meal planning

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

Tips to Keep Your Leftovers from Spoiling

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Managing lots of leftovers can be a struggle. Trying to finish everything before it goes bad can sometimes seem like a gustatory juggling act that inevitably falls back down to earth when that succulent steak you grilled to perfection over the weekend transforms into a slimy smelly piece of meat a few days later. And when holiday season rolls around with its mounds and mounds of delicious home-cooked food piled on the table, keeping on top of leftovers before they become compost material can get annoying and frustrating. Following a few simple food safety rules can make your extra food last longer and keep your grocery bill down.

I style myself as a bit of a food safety expert since I work from home and normally make up a batch of protein on the weekend — slow cooker pork, roast chicken — and then keep it to mix into meals for the rest of the week along with some carbs — wild rice, sweet potatoes — and a few sides of veggies like steamed broccoli and chopped greens. But what’s essential to keeping on top of all of this food is, one, make sure you are eating it consistently, and then knowing how to store it, and when it’s time to throw it into the compost bin or trash.

Why Does Food Go Bad?

When food spoils, it’s usually because bacteria — like Staphylococcus, Salmonella, E. coli, and Campylobacter — starts feasting on it after it cools down to temperatures that can support bug life. If the food is not sealed and put away in either in the fridge or freezer, the bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels or create toxins that can cause illness when ingested.

Exposure to oxygen — which helps microorganisms grow, encourages enzymes in the food to react faster, and make fats, or lipids, in the food smell and taste funny, like oil going rancid — is another factor effecting food’s longevity. Water and light are also culprits in spoiling food — water by giving microorganisms like mold and bacteria the moisture they need to rapidly colonize the food, and light by degrading the structure of the food by breaking down nutrients and pigments.

Controlling temperature is the final key to keeping your foods from spoiling as a cold enough environment will stop or slow the growth of bacteria — food should be kept out of the so-called “Danger Zone” of 40 degrees F to 140 degrees F, which is the range bacteria thrive in. Never leave food out for more than two hours during most of the year as the temperature will quickly adjust to whatever it feels like in the room — cut that back to one hour in the summer when temps can get above 90 degrees F.

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What Can I Do to Keep Food From Spoiling so Quickly?

If you can control these three factors — air, water, light, and temperature — you will be able to maximize your leftovers life, saving you money and time spent cooking new dishes to replace your rotten and smelly food. Food waste in the U.S. is a huge problem, with the Environmental Protection Agency estimating that we threw away over 38 million tons of food in 2014, with only five percent going to a composting program. Food spoilage takes up 21 percent of municipal solid waste and about one third of that is fruit and veggies, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

First off, to protect the food — and your family — invest in some good quality re-sealable containers like the Glasslock products, which latch tight, are easy to reopen, have glass bottoms that won’t hold odors or stains, and is safe for the oven, freezer, or microwave. Beachbody’s Portion-Control Containers are another way to store your food while keeping tabs on your food portions. These high quality plastic containers are BPA and DEHP-free, dishwasher and microwave safe. Another tip is to write on the lid of the container with a dry erase marker to record the date and time you put the food into the fridge or freezer.

Next, make sure your refrigerator and freezer are operating at the right temperature — the fridge should be at or below 40 degrees F and 0 degrees F for the freezer. Buy a special thermometer designed for either appliance, put it inside and check frequently so you know for sure that your food is well out of the danger zone. And remember that just because your food is in a properly cold fridge, it won’t keep it from eventually spoiling, that’s the job of the freezer. Don’t pack your fridge tight — food needs the cold air to circulate around it to keep it cool — and make sure you clean it out regularly to prevent old, rotten food from spreading bacteria.

What is the Shelf Life of Foods?

When safely put away in the freezer or fridge at the right temps, foods will last longer, but there are varying ranges of time that affect every food’s ability to last. Here’s a handy chart pulled from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that can help give you a general idea of how long common foods will last.

What are Some Holiday Leftover Strategies?

The holidays can offer extra challenges for the frugal leftover lover as the sheer amount of food you bring home (or cook at your house) can overwhelm even the most dedicated fridge denizen. Here are some quick tips to keep you safe and satiated this holiday season.

• Try to eat up most of leftover food in your fridge the week before the big day so you have extra room to pack in all of those delicious dishes you couldn’t quite devour.

• If going to someone else’s house for your meal, bring along a cooler with cold packs so your food will survive the trip home without warming up enough to make it into the danger zone.

• Take out any stuffing from your turkey once the meal is finished. Refrigerate both the turkey meat and the stuffing separately, and make sure to put all food leftover in the fridge within 2 hours.

• Again, a good general rule is to keep food in the fridge for only 3 to 4 days, or put the bulk of it in the freezer so you can thaw it out and enjoy it later. Investing in a vacuum sealer can help dramatically extend the life of your holiday delicacies.

The Picky Eater’s Guide to Losing Weight

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Picky eaters, you know who you are: You’re that kid who had “Mommie Dearest”-level standoffs over everything from “this tastes gross/weird/wet” to “omg the green beans are TOUCHING my noodles!”

Now you’re an adult and you want to drop some pounds. But that means you need to dial in your diet and finally face the foods that make your palate pucker.

Or maybe not?

Whole, unprocessed foods like lean proteins, veggies and fruit, and whole grains help form the foundation of a balanced, healthy diet, but pickings can get slim if your taste buds don’t mesh with the foods that can help you lose weight.

Luckily, there are ways to get around your picky palate and expand your food horizons. But first, let’s take a quick look and see how it all started.

 

Picky Eaters May Be Born, Not Made

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Picky eating is most often associated with stubborn kids who won’t eat their veggies or try something new.

But a person’s food preferences may be genetically preset: In a 2007 study, the long-standing debate of “nurture versus nature” was applied to picky eating. For some foods, particularly produce and protein, children simply showed an innate like or dislike.

Kids are also born with palates that tend to be more sensitive to bitter and sweet flavorsthan adults, so what you may have hated as a child (boo, spinach!), you may love as an adult (hello, spinach and broccoli strata!).

Then again, some picky kids simply grow into picky adults. The journal Appetite reports that adult who are picky eaters have the same taste sensitivity that they had as picky kids: Picky-eating adults described sweet and bitter flavor profiles as more intense than non-picky eaters.

(Fun fact: You’re in good company, picky eaters. Carl Daikeler, Beachbody’s CEO and co-founder, does not like vegetables. Solution? His wife Isabelle and nutritionist Darin Olien created Shakeology so Carl would eat his greens.)

Bad memories can steer you away from certain foods, too: “Often times, picky eaters are remembering past likes or dislikes about certain foods that they haven’t even tasted in 10 years,” says Brigitte Zeitlin, M.P.H., R.D., founder of BZ Nutrition.

But that doesn’t mean you have to choke down those carrots or hold your nose while you shovel greens in your mouth. Here are 10 ways to work with what you’ve got.

