Monday Motivation – How to Meal Prep

Happy Monday and welcome back to another Motivation Monday! I wanted to share about meal prep this week because it’s a great way to set yourself up for success if you’re trying to clean up your diet. I like to meal prep on Sundays – I order all of my groceries online so that it frees up time for me to do laundry or clean up around the house. When the groceries arrive, I go ahead and try to cut up and/or cook as many items as I can for the week ahead. Although it’s a few hours of work on Sunday, it makes SUCH a difference in the week ahead! Read on for some specifics.

First up is SMOOTHIES! I love to have a smoothie either first thing in the morning or after a workout, but to be honest they can be a lot of work! I started prepping smoothie ingredients a couple weeks ago and this method has CHANGED MY LIFE. Lol! Now, every Sunday I get out five ziplock bags (these are reusable, by the way! I rinse mine and re-use them) and fill them with single-serving portions of smoothie ingredients. My green smoothie is still my favorite smoothie of all time, so each baggy usually contains: 1 banana, 1 handful of spinach, half of a celery stick, 1 small cube of fresh turmeric, 1 small cube of fresh ginger, and about a cup of frozen mango. Then, all you have to do in the morning is take out your freezer bag, empty the contents into the blender, and blend away. You can add in your wet and dry ingredients at the end – for instance, I’ve been adding in a scoop of maca powder, a pinch of black pepper and I’ll squeeze half of a lemon into the blender in addition to all of the frozen items. I can not stress enough how much easier my life is when I make these freezer bags ahead of time! And now I’m not temped to skip the smoothie because I “don’t have time.”

Okay, on to actual meal prep! I usually only meal prep my lunches for the week, since Chris and I like to cook dinner together on weekdays. Specific ingredients vary from week to week, but I always like to have cooked quinoa, a roasted vegetable, beans and chickpeas in the fridge. These are staples that I end up eating throughout the week (we also end up using them our dinner recipes). Every Sunday, I will usually cook up a bag of sprouted organic quinoa. Quinoa is a grain that contains all nine essential amino acids and is packed with protein (which is great if you’re plant-based!). I like buying quinoa that’s “sprouted,” which increases essential nutrients like B-vitamins, Vitamin C, folate, soluble fiber and essential amino acids, and also makes it easier to digest. Quinoa soaks up the flavor of anything that you put with it, so you can make a quinoa salad or add your favorite spices to add some flavor.

Next, I like to roast some vegetables in the oven to have on hand for lunches all week. This week I made sweet potatoes (my favorite!), but I also like roasted butternut squash or brussel sprouts. I simply cut up two or three sweet potatoes into 1-inch size pieces and then place on a baking sheet. I add some organic extra-virgin olive oil, chili powder, turmeric powder and a pinch of black pepper to the sweet potatoes (I eyeball it) and mix it all up with my hands until the sweet potatoes are evenly covered. Then I pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, usually flipping the sweet potatoes once during the process.

Black beans and chickpeas are super easy to meal prep – I take them out of the can, rinse and drain them, and put them in glass containers to store in the fridge. If I bought any vegetables for the week, like celery, carrots, or bell peppers, I will also go ahead and cut those up too and put them in glass containers. These make a great snack when paired with some organic hummus, and if they’re already cut up then they are super easy to grab throughout the week (rather than reaching for chips or junk food!).

For a typical lunch, I’ll combine a lot of the items that I’ve made into one big bowl and add a dressing. This week I made a dressing out of soaked cashews, nutritional yeast, an avocado and a little bit of water – it tastes cheesy because of the nutritional yeast and is sooo good! So a typical lunch could be a bowl of sprouted quinoa with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, chickpeas, half of an avocado and the cheesy cashew dressing.

Kitchen Gadget I’m Loving

To go along with meal prep this week, I am really loving my new glass tupperware containers. I recently replaced all of our plastic tupperware with glass tupperware – plastic tupperware can contain BPA and other toxins that can be released into your food when you microwave them! They also can’t be recycled, so most of the plastic tupperware is probably sitting in a landfill somewhere 🙁 Glass is much better for you (and the environment). I bought these glass containers, which come in a package of 12 and contain all different shapes and sizes. We really like storing single ingredients in these. I always put quinoa in the biggest one, and use the smaller ones for cut-up veggies, black beans, etc. We also really like these divided glass containers for portioning out lunches for the week. They are safe to use in dishwashers, microwaves and ovens (just take the lid off before heating).

