If you are relatively new to the Paleo diet, you might find that the moments when you aren’t sure what to eat and haven’t thought much about your meals for the week are when you are more likely to go off plan. This is completely normal, and a result of lack of planning. The best thing you can do is to meal prep and plan for the meals ahead of time. This blog post will show you how to do just that.
Basic Meal Prep Tips on Paleo
If you are new to meal planning, you might want to start with a few tips. Here are some suggestions to follow when prepping and planning your paleo meals.
Putting Meat in a Pan
One way you can prep and plan your paleo meals is by making three types of meat or meat seasoned three different ways in a single pan. This is done by using aluminum foil dividers that will keep each meat separately. For example, if you want chicken for your meals, but don’t want the same chicken each time, you can separate them in a big casserole dish with foil. One can be marinated in a honey mustard sauce, another can just be regular baked chicken, and the third can have a spicy sriracha sauce. Another option is to have two types of chicken and pork chops in the third section.
Creating Your List
It is very easy go to the grocery store and get a lot of ingredients you don’t need. One of the benefits of meal planning in the first place is to avoid doing this. Instead, you will first make a list of food or ingredients your currently have and use them for meal ideas. You can then take that list and finish it with other meal ideas, thinking about ingredients you can use for multiple meals and snacks. Once that is done, make a grocery list for ingredients you need only for what is on your meal list, then make sure you bring it to the supermarket with you. Use only this list when you go.
When it comes to prepping, you don’t actually have to make all your meals ahead of time and freeze them. Not everyone has the time to bake a week’s worth of dinners, and you might not have enough room in your freezer. But you can at least get all your veggies ready, since these tend to take a lot of time to prepare for meals. Chops and slice veggies as needed, including spiralizing some to use as pasta.
Prepping Your Veggies
Part of meal planning includes the prep work. This doesn’t always mean cooking meals and freezing them, but just getting certain components ready. One way to be ready for the meals is to slice and chop your veggies. Here are some veggies that are good to prep for paleo meal planning.
Root vegetables – Carrots, sweet potatoes, radishes, and beets
Leafy greens – Chop up kale, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, and bok choy
Squash – Summer and winter squash, including zucchini, buttercup, spaghetti, acorn, butternut, yellow, and pumpkin
Other Veggies – Celery, bell peppers, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, and onions
Meal Prepping for School and Work Lunches
Part of prepping and meal planning for your paleo diet is deciding what to pack in your kids’ lunches. In some lunches, you will use dinner leftovers, which makes it easy. However, there are days when you need to do just a little more planning. Here are some tips for prepping their lunches.
Get Your Chopping Done
One easy way to prep their school lunches is to make sure all ingredients are chopped or sliced beforehand. If you have a rotisserie chicken you plan on breaking apart and including some in their lunch, do this before you put the lunches together. You should also have a day where you chop all vegetables, get sauces and dips ready, and prep anything else you have. This makes it a lot easier when you finally get to actually putting the lunches together.
Add Room Temperature Ingredients to the Containers
You might not want to have the containers in the refrigerator all week, depending on what you include, but you can definitely add room temperature items beforehand. If you have any ingredients for their lunches that can be left out, go ahead and add them to the lunch boxes, so that when it’s time to finish packing them, you just have meat and some veggies left. For example, any nuts, seeds, and certain fruits or vegetables don’t need to be cold, so go ahead and add them now.
Set Up an Assembly Line
When you are ready with all the ingredients to put your kids lunches together, it is easier to set up an assembly line. You can also have your kids help, turning it into a fun family activity. Have different food categories in different piles, such as meat and seafood or protein source, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats. You can then make sure the meals are well balanced and also get some help putting the lunches together. It is an easy way to prep and pack the lunches in as little time as possible.