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8 Tips to Help Picky Eaters Eat Healthier and Lose Weight

1. Translate your favorites into something else

“You’re already eating more foods than you think you are, so try to deconstruct your favorite meals and see what other foods you can be eating from that,” says Zeitlin.

“For example, if you always get your burger with lettuce, tomato, and onion, then guess what, you like lettuce and tomatoes, [which] you can add into a salad, or you can grill those tomatoes as a side dish, or create a stir fry with tomatoes, onions, and a lean cut of meat.”

2. “Retrain” your taste buds

If you’ve said “pass” on certain foods for a long time, you might be in for a surprise. “Tastes change over time, so it is important to revisit foods every so often,” recommends Zeitlin.

If you find you’re still not a fan of specific flavors, even decades later, all hope is not lost. Try cutting out many sugary/salty/fatty processed foods for a few weeks and you may be able to retrain your taste buds to recognize the natural sweetness in foods like fruit, instead of the “hypersweet” version in processed foods.

3. Take baby steps

Instead of changing everything you eat all at once, start with small changes. Instead of a side of potato chips, try a veggie-filled pasta salad instead.

Or try a different way of cooking your food: Instead of frying, try baking or grilling. “Small changes can lead to big changes but feel less overwhelming at the time,” says Zeitlin.

Remember that just as baby steps take a longer time for a child to get from point A to point B, so does making small changes with your eating. However, if you stick with it, you can gain speed and make progress.

“One of my clients was eating fast food for every meal before we met,” says Stephanie Jensen, Certified Personal Chef of La Cuisine Personal Chef Service. Worried her client would never make the switch to a healthier plate, Jensen started simple, using ingredients the client was familiar with and branching out with new items slowly and occasionally.

She also paired new ingredients with old favorites to help make meals more palatable. “Five years later, I’m still cooking for [this client],” she says.

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4. Rethink your go-to meals

If Taco Tuesdays are your jam, keep the Mexican theme dinner, but give the ingredients a facelift by using lettuce wraps in place of taco shells and swapping plain Greek yogurt for sour cream.

“A picky eater could be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals they are not getting by eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein,” says Zeitlin. “Looking for ways to sneak more vegetables into your meal is a great way to get more vitamins and minerals and expand your taste palate at the same time.”

A few swaps to try:

  • Lighten up classic mac and cheese by pureeing butternut squash or carrots to mix into the cheese sauce.
  • Trade carb-heavy white rice for cauliflower rice instead. Chop the florets very finely until it resembles rice or use a food processor. “You can then use the cauliflower just like rice — stir fry in some sesame oil and add cooked protein and veggies, or heat in a skillet and add a healthy jarred marinara sauce and some dried herbs and spices,” Jensen says. “Cauliflower rice can also be cooked quickly in a sauté pan with olive oil and fresh garlic. Add a splash of fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs and you have a quick and healthy side dish in minutes.”
  • Instead of regular potatoes, Jensen recommends sweet potato or zucchini “fries.” “Cut vegetables into sticks, toss with olive oil and paprika, and roast on a baking pan over parchment paper at 425 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes or until crispy.”
  • Instead of prepackaged spice blends, salad dressings, or marinades, make your own at home. They’re easy to throw together, healthier, and less expensive than store-bought varieties.
  • Mix fresh fruit with plain yogurt and a touch of honey for a less-sugary version of the pre-flavored yogurt cups.
  • Swap in “zoodles” in your next pasta dish, or shred spaghetti squash. But if veggie noodles are a step too far, try simply swapping out half of your regular white pasta for a bean pasta or a whole-grain quinoa or wheat pasta.

5. Order something different when eating out

Cooking with new ingredients can be tricky, especially if you’re not sure how something is supposed to taste. Leave your first bite to the professionals when ordering meals incorporating new-to-you ingredients such as quinoa, Brussels sprouts, or eggplant.

“It might take some trial and error, but in the end you may find a whole new list of ingredients that you can put into your meal rotation,” says Jensen.

6. Get cooking

The good news is you don’t have to be a master chef to master new flavors. “There is no rule that says everything must be cooked,” says Jensen, who suggests trying new produce ingredients in their raw states first. “Raw fruits and veggies come in all shapes and sizes and can make a quick snack or accompaniment to any meal.”

When you are ready to turn up (or on) the heat, “get creative with spices (not salt!),” suggests Zeitlin. “Adding spices to your vegetables, salad dressings, fish, meat, or chicken can switch up the flavor profile while still keeping things lean and healthy.”

“Many times eating a vegetable cooked versus raw changes the taste profile,” says Zeitlin. “So if you don’t like raw broccoli, you may love roasted broccoli. Don’t discount the food until you have tried it a few ways!”

 

7. Get inspired by social media

If it’s true that people eat with their eyes first, then a scroll through Pinterest or foodie Instagram accounts can make you very hungry, and possibly more adventurous:

  • @autumncalabrese: Creator of 21 Day Fix, Autumn Calabrese shares yummy meal pics as well as bonus exercises and motivation to keep you moving toward your goals.
  • @bobbycalabrese11: Chef brother to Autumn and co-host of FIXATE, Bobby Calabrese’s Insta feed is a feast for the eyes.

8. Find a foodie friend

Not sure what kind of new foods you might like? Ask a foodie friend to be your guide. “The buddy system works in the gym as well as the kitchen,” says Zeitlin.

If you’re not ready to commit to a full meal, order shared plates or family-style meals. Or steal a bite from your pal’s plate for a tiny taste test.

Whatever you choose to do, don’t get discouraged and don’t stop trying new ways to enjoy healthy food.

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Cooking for One? Try These 7 Money and Time-Saving Tips

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Let’s be frank: Cooking for one can be challenging.

And it’s not just single folks who face this issue. If you’re trying to eat healthy and the family wants to stick with their old standbys, you’ve probably tried to figure out how to eat healthy, feed your family, and stay on budget.

Here are some tips and tricks that will make going it alone on your healthy journey a bit easier.

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7 Tips for Grocery Shopping When Cooking for One

Hit the store twice a week
Kudos to you for doing Sunday meal prep. But if your life is such that once the week gets started, plans change, things come up after work, and most of those meals go to waste, considering going to the grocery twice or three times a week instead of doing one big trip.

By hitting up the market more often, you can more readily consider what you have left on hand that still needs to be used like that leftover takeout chicken and the asparagus that you bought on the last trip.

Save on salads
Instead of buying greens and salad toppings individually, it is often cheaper to purchase small portions of pre-made salads at the salad bar, points out Lisa Lee Freeman, savings expert for the coupon app Flipp. Be smart about it though: Since you pay by the pound at the salad bar, skip heavy-but-cheap toppings, like cucumbers. Buy those separately and add when you prep.

Buy dry goods in bulk
“The secret to shopping smart is know how long things last, and figuring out what you can and cannot buy in bulk,” says Freeman. You can freeze extra portions of chicken or turkey and store nonperishable food—like dry beans or grain—in your pantry.

