Meal Plans

Body Beast Meal Prep for the 2,200–2,399 Calorie Level

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If you’ve just completed Body Beast’s Bulk and Build phases and you followed the meal plan correctly, you should be seeing some pretty significant mass gains.

Now it’s time the get shredded with the Beast Phase of the program, where the goal is to reduce body-fat percentage while maintaining muscle mass.

This is achieved by drastically reducing the amount of carbs and increasing the percentage of your calories coming from protein sources.

 

Why Do I Have to Cut Carbs?

With this plan, you’re still allowed some carbs and fruit to maintain those gains you’ve earned from months of intense training.

However, the reduction of carbs and proper meal timing are necessary if you want to look shredded and really show off your results. This is because your body will not burn stored fat if there’s a constant supply of glucose in the blood to burn for energy, so you must make sure you eat at the right time for maximum results.

This phase of the diet plan may take a bit more discipline, since you’re consuming less calories and carbs, but discipline is part of creating healthy habits.

So, a quick tip for cutting is to time your carbs strategically: Avoid eating your carbs (yellow containers) before your workout.

Try to stick with protein (red), vegetables (green), and healthy fats (blue) for your pre-workout meals and snacks. This ensures that there isn’t excess sugar in your blood so you maximize fat loss during your workout.

 

Tips to Save Time During Meal Prep

  1. Write out your plan for the week before you go to the store to save you time and money. (The grocery list for this meal prep is below.)
  2. Cook everything in bulk. (I try to bake as many things as possible at the same time.)
  3. Make sure you have enough containers and refrigerator space to accommodate such a big prep. You can’t go wrong with reusable, BPA-free meal prep containers and mason jars as storage containers.

You’ll need to fill the following portion-control containers every day during this phase of the Body Beast diet, but adjust the numbers to fit your caloric needs.

(Not sure what level you should be at? Take a look at your printed copy of the Book of Beast or in the Body Beast program materials on Beachbody On Demand.)

  • 4 Green containers (vegetables)
  • 3 Purple containers (fruit)
  • 9 Red containers (protein)
  • 3 Yellow containers (carbs)
  • 1 Blue container (healthy fats)
  • 1 Orange container (seeds/dressings)
  • 2 tsp. (teaspoons of oil)

 

Beast (Cutting) Phase Meal Plan Example Day

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Breakfast (½ Green, 1 Purple, 2 Red, 1 Blue, ½ tsp. Oil):

  • 4 slices turkey bacon
  • 8 egg whites
  • ½ cup spinach
  • 1 cup grapefruit
  • 12 almonds
  • ½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Snack 1 (1 Purple, 1 Yellow , ½ Orange):

  • ½ cup cooked steel-cut oats
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
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Lunch (1½ Green, 1½ Red, 1 Yellow, ½ Orange, ½ tsp. Oil):

  • 6 oz. cubed chicken
  • 1 cup spinach
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup black beans
  • ½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp salad dressing

Snack 2 (1 Purple, 1 Red):

  • 1 serving Shakeology
  • 1 cup strawberries

Snack 3 (1 Red, ½ tsp. Oil):

  • 2 whole hard- or medium-boiled eggs

Dinner (1 Green, 1½ Red, 1 Yellow, ½ tsp. Oil):

  • 6 oz. beef or bison steak
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup zucchini or broccoli
  • ½ tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
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Snack 4 (1 Red):

  • Protein shake

Snack 5 (1 Green, 1 Red, 1 Free Food):

  • ¾ Greek Yogurt, plain unsweetened 2%
  • 1 cup red bell pepper
  • Cinnamon

 

Quick Tips for Preparing Food

Chicken Breast

Season the chicken breast, place in a pan and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees Farenheit.

Bison or Beef Steak

Broil: Place in a pan under the broiler for 7 to 9 minutes on each side.

Grill: Cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes, then turn steak over and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes for medium-rare, or 5 to 7 minutes for medium.

Vegetables

When sautéing, cook on low to medium heat so as to not cook nutrients out of vegetables. For maximum nutrients, steam your veggies.

 

Beast Phase Grocery List

  • 20 slices turkey bacon
  • 23 oz. steak (bison or beef)
  • 23 oz. chicken breast
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 40 egg whites
  • 5 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 5 cups grapefruit
  • 5 large tomatoes
  • 5 cups blackberries
  • Spinach, enough to make 5 cups of lightly sautéed spinach
  • 3 cups zucchini
  • 2 cups broccoli
  • 5 large red bell peppers
  • 1 pack steel-cut oatmeal
  • 2.5 cups black beans
  • 1 bag chia seeds
  • 36 almonds
  • 16 cashews
  • 1 pack quinoa
  • 1 bottle olive oil

How to Read a Nutrition Facts Label

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The nutrition facts label is the fastest place to look to learn how many calories and what nutrients are in a single serving of food. The label includes macronutrient (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) amounts as well as micronutrient amounts of certain vitamins and minerals. Reading the nutrition facts label can also tell you how much sodium, trans fat, and sugar is in a food product.

But food labels can also be confusing if you’re not used to reading them. In this article, we’ll break down just how to read food labels so you know how to understand the information provided the next time you go to the grocery store.

Why is it important to read food labels?

“Typically you can’t know much about a product by simply looking at the package itself,” says Keri Gans, R.D.N., C.D.N., author of The Small Change Diet. “However, when you read the nutrition label, important information is revealed.”

Think about it this way: The front of a package is marketing. The words on the front: “healthy,” “fat free,” “naturally sweetened” sound good, but the real information is on the back or on the side. You know not to judge a book by its cover, so don’t judge a cereal box that way either.

What Foods Require a Food Label?

The FDA regulates most food labels, except for meat and poultry which are regulated by the USDA and the FSIS. According to the FDA, a nutrition facts label is voluntary for “raw produce (fruits and vegetables) and fish.” However, a food label is required on the majority of food packages, with a few exceptions, such as “foods that provide no significant nutrition such as instant coffee and most spices.” Beer, wine, and alcoholic spirits are also not currently required to have nutrition facts labels, though this law may be changing soon.

The nutrition facts labels are in the process of being updated. Serving sizes will be adjusted to reflect more typical eating habits, the required vitamin list is changing, calories from fat is going away, and added sugars will be called out. All changes must be rolled out by the end of July 2018 (July 2019 for small companies).

How to Read a Nutrition Facts Label

There are many pieces of information contained within the nutrition facts label. Let’s break them down.

Ingredients
Though this information is listed at the bottom of the nutrition label, it’s the best place to start. Reading it first might even save you time, because depending on what ingredients are included, you might not want to bother reading the rest of the label.

The ingredient list is listed in descending order by weight. Also, if you see a group of ingredients listed together in the ingredients list, for instance, if a food has a proprietary blend, the ingredients of the blend are listed in descending order by weight for that group.

