7 Clean Eating Meal-Prep Recipes for the Work Week
The work week is consistently busy and full of commuting. Between getting the kids to soccer practice, attending dance recitals, grocery shopping, and cleaning the house that never seems to actually get clean, cooking is something that most people just don’t seem to have enough time for. That’s where clean eating meal-prep recipes come in.
This lack of time due to hectic schedules is one of the reasons I used to find it hard to lose weight. I was so constantly overwhelmed with everything else life was throwing at me, that I just didn’t have enough time in the day to cook. My breakfasts consisted of granola bars on good days (and the granola bars I was eating weren’t even healthy like I thought they were), but on bad days, they consisted of whatever was in the break room at work–usually bagels or donuts (which definitely did not help me achieve my fitness goals). My lunches were usually nonexistent because I didn’t have enough time to pack anything and I didn’t want to spend money by buying food. By the time dinner came, I was starving and, of course, overate.
And, the worst part was, I wasn’t even overeating healthy foods for dinner. I was overeating frozen dishes that were way too high in sodium and fats despite the packaging that had the word “healthy” all over it. I was overeating pasta that was also way too high in sodium despite the fact that the packaging pledged to be “good tasting and good for you”. And, on bad nights, I was overeating fast food meals because on the drive home from work, my stomach was just growling out of control. I was overeating all of the wrong things–even the things that I thought were the right things.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but by not cooking my own meals, I was really hurting my mind and my body. My mind was definitely negatively affected when I looked in the mirror and didn’t like the bloated woman I saw looking back at me. My body was definitely negatively affected when my energy levels were decreasing, when I was having stomach pains after not eating enough throughout the day and then gobbling down dinners, and when my muscles were giving up on me much quicker during my workouts.
While eating out every once in a while isn’t going to ruin all of your hard work, making your own meals and sticking to them during the week will ease your mind when you do want to go out to eat at a restaurant with the family on the weekends.
From making my own meals, I actually learned a lot about the nutritional values of food. I now know how many calories, how many grams of fat, how much protein, etc. are in each meal. So, when I go out to eat now, I have a better understanding of what each meal on the menu might look like when converted into calories, fat, protein, etc.
Overall, I now meal prep because it makes me feel 10x better while also relieving the stress of trying to make dinner during the week days when I do have a bit of extra time. I have much more energy and my stomach is no longer crying for food during my car rides home. And on that rare occasion that it is growling on the way home, I don’t feel any urge to pull up to a drive-thru because I know that I have dinner waiting for me at home.
You can feel as great as I feel and you can help the whole family feel just as good too! All you have to do is meal prep for the work week! Whether its for you or the kids, lunch or dinner, these seven meal-prep recipes for the work week will decrease stress levels and increase weight loss and quality time to spend with your family.
1. Individual Sweet & Sour Chicken Meal Prep
Aside from fast food, I would often stop for some yummy Asian cuisine take-out on my way home from work before I started meal-prepping. Despite the fact that I do find the food yummy, the meals were definitely not good for me or my weight loss journey.
This recipe on the other hand, combines red pepper, broccoli, and zucchini for an Asian flavored chicken meal-prep. In other words, this recipe equals the same yummy flavors that you get out of restaurant Asian cuisine without all of the unnatural ingredients and high number of calories.
By following this recipe, you should also know that you won’t just get one serving. You will get five! So, if you have five people or less in your home, you can have Wednesday’s dinner ready on Sunday! I don’t know about you, but coming home to a family dinner of sweet pineapple flavored chicken after a long Wednesday at work sounds absolutely amazing.
2. Workout Lasagna Individual Meal Prep
Living a fitness lifestyle? Pair that lifestyle with our workout lasagna individual meal prep recipe.
Take it from somebody who grew up in a household where lasagna was on the table at least once a week: this recipe doesn’t even taste like it doesn’t have all of the carbs that are in normal lasagna. Instead, it actually tastes better than normal lasagna!
This recipe calls for ingredients such as sweet potatoes, turkey sausage, mushrooms, tomatoes, and all of the usual glorious cheeses. Such ingredients allow a serving of this meal prep to have:
- Less than 500 calories
- 37 grams of protein
- 11 grams of sugar
- 6 grams of fiber
That’s a whole lot better than your average lasagna recipe and a whole lot tastier too! I will never get over the fact that this recipe provides 37 grams of protein per serving. It will not only fill you up, but for those of you who have kids (you know, the ones whose soccer practices and dance recitals you’re always going to), this meal prep will fill them up with tons of nutrients too!
3. Spinach & Bean Burrito Wrap
Go south of the border with this meal-prep lunch recipe! Full of hearty ingredients such as black beans and rice, this vegetarian friendly recipe can last all week long!
However, in my house, these Mexican classics are gone by Tuesday night. They’re the perfect Taco Tuesday meal prep. I’ll even let you in on a little secret: since this recipe yields 6 servings and I don’t have that many people in my household, I’ll take one of the burritos to work for lunch on a Tuesday, and then come home for dinner to eat another one! They’re just THAT good!
One tip I have for you when making this meal prep recipe is to keep the spinach separate until you’re ready to enjoy the meal. That way, it ensures that you will only have the freshest spinach to mix with all of the other fresh, filling, and flavorful ingredients!
4. Turkey and Cucumber Salad Wrap
Bring English tea time to the states for your lunch meal-prep! Our turkey and cucumber salad wrap recipe, is filling yet light and incredibly easy to put together.
This recipe is great for everyone, but I’ve found it to be a super big hit for those people who just aren’t salad people. I am a huge fan of eating salads for lunch but sometimes, I’m even one of those people. Sometimes, you just want some bread–some extra carbs to keep you extra energized and full until dinner comes around.
For me, when I’m having one of those days, this recipe is a go-to. Although every day is not one of those days, I do have one of them at least once a week so meal prepping this wrap never goes to waste. Sometimes, somebody else in the house actually gets to mine before I do! It’s a good thing this recipe yields four servings because I end up just taking theirs!
Deliciously healthy lunch-time wraps are just something not to be messed with.
Video: MEAL PREP | 9 ingredients for flexible, healthy recipes
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