Opt frozen over fresh…
Good news: Frozen fruits and vegetables are close to just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts, according to a study in American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. They’re a great choice if you’re cooking for one since they don’t spoil as quickly as fresh produce and who doesn’t love frozen berries in their smoothie?

 And freeze everything
Use your freezer for everything that may spoil, from bread and meat to leftovers. Doing so will make sure you always make sure to have a few single-serve frozen meals on hand for when you need a meal in a pinch. Chilis and soups are some meals that freeze well, but so are healthy chicken enchiladas and egg cups!

Reach for canned fish
While canned fruits and veggies aren’t as nutritious (put down that can of peaches in syrup), canned fish is OK. “Buying fresh fish is always ideal, but canned light tuna and canned wild salmon are great options when buying fresh isn’t possible,” says Chelsea Fuchs, New York-based R.D. Canned tuna and salmon are great sandwich and salad toppings. “Look for light canned tuna packed in water… and when it comes to salmon, look for the wild variety because it is a terrific source of omega-3 fats and vitamin D.”

Look at your bigger picture shopping list
“Most foods go on sale in cycles of about three to four months, as well as during seasonal changes and holidays,” says Freeman. “Instead of buying the same stuff on your shopping list week after week, figure out what you can buy every few months and store. Then go for it when it’s on sale.”

Make This No-Cook 21 Day Fix Meal Prep in About an Hour!

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When it gets warm, the last thing you want to do is turn on the oven! That’s where this no-cook 21 Day Fix meal prep comes in. While it’s designed specifically for anyone doing the 21 Day Fix and eating between 1200 and 1500 calories, it’s great for anyone looking for a healthy meal prep. If you need more calories, increase the portions or add a snack like one of these.

So, go ahead, give your oven the week off! Keep reading for your 21 Day Fix Meal Prep step-by-step instructions and grocery list.

 

Your Healthy 21 Day Fix Meal Prep for the Next Five Days

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BREAKFASTS

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Tropical Overnight Oats: ½ cup raw oats, 2 tsp. chia seeds, 1 cup kefir (or Greek yogurt), ½ tsp. vanilla extract, 1 medium kiwi, ½ cup strawberries (1 purple, 1 red, 2 yellow, ½ orange)

Tuesday, Thursday
2 Hard-Boiled eggs, 1 Cup Watermelon (1 red, 1 purple)

SNACKS

Shakeology Smoothie: 1 packet Shakeology, water, and ice (1 red)

Apple with 1 tsp. Peanut Butter (1 purple, 1 tsp.)

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LUNCHES

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Cobb Salad with Deli Turkey and Hard-Boiled Eggs: 3 slices deli turkey, 1 hard-boiled egg, 2 Tbsp. green onions, 2 Tbsp. diced tomatoes, 1¼ cups romaine lettuce, 2 Tbsp. Healthier Ranch Dressing (1½ green, 1 red, ½ orange)

Tuesday, Thursday
Tuna Antipasto Salad: ½ cup chickpeas, ¾ cup tuna, ¼ cup red bell pepper, ½ lemon (juiced), ¼ cup chopped parsley, 1 tsp. olive oil, 2 cups spring lettuce mix (2½ green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 tsp.)

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DINNERS

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
Chicken Burrito Bowls: ¾ cup shredded rotisserie chicken, ½ cup cauliflower rice, ½ cup chopped romaine lettuce, ¼ cup chopped tomato, ¼ cup chopped red onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, 1 Tbsp. sliced jalapeño, ¼ medium avocado, 1 tsp. olive oil (1½ green, 1 red, 1 blue, 1 tsp.)

Tuesday, Thursday
Avocado Shrimp Rolls: ¾ cup pre-cooked shrimp, ¼ medium avocado, 1 tsp. mustard, freshly ground pepper, ½ lemon (juiced), pinch of paprika, 2 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut, ½ cup romaine lettuce, 1 small whole wheat bun (½ green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 orange, 1 blue)

 

How to Make This Easy 21 Day Fix Meal Prep

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  1. Prep the vegetables and herbs. Rinse romaine lettuce, allow to air dry, and chop 6¼ cups. Rinse spring lettuce mix and allow to air dry. Remove the skin from one red onion and dice into small pieces. Rinse, deseed, and dice ½ cup red bell pepper. Rinse and chop 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. tomato. Rinse and dice ⅜ cup (6 Tbsp.) green onion. Rinse and loosely chop ½ cup parsley. Rinse and loosely chop ⅜ cup (6 Tbsp.) cilantro. Rinse, deseed, and slice 3 Tbsp. jalapeño. Store any unused vegetables for future use.
  2. Prep the Healthier Ranch Dressing for the Cobb Salad. In a food processor, combine 2 Tbsp. dried parsley, 2 tsp. dried onion flakes, 2 tsp. onion powder, 2 tsp. garlic powder, 1½ tsp. dried dill, 1½ tsp. dried cloves, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. ground black pepper; pulse until well mixed. Add 1 Tbsp. seasoning to ⅓ cup 2% plain Greek yogurt and ⅓ cup low-fat buttermilk; mix until well combined. Pour 2 Tbsp. dressing into 3 small containers. Store extra seasoning mix in the pantry and extra dressing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for future use.
  3. Make the Cobb Salad in 3 large storage containers. To each container, add 1¼ cup chopped romaine lettuce, 2 Tbsp. diced green onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped tomato, 3 slices deli turkey, and 1 hard boiled egg.
  4. Make the Tuna Antipasto Salad in 2 large storage containers. Open and drain the chickpeas and 2 cans of tuna. To each container, add 2 cups spring lettuce mix, ½ cup chickpeas, ¾ cup tuna, ¼ cup red bell pepper, and ¼ cup chopped parsley. Store the lettuce on top of the tuna salad to keep from getting soggy. When ready to eat, drizzle salad with juice from ½ lemon and 1 tsp. olive oil.
  5. Prep the Avocado Shrimp Rolls. Stir together 2 tsp. mustard, juice from 1 lemon, large pinch paprika, and ground black pepper, to taste; divide dressing between 2 containers and store. Chop the pre-cooked shrimp into large pieces; divide between 2 containers with ¾ cup shrimp going into each container. When ready to eat, dice ¼ ripe avocado and store remaining in an air-tight container for future use. In a small bowl, toss diced avocado with ¾ cup pre-cooked shrimp and 1 container of dressing. Fill 1 small whole wheat bun with ½ cup chopped romaine lettuce, shrimp mixture, and top with 2 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut.
  6. Prep the Chicken Burrito Bowls. Microwave frozen cauliflower rice per package instructions. Meanwhile, debone the rotisserie chicken and shred the meat. Once cauliflower rice is warm and chicken is shredded, assemble the burrito bowls. To 3 large storage containers, add ½ cup cauliflower rice, ¾ cup shredded rotisserie chicken, ½ cup chopped romaine lettuce, ¼ cup chopped tomato, ¼ cup chopped red onion, 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro, and 1 Tbsp. sliced jalapeño. When ready to eat, top each salad with ¼ diced avocado and 1 tsp. olive oil.
  7. Make the Tropical Overnight Oats. Slice 3 kiwi in half and use a spoon to separate the fruit from the skin; dice kiwi and set aside. Rinse and slice 1½ cups strawberries. In a large bowl, combine 1½ cups old-fashioned oats, 6 tsp. chia seeds, 3 cups kefir (or Greek yogurt), 1½ tsp. vanilla extract, 3 diced kiwi, and 1½ cups strawberries. Mix until well combined; divide mixture between 3 storage containers and refrigerate.
  8. Prep Watermelon and Egg breakfast. Cut 2 cups watermelon into bite-sized pieces. Divide between 2 storage containers. Serve with 2 hard-boiled eggs.
  9. Prep the Apple with Peanut Butter snack. Portion 1 tsp. peanut butter into 5 storage containers. Serve with medium apple.
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Your 21 Day Fix Meal Prep Grocery List:

Fruit
3 medium kiwi
1 1/2 cups strawberries
2 cups watermelon
5 medium apples
2 lemons

Vegetables
1 bunch green onions
1 large tomato
6 1/4 cups romaine lettuce (about 1 large head)
1 small red bell pepper
1 bunch parsley
4 cups spring lettuce mix
12 oz. package cauliflower rice, frozen
1 medium red onion
1 bunch cilantro
1 large jalapeño
2 medium avocados

Dry and Canned Goods
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
15 oz. can chickpeas
2 (5 oz.) cans tuna, packed in water
2 small whole wheat buns

Protein
3 cups (24 oz.) plain kefir (or an additional 24 oz. plain 2% Greek yogurt)
7 hard boiled eggs
1/3 cup (2.7 oz.) plain 2% Greek yogurt
1/3 cup (2.7 oz.) low-fat buttermilk
1 package sliced deli turkey (9 slices)
1 rotisserie chicken
6 oz. pre-cooked shrimp

Pantry
6 tsp. chia seeds
vanilla extract
5 packets Shakeology
5 Tbsp. peanut butter
dried parsley
dried onion flakes
onion powder
garlic powder
dried dill
dried cloves
salt
black pepper
olive oil
mustard
paprika
4 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut

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10 Foods That Can Help You Lose Weight

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When it comes to eating for weight loss, you’ve probably heard every piece of advice out there: Drink three glasses of grapefruit juice a day, eat egg whites for breakfast, or replace all your greens with kale.

It’s a convenient strategy to latch onto one specific food in the hope that it will completely transform your body, but unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Krista Haynes, R.D. and Beachbody nutrition manager, says weight loss doesn’t come down to one particular food. Losing weight “is a super-complex process that involves diet, sleep, stress reduction, physical activity, and genetics,” Haynes says.

That being said, there are certain foods that are healthier and more nutrient-rich than others; foods that pack tons of protein into a small number of calories, for example, or foods that can help increase your satiety and provide intense flavor without any added sugars or trans fats.

Keep in mind that the rest of your habits matter, too: “Eating these foods won’t do any good if you’re eating fast food, sitting on the couch all weekend, or feeling overly stressed about work stuff,” says Haynes.

But when you combine healthy foods with a balanced diet, regular exercise, hydration, and adequate sleep, your weight-loss goals will start to look more realistic. Here are 10 foods that will help you get to those goals.

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10 Healthy Weight Loss-Friendly Foods

1. Eggs

“Eggs are an excellent protein source in a small calorie package,” says Haynes. One large egg contains between 70 and 90 calories, depending on how it’s cooked (hard-boiled eggs are on the lower end of the spectrum, while fried eggs are at the higher end) and has roughly six grams of protein, six grams of fat, and one gram of carbohydrates. Eggs are also full of important nutrients like calcium, folate, and vitamins A and D.

Haynes says the protein in eggs can help you feel full and quell the urge to snack throughout the day, which could help with weight loss. In a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, two groups of overweight and obese individuals started a reduced-calorie weight-loss diet: One group ate eggs as part of their breakfast and the other ate bagels. The group that ate an egg breakfast experienced 65 percent greater weight loss than the group that ate a bagel breakfast.

Pro tip: Easy ways to add eggs into your diet — scramble a couple for breakfast with chopped veggies, slide a fried egg on top of your avocado toast, or nosh on hard-boiled eggs as an afternoon snack.

2. Almonds

Almonds hit the nutrition trifecta: They’re full of fiber, protein, and healthy fat, making them a great balanced snack choice, says Haynes.

The only catch? “Calories add up quickly when munching on almonds,” Haynes says, so you have to be smart about your portions. The USDA’s recommended serving size of almonds is one ounce, or 23 whole nuts, which have 164 calories, 14 grams of fat, five grams of carbs, and about three grams of dietary fiber.

Pro tip: To get the fiber and protein without overdoing it, Haynes suggests eating raw, unsalted almonds instead of a carb-heavy muffin or sugary breakfast bar. She also recommends sprinkling slivered almonds on your oatmeal or grinding them into almond butter to spread on apple slices or celery sticks.

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3. Avocados

Avocados are everyone’s favorite source of healthy fat, but they’re also calorically dense, says Haynes. According to the USDA, the recommended serving size is about 30 grams, or one-fourth of a medium-size avocado — in other words, way less than what most people eat. One-fourth of an avocado contains 50 calories, less than one gram of protein, about five grams of fat, three grams of carbs, and two grams of dietary fiber.

But the fiber in avocados, combined with their rich, buttery taste, means you may not need to eat as much to feel satisfied, says Haynes.

The monounsaturated (or healthy) fat in avocados is also a key macronutrient and may help with weight loss. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that eating a diet with a high percentage of fat (60 percent) may increase your resting energy expenditure.

In addition, the Journal of the American Heart Association published a study that found that eating one avocado per day as part of a moderate-fat, cholesterol-lowering diet can help lower LDL cholesterol levels.

“This, of course, doesn’t give you free reign to eat all the fat you want — portions still matter,” says Haynes. She recommends spreading avocado on your sandwich instead of mayonnaise or adding a few slices to salads, eggs, or healthy tacos. You can also blend avocado in smoothies or eat a few spoonfuls peppered with chili flakes or sea salt as a savory snack.

Pro tip: Just remember that avocado should be an addition to your meal, not the main dish. “Watch out for the chips and guacamole, as that can be a calorie bomb,” says Haynes.

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4. Cabbage

This cruciferous veggie is low-calorie and loaded with nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamin A. One cup of raw shredded cabbage contains 18 calories, roughly four grams of carbs, two grams of fiber, and less than one gram of fat and protein each.