What to look for:

  • Short Ingredient Lists — “Ideally the shorter the list, the better,” says Gans. However, don’t toss a food product because its ingredient list is long as some products are packed with a lot of wholesome ingredients. But if you’re reading an ingredient list for bread and it has 30 ingredients, consider putting it back on the shelf.
  • Recognizable ingredients  If you are familiar with all of the ingredients on a list — and they’re all healthy — that’s great. But Gans says, “just because you don’t recognize an ingredient doesn’t mean it should be avoided.” For instance, absorbic acid might sound scary, but it’s actually just vitamin C.
  • Sugars — Sugar is a recognizable ingredient, but it’s one to be mindful of and until the new nutrition facts labels that call out added sugar are fully rolled out, the ingredient list is more revealing. That’s because sometimes the sugar in a food product is naturally occurring, such as with dairy and fruit. As an example, 1 cup of strawberries has 7 grams of sugar, but also has 2.9 grams of fiber, and lots of vitamin C.

 

Serving size
After you read the ingredients, look at the serving size. The numbers on the label are for one serving. It’s important to look to see how large a serving size is, as often there are multiple servings per container. A bag of chips might contain upwards of 11 servings whereas most sodas and sports drinks contain two or two and-a-half servings per bottle.

When the nutrition facts labels are updated, serving sizes will be brought into line with eating habits. After the revamp, the numbers on food labels for 12- and 20-ounces sodas, for example, will be calculated as if they are one serving size. (Serving size is not indicative of healthy portion size.)

 

Calories
The number of calories listed is the number of calories per serving. Going back to the chip example, 150 calories for a serving of chips might not sound terrible, but it’s important to be honest about how many chips you’re really going to eat because there’s a mere 11 chips in one serving.

What does calories from fat mean? Calories from fat will tell you how much fat makes up the total calories. It’s also going the way of the dodo when the nutrition facts label is revamped. Alix Turoff, R.D. and nutritionist at Top Balance Nutrition in New York City points out that “This number is sort of leftover from the ‘fat is bad’ craze,” points out. Good news for foods like guacamole, which gets 75 to 80 percent of its calories from the heart-healthy fat found in avocados.

Fat
“Fat keeps us full and makes food more satisfying,” says Paige Bente, R.D. and Manager of Nutrition at Beachbody. That’s because fat digests more slowly than carbs or protein and as a result, helps you feel fuller for longer. Also, when you eat foods high in fat, the body signals the brain that it’s a satisfying food and that you don’t need to eat that much of it. Unfortunately, the salt and sugar we add to these foods can override these signals.

“Total fat tells us how many grams of any kind of fat are in this food — both the good and the bad,” Turoff explains. More important than the whole number is the breakdown.

Bente recommends getting roughly 30% of your daily calories from fat. That equates to 40 grams on a 1,200 calorie diet, and 60 grams on a 1,800 calorie diet.

Some examples foods high in healthy fats include: Avocados, olives, unsalted nuts, seeds, olive oil, and cold water fish.

What to look for:

  • Trans fat  This number should be at zero since trans fat can lower good cholesterol and raise bad cholesterol, says Gans.
  • Saturated fat — Saturated fats come primarily from animal sources including meat and dairy. The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting this to no more than 10% of your daily calorie intake. To determine the percentage of saturated fat in your diet, multiply the gram number by 9 and divide by your total calories consumed.

Cholesterol
Cholesterol helps the body form cell membranes, acts as a building block for many hormones, and helps the body create acids that break down dietary fat. It has a bad rep because when there’s too much of it in the bloodstream it can build up on arterial walls and restrict blood flow.

Since the nutrition facts label was last designed, research has revealed that dietary cholesterol (the cholesterol in the food we eat) may not necessarily raise blood cholesterol levels, whereas refined sugar and trans fat may. Aim for less than 300 mg/day.

Sodium
USDA guidelines recommend consuming less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day — but those numbers add up quick. Processed foods like canned soups and frozen entrees are generally high in salt as are most restaurant dishes.

Sodium is important for the body because it helps the body maintain a healthy cellular fluid balance and is critical for muscle contraction. However, it’s very easy to consume too much. One trick Bente likes to use is to “make sure the milligrams of sodium are less than or equal to the number of calories in one serving.” In other words, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, this approach will help you consume 2,000 mg (or less) of sodium.

Total Carbohydrates
On the nutrition facts label, Total Carbohydrates includes dietary fiber, sugar, complex carbohydrates, and non-digestible additives. If you look below Total Carbohydrates, you’ll see Dietary Fiber and Sugars are broken out (and on the new food label, Added Sugars will be as well). If you’re looking for net carbs, just subtract the fiber from the Total Carbohydrates.

What to look for:

  • Dietary Fiber  Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet. “Fiber keeps us full, helps to slow the breakdown of carbs and keeps our blood sugar stable, helps us go to the bathroom, and helps bring cholesterol down,” says Turoff.
  • Sugars  Currently, the number includes naturally-occurring sugars found in fruit, vegetables, and dairy as well as added sugars like high-fructose corn syrup. Until the new food labels are rolled out, look at the ingredients to get a sense of how much added sugar is in a product (if it’s one of the first few ingredients or multiple types of sugars are listed, it’s likely high in added sugar) and try to reduce your intake as much as possible. The USDA guidelines recommend consuming “less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars.” To determine the percentage of sugar in your diet, multiply the gram number by 4 and divide by your total calories consumed.

Protein
Protein helps support a healthy weight, build muscle, and stave off hunger. Every meal should have adequate protein, but that doesn’t necessarily mean every food you eat needs to contain protein. The RDA for protein is .36 grams per pound, which is approximately 54 grams of protein for a 150-pound person. If you’re exercising regularly, aim for roughly .68 grams of protein per pound (that’s 102 grams if you’re 150 pounds). However, it’s important to note that your body can only utilize about 30 grams of protein in one sitting… just another reason to eat small meals throughout the day.

Vitamins
The current nutrition label lists the percentage of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron within a food product. On the new label, vitamins A and C are no longer required; instead, vitamin D and potassium will be listed alongside calcium and iron, and they’ll be displayed as amounts (micrograms or milligrams) as well as percentages.

 

Fun Facts About the Nutrition Facts Label:

  • Though it might seem like it’s been around forever, companies began printing the Nutrition Facts Label as we know it since 1994.
  • The Nutrition Facts label uses Helvetica Black and Franklin Gothic Heavy fonts.
  • You might not be doing quite as thorough of a read as you think. Through eye-tracking tests, a study from the University of Minnesota found most people only look at calorie count 9% of the time and a mere 1% glance at total fat, trans fat, sugar, or serving size.

