I Meal Prepped for a Month & Here's What Happened

With the new year comes new-found gym memberships, meal prep plans and the motivation to start the common resolution of a healthier lifestyle. This is something I set out to do pretty much every year. And like clockwork, by the second week of the month, I’m ruining my diet and on the couch eating ice cream.

I’ve always been able to work out regularly, but eating healthy has been a struggle for me for as long as I can remember. I would stick with a diet for a week and then give up the moment anyone asked me to eat out. This year, however, I was determined to change the cycle of breaking the promise I made to myself. I decided to be consistent with not only working out but eating healthier as well.

I’ve always had a negative perception of meal prepping. I was under the impression that meals were miserable to eat and they'd be too time-consuming to prepare. Over the past month, I’ve come to learn that this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Here are some of the meals I’ve been preparing weekly and how I feel one month later:

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Breakfast

I don’t meal prep my breakfast for the week because it’s just as easy to make the morning of. Here are some of the breakfast meals I’ve been eating that are healthy and easy to make:

Oatmeal with fruit

  • Plain instant oatmeal
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Fruit (Blueberries or strawberries)

Scrambled eggs

  • Two eggs whites
  • One egg
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cherry tomatoes

Lunch

For lunch, I’ve been incorporating higher carb meals to give me more energy throughout the day. Over the past four weeks, I’ve made different variations of these two meals which both last about four to five days.

Pesto chicken pasta

  • Two chicken breasts
  • One box of whole wheat pasta
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Steamed green beans
  • Kale
  • One tablespoon of pesto sauce

Garlic-lemon chicken with zoodles or pasta

  • Four zucchini spiralized into noodles or one box of whole wheat pasta
  • Two chicken breasts
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Four cloves of garlic
  • Two squeezed lemons

Dinner

For my dinners, I’ve steered away from the carbs and focused on added high protein and vegetables into my meals. Both of these recipes make about four to five days worth of meals. 

Chicken and veggies

  • Four seasoned chicken breasts
  • Half of a sweet potato
  • One squash
  • Two carrots
  • One head of broccoli
  • Add olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Bake all on a non-stick pan at 425 degrees for 25 minutes
  • Slice chicken into strips and divide vegetables into containers

Shrimp green bean salad

  • One bag of frozen shrimp
  • Steamed green beans
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • One tablespoon of pesto sauce
  • Add olive oil and cook all in a non-stick skillet pan

One month later:

I began this process of meal prepping not so much to lose a lot of weight, but more so to simply just feel better. Prior to this new year, I had been eating anything and everything I wanted without considering the nutritional consequences it was having on my body and my health. I started the year weighing about 125 pounds and now, one full month later, I weigh 119.

Although this is not a significant difference, I’ve truly seen a change in how I look and an even bigger change in how I feel. I find myself in a better mood and having much more energy throughout the day. Along with how it’s made me feel, it’s also been such a time saver for me and my busy day-to-day schedule. It takes me about an hour to two hours to prepare my weekly meals every Sunday, which can be time-consuming. But the amount of time it saves me during the week to just grab a container and go is incomparable.

This change in my diet has been such a positive experience, but weight is just a number. How you feel is so much more important than the number on the scale. Since I’ve started incorporating healthy meals into my everyday routine, I’ve seen a physical and mental difference. But this doesn’t mean I wasn’t still happy and considered a healthy weight before.

Clean eating and exercising play the biggest role in being healthy. But to achieve this, you have to find what foods and plans work best for you. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have some of the “bad” foods I love to eat over this past month every now and then. It’s OK to have that slice of pizza or that burger. Finding a balance and learning how to portion your meals, good or bad, is the key to seeing progress. Not allowing yourself to have a treat when you want is an awful way to go about life. It’s all about eating more good than bad and finding a consistent exercise plan to follow.

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Moving forward, meal prepping is definitely something I’ll be incorporating into my everyday life. I’m so excited to continue learning about nutrition and finding what balance works best for me and my health along the way!

Images: 1, 2, 3–5 taken by author, 6