The appeal of cabbage as part of a weight-loss nutrition plan is that you can eat a lot of it without racking up calories. Haynes recommends incorporating fermented cabbage (sauerkraut or kimchi) into your diet to promote gut health. You can eat it on its own or toss it in a veggie bowl with your favorite protein and quinoa.

If you’re not a fan of kimchi, try mixing raw cabbage in your salads, making ground turkey tacos with cabbage wraps, or adding cabbage to a hearty soup.

5. Grapefruit

Despite being praised online as a quick weight-loss solution, grapefruit doesn’t actually have a special fat-burning ability, says Haynes. Rather, it’s the high water and fiber content that can help you feel full and consume less food, she adds.

A study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food confirms this. The results showed that eating grapefruit led to modest weight loss: People who ate half a grapefruit three times a day before each meal lost about two pounds more than those who didn’t.

“Alone, grapefruit is low in calories,” says Haynes. According to the USDA, half a grapefruit contains 52 calories, 13 grams of carbs, two grams of fiber, and less than one gram of fat and protein each. The fruit is also a great source of calcium and vitamin C.

To get all the nutrients of grapefruit without the added sugar and calories, stick with fresh grapefruit rather than grapefruit juice. Eat it as a snack topped with cottage cheese, or pair it with a veggie omelet for breakfast.

Pro tip: One word of caution — it’s advised against eating grapefruit if you’re taking certain prescription medications, Haynes says, so check with your doctor before adding to your diet.

6. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a fantastic source of complex carbs, dietary fiber, and protein, all of which can help you feel full for several hours, says Haynes. One cup of cooked oats has 159 calories, and it contains about six grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs, four grams of fiber, and three grams of fat.

“Oatmeal is a great canvas to add other nutrients to,” Haynes says. She likes berries, banana slices, walnuts, chia seeds, or a drizzle of almond or coconut butter. Just be careful not to overdo it — dried fruit, sweetened coconut flakes, and big gobs of nut butter can contain tons of added sugar and extra calories.

Another healthy option for oatmeal? “Use rolled oats as an ingredient in protein snack balls,” says Haynes.

7. Salmon

In addition to being a great source of lean protein, which Haynes says helps you maintain your muscle mass when trying to lose weight, salmon is also packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which your body can’t produce. One three-ounce fillet of salmon has 155 calories, 22 grams of protein, seven grams of fat, and zero carbs.

“Salmon is a great option as a dinner alongside some veggies and a whole grain or starch like quinoa or sweet potato,” Haynes says. She also suggests salmon jerky as a protein-rich snack or smoked salmon on a sprouted whole-grain English muffin for breakfast (nix the cream cheese).

8. Yogurt

Not all yogurts are created equal when it comes to weight loss. Most flavored yogurts and store-bought brands are packed with added sugar, Haynes says.

Plain, unsweetened, 2% Greek yogurt, on the other hand, is low in sugar and high in protein. Haynes recommends it as a healthy snack option or cooking substitute for heavy ingredients like sour cream and cream cheese.

Yogurt also contains probiotics, “which may help with weight loss by improving the ratio of good to bad bacteria in the gut,” Haynes says.

The USDA’s recommended serving size of Greek yogurt is one cup, which has 100 calories, six grams of carbs, less than one gram of fat, about six grams of sugar, and a whopping 17 grams of protein. It’s also loaded with calcium and potassium.

Top a cup of unsweetened Greek yogurt with berries and ground flax seeds for an easy breakfast, or blend it in your green smoothie for some extra protein.

9. Spinach

Spinach, like cabbage, is low in calories and high in fiber and water content, meaning you can eat a lot of it without making a dent in your total calories for the day, says Haynes.

For example, one cup of raw spinach contains just seven calories, almost one gram each of protein and fiber, and one gram of carbs.

There’s also some research to suggest that thylakoids, the internal membrane system in green plants like spinach, can help facilitate the release of satiety hormones in the body. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, for example, found that taking a thylakoid-rich spinach extract before breakfast may help reduce hunger and snack cravings and increase satiety for over two hours.

To incorporate more spinach in your diet, Haynes suggests blending a couple of handfuls into your smoothie, tossing it in your veggie scramble or strata, adding it to soup, or swapping it for romaine lettuce in your salad.

10. Apples

There may be some truth to the old adage that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. One study published in the journal Appetite found that eating an apple at the start of a meal may help with weight management. People who ate one medium-size apple before a meal reduced their food energy intake by 15 percent and reported feeling fuller.

That’s because apples are filled with fiber and water that can help increase satiety, says Haynes. One small apple has 20 grams of carbs, about four grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and less than one gram each of protein and fat — all for 77 calories.

Munch on an apple plain, sprinkle it with cinnamon for extra sweetness, or add apple slices to your salad for some crunch.

The 10-Second Takeaway

Certain foods are loaded with a combination of protein, fiber, and important nutrients that can help you feel full and squash your urge to snack. Eating these healthy foods can help you in your weight-loss journey — but only if you take other steps as well. To maximize your weight loss, incorporate these 10 nutrient-rich foods into a balanced diet, step up your exercise game, and make sure you’re getting plenty of water and sleep.

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Meal Prep Tips for Clean Week (or Any Other Week!)

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Your mission — should you choose to accept — is to eat clean and exercise for seven days in a row. It’s just a week; you can do anything for a week!

Bonus: These heathy habits may stick around for much longer. But before you begin anything, you need a plan. A good place to start is Clean Week with Megan Davies, who has a little trick to making clean eating as easy as possible: meal prep.

Implement these easy tips and see for yourself how eating clean can be simple, delicious, and fun.

(Pro tip: Once you nail these Clean Week meal prep tips, you can move on to the Portion Fix container system to take your new healthy habits to the next level!)

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How to Meal Prep for Clean Week (or Any Other Week)

 

1. Don’t be afraid to repeat

No need to make an entirely new meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day. Just choose two or three of your favorite recipes for each meal, and simply double or triple the recipe so you can have it multiple times throughout the week. (Remember to take “repeats” into account when you’re writing out your grocery list!)

 

2. Batch cook

Choose recipes or mix-and-match ingredients that are similar so you can cook up a big batch of foods and eat multiple times throughout the day or week. Easy foods to batch cook:

  • Roasted veggies: Add them to a breakfast scramble, then toss some into your salad for a not-sad desk lunch.
  • Quinoa: Add this nutrient-packed food to your soup for lunch, then turn it into a side dish with baked salmon at dinner.
  • Chicken breasts: Bake a few chicken breasts to pair with a side of sautéed veggies and a baked sweet potato for dinner. Then add a sliced chicken breast to some zoodles for a clean “pasta” dish for lunch the next day.
  • Hard-boiled eggs: Grab these as an easy snack when the afternoon slump hits, then make avocado egg salad toast for breakfast in the morning.
  • A big pot of brown rice will last you 4–5 days in the fridge or in the freezer for up to one month. This versatile grain can be used in a slew of recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 

3. Portion, then plate

Meal-prep containers are your new best friend: All you have to do is portion out your meals in advance after you’ve batched cooked your meals for the week.