I got some questions about what I did with our old tupperware – I ended up keeping most of it and finding ways to re-purpose it throughout our house. I used a bunch of them to store makeup brushes and makeup, kept some around for leftover paint, and I also kept some on hand for Thanksgiving this year (we always send food home with our family!). If you have any other good ideas, let us know in the comments.

Book of the Week

This week I’m reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility, by Toni Weschler. I think this book should be in the curriculum of high schools as mandatory reading for all women! I didn’t know how body illiterate I was – I’m only a couple hundred pages in and have already learned SO MUCH about my body and feel so much more empowered as a woman. In the book, Weschler explains the Fertility Awareness Method, which can be used whether you’re avoiding pregnancy or trying to achieve it. By just paying attention to your body and your period, you can learn so much about your own health. I’m a huge fan of natural birth control (I personally don’t want to ingest artificial hormones), and the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) provides a way to do that – and if you are wanting to get pregnant in the future, FAM can also identify any fertility problems BEFORE running to the doctor and getting involved in invasive diagnostic tests. I highly recommend this book, as it is an excellent resource book for ANY woman, no matter what life stage you’re in.

This Week, Eat More…

Berries! It’s August and blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries are all in season (although they won’t be for much longer, since fall is coming). There are several ways to incorporate them into your diet – I like mixing them all together in a big bowl and topping them with a little bit of cinnamon and honey for dessert at night. Mix them in to your morning oatmeal or whip up a batch of baked oatmeal cups to grab and go for the week ahead.

Clean Beauty Product of the Week

It’s become really important to me to use a natural deodorant, but MAN! It’s hard to find one that actually works. I tried a couple of brands and always felt like I smelled like body odor no matter what. Last week, I picked up this natural deodorant at Sephora and I was surprised to find that it works really well! (MUCH better than the other brands I had tried.) It’s 100% plant-based and also glides on clear so you don’t have to worry about it rubbing off on your clothes. I read some reviews and it doesn’t seem to work for everyone, but I am really impressed with it!

Let me know if there’s a topic you want me to focus on next week! xoxo

Leave a Comment

61 Comments

  1. Pam

    What do you plan on cooking/baking for your family Thanksgiving and Christmas meals? I love reading your post! You are the cutest thing’🥰

    8.19.19Reply
  2. Lauren

    That’s so funny! I started using that deodorant about a month ago and I love it! These have been my favorite posts of yours to date, keep it up!

    8.19.19Reply
    • Margarete Dorr

      Thank you for sharing these helpful tips and inspiration to start our week on the right foot! I will have to try your smoothie prep trick.

      8.19.19Reply
  3. I love quinoa. I need to try the sprouted version! I like that this meal is very veg & bean-friendly!

    8.19.19Reply
  4. Dee

    I am loving these Monday posts. Thank you for sharing your meal prep. tricks and the other resources. 🙂

    8.19.19Reply
  5. Rachel Gavin

    These are so great! Loving your MM posts! Keep em coming.

    8.19.19Reply
  6. Kate

    Such a good recommendation for Weschler’s book, it’s a classic!

    You might like to try silicone freezer bags. You can just pop them into the dishwasher and reuse them. They’re also good for storing soup and then reheating it.

    8.19.19Reply
    • Ahh I’ve never heard of these before! Checking out the silicone freezer bags right now!

      8.19.19Reply
  7. I am SO happy to hear you’re interested in Natural Family Planning! It’s much healthier for your body and your relationship, yet most people turn to artificial contraceptives. I wish more women were in tune with our bodies’ natural rhythm.Thanks for sharing Caitlin!

    8.19.19Reply
  8. Julie

    LOVING this Monday Motivation segment!

    8.19.19Reply
  9. Corinne

    A lot of good ideas Cait. Pre-planning your week is successful all the way around. Gotta get that book. Sounds interesting!

    8.19.19Reply
  10. Melissa

    Enjoyed this post. The smoothie is very similar to one I use almost everyday, like that you added the ginger and turmeric. My good friend is a Dietician and she is always telling me to make sure and add just a pinch of black pepper with my turmeric. The prepping option is a great time saver. Have enjoyed your blog for over a year now, love your style. I was so happy to find styes from your site that work for me even though I am in my mid forties. Thanks for helping me look so put together and stylish!