Meal Prep for Bulking

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If you’re bodybuilding, or looking for a healthy bulking diet that you can use to pack on muscle, this bodybuilding meal prep can help you achieve your goals. Especially, if you use it in conjunction with the workouts like those found in Sagi Kalev’s weight lifting program Body Beast on Beachbody On Demand.

This easy meal prep is meant for bodybuilders or those looking to bulk up. When you’re in the Bulk & Build phase of Body Beast, your goal is to have a caloric surplus. This means you need to consume more energy than you exert and give your body enough carbs to ensure you have enough energy to both fuel your workouts and replenish the glycogen you torched during it.

For this reason, you may find you’re eating more carbs than you’re probably used to, but, then again, with Body Beast, you’ll probably also be training harder than you’re used to. On the bodybuilding meal plan below, you’ll be eating between 2600 and 2799 calories.

This meal prep is easy as we’ve laid out all your meal prep portions, but this bulking meal plan does require some organization. And, it may take you a few times until you can make it as quickly as efficiently as possible.

 

A few tips to help you save time during your weekly meal prep:
1. Write out your plan for the week before you go to the store (you can see the grocery list for this meal prep below). This will save you time and money.
2. Second, cook everything in bulk (I try to bake as many things as possible at the same time).
3. Make sure you have enough containers and refrigerator space to accommodate such a big prep. You can’t go wrong with reusable, BPA-free meal prep containers and mason jars as storage containers.

 

You’ll need to fill the following portion control containers every day during this phase of the Body Beast diet, but adjust the numbers to fit your caloric needs.
Not sure what level you should be at? Take a look within your printed copy of the Book of Beast or within the Body Beast program materials on Beachbody On Demand.
• 5 Green Containers (Vegetables)
• 7 Purple Containers (Fruit)
• 5 Red Containers (Protein)
• 10 Yellow Containers (Carbs)
• 1 Blue Container (Healthy Fats)
• 1 Orange (Seeds/Dressings)
• 5 tsp. (teaspoons)

 

Bulking Meal Plan Example Day

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To make this meal plan very easy to make and follow — which is helpful if you’re new to cooking or to prepping this much food — the meals are the same every day. But, it’s OK to adjust it to fit your tastes. As long as your portion control containers match what’s above and the foods are permitted on the Body Beast diet, go ahead and swap recipes and foods.

Breakfast (1 Red, 1 Purple, 1 Blue, 1/2 tsp.):
1 whole egg + 4 large egg whites
8 cashews
1 cup grapefruit
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (for cooking eggs)
Apple cider vinegar (to aid digestion)

Snack 1 (1 Red, 1 Purple, 2 tsp.):
Shakeology blended with strawberries and 2 tsp. peanut butter

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Lunch (1 Red, 2 Yellow, 2 Green, 1/2 tsp.):
3/4 cup chicken
1 cup brown rice
1 cup sautéed or steamed spinach
1 cup cauliflower

Snack 2 (2 Yellow, 1 Purple, 1 Orange): 
1 cup cooked steel cut oatmeal
1 cup blueberries
4 tsp. chia seeds

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Snack 3 (2 Yellow, 2 Green, 1 Purple):
1 cup pasta
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup tomatoes
1 cup mushrooms

Pre-Workout: Beachbody Performance Energize

During Workout: Beachbody Performance Hydrate

Post-Workout (1 Purple, 2 tsp.):
Beachbody Performance Recovery and Beachbody Performance Creatine blended with 2 tsp. almond butter
1 cup pineapple

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Dinner (1 Red, 2 Yellow, 1 Green):
3/4 cup beef or bison
1 cup sweet potatoes or yams
10 large asparagus spears or green beans

Snack 3 (2 Yellow):
6 cups popcorn, air-popped

Snack 4 (1 Red, 2 Purple):
3/4 cup cottage cheese
1 cup banana

Before Bed: Beachbody Performance Recharge

 

Cooking Tips for This Bulking Meal Prep

Don’t be deterred if you have little to no experience in the kitchen. While the bulking meal plan outlined below may have a lot of food, the preparation is far from difficult. Below are some quick instructions and tips for cooking the dishes we’ve laid out in this meal plan.

Chicken Breast
After you season the chicken breast, put in pan with aluminum foil cover and bake for 25 min at 425 degrees. Here’s a full step-by-step on how to cook chicken breast you may find helpful.

Bison or Beef Steak
Broiler – Cook for 7-9 minutes on each side
Grill – Cook until golden brown about 4-5 minutes, then turn steak over and cook for another 3-5 minutes for medium rare or 5 to 7 minutes for medium.

Vegetables
When sautéing vegetables, cook them on low to medium heat. To retain the most nutrients, consider steaming them.

 

Body Beast Build & Bulk Grocery List

Vegetables
• 3 cups cauliflower
• 2 cups broccoli
• 5 cups spinach
• 5 large tomatoes
• 5 cups mushrooms
• 5 large sweet potatoes or yams
• 2 bunches asparagus
• 2 cups green beans

Fruit
• 4 large or 5 medium grapefruit
• 5 cups strawberries
• 5 cups blueberries
• 1 large pineapple
• 5 medium bananas

Protein
• 25 eggs (or 5 whole eggs and 20 egg whites)
• 20 oz. chicken breast, boneless, skinless
• 12 oz. steak
• 8 oz. bison
• 32 oz. cottage cheese

Dry Goods
• 1 pound pasta
• Raw cashews
• All-natural peanut butter
• Almond butter
• Chia seeds
• Brown rice
• Steel cut oatmeal
• 40 oz. marinara sauce
• 1 bag popcorn kernels

Pantry
• Extra virgin olive oil
• Apple cider vinegar
• 5 servings Shakeology
• Beachbody Performance – Energize, Hydrate, Creatine, Recover, Recharge

Meal Prep 101: A Beginners Guide to Meal Prep

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What is meal prepping? How does one start? Let’s begin with the basics. This meal prep guide for beginners will help you get a handle on how to begin, how to choose your meals, how to make a meal prep grocery list and much more.

Why Meal Prep?

Be prepared. It’s a slogan that’s stood the test of time because the relationship between looking ahead and successfully meeting one’s goals is undeniable. When it comes to what you eat and how you eat, preparedness matters if you want to reach your health and fitness goals. And, meal prepping helps you do just that!

What is Meal Prep?

Amy Shapiro, M.S., R.D., C.D.N. of realnutritionnyc defines meal prepping as preparing, cooking, or packaging food for three to four days in advance so you know exactly what and how much you are eating.

Having a healthy meal ready to enjoy can help you say no to unhealthy food choices. Tempted to go through the drive-thru on the way home to save time? No point when you’ve already got a delicious meal at home waiting for you! Taco truck pull up in front of the office again? No sweat — you’ve already packed a hearty lunch you’re looking forward to. Someone brought donuts to the office? Solve your snack craving with these meal prep snack ideas.

