½ cup cucumber, ½ cup bell pepper, ½ cup quinoa (Portion Fix containers = 2+ Green, 1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 tsp.)
Follow these simple steps to make Amanda’s buffet-style meal prep:
1. First, bake the sweet potatoes. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Scrub four sweet potatoes to clean them, then place on a large baking sheet. Cook the sweet potatoes for about 35 to 40 minutes, or until they pierce easily with a fork. When cool, place sweet potatoes in the refrigerator.
2. Next, roast the cauliflower, broccoli, and mushrooms. Turn your oven up to 450°F. On a large baking sheet, add 10 ounces sliced mushrooms and 12 ounces chopped broccoli. On another baking sheet, add 12 ounces chopped cauliflower. Drizzle with two teaspoons olive oil, and place in oven for about 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let them cool.
3. Chop half a head of red cabbage. In a medium pan, heat two teaspoons olive oil. Add the chopped cabbage and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until soft.
4. Place eight eggs in a saucepan, and add enough water to cover the eggs by one inch. Bring water just to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand for 12 minutes. While eggs cook, prepare a large bowl of ice water. Carefully remove the eggs from the hot water with a slotted spoon and transfer to the ice water. Place in refrigerator.
5. A rice cooker will make quick work of cooking the quinoa, and will shut off automatically when it’s done. If you do not have a rice cooker, it can be cooked on a stovetop. Cook one cup of quinoa in two cups water and then set aside to cool.
6. To make the chicken, place a 16-ounce chicken breast into a pan with one cup low-sodium chicken broth (just enough to cover the chicken). Add two teaspoons of olive oil and desired seasonings. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15–20 minutes. Cover and turn heat down to low. Continue to cook for another 45–75 minutes or until chicken shreds when you use a fork. Use two forks to pull the chicken apart. It’s easier to shred the chicken while it’s still warm.
7. Prepare the oatmeal jars. Set out five pint-sized mason jars. To each, add ¼ cup oats, one scoop Shakeology, 1 cup fruit, and water to mix. Cover and place in refrigerator.
8. Slice two cucumbers and two bell peppers. Drizzle with 1 or 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or sesame oil, mix, and refrigerate.
9. Cut a stalk of celery into smaller pieces and put into a container.