    8.19.19Reply
  11. Sally Nichols

    I LOVE this post!! I just made a grocery list that includes all of these ingredients. I loved to hear about how you eat the berries for dessert too – I have a sweet tooth, and that’s my biggest problem since I cut out unhealthy sugar and carbs. I love hearing what wholesome desserts people choose to eat rather than the typical ice cream, cookies, etc.

    8.19.19Reply
  12. Deanna

    What a pleasant surprise. You leave the skin on your sweet potato. I do as well. That is lovely

    8.19.19Reply
  13. Brigette A Robinson

    Thank you for sharing the oatmeal berry muffin recipe! I was JUST looking for a good one to try as we’re preparing for back to school this week (kiddos return on Wednesday). My daughter hates getting up in the morning just like her momma, bless her heart, and these will be a super easy grab and go option as we all get back into the swing of our new morning routine.
    Have a wonderful week!
    -Brigette

    8.19.19Reply
  14. mary

    Great idea. Do you put your pre-made smoothie bags in the fridge or freezer? Thanks.

    8.19.19Reply
    • Hey Mary, I put them in the freezer! 🙂

      8.19.19Reply
    • Jillian

      Thank you for this post, it was wonderful! I really need to step up my meal prep game, I find myself grabbing fast food on my lunch breaks. I love the glass containers that you recommended! I’ve been using Stasher bags to replace Ziploc bags. They’re great for the environment and healthy to use. I also love your idea of ordering groceries to save time; I’m definitely going to do this!

      8.19.19Reply
  15. These posts are becoming a Monday favorite of mine! Keep it up Caitlin!

    xoxo,
    Juliana Grace | http://www.julianagraceblogspace.com

    8.19.19Reply
  16. I love these posts so much! I have never heard of the book that you mentioned, and I’ll definitely be checking it out! My husband and I have sweet potatoes planted in our garden this year, and I can’t wait to try all kinds of recipes with them. Thanks for sharing!

    8.19.19Reply
  17. Kaitlin

    Yes!!! So glad you mentioned FAM—- I love Femmehead’s YouTube videos and the Fertility Friday podcast. If you want an amazing wearable temp device for avoiding (or achieving) pregnancy—- tempdrop is incredible. It measures your axillary temp under your arm and you only need a total of 3 hours of sleep (not consecutive) perfect for women w kids etc.

    It’s from Israel so shipping takes a bit but it’s way more convenient to temp this way bc you don’t have to wake up at same time daily to get an oral temp. I love it and plan to use it for the next 20 years till menopause. I hope to teach my own daughters to chart (if I have any) and can’t wait to see where fertility tech goes in the next few decades. I had a horrible time coming off BCP in my early twenties and I believe tons of horrible symptoms I got were side effects from that. It’s just wrong to trick your body for years and years into thinking your pregnant when you’re not. It also messes with your pheromones where you’ll be attracted to someone with more similar genetics (like a brother figure) on the pill, and then most women go off once married and they shift again. I’m grateful I met my partner when I wasn’t on them.
    It bothers me that many women think they’re having normal periods on the pill when they aren’t.

    I also like Groove premium for charting versus free kindara.

    https://www.temp-drop.com/

    8.19.19Reply
  18. Loving the book of the week! Thanks for sharing.

    Anika | anikamay.co.uk

    8.19.19Reply
  19. What an amazing blogpost, thank you so much for all those tips!! I definitely want to step up my game with meal prepping and I have now idea why I never thought about pre-packing my smoothie recipes, haha, what a game changer! I do always have cut up vegetables in my fridge though, as you said, to easily grab as a snack or for quickly tossing a salad together if I “don’t have time”.
    xx Janine
    https://walkinmysneaks.blogspot.com

    8.19.19Reply
  20. Elle

    Hi! Really enjoyed the post! Do you shop at a BJs/SAMs/Costco? Would love to see what you usually pick up there too. BJs are in my area and are a favorite of mine!

    8.19.19Reply
  21. Laura Leigh

    Thank you so much for sharing that book! I have been wanting to get off birth control for awhile and this book sounds like it could be the answer for me! Thanks again lady!

    xo Laura Leigh
    http://www.louellareese.com

    8.19.19Reply
  22. Love this post! What camera/lens do you shoot with?