Research published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine saw a link between the amount of participants spent on home food preparation and the quality of their diet. What’s more, meal prepping can be a great time-saver. “I think of meal prepping as a way to put lunch, breakfast, or even dinner on autopilot for the week,” says Atlanta-based dietitian nutritionist Marisa Moore M.B.A., R.D.N., L.D. “You do all of the major chopping, cooking and cleaning on one day!”

How to Start Meal Prepping

Start Small
If you not calculating calories yet, but just want to make more healthy food choices, start small by meal prepping a few of those!  Planning ahead and prepping your meals can be a great way to make more healthy choices and avoid temptation! If you’re not used to cooking, you might want to begin with just prepping one or two days at a time. “I recommend starting small with meal prep for a couple reasons,” says Moore. “It can take a couple hours to get through the chopping, cooking and cleaning [for a week’s worth of meals]. If you try to do too much too soon, you may be overwhelmed and not want to do it again.” Moore adds that starting small will allow you test one or two recipes to see how you like them and just how much you eat. “You wouldn’t want to make too much food and end up wasting it.”

Stock Up on Meal Prep Essentials
Before we talk about a grocery list, you may need to dust off some other items to set yourself up for meal prep success. Here are some items you might find helpful to pick up if you don’t have them already:

  • Meal Prep Containers
  • Bento-Style Meal Prep Containers
  • Pyrex Meal Prep Containers
  • Mason Jars
  • Chef’s Knife
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Cutting Board
  • Spatula
  • Saute Pan, Small Saucepan, Baking Sheet
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Slow Cooker or Insta Pot (optional)
  • Blender or Food Processor (optional)
  • Portion Control Containers

Pick a Day to Meal Prep
Moore recommends starting on a Sunday or Monday. Sundays often work well since most people have a little extra time. She adds that people also tend to be more motivated to engage in healthy behaviors at the beginning of the week. “Meal prep is a great way to carry that enthusiasm throughout the week with just a little effort upfront,” she says.

Come up with Easy Meals to Prep
Planning your meals for the week doesn’t have to be complicated. At first it might seem a little daunting, but it’s surprising how many different meals you can make with just a limited number of ingredients. Beachbody offers dozens of free meal preps that have already done all the heavy lifting for you! You can see all the different meal preps here.Most are five days long, there are vegetarian, vegan, grain-free options, and even no-cook options. The meal preps are divided by calorie level and most include step-by-step instructions and a grocery list.

If you’re not ready to commit to a full meal prep just yet, keep it simple. LA Life Chef Seth Santoro suggests no-fuss combinations like chicken, brown rice, and broccoli for dinner, and salmon, roasted carrots, and spinach for lunch. To add flavor without calories, stock up on herbs and spices.

Once you have your meal prep recipe list set, check your pantry and fridge for ingredients, make a list, and head to the store!

Prep Staples to Use Later
Once you’re comfortable meal prepping, Seth Santoro recommends preparing staples — like rice, oats, lentils, and yams — in bulk. You’ll return to them again and again and they can take the longest to cook. “You can make a pot of rice, use some now for a meal, refrigerate a portion, and freeze a portion to be used later, he says.

Three More Tips to Make Meal Prep Easy:

  • Include some no-cook recipes in your meal prep. Snacks like Shakeology and foods that don’t require cooking (like salads and overnight oats) can help save time in the prep process. Here’s a popular no-cook meal prep to get you started.
  • When prepping, use the oven to cook several things at once. Veggies can generally roast together, and there’s a reason that sheet pan dinners are becoming so popular.
  • Don’t shy away from the Crockpot or the Insta Pot. The former has long been a meal prep maven’s kitchen staple and the latter is quickly becoming one. They’re time savers – just add ingredients, set, and forget. While it’s doing the work on one recipe, you have time to focus on another.

10 Foods for a Strong Immune System

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The immune system helps you stay healthy, and the food you eat helps to support it. At the end of the day, it is always best to get the molecular building blocks for a strong immune system from the foods you eat, and nature absolutely provides us with many foods that do a great job of helping the immune system when you eat them in their fresh, whole-food form!

This is because they have unique compounds that your immune system uses to help it stay strong. Here are just a few you can add to a healthy, whole-food diet.

10 Foods for a Strong Immune System

Green Tea
L-Theanine and EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) are two potentially immune-activating plant compounds found in green tea. Starting your morning off with a cup of green tea can be a wonderful ritual. Add a little lemon for a bit of vitamin C!

Oranges, Kale and Red Peppers
Vitamin C is an antioxidant found in many plants that helps enhance the function of the immune cells. Per the National Institute of Health, the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is 90mg for men and 75mg for women. 1 large orange contains 97.9 mg, 1 cup of kale contains 80 mg, and 1 medium red bell pepper contains 152 mg. Add any to smoothies, stir-frys, or a salad. Personally, I love to sauté kale with a little coconut oil and Himalayan crystal salt. Delicious!

Blueberries, Blackberries, and Grapes
Anthocyanins (big word, right?) are powerful antioxidants that have been used historically in mixtures and extracts for their immune-supporting properties. Research has been catching up, showing that anthocyanins may exhibit significant health benefits. Anthocyanins are found in many foods, including blueberries, blackberries, and grapes.

All of these are delicious, sweet additions to any smoothie or salad. If they’re not in season when you are trying to find them, look for them in the frozen aisle. I like using frozen fruits and vegetables in my smoothies because they are picked closer to ripeness and packaged shortly after picking. And they won’t go bad before you use them.

Garlic and Onions
Compounds in garlic and onions may help enhance the fighting power of white blood cells.  Garlic has also been shown to be beneficial to the immune system.

In one study, people took either garlic supplements or a placebo during cold season. Those who took garlic had fewer colds than those who took a placebo. And when those taking garlic did get a cold, their symptoms went away faster.

Around the world, people have been adding garlic and onion to hearty winter soups and stews for thousands of years. Perhaps they innately knew these foods helped keep their immune systems strong in the winter. I like to add a clove or two to smoothies (warning, it will have some kick!) or include raw, chopped garlic in any sautés or soups I make during the winter.

Shakeology
I designed Shakeology to give your body a nutritional boost every day when it isn’t possible to get in whole-food meals. This happens to me the most when I travel. Each serving of Shakeology contains the same nutritional value of:

  • 3 cups of romaine lettuce
  • 4 cups of raw mushrooms
  • 1 shot of wheatgrass
  • 1 bowl of exotic fruit
  • 3 raw onions
  • 7 raw carrots
  • 4 cups of non-fat yogurt
  • 4 cups of red radishes
  • 4 cups of raw broccoli
  • 1 cup of peas
  • and 10 cups of cauliflower

Also, Shakeology can help reduce your hunger and food cravings (which will keep you from making poor food choices that may drag your immune system down). And, like those immune-supporting foods, Shakeology also contains antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals to help support a healthy immune system.

