Meal Prep 101: Easy Meal Prepping for Success
Even if you’re not an amateur gourmet chef, or even a foodie, preparing your Viome recommended foods for the week doesn’t have to be difficult, or a chore.
Meal prepping is not only a good way to stay consistent on your health journey, but it’s a great way to save money (eating out is getting more and more expensive), and know exactly what is in the meal you're eating. Here’s some simple steps to help you prep nutritious meals that include as many of your Superfoods as possible.
You’ll need some reusable containers to pack your meals in. Five will do if you’re only packing lunch for the week, more if you’re prepping breakfast and dinner as well. Glass is preferable, as some plastics can release toxins into your food, especially when microwaved.
Using Your Recommended Foods Lists
Take a moment to sit down with your personalized lists of Superfoods and Enjoy foods. Scrolling down on your app home page will show you lists of your Superfoods for each food group.
If you have recipes that you use on a regular basis and can incorporate your recommended foods into, go for it! This how-to will give you a way to assemble your meals using just the basics.
Meal Menu Components
Build out your meals with components from individual food groups. An easy way to do this is to plan out a weekly menu and list out your separate foods for each:
Protein: This could be 3-4 ounces of chicken, fish, tofu, lean pork, eggs, beans, etc.
Fats: Your recommended fat servings per day are included with your protein servings, so counting up your proteins and fats on your weekly menu is a good way to keep track of how much you’re eating. A little olive oil tossed with your roasted veggies, a tablespoon of vinaigrette with your salad should fulfill your daily fat servings.
Vegetables: Depending on your servings per day of vegetables, this should be the bulk of your meal, around 2 cups.
Fruits & Grains: Your recommended servings per day of fruits and grains may be less than your vegetables, and possibly your protein. So you don’t need to include them in every meal you eat. Want to include a grain with your chicken, or an apple or nectarine as something sweet after lunch? Go for it.
Herbs & Spices: Are there a few herbs or spices on your Superfoods list? Cinnamon, basil, dill? These are an excellent way to get an extra dose of Superfood benefits with just a shake from a spice jar, or a sprinkle of chopped fresh herbs. Plus they add another layer of deliciousness to your food.
As far as food selection goes, the idea is to try to get as many of your Superfoods into your meals as you can, while also getting enough of a variety. Enjoy foods are great as well. While the foods on your minimize list may be enjoyed on occasion, it's simpler if you try to stay away from them and let your Superfoods do the work of helping rebalance your gut microbiome. Your Minimize foods may move around and come back into your Enjoy list with a future retest.
Cooked or raw? Depends on what components you’ve selected and how you like them prepared. Bulk or batch cooking is a quick way to prepare large amounts of food at once. Placing proteins and vegetables on sheet trays with a little oil, salt and pepper and roasting in the oven is a very simple way to prepare much of your food.
Salads are a great way to combine your week's vegetables. Just chop, toss and store your veggies (and fruit if you like) in airtight containers. Add your 1-2 tablespoons of dressing right before you eat.
Sample Weekly Lunch Menu
Here’s a sample menu using our writer’s Viome food recommendations:
Batch cooking on Sunday
Baked salmon and/or chicken with dill and olive oil
Oven roasted onions, sweet potatoes, carrots and Jerusalem artichokes
Black bean soup with bone broth and cilantro
Radicchio, endive, carrot, artichoke salad
Monday / Wednesday / Friday Menus
Baked salmon or chicken (3 oz)
Roasted veggies (2 cups)
Quinoa (½ cup)
Tuesday / Thursday Menus
Black bean soup (1 cup)
Salad (2 cups) with vinaigrette (1 Tbsp.)
Pineapple (1 cup)
Small Steps Lead to Bigger Steps
Implementing your food recommendations does not have to be an “all or nothing” approach. If it’s more your speed to try to begin with removing one or two Avoid foods from your diet, and adding in one or two easily accessible Superfoods, start right there. This is not a sprint, this is your long-distance health journey.
We wish you luck and encourage you as you begin!