    8.19.19Reply
  23. Emily

    If you are looking for an easier smoothie prep container – I love using small mason jars! They are super easy to clean and reuse, plus they stack SO nicely in your freezer and are air tight.

    8.19.19Reply
  24. Megan Paranzino

    Hi Caitlyn! Love this post. I have been meaning to replace my plastic Tupperware with glass containers and the ones you recommend look perfect. It would be great if you make a post on different homemade dressings/sauces. I recently gave up dairy (and feel so much better) so non-dairy ones are extra appreciated!

    8.19.19Reply
  25. Stacy

    Hi Caitlin! I Love all of your posts…I love your fashion and all the great recommendations ,but I am also very health conscious, so I love when you do posts on healthy meal ideas and natural products as well. Thanks for all of the great suggestions and helpful ideas! XOXO

    8.19.19Reply
  26. Another FANTASTIC post, Caitlin! I’ve been looking at different glass containers for food storage and meal prep, but couldn’t find any I liked. Pyrex is good, but not leak proof, that’s for sure. So, I appreciate your recommendation! Now, I’m going to have to try and control myself from buying more than just food containers, ha!

    She Sweats Diamonds

    P.S. I went looking for the How to Not Die book at several Half Price stores this weekend. Nothing, so Amazon it is!

    8.19.19Reply
  27. Darryl Swenson

    Thanks Caitlin! This will help a lot as my wife and I have our little kiddos get back to school. We’ve been trying to make our home much more organized and ready to go for the school year. So thanks again!

    8.19.19Reply
  28. Nancy

    What brand of Maca do use?

    8.19.19Reply
  29. Ciara

    Another great natural deodorant is called Crystal. You can get it at a drug store. I’ve been using it for 9 years now and it was recommended to me by a doctor. It works great and id never change to anything else! 😁

    8.19.19Reply
  30. Viola

    Thanks for the meal prep ideas and the ziplock bags make it so much easier in the morning for my smoothie.

    8.19.19Reply
  31. Meghan

    Love the tips for meal prepping and sharing some of your staple foods. As a college student and vegan this was so helpful!

    8.19.19Reply
  32. Cassie Mrozinski

    I LOVE these posts. It is because of you that I workout a minimum of three times a week now. I read several years ago that it was your goal to do that and ever since, I’ve done the same and I’ve been stronger and my anxiety has been way better! I do a ton of ballet and am even going back on pointe! I’m also obsessed with the green smoothie- we have it every morning. Thanks for all your inspiration.

    8.19.19Reply
  33. Jennifer

    Hi!
    I’ve never been a fan of medication and as I get older I worry about hormone loss and the cancer causing meds that are often prescribed. Does the book speak to pre-menopause and that life stage?
    By the way you’ve inspired me to take steps to reduce toxins in my home and diet, so thank you!
    Jennifer

    8.19.19Reply
  34. Jillian

    Thank you for this post, it was wonderful! I really need to step up my meal prep game, I find myself grabbing fast food on my lunch breaks. I love the glass containers that you recommended! I’ve been using Stasher bags to replace Ziploc bags. They’re great for the environment and healthy to use. I also love your idea of ordering groceries to save time; I’m definitely going to do this!

    8.19.19Reply
  35. Thank you for this Monday Motivation post! 💖 We try to eat healthy as well, but I can’t say I am as good about it as you are. 🙈 I tried quinoa and it’ll definitely take some getting used to! I love the prepping for smoothies ideas though! 👍 We also started ordering Freshly, which are these healthy, cooked meals delivered to you, and I plan on reviewing it in my Stories soon because it is a game changer! Also love your idea to have some seasonal berries with cinnamon and honey! 🍒🍓

    @warmweatherblonde

    8.19.19Reply
  36. Jordan

    I am LOVING Monday motivation. It’s hard to find good plant based content! If you have any suggestions of other good plant based bloggers to follow I’d love that! Also dinner ideas!

    Thanks for sharing!

    8.19.19Reply
  37. Hailey Russell

    I love these Monday posts, it keeps me looking forward to Monday!!! 🙂 Do you know of some good products or recipes for gluten free or dairy free? I am newly gluten free and am still trying to find some good products and recipes. If you know any, I would love to see your suggestions!!

    8.20.19Reply
  38. Emily

    I loved ypur post but I have a question. These ingredients you cooked cN they stay in the refrigerator for 5 days? That’s always my problem with meal prep.