When you have a healthy, active lifestyle, reduce your intake of processed foods, sugar, and alcohol, and eat a plant-based diet that includes dark leafy greens, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you’ll be giving your immune system what it needs this winter!

10 Tips to Meal Prep Without Getting Bored

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When you’re trying to eat healthier, meal prep can make it easier to stick to your plan — just cook a big batch of nutritious food at the beginning of the week, and you’ll always have a healthy meal ready when you get hungry.

But eating the same few foods, day after day, can get old pretty quickly. And once you feel like you’re stuck in a salmon-and-steamed-broccoli rut, you may lose interest in meal prep altogether. “If you get bored with what you’re eating, sooner or later you’ll give up,” says Benjamin L. White, PhD, MPH, RD, LDN, a registered dietitian at the weight-loss center Structure House. Here’s how you can keep meal-prep burnout from getting in the way of your healthy eating plan.

10 Tips to Meal Prep Without Getting Bored

1. Think streamlined, not boring.
Okay, this might sound like a “potato, po-tah-to” thing — but while eating the same thing every day may sound dull, the upside is that it can keep you from having to rely on willpower every time you open the fridge. (Social psychologist Roy Baumeister believes willpower is a limited resource and you can suffer “decision fatigue” when you make too many decisions in a day — this is why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same grey tee every day and Warren Buffet eats the same breakfast every morning.)

“Very few people want to spend a lot of time thinking about — or preparing — every meal, every day,” Dr. White says. “Having some simple, quick building blocks for meals can really help.” And just because you cook a pound of chickpeas on Monday, for example, it doesn’t mean you have to eat plain chickpeas every day — you can make chickpea curry on Tuesday, chickpea burgers on Wednesday, homemade hummus on Thursday, and roasted chickpeas on Friday.

2. Add color to your meal prep.

Photo by  @meowmeix

Photo by @meowmeix

Picture a plain chicken breast on a bed of brown rice. Drooling yet? No? We don’t want to hate on beige — plenty of important staples come in blah colors — but let’s be honest, bright colors just make a meal more enticing. (You’ve probably heard the saying “eat the rainbow.”) When you’re grocery shopping, add more color to your meal prep with brightly-colored produce like red berries, yellow peppers, dark leafy greens, and purple onions. Even carbs can be colorful — try sweet potatoes, yellow corn, or purple yams instead of the usual grains.

3. Stop overcooking your food.

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If culinary skills aren’t exactly your strong point, it can be hard to get excited about a week’s worth of overcooked meat or mushy veggies. (Not surprisingly, research shows a lack of cooking skills can be a major barrier to healthy eating.) But you don’t need to be a sous chef to prepare meals you actually want to eat — with a little practice, anyone can master the basics. Here are a few links that can help level up your cooking skills:

  • Avoid the most common cooking mistakes.
  • Brush up on basic cooking terms so you won’t feel intimidated by new recipes.
  • Learn to bake a chicken breast the right way — no more dry, chewy meat.

4. Use your freezer wisely.

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After you batch-prep, stash one or two servings in the freezer — you can rotate them into your meal plan whenever you feel like you’ve hit a rut. So if you make a veggie lasagna or slow-cooker chili on Meal Prep Monday, set a portion or two aside now and you’ll have a backup meal when you need it. “It’s also helpful to keep a few frozen meal starters around for quick cooking,” Dr. White says. “Two good examples are frozen cubes of pesto or tomato sauce — combine one of these with fresh whole-grain pasta and salad greens, and you have a healthy meal.”

5. Try a new recipe every week.

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Obviously you’re going to have a few standbys you rely on every week — hello, Taco Tuesday! — but try to incorporate one new recipe each week to keep from getting burnt out on your go-to foods. Switch up your daily smoothie, try a new one-pot meal, or make over a favorite meal with a new flavor — like swapping out your Southwestern black bean salad for a tangy white bean salad (or vice versa).

6. Switch up your fruits and veggies.

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Research suggests eating a variety of veggies may help you squeeze more veggies into your diet than simply sticking to your tried-and-true faves. In one study, participants were given half a plate of veggies — either a blend of veggies, or just their favorite. The group who got the variety consumed more veggies overall than the group who got their veggie of choice. Try adding a veggie you don’t usually eat to your grocery list this week — or change the way you use your favorite fruits and veggies, like adding strawberries to a spinach salad or blending kale into your breakfast smoothie.

7. Try a new protein.

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When you think of lean protein, chicken and fish may be the first foods that come to mind, but there are plenty of other healthy protein sources. If you need a change, skip the meat aisle this week and get your protein from eggs, quinoa, tofu, beans, cottage cheese, or yogurt.

8. Spice up your staples.

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There’s no reason to eat bland meals when you can usually add flavor without making a dent in your diet. “Almost all spices, peppers, and herbs are low-calorie, as are most vinegars, citrus zest, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and even dry wine after it’s been cooked,” Dr. White says. Get to know the spices in your pantry, and use them to keep your pre-prepped meals from getting monotonous.

9. Add sauces.

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Sauce is a game-changer — can you imagine zucchini fries without marinara, or salad without dressing? And while many sauces are loaded with hidden sugar and Frankenfood ingredients, it’s usually easy to whip up a healthy homemade version (like this recipe for non-syrupy barbecue sauce.) “It’s also easy to make different delicious sauces out of plain Greek yogurt that go with many styles of cooking,” Dr. White says. “Add minced garlic, chives, salt, and a little mayonnaise for a good dipping sauce or sandwich spread. Or make a Mediterranean version with chopped cucumber, mint, lemon juice, and salt, or a Latin version with blended chipotle peppers in adobo.”

10. Stock up on meal prep containers.

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Nothing screams “boring leftovers” like storing your meal prep in empty takeout containers you found in the back of the kitchen cabinet. Using drab, random containers can make meal prep feel like a chore — especially if you’re constantly rummaging around for a clean container. Stock up on functional meal prep containers that make the meal prep process more visual and organized. (And it never hurts to keep an extra set or two handy, especially if you like to store portions in the freezer.)

Going Vegan? Avoid These 5 Common Pitfalls

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I don’t like labels. At all. But I don’t eat any animal products, including dairy, in my diet, so that means that technically I could fit the label of “vegan.” There are many strong research studies that show eating a vegan diet can be a good choice for your body, for animals, and for the planet.

In one study, conducted at the University of Kuopio, Finland, and published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, middle-aged Finnish vegans had significantly higher blood concentrations of antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and vitamin E, as well as greater overall antioxidant activity than the meat-eaters.