No more standing in front of an open fridge trying to decide what to eat; just grab your container and go.

Many people choose Sunday as a “meal prep” day, but pick whatever day is most convenient for you. Committing to a few hours of prepping one day can save several hours during the week.

 

4. Be mindful of food safety

Most foods will keep in the fridge for 3-5 days. If you’re making something on Sunday that you don’t plan to eat until Friday, put it in the freezer and defrost it in the fridge Thursday night.

Some foods like eggs and sweet potatoes don’t freeze well, so schedule freezer-friendly meals at the end of the week so you only have to cook one day during the week.

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5. Frozen fruits and veggies can be just as good as fresh

This is especially true when it comes to meal prep. Since frozen vegetables have already been cooked, all you have to do is heat them in the microwave with some cooked quinoa and your pre-made chicken breast and you’ve got yourself a balanced meal.

Frozen fruit is also a great addition to Shakeology; no washing or cutting required.

 

6. Mini meal prep

Certain meal prep tasks should wait till the night before or just before eating: like washing fresh fruit (to ward off mold), chopping delicate greens (to prevent wilting), or adding fresh herbs (to minimize oxidation and maximize flavor).

 

7. Look for shortcuts

Make it easy on yourself if you’re willing to swap a few extra dollars to save a little extra prep time.

Many grocery store chains offer pre-chopped veggies, zoodles, “pre-riced” cauliflower rice, peeled and diced fruit, pre-washed salad greens, and pre-cooked proteins like fish, chicken, and tempeh.

 

The Takeaway

Meal prep can seem intimidating at first — planning ahead! endless grocery lists! batch cooking! — but it’s not, we promise. Follow these tips, set up a process that works for you, and you’ll be meal prepping like a pro in no time.

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Country Heat Meal Prep for the 1,200–1,500 Calorie Level

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Y’all, it’s time to turn up the heat on the dance floor… and in the kitchen with this Country Heat meal prep! This comfort food-inspired meal prep is sure to satisfy your craving for down-home cooking. Love warm and spicy? We can’t get enough of the Sweet Potato Veggie Hash. Crazy for creamy? The Avocado Chicken Salad is simply divine!

This meal prep menu uses Portion Fix color-coded portion-control containers to measure the amount of food you get to eat, so you never have to count calories. Green is for veggies, purple is fruits, red is protein, yellow is carbs, blue is healthy fats, orange is for seeds and dressings, and oils and nut butters are measured in teaspoons. Stock up on Mason jars or your favorite air-tight storage containers to store your meals.

This menu follows the Country Heat at the 1,200-1,500 calorie level and can be used by anyone following the Portion Fix eating plan. (Scroll to the bottom of the post to find out how to adjust this menu for the 1,500–1,800 calorie level). At this calorie level, each day you get:

  • 3 green containers
  • 2 purple containers
  • 4 red containers
  • 2 yellow containers
  • 1 blue containers
  • 1 orange containers
  • 2 teaspoons containers

We combined all of those containers into three satisfying meals and two snacks each day for you, so all you need to do is shop, prep, and enjoy your food. Take the comprehensive grocery list below to the store, and then use our step-by-step instructions to get busy in the kitchen on meal prep day!

 

 

These are the Healthy Meals You’ll Eat this Week:

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Breakfast (M/W/F): Veggie Egg Muffins on Whole Grain English Muffin with Orange Slices

Breakfast (T/Th): Sweet Potato Veggie Hash with Turkey Sausage with Red Grapes

Shakeology Snack (DAILY): Vanilla Chia Shakeology Smoothie

PM Snack (DAILY): Apple with Peanut Butter

Lunch (M/W/F): Cilantro Lime Shredded Chicken with Black Eyed Pea Salad

Lunch (T/Th): Avocado Chicken Salad on Toasted Whole Grain Bread

Dinner (M/W/F): Roasted Pepper Tuna Melt

Dinner (T/Th): Roasted Chicken over Wilted Spinach Salad

 

MEAL PREP BREAKFASTS

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M/W/F: Veggie Egg Muffins Served with ½ Whole Grain English Muffin

(2 eggs, ¼ cup spinach, ¼ cup sliced mushrooms, 2 tsp. green onion, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, ¼ tsp. onion powder, ½ whole grain English muffin, 1 medium orange = ½ green, 1 purple, 1 red, 1 yellow)

T/Th: Sweet Potato Veggie Hash with Turkey Sausage and Red Grapes

(½ cup sweet potato, ½ tsp. olive oil, ½ tsp. chili powder, ¼ cup onion, ¼ cup red bell pepper, ½ cup spinach, 4 oz. lean ground turkey sausage, 1 cup grapes = 1 green, 1 purple, 1 red, 1 yellow, ½ tsp.)

 

MEAL PREP SNACKS

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DAILY SHAKEOLOGY SNACK: Vanilla Chia Shakeology Smoothie

(1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology mixed with water, 4 tsp. chia seeds = 1 red, 1 orange)

DAILY AFTERNOON SNACK: Apple with Peanut Butter

(1 medium apple, 1 tsp. peanut butter = 1 purple, 1 tsp.)

 

MEAL PREP LUNCHES

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M/W/F: Cilantro Lime Shredded Chicken with Black Eyed Pea Salad

(½ cup black eyed peas, ½ cup broccoli, ¼ cup red bell pepper, ¼ cup red onion, ¼ tsp. garlic, ¼ tsp. dijon mustard, 1 tsp. olive oil, ½ lemon juiced, 4 oz. chicken breast, 1 Tbsp. cilantro, ½ lime juiced = 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 tsp.)

T/Th: Avocado Chicken Salad served on Toasted Whole Grain Bread

(¼ medium avocado, 4 oz. chicken breast, 1 slice whole grain toast, 2 Tbsp. celery, 2 Tbsp. red onion, ¼ lime juiced, ¼ cup sliced tomato, ½ cup spinach = 1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow, 1 blue)

 

MEAL PREP DINNERS

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M/W/F: Roasted Pepper Tuna Melt

(4 oz. tuna, 1 bell pepper, ¼ cup sautéed kale, ¼ cup white onion, ½ tsp. Italian seasoning, ¼ cup cheddar cheese = 1½ green, 1 red, 1 blue)

T/Th: Roasted Chicken over Wilted Spinach Salad

(4 oz. rotisserie chicken, 1 cup wilted spinach, ½ tsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar = 1 green, 1 red, ½ tsp.)

