Clean Eating Weekly Meal Plan & Meal Prep Week 3 – a stress-free clean eating menu and meal prep plan for busy households. Simple, family friendly, and free of processed food! Free printable included.
Happy Weekend! Welcome to Week 3 of my Weekly Newsletter and Meal Plan Series! If you missed the last couple of posts, here’s the background…If I know one thing for sure, it’s that life includes too many daily stressors to spend time worrying about what to make for dinner every night! You guys asked for more clean eating meal prep tips so here I’ll be sharing my favorite strategies and personal favorites for keeping meal time chaos free. I’ve been planning and prepping my menus on a weekly basis for some time now and it’s been a total game changer. With a little planning and a little time (2 hours max!) invested into meal prepping, meal time stress can officially be crossed off that list!
I think we all know the benefits of meal planning, but sometimes struggle to make it a reality. It can seem overwhelming and not worth the effort. I would agree that it sounds like a great idea but isn’t always easy to put into practice! For many years, I flew by the seat of my pants when it came to dinner meal time and relied on convenient packaged foods to keep things easy. After discovering Whole30, I made the decision to switch my family to a clean eating lifestyle, but it definitely didn’t happen overnight. Over time, I developed a meal plan formula and strategy that is all about keeping it simple, family friendly, and free of processed foods. It saves my family time and money, and with practice and repetition, can become a healthy habit for even the most reluctant busy mom!
Benefits of Meal Planning and Meal Prepping
- Huge time saver – although it may feel like you’re giving more time towards planning and prepping ingredients, it saves in the long run!
- Budget saver – meal planning and prepping cuts down on food waste and the temptation to eat out. And those pre-packaged convenience foods? Not cheap!
- No more listening to “what’s for dinner?” 18 times a day. The menu is planned and posted and everyone knows what to expect.
- Less stress – making breakfast, packing lunches, figuring out a dinner plan, etc. Just an overall easier, more organized and simplified approach!
Meal Planning Formula
Here’s my basic Meal Planning formula for a family of 4, which is totally open to interpretation and can easily be modified to meet your own preferences, tastes, and time constraints. To keep my family on track with a clean eating lifestyle, my menus are for the most part also Whole30/Paleo compliant and gluten free or can be modified easily.
- Plan 4-5 dinner meals for the week. I do this on Friday or Saturday for the week ahead so there is time to grocery shop and meal prep. For me, 4 planned meals is plenty. I don’t like to overwhelm myself and prefer to have a little wiggle room in the plan. The weekends are for leftovers, eating out, and just plain winging it. When I’m planning weeknight meals, I take into account our family schedule, weeknight events, and how much time is available for cooking on any given night. I also do a check of my freezer, fridge, and pantry to see what can or needs to be used.
- Make a Meal Prep list of at least 1-2 breakfast items, 1-2 proteins (this is my favorite source of organic and grass fed meats) for lunches, 2-3 sides/snacks, and any extras needed for meals. This takes the guesswork out of breakfast and lunch, and cuts down on the urge to eat out or grab something unhealthy.
- Make a shopping list of everything needed for planned dinners and meal prep items. Don’t forget to double check your current stash first!
- Do your grocery shopping and spend a couple of hours on Saturday or Sunday tackling the meal prep list. Be sure to multi-task while meal prepping! While one thing is cooking, work on other items on your list.
- Bonus tip: I stay stocked up on pantry essentials with Thrive Market. Once or twice a month, I take inventory and stock up on organic tomatoes, beans, broth, baked goods ingredients, spices, and a few convenience snacks.
Week of April 21 Clean Eating Meal Plan
Sunday: Easter Dinner
Tuesday: Taco Night – Instant Pot Taco Meat
Wednesday: Instant Pot Chicken Cacciatore
Thursday: Burgers & Baked Rosemary Curly Fries
Meal Prep Plan
Breakfast: Instant Pot Hard Boiled Eggs
Protein: Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
Sides: Salad Greens
Sides: Veggie Tray (cut veggies of choice and replenish mid-week)
Extras: Italian Seasoning Blend, Blackened Seasoning Blend
Extras: Dinner prep – chop bell peppers
Let’s Get Started!
Make your own Meal Plan! Click here for the blank printable template