Research aside, I only started eating vegan because, through experimentation, I discovered a vegan diet made my body feel its best and increased my athletic performance. It also aligned with my personal beliefs about not killing animals. Just because our culture was somehow OK with the unsustainable factory harvesting of animals, I was not.  However, that is a very personal reason to me.

If you decide to go vegan, you will have your personal reasons for doing it. I celebrate them all. But whatever your reasons, you’ll need to do some research. I’ve met people who “go vegan” without any planning or research. They usually end up gaining weight or feeling worse and they’re confused about why they don’t feel great.

That’s because just giving up meat and dairy doesn’t make you healthy. Oreos, potato chips, pasta, soda, and so many unhealthy processed foods are, in fact, vegan.

To be a healthy vegan, you will need to shop differently. Prepare food more intentionally. And pay attention to how your body feels. But I want to stress that it is not hard.  It’s just a matter of creating good habits when you start and being intentional about eating more diverse, fresh, and whole food choices.

Below I’ll tackle five of the most common major mistakes I see when people go vegan. If you aren’t planning on eating a vegan diet, keep reading. These simple tips below will help you eat more plants and enjoy a healthier diet.

 

5 Common Pitfalls of Going Vegan

1. Going Vegan Overnight
One of the quickest downfalls I’ve seen is to “go vegan” literally overnight. One day you’re chowing down on two cheeseburgers, and the next, you’re swearing off all animal products forever. A small subset of people, often motivated by serious medical diagnoses or some other emotional reason, can do it. They have a strong, unbreakable “why.” But for most people, it absolutely doesn’t work that way — and it is a shock to your body. Start eliminating one food category at a time. Poultry, dairy, fish, pork, beef, eggs, etc., and give your body time to adjust.

I highly recommend using the Ultimate Reset as a tool to ease yourself into a meat-free diet. It is designed to strategically remove animal products in stages at a pace that gives your body time to adjust.

 

2. Not Eating Enough Iron
You need iron. It’s a mineral required for vital biological functions including transporting oxygen throughout your body. In fact, every living cell in your body needs iron to function, so it is a big deal to make sure you are getting enough! Iron comes in two forms, heme and non-heme. About 40 percent of the iron in animal products is heme, which your body easily absorbs. Non-heme from plants isn’t absorbed as easily, so you need to eat more of it. Vegan sources of iron include:

  • Coconuts
  • Legumes (beans and peas)
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Oats (traditional steel-cut)
  • Quinoa
  • Raisins
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Swiss chard

Eat iron-rich foods with vitamin C-rich foods (think: red peppers, citrus, kale, and broccoli) to help your body absorb more iron. Sometimes supplementation is needed to meet your body’s iron requirements.

You’ll hear me say it over and over again: pay attention to how your body is feeling! Ask yourself, “Does this work for my body?” If you’re feeling tired and worn down, consider having your iron levels checked.

 

3. Not Monitoring Your Vitamin B12 Levels
Vitamin B12 is critical for building blood and maintaining your nervous system. It also supports energy production. Animal foods — meat, dairy, eggs, whey — are the usual source for vitamin B12. But, if you’re trying to eat a mostly plant-based diet, you will need to eat fermented foods and nutritional yeast to get B12, or take vitamin supplements containing methyl B12, which the body breaks down easier than other forms of the vitamin.

Once you start eating vegan, closely monitor how you feel. If you feel lethargic or run down several months after starting to eat this way, I highly recommend having your B12 levels tested and talking about it with your doctor to make sure your body has enough.

 

4. Not Eating Enough Protein
Our society obsesses about protein. In my book, SuperLife, I break down how high levels of protein are actually unhealthy in “The Protein Myth.” Most of us are getting unhealthily high levels of protein due to our love of meat, fish, and eggs. But some of us — especially vegans and vegetarians, who do not always make good food choices — are in danger of getting too little. That’s why we provide high-quality protein in Shakeology’s vegan formulations.

For very active people, I recommend a vegan protein powder. Vegan proteins come from peas, oats, spirulina, chlorella, and other plants. They contain the most important amino acids, such as glutamine, leucine, isoleucine, arginine, and valine, but in a form our bodies can easily absorb.

 

5. Avoiding Fat
We live in a fat-phobic society, but our bodies can’t absorb certain vitamins unless fat is present. It’s also a source of energy. If we don’t eat fats, we don’t live. It doesn’t do you any good to drink a huge fat-free smoothie or skip a healthy dressing on a salad because there are vitamins that your body can’t absorb without the presence of some fat.

There are bad fats — ones that harm our health and provide no benefits. Those are trans fats and other hydrogenated fats that are highly processed, completely man-made, and unnatural. Skip those.

However, you want to make sure you’re getting enough Essential fatty acids (EFAs). Among other benefits, they help your body absorb the nutrients in your food and help maintain healthy cell walls. You need both (that’s why they’re called essential), but your body can’t make them, so you must eat them. They come in two forms: omega-3 and omega-6 and should be eaten in a 2:1 ratio of two parts omega-6 to one part omega-3.

I try to eat some good fats at every meal. It seems easiest to eat enough omega-6 EFAs, found in grains and vegetable oils. But, for vegans, it’s harder to eat enough omega-3s, which are found in fish, walnuts, algae, flaxseed, chia seeds, and green plants.

Keep in mind fish contain omega-3, but they got it from plants (algae, etc.), so I took out the middle man, the fish, to get my omega needs. I have had all my nutritional levels checked, I don’t eat fish or fish oil, and I have never suffered an omega-3 deficiency in 10 years.

These are my top five ways to start eating vegan (or more plants) in a healthy way. I highly advocate you to also do research, and thoughtfully tackle any dietary changes. Also, be aware of your body in a greater way and perhaps keep a journal so you can note how you are feeling and what foods make you feel your best. We are all unique. At the end of the day, there is no downside, just a massive healthy upside waiting for you when you thoughtfully include more delicious plants in your diet.

Quick and Simple 21 Day Fix Meal Prep for Every Calorie Level

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When you’re armed with a list of foods to choose from, and Portion Fix‘s color-coded containers to measure your portions, eating healthy one day at a time is no sweat. But what about planning healthy meals for a whole week? With the simple meal plans that follow, we’ll show you how to keep things simple and surprisingly fast.

Tips for Quick and Simple Meal Prep

How can preparing a week — or even a few days — worth of meals be quick or simple? We used shortcuts to create menus that require almost no cooking. You’ll notice that each of these meal plans combine a handful of quick-cooking ingredients, like a big batch of oatmeal, ground turkey sautéed in a pan, or a variety of vegetables roasted at the same time. The rest of the meals rely on combinations of raw ingredients, like salads, fruits and nuts, or prepared items like hummus and peanut butter. To mix things up, two of the menus incorporate one easy recipe that makes enough servings for several days.