    8.20.19Reply
    • Hey Emily, I usually keep them in the fridge for four days (Monday-Thursday) and then I treat myself to lunch on Friday 🙂

      8.20.19Reply
  39. Katherine

    I love to do my sweet potatoes cubed and tossed with olive oil, garlic, and rosemary! Soooo good

    8.20.19Reply
  40. Robin Glenn

    Your smoothie sounds wonderful and I love forward to trying them. You mentioned adding wet or dry ingredients at the end and I’m curious what wet ingredients you might add. Do you ever add almond milk ?
    Do you buy the mango in the freezer section or are you using fresh mango?

    8.20.19Reply
    • I don’t use Almond Milk but I bet it would taste good! I usually add water, maca powder and squeeze half of a lemon into the blender. That’s it 🙂

      8.20.19Reply
    • Oh and I use frozen organic mango from Whole Foods!

      8.20.19Reply
  41. Kristen

    Ok now I’m hungry. lol

    I’ll have to remember using that dressing next time I meal prep – something I don’t really think about.

    I read that book a few years ago and it was definitely eye opening! I agree that more of that should be taught in schools.

    8.20.19Reply
  42. Juliette

    This is the first of your blog posts I’ve read. I’m so encouraged that there are other women who want to take a natural, approach to their own fertility. I agree that we all should have been more educated in this area in high school! Thank you for the book recommendation!

    8.20.19Reply
  43. Sara

    I did like the Kopari coconut deodorant but I have been LOVING the Malin+Goetz Eucalyptus one 😍

    8.20.19Reply
  44. Jennifer

    Do you do anything else with the chickpeas? I love them, just want to know if you ever put them in the oven or anything like that

    8.20.19Reply
  45. Erica

    Taking Charge of Your Fertility is amazing! I read it about 6 years ago. I have PCOS, and it was unlikely I was going to get pregnant without some help. I had to take fertility drugs, but I used FAM to get pregnant on the second month of trying. I credit that book with my beautiful 5-year old daughter. I absolutely agree it should be required reading.

    8.21.19Reply
  46. Hannah

    As someone who had issues ovulating after coming off the pill, I so appreciate the advice of the FAM method. We ended up going through IVF after a few years of trying (and eventually needing all the invasive testing for both of us) but for those who don’t have issues getting pregnant, this would be the route I’d recommend!

    8.21.19Reply
  47. I’m also on the natural birth control bandwagon and just read Taking Charge of your Fertility too! So good! Do you think you could write a post on your experience so far? If it feels way too personal no worries but I know it could educate so many women and I’m all for breaking down the stigma with fertility/periods/women’s health etc.

    xo
    Allie

    8.21.19Reply
  48. Jordee Kalk

    Hi there!!

    I’m living for these Monday posts– thanks so much for sharing!

    I would love more meal prep ideas, especially plant-based ones! Also if you wouldn’t mind sharing your dressing recipe!

    -Jordee

    8.21.19Reply
  49. Try No Pong deodorant paste. Hands down the best natural deodorant (and I’ve tried them all!). It’s weird getting used to the paste formula at first but it’s actually a nice massage for your lymph nodes which helps move lymph along (which helps with detoxification) x

    8.22.19Reply
  50. Super helpful and motivating post, Cait! I love reading about your healthy, plant-based diet and your workouts too. Keep it up!

    Deanna
    http://www.DesigningGal.ca

    8.24.19Reply
  51. Chelsey

    Really enjoyed this post! I’ve slowly been transferring over our things like you are. We also do a lot of composting, so things like previous plastic cutlery used in our work lunch boxes – I now purchase compostable version. I NEED the reusable baggies – I use those like they’re going out of style!

    Also, love the meal ideas – I do veg, mostly plant-based, and struggle to come up with satisfying ideas, mainly for lunches for the work-week.

    Thank you for all the shares and motivation!

    8.25.19Reply
  52. Alina

    Hi Caitlin! Thanks for the post! I just purchased the book you mentioned and can’t wait to read it!
    Just wanted to comment on the deodorant you talked about. It’s actually not at all natural. It lists fragrance as one of the ingredients which actually means that it probably has hundreds of chemicals involved in creating that one word. I’m sure it works great but I wouldn’t call it natural just because it’s aluminum free 🙂 Just wanted to through that out there 🙂

    Thanks!
    Alina

    8.28.19Reply