 

Here is what all of your meals will look like on M/W/F:

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Here is what all of your meals will look like on T/Th:

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Follow this step-by-step guide to assemble your meal prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Begin by preparing the chicken breast for baking; trim the raw chicken breast of any excess fat. Spread raw chicken breasts out in a large baking dish and add water to cover the bottom of the dish; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover with aluminum foil and place in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and pulls apart easily. (Pre-cooked chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken can be purchased to save prep time). Allow chicken to cool in baking dish, then place on cutting board; use two forks to shred chicken into bite-sized pieces and divide between two large bowls for later use (one bowl will contain 12 oz. shredded chicken, the other will contain 8 oz. shredded chicken).
  2. While the chicken breasts are baking, prep the vegetables for the week. One at a time, wash, cut, and set each vegetable aside in separate bowls or piles. Remove the skin from the 2 onions (1 red and 1 white) and dice into small pieces; store in separate bowls. Brush off any dirt from the mushrooms (8 oz. container) and cut into thin slices. Rinse spinach leaves and allow to air dry. Rinse bunch of kale, allow to air dry, and shred ¾ cup. Rinse 4 bell peppers. Remove seeds from the red bell pepper and chop.  Cut the remaining 3 peppers (in color of choice) in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Rinse and chop 1½ cups broccoli. Rinse and cut sweet potato into bite-sized pieces (peel first if desired). Rinse and thinly slice ½ cup tomato. Rinse and finely chop 4 Tbsp. celery. Rinse and finely chop ¼ cup green onion. Rinse and loosely chop 3 Tbsp. cilantro. Peel and finely chop 1 clove of garlic. Store any unused portion of vegetables for future use.
  3. Prep the Veggie Egg Muffins. Prepare a six-cup muffin tray by coating cups with nonstick spray. Note: If using a 12-cup muffin tray, coat the inner 6 cups with nonstick spray and fill the outer 6 cups with water to help evenly distribute heat. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ¾ cup sliced mushrooms to the skillet, cooking just until softened (about 5 minutes). Next add ¾ cup spinach to the skillet, cooking until wilted (about 2-3 minutes). Remove vegetables from heat and divide between the 6 coated muffin cups. Crack 6 eggs into a large bowl; add 3 tsp. Italian seasoning, ¾ tsp. onion powder, salt and pepper to taste, and whisk to combine. Ladle the egg mixture into the muffin cups and top each muffin with 2 tsp. green onion. Place on a baking sheet (to prevent spills) in preheated 375°F oven for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool, then divide muffins among three containers (two muffins in each container) to refrigerate. Serve with ½ whole grain English muffin and 1 medium orange.
  4. Next, make the Roasted Pepper Tuna Melts. When the Veggie Egg Muffins are done, increase the temperature of the oven to 400°F. Add ¾ cup diced white onion to a skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray; cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent (about 5 minutes). Add ¾ cup shredded kale to the skillet and cook until just wilted (about 2-3 minutes). Remove skillet from heat and set aside. Open and drain 3 cans of tuna. In a large bowl, combine 12 oz. drained tuna, sautéed vegetables, and 1½ tsp. Italian seasoning. Divide tuna mixture between 6 bell pepper halves and arrange in baking dish with tuna facing up. Bake for 20 minutes or until peppers have softened to desired texture. Divide ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese among the bell pepper halves and return to oven for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. Note: Peppers will soften further when reheated; if you prefer a crispier texture, remove from oven earlier. When cool, divide pepper halves between three storage containers.
  5. Prep the Sweet Potato Veggie Hash. Place 1 cup diced sweet potato in a microwave-safe bowl and add a splash of water; microwave on high for 5 minutes (or steam sweet potatoes in a steamer on the stovetop until soft). While sweet potato cooks, heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove sweet potato from microwave and toss with 1 tsp. chili powder; transfer to preheated skillet and continue to cook for an additional 10 minutes or until softened, stirring often. Remove from heat and set aside. Meanwhile, heat a separate skillet over medium-high heat; coat pan with nonstick cooking spray and add ½ cup chopped white onion and ½ cup diced red bell pepper, cooking until onion is translucent and peppers have softened. Add 8 oz. lean ground turkey sausage to skillet, cooking until meat is browned and no pink remains. Add 1 cup rinsed spinach to skillet, cooking until just wilted (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Divide sweet potato and sausage mixture between 2 storage containers and refrigerate. Serve with 1 cup washed grapes.
  6. Make the Cilantro Lime Chicken. To the bowl containing the 12 oz. shredded chicken that was set aside earlier, add the juice from 1½ limes and 3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro. Toss until well combined and divide between three storage containers. Next make the Black Eyed Pea Salad. In a small bowl, make the dressing. Whisk together ¾ tsp. minced garlic, ¾ tsp. dijon mustard, 3 tsp. olive oil, and the juice from 1½ lemons; set aside. Open, drain, and rinse can of black eyed peas. In a large bowl, combine 1½ cups black eyed peas, 1½ cups chopped broccoli, ¾ cup chopped red bell pepper, and ¾ cup chopped red onion. Drizzle salad with dressing and toss until well coated; season with salt and pepper, if desired. To the three containers with the Cilantro Lime Chicken, evenly divide the Black Eyed Pea Salad and refrigerate.
  7. Prep the Avocado Chicken Salad. To the bowl containing 8 oz. shredded chicken that was set aside earlier, add 4 Tbsp. diced celery, 4 Tbsp. diced red onion, and juice from ½ lime; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Mix until well combined and divide between two storage containers. Place 1 cup spinach, ¼ cup tomato slices, and one slice whole grain bread or toast in each container. When ready to eat, add ¼ chopped avocado to the chicken mixture and layer chicken and vegetables on toast to make an open-faced sandwich
  8. Make the Wilted Spinach Salad. In a large skillet, heat 1 tsp. olive oil over medium-low heat. Add 2 cups spinach, cooking until just wilted (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and divide spinach between two storage containers. Next, remove skin and breast meat from the rotisserie chicken. Add 4 oz. of chicken to each of the containers with spinach and place extra meat in a freezer-safe bag to use in a future week (or to make soup!). When ready to eat, drizzle Wilted Spinach Salad with 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar.
  9. Snacks do not need to be prepped in advance. Make the Vanilla Chia Shakeology Smoothie each morning by blending 1 scoop Vanilla Shakeology with 4 tsp. chia seeds, water, and ice. Serve one medium apple with 1 tsp. nut butter each afternoon.