Use these shortcuts and simple menus to inspire your own meal prep. You can easily swap in different fruits or vegetables, ground beef or tempeh instead of turkey, and starches like sweet potatoes or quinoa in place of rice or corn. Get creative! If you are comfortable in the kitchen, why not add one of these easy meal prep recipes, or a simple crockpot dinner?

Quick and Simple 21 Day Fix Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,499 Calorie Level

Even at our lowest calorie level, 21 Day Fixers get plenty of food: 3 green containers, 2 purple containers, 4 red containers, 2 yellow containers, 1 blue container, 1 orange container, and 2 tsp. per day. See how we divided that up to make six meals and snacks to keep you fueled from morning until night. In fact, this menu includes even more food than what is shown in the photos. Add two hard-boiled eggs or ¾ cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt with breakfast, and drink a Shakeology smoothie blended with water and ½ cup blueberries with the second snack!

T  hese are the daily meals for this meal prep menu:    Breakfast:  Baked Oatmeal Cups with Blueberries with 2 hard-boiled eggs or  ¾ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (Not shown)  (½ purple, 1 red, 1 yellow)   Snack 1:  Whole grain rice cake with 2 tsp. peanut butter (½ yellow, 2 tsp.)   Lunch:  Mason jar salad with 2 Tbsp. vinegar-based dressing, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup bell peppers, ¼ cup onion, ¾ cup cooked chicken breast (about 4 oz.), ¾ cup baby spinach (2 green, 1 red, 1 orange)   Snack 2:  12 almonds and Shakeology blended with ½ cup blueberries, water, and ice (not shown) (½ purple, 1 red, 1 blue)   Dinner:  ¾ cup seasoned ground turkey with 1 cup sautéed zucchini, and 1 cup strawberries (1 purple, 1 green, 1 red)   Snack 3:  1½ cups air-popped popcorn (½ yellow)

These are the daily meals for this meal prep menu:

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal Cups with Blueberries with 2 hard-boiled eggs or ¾ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (Not shown) (½ purple, 1 red, 1 yellow)

Snack 1: Whole grain rice cake with 2 tsp. peanut butter (½ yellow, 2 tsp.)

Lunch: Mason jar salad with 2 Tbsp. vinegar-based dressing, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup bell peppers, ¼ cup onion, ¾ cup cooked chicken breast (about 4 oz.), ¾ cup baby spinach (2 green, 1 red, 1 orange)

Snack 2: 12 almonds and Shakeology blended with ½ cup blueberries, water, and ice (not shown) (½ purple, 1 red, 1 blue)

Dinner: ¾ cup seasoned ground turkey with 1 cup sautéed zucchini, and 1 cup strawberries (1 purple, 1 green, 1 red)

Snack 3: 1½ cups air-popped popcorn (½ yellow)

Quick and Simple 21 Day Fix Meal Prep for the 1,500–1,799 Calorie Level

Look at all of the bright colors this hearty meal prep has to tempt your taste buds. A sweet breakfast of Pumpkin Protein Pancakes is the only recipe in the bunch. For the lunches, cook lean ground turkey in a pan coated with nonstick spray; you can cook the vegetables or save time by leaving them raw. Buying precooked chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken makes this meal prep even easier to assemble. People eating at this calorie level get 4 green containers, 3 purple containers, 4 red containers, 3 yellow containers, 1 blue container, 1 orange container, and 4 tsp. per day.

These are the daily meals for this meal prep menu:    Breakfast:  Pumpkin Protein Pancakes topped with 3 oz. low-fat Greek yogurt and ½ cup fresh betties(½ purple, ½ red, 2 yellows)   Snack 1:  Shakeology blended with water, ice, and 1 large banana (2 purple, 1 red)   Lunch:  ¾ cup seasoned ground turkey with ¾ cup red bell peppers, ¾ cup orange bell peppers, and ½ cup corn (1 red, 1½ green, 1 yellow, 2 tsp )   Snack 2:  ¼ cup hummus with 1 cup baby carrots (1 green, 1 blue)   Dinner:  6 oz. grilled chicken breast served with ½ cup spinach, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup broccoli, and 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette dressing (1½ green, 1½ red, 1 orange, 2 tsp.)   Snack 3:  ½ cup mixed berries (½ purple)

These are the daily meals for this meal prep menu:

Breakfast: Pumpkin Protein Pancakes topped with 3 oz. low-fat Greek yogurt and ½ cup fresh betties(½ purple, ½ red, 2 yellows)

Snack 1: Shakeology blended with water, ice, and 1 large banana (2 purple, 1 red)

Lunch: ¾ cup seasoned ground turkey with ¾ cup red bell peppers, ¾ cup orange bell peppers, and ½ cup corn (1 red, 1½ green, 1 yellow, 2 tsp )

Snack 2: ¼ cup hummus with 1 cup baby carrots (1 green, 1 blue)

Dinner: 6 oz. grilled chicken breast served with ½ cup spinach, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup broccoli, and 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette dressing (1½ green, 1½ red, 1 orange, 2 tsp.)

Snack 3: ½ cup mixed berries (½ purple)

Quick and Simple 21 Day Fix Meal Prep for the 1,800–2,099 Calorie Level

No recipes are required for this colorful meal prep, just a few basic cooking skills, like boiling water for oatmeal, roasting vegetables, and cooking a steak (psst… if all else fails, swap in burger patties). People eating at this calorie level get 5 green containers, 3 purple containers, 5 red containers, 4 yellow containers, 1 blue container, 1 orange container, and 5 tsp. per day.

These are the daily meals for this meal prep menu:    Breakfast:  1 cup oatmeal (made from ½ cup rolled oats) with 3 tsp. peanut butter and 1 cup fresh berries (1 purple, 2 yellow, 3 tsp.)   Snack 1:  Avocado Toast with Tomatoes made with 1 slice whole grain toast, with ¼ avocado, ½ cup cherry tomatoes (½ green, 1 yellow, 1 blue)   Lunch:  Mason jar salad with 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette dressing, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup purple cabbage, ½ cup bell peppers, 6 oz. seasoned ground turkey, ¼ cup white onions, ¾ cup spinach (2½ green, 1½ red, 1 orange)   Snack 2:  1 cup cucumber, ¾ cup low-fat Greek yogurt mixed with 1 Tbsp. fresh dill (1 green, 1 red)   Dinner:  6 oz. steak with ½ cup new potatoes sautéed in 1 tsp. olive oil, ¾ cup steamed green beans, ¼ cup mushrooms sautéed in 1 tsp. olive oil (1 green, 1½ red, 1 yellow, 2 tsp.)   Snack 3:  1 scoop Shakeology blended water, ice, and 1 large banana (2 purple, 1 red)

These are the daily meals for this meal prep menu:

Breakfast: 1 cup oatmeal (made from ½ cup rolled oats) with 3 tsp. peanut butter and 1 cup fresh berries (1 purple, 2 yellow, 3 tsp.)

