How to Meal Prep (and stick to it)

So, you’ve just been put on an elimination diet to help you determine if dairy or gluten are the culprits behind your chronic fatigue and bloating. Initially, an elimination diet sounded easy and pretty straightforward, but now that it’s crunch time, the thought of following through is overwhelming. 

Your doctor suggested meal prepping, but you don’t know the first thing about that other than eating Chinese food leftovers. Don’t pull your hair out just yet (read this first).

Here is meal prep 101 and how to stick to it. 

Step 1: Understanding how you eat

In a perfect world, we would all eat three regular meals a day with a snack between each meal. We don’t live in a perfect world, and we all have unique eating habits that are influenced by our cultures, daily life, and access to certain foods.

Maybe you’re the person who never skips breakfast, has a large lunch, and prefers a night snack instead of a full-blown dinner. Maybe breakfast upsets your stomach, so you eat a banana an hour before lunch and have a massive midday meal, no snack, and a moderate dinner with something sweet while you binge the new season of Stranger Things. The list goes on.

Everyone’s eating habits are unique to them, so have a realistic chat with yourself and answer these questions:

  • What is my most important meal of the day?
  • Do I snack a lot, or rely on bigger meals for calories?
  • What do I crave the most?
  • What time of day do I snack the most?
  • Do I like three regular big meals or several small meals throughout the day?

Step 2: Plan your meals before you shop

Ever been to the grocery store on an empty stomach and without a list? Your shopping cart was likely full of snacks and random items that weren’t grabbed with any particular intention other than ‘This looks good…oh, look a new Oreo flavor!’.

Since your elimination diet is a medical necessity, it’s time to do some homework. Nowadays, everything is available at the search of a phrase or the press of a button. This means that great dairy and gluten-free recipes are right there, just a Google search away, waiting to be discovered. 

Spend a couple of hours pinning recipes that look good to you and are at the right level for your cooking experience, and start planning.

Step 3: Map your week

This might sound a little ‘type A’ or come across as neurotic, but you need to keep a food planner or calendar. Yes, you read that right. After you have pinned all of these delectable recipes, it’s time to plan. 

 

The trick here is variety, but not too much because you’re the one cooking after all. Pick two key recipes for your largest meals of the day, something that keeps well, and plan on making enough of each to last until Wednesday, assuming your cooking days are Wednesday and Sunday. 

 

Don’t forget to account for snacking! Here is a sample food calendar for a week:



 

Sun

Mon

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Breakfast

Eggs benedict on gluten-free muffin

Overnight oats

Overnight oats

Overnight oats

Overnight oats

Overnight oats

Gluten free pancakes and scrambled eggs

Lunch

Chicken salad with roasted vegetables

Hearty Lentil soup 

Roast chicken and veggies with rice and spinach

Curry chickpeas with jasmine rice and veggies

Teriyaki salmon over spinach with veggies

Gluten free burger, air-fryer zucchini fries, and vegan ranch

Gluten-free burger, air-fryer zucchini fries, and vegan ranch

Dinner

Hearty Lentil soup and GF crackers

Roast chicken  and veggies with rice

Hearty Lentil Soup

Teriyaki salmon with sticky rice and asparagus

Curry chickpeas with jasmine rice and leftover protein

Everything bowl (rice with whatever leftovers you have)

OUT TO EAT

Snack

Fruit and yogurt

Vegan yogurt, carrots and hummus

Dark chocolate blueberries chips and hummus

Vegan yogurt, carrots and hummus

Dark chocolate blueberries chips and hummus

Vegan yogurt, carrots and hummus

Fruit and yogurt, chips and hummus

Step 4: Get excited and have fun with it.

Meal prepping for your elimination diet doesn’t have to be daunting. Think of it as a new adventure and a learning experience. Take this time to learn how to cook, or maybe use it as an opportunity to try a food you’ve never had before. 

Got a tummy ache or a headache that won’t go away? Ask your doctor about our Bloodprint food sensitivity panel to see if it’s that avocado toast from this morning or the iced coffee you’re currently sipping. 

The power of knowing beats the anxiety of guessing! Schedule a time to meet with one of our team and find out how the Bloodprint test can help you pinpoint the right foods to include in your meal planning.

Have Questions?