 

Use this Grocery List to Make Your Country Heat Meal Prep:

Fruit
5 medium apples
2 cups grapes
3 medium oranges
2 limes
2 lemons

Vegetables
1 large sweet potato
8 oz. baby spinach leaves (4¾ cups)
8 oz. package mushrooms
1 medium red bell pepper
3 medium bell peppers (in color of choice)
1 bunch kale
1 bunch green onion
1 medium white onion
1 medium red onion
1 medium tomato
1 stalk celery
1 medium avocado
1 bunch cilantro
1 head broccoli (or 1½ cups chopped)
1 head garlic

Protein and Dairy
½ dozen eggs
1 rotisserie chicken (or 8 oz. cooked chicken breast)
1¼ lb. raw, boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or use remaining rotisserie chicken)
8 oz. lean turkey sausage
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
5 scoops Vanilla Shakeology

Dry and Canned Goods
1 loaf whole grain bread
1 package whole grain English muffins
1 (15 oz.) can black eyed peas
3 (5 oz.) cans light tuna packed in water

Pantry
Italian seasoning
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
salt
pepper
Dijon mustard
peanut butter
chia seeds
chili powder
onion powder
 

Here are some suggestions to increase this menu to fit the Portion Fix 1,500-1,800 calorie level of 4 green containers, 3 purple containers, 4 red containers, 3 yellow containers, 1 blue container, 1 orange container, and 4 tsp. per day:

On M/W/F:
Add 1 cup cauliflower roasted in 1 tsp. olive oil to dinner (1 green, 1 tsp.)
Add ½ English muffin to breakfast (1 yellow)
Add 1 tsp. additional peanut butter to the afternoon snack (1 tsp.)
Add 1 cup mixture of mango and blueberries to dinner (1 purple)

On T/Th:
Add ½ cup extra veggies to breakfast (½ green)
Add 1 tsp. additional peanut butter to the afternoon snack (1 tsp.)
Add½ cup sweet potatoes roasted in 1 tsp. olive oil to dinner (1 yellow, 1 tsp.)
Add 1 cup of strawberries to dinner salad (1 purple)
Add ½ cup extra spinach or other veggies to dinner (½ green)

Buffet-Style Meal Prep for Any Calorie Level

Buffet-Style Meal Prep for Any Calorie Level

No time for a whole week of meal prep? Try this buffet-style approach to meal prep with simple ingredients that can be mixed and matched to create a variety of meals.

Beachbody's Social Media Manager and meal prep maven Amanda Meixner enjoyed the last buffet-style meal prep so much, she did it again! Instead of planning all of her breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for the week, she prepared a selection of her favourite ingredients and then chose different combinations of those foods at each meal. 

Meal Plan + Grocery List: 5 Day Clean Eating

Meal Plan + Grocery List: 5 Day Clean Eating

5 days.. you, me, a few friends joining us...making better choices and setting ourselves up for success! That's the plan. 

For our 5 Day Clean Eating Challenge, we will be using the system designed trainer extraordinaire, Autumn Calabrese. The Eating Plan offers a simple system that takes calorie counting and guesswork out of the equation

3 Steps for Successful 21 Day Fix Meal Planning

“When it comes to being healthy and fit, it’s not just about what you do in the gym. It’s really about what you do in the kitchen.” – Autumn Calabrese.

Planning your 21 Day Fix meals may seem a bit daunting at first, especially if you’re new to healthy ingredients or portion control, but with a little practice, you will see just how easy it can be to get your clean eating on track. Below are step-by-step instructions for planning your meals and some pro tips on healthy eating.

 

1. Calculate Your Calorie Level and Daily Container Count

Whether you are trying to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight, calculating your proper daily calorie goal is essential to reaching your goals. Here’s how:

1. Multiply your current weight in pounds x 11. This number is your Caloric Baseline.

2. Add 400 (The Fix Calorie Burn) to your Caloric Baseline. The resulting number represents your Caloric Needs to maintain your weight.

3. Subtract 750 (the caloric deficit) from your Caloric Needs. This number is the Caloric Target you should eat to lose weight.

Using your 21 Day Fix Eating Plan Guide, look up the corresponding container count on page 15. Your calorie bracket will determine how many containers of each color you should eat each day.

Here’s an example using a 150-pound person who would like to lose weight.

1. 150 x 11 = 1650 (Caloric Baseline)

2. 1650 + 400 = 2050 (Caloric Needs to maintain weight)

3. 2050 – 750 =  1300 (Caloric Target to lose weight)

Note: If your Caloric Target is less than 1,200, round up to 1,200. If it’s more than 2,300, round down to 2,300. If you are trying to gain weight, add 750 instead of subtracting 750.

2. Write Down A Sample Day of Meals

Now it’s time to start planning. Go to the food lists on pages 24-39. Read through the choices and mark down some of your favorites under every container. Then, using this meal planner, plan a sample day. Think about what types of food you would like to have at each meal and include some of your favorite healthy snacks. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple.

Pro Tip: Choose most of your foods from selections near the top of the list as they are more nutritionally beneficial. Here is a sample day prepared by our Social Media Specialist, Amanda Meixner, who follows the 21 Day Fix Eating Plan.

Before you move on to the next step, think about what you would like to eat for the next 3-5 days. Do you want to eat the same thing for breakfast each day, or do you want to switch it up? What about your snacks, lunches, and dinners? Do you have time to cook meals, or would you prefer to eat simply? Write down the variations you’d like, which “free foods” you’d like to add (page 37) and any treats you’d like to substitute for a yellow or orange container this week (page 38 & 39).

3. Make a Grocery List

Set yourself up for success by writing out your grocery list and sticking to it. Base your list on the foods you chose for the next 3-5 days. It’s okay to buy a surplus of these foods so that you have a little extra on hand, but try to stick to the amounts that match your calorie level. Remember that one green container holds about 1 cup or more of vegetables, and that a serving of protein is about 4 ounces (before cooking). If you plan to eat 4 red containers of boneless, skinless chicken breast over the next few days, you would buy 1 pound of chicken. Click the image below to download your Fix-friendly grocery list.

10 Time-Saving Tips   Buy pre-cooked chicken breast or fish from the deli section.  Choose canned tuna for quick meals.  Buy pre-cut vegetables. (Just make sure nothing is added to it!)  Hard-boil several eggs at once for quick, high-protein snacks or to add to salads.  Here are our tips on how to cook perfect hard-boiled eggs .  Bake all of your sweet potatoes at once.  Pre-cook enough quinoa or brown rice for the week.  Chop all carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, etc. at once for healthy snacks and ready toppings for salads.  Mornings can be hectic. Have your breakfast ready to go by prepping a large batch of oatmeal or these simple  egg cups .  Stock up on berries or fruits that don’t need to be cut like apples, oranges, and bananas.  Raw, unsalted nuts make a great, portable snack.

10 Time-Saving Tips

Buy pre-cooked chicken breast or fish from the deli section.

Choose canned tuna for quick meals.

Buy pre-cut vegetables. (Just make sure nothing is added to it!)

Hard-boil several eggs at once for quick, high-protein snacks or to add to salads. Here are our tips on how to cook perfect hard-boiled eggs.

Bake all of your sweet potatoes at once.

Pre-cook enough quinoa or brown rice for the week.

Chop all carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, etc. at once for healthy snacks and ready toppings for salads.

Mornings can be hectic. Have your breakfast ready to go by prepping a large batch of oatmeal or these simple egg cups.

Stock up on berries or fruits that don’t need to be cut like apples, oranges, and bananas.

Raw, unsalted nuts make a great, portable snack.