Snack 1: Avocado Toast with Tomatoes made with 1 slice whole grain toast, with ¼ avocado, ½ cup cherry tomatoes (½ green, 1 yellow, 1 blue)

Lunch: Mason jar salad with 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette dressing, ½ cup cherry tomatoes, ½ cup purple cabbage, ½ cup bell peppers, 6 oz. seasoned ground turkey, ¼ cup white onions, ¾ cup spinach (2½ green, 1½ red, 1 orange)

Snack 2: 1 cup cucumber, ¾ cup low-fat Greek yogurt mixed with 1 Tbsp. fresh dill (1 green, 1 red)

Dinner: 6 oz. steak with ½ cup new potatoes sautéed in 1 tsp. olive oil, ¾ cup steamed green beans, ¼ cup mushrooms sautéed in 1 tsp. olive oil (1 green, 1½ red, 1 yellow, 2 tsp.)

Snack 3: 1 scoop Shakeology blended water, ice, and 1 large banana (2 purple, 1 red)

Quick and Simple 21 Day Fix Meal Prep for the 2,100-2,300 Calories Calorie Level

Does more food mean more cooking? Not necessarily. To make this higher calorie meal prep just as quickly as a menu with less food, simply toss some brown rice in a rice cooker, hard boil some eggs, and sauté mushrooms and then ground turkey, you can even use the same pan. We suggest baked oatmeal cups for breakfast, but if you want to cut corners, you can eat oatmeal with blueberries instead. Our menu for this calorie level includes 6 green containers, 4 purple containers, 6 red containers, 4 yellow containers, 1 blue container, 1 orange container, and 6 tsp.

These are the daily meals for this meal prep menu:    Breakfast:  Baked Oatmeal Cups with Blueberries with 2 hard-boiled eggs (½ purple, 1 red, 1 yellow)   Snack 1:  1 scoop or packet Shakeology blended with water, ice, 1 large banana, ½ cup strawberries, and 2 tsp. almond butter (1 red, 2½ purple, 2 tsp.)   Lunch:  Mason jar salad with 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette dressing, 6 oz. seasoned ground turkey cooked in 1 tsp. oil, ½ cup black beans, ½ cup corn, ¾ cup bell peppers, ¼ cup white onion, 1 cup spinach, ½ chopped jalapeño (2 green, 1½ red, 2 yellow, 1 orange, 1 tsp.)   Snack 2:  1 cup cucumber, 1 cup cherry tomatoes (2 green)   Dinner:  6 oz. bison (or lean ground beef) burger with 1 slice (1 oz.) cheese on a bed of ¾ cup spinach, side of ¼ cup green beans and 1 cup mushrooms sauteéd in a pan coated with nonstick spray, with ½ cup brown rice (2 green, 1½ red, 1 yellow, 1 blue)   Snack 3:  1 medium apple with 3 tsp. peanut butter and  ¾ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (not shown)  (1 purple, 1 red, 3 tsp.)

These are the daily meals for this meal prep menu:

Breakfast: Baked Oatmeal Cups with Blueberries with 2 hard-boiled eggs (½ purple, 1 red, 1 yellow)

Snack 1: 1 scoop or packet Shakeology blended with water, ice, 1 large banana, ½ cup strawberries, and 2 tsp. almond butter (1 red, 2½ purple, 2 tsp.)

Lunch: Mason jar salad with 2 Tbsp. vinaigrette dressing, 6 oz. seasoned ground turkey cooked in 1 tsp. oil, ½ cup black beans, ½ cup corn, ¾ cup bell peppers, ¼ cup white onion, 1 cup spinach, ½ chopped jalapeño (2 green, 1½ red, 2 yellow, 1 orange, 1 tsp.)

Snack 2: 1 cup cucumber, 1 cup cherry tomatoes (2 green)

Dinner: 6 oz. bison (or lean ground beef) burger with 1 slice (1 oz.) cheese on a bed of ¾ cup spinach, side of ¼ cup green beans and 1 cup mushrooms sauteéd in a pan coated with nonstick spray, with ½ cup brown rice (2 green, 1½ red, 1 yellow, 1 blue)

Snack 3: 1 medium apple with 3 tsp. peanut butter and ¾ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (not shown) (1 purple, 1 red, 3 tsp.)

Lunch and Dinner Ideas for Your Next Meal Prep

Lunch and Dinner Ideas for Your Next Meal Prep

Sometimes the hardest part of meal prep is figuring out what to make for each meal. When you’ve been meal prepping for a while, the same old chicken and broccoli can get boring pretty fast. Try at least one new recipe each week to keep things interesting. Here are eight lunches and dinners to inspire your next meal prep session. They’re simple, healthy dishes that can be made quickly or that are easy to make in bulk.

Super Simple No-Cook Meal Prep for 3-Day Refresh

Super Simple No-Cook Meal Prep for 3-Day Refresh

We all know when we’ve gone off the rails with our diets, even before we’re forced to move up another notch on our belts. Maybe it was that whole bag of mini candy bars you hoarded in your desk after Halloween, or the three plates of Thanksgiving dinner and all the pies, or a month of cookies and cocktail parties leading up to the holidays. Or, maybe it’s been a long, slow decline since you gave up on your New Year’s Resolution sometime last February. No matter what sent you off course in the first place, it’s always a good time to get back on track with 3-Day Refresh.

How to Meal Prep When You Travel

How to Meal Prep When You Travel

The last time I flew the friendly skies, the in-flight snacks were about as far from healthy as they could be. Shortly after take-off, the flight attendant handed me a box containing a puff pastry stuffed with cheese and tomato sauce, and a bright pink, raspberry-flavored cake. A few hours later, he returned with paper cups filled with chocolate ice cream. I kid you not… ice cream has replaced peanuts on some airplanes. When I was younger, I might have thought this was the coolest airline ever. But as a person who now tries to steer clear of sugar and processed foods, I was woefully out of my comfort zone — and I was hungry.

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Meal Prep Ideas from the Pros

Beachbody’s resident meal prep pros, Amanda Meixner and Chris Rocchio are tough acts to follow. Each of these fitness fanatics devotes nearly every Sunday to meal prep! If you’ve been following our Meal Prep series since the beginning, you’ve seen dozens of Meixner’s colorful menus and simplified, buffet-style meal preps.

22 Minute Hard Corps Meal Plan at the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level

22 Minute Hard Corps Meal Plan at the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level

Now that you’ve committed to building a Boot Camp Body with 22 Minute Hard Corps, your Mission is to work out hard and eat right, so you can enjoy those results. Use this advanced food preparedness guide to prep your meals for the week!