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How to Meal Prep and Plan Like a Boss | Ms. Health-Esteem

How to Meal Prep and Plan Like a Boss

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How To Meal Prep and Plan Like A Boss Title Card in the background are 6 Mason Jars of different prepped meals

Hiya Loves:

Life is busy! Some days can feel like a marathon. And when the dust clears it can be hard to find the time and energy to do one. more. thing. Even if that extra thing is creating a healthy meal.

Have you ever struggled to make time in your busy daily schedule to cook for yourself? Do you find yourself skipping breakfast? Or are you rushing to the corner store for a sad day old sandwich on your lunch break?

If you answered yes to any of these questions Kelli Magrath, inspirational foodie, professional food prepper and the brilliant mind behind Nutrition Not Restriction is here to help!

Get ready for the simple food prep and planning advice you need. I promise, your busy days will no longer let you go hungry!

Take it away Kelli:

How to Meal Prep and Plan Like a Boss

With Kelli of Nutrition Not Restriction

Kelli, Meal Prep Professional and guest author, with a friend at a race
The lovely Kelli, on the left <3

You wake up in the morning, jump in the shower and scramble out to your car. You’re going to be late for work…but you forgot to eat so you hit the closest drive-thru or gas station for breakfast. For lunch, you head to the local deli or drive thru to grab something fast and cheap so you can hurry back to the office.

At 5 o-clock, you jump in your car, relieved the long work day is finally over. You’re looking forward to heading home. You’re excited for things to wind down but all of a sudden that anxiety sets in. Your breath becomes a little heavier, your mind races, and your heart rate increases… you realize you have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner.

You wonder if you have time to defrost meat. You worry your family will eat that same dinner for the umpteenth time this month. You’re not sure that you even have time to stop at the store. You decide you don’t and declare that the nearest delivery joint will have to do.

Does that sound like you?

Two delicious dishes in seperate tuperware containers

This was every day of my life prior to June 2013.

The lack of preparation, the unnecessary anxiety, and the unhealthy eating habits were ingrained in my day-to-day life. It seemed like too much effort to meal plan, make grocery lists, and meal prep.

What I failed to realize was that it takes WAY more effort to go to the grocery store every other day and stress about breakfasts, lunches and dinners. It’s near impossible to try to be healthy while constantly consuming prepackaged and chemical-laden foods that are taxing on the mind and body.

And I was also spending unnecessary amounts of money on foods I could be cooking at home.

A meal being prepped and put together with kale, mushrooms, pepitas, carrots and more

When people ask me for tips on how they can keep on track with healthy eating, the number one thing I tell them is to start meal planning, followed closely by learning how to meal prep.

Meal planning and prepping are two of the most effective ways to set yourself up for a successful and healthy week. When we don’t have a plan for our meals, we end up settling for the quickest and cheapest thing we can find, which, let’s be honest, most of the time isn’t really a healthy meal option.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Your Healthy Diet Isn’t Working (And How to Fix It)

How to Meal Plan

Green beans on a cutting board, the tops have been cut off

1. Think About The Plans and Activities Ahead

When you sit down to meal plan, first ask yourself what plans or activities you might have coming up in the next week. If you have a crazy week ahead, plan to look for a few crockpot recipes or make-ahead dishes that could be stored in your freezer for when you’re in a pinch.

2. Consider How Many Meals You’ll Be Planning And Pick Some Recipes

Next, think about how many meals you are going to be planning for and start writing down or bookmarking some recipes. I find Pinterest to be a valuable resource and I love that I can visually browse my saved recipes.

When picking recipes, think about what’s in season and what things may be on sale at the store in order to save money.

Double batch recipes when you can. And utilize your leftovers! Who doesn’t love to save time AND money?!

3. Put The Plan Together

A couple preps a meal together, cutting up their vegetables on a wooden cutting board

I will typically grab a pen and paper and on the left side of the page I will write out the days of the week and, next to it, the meals I plan to make.

Underneath I will prepare a section for breakfasts, snacks, lunches and dinners. Seeing it all laid out makes me feel at ease, knowing that I’ll never be left wondering “What should I make for dinner tonight?!”

4. Make A Grocery List

As you are writing down your meal plan, take note of all the ingredients and the quantities you will need. You have now started a grocery list to keep you from those random and unnecessary purchases. 

Going to the grocery store and trying to wing it is a sure-fire way to overspend and leads to excessive waste; we end up throwing away precious foods because we didn’t have a plan for utilizing them.

Related: Hate Mornings? You’ll Adore These 4 Easy Breakfast Ideas

How to Meal Prep

Grated vegetables in a metal collander

After you’ve done your grocery shopping and brought all your goodies home, you can start meal prepping anything that will save you time throughout the week. Choose an idle day or night to put some time aside to get your meal prep done.

Take a look at your meal plan that you created for the week and pick 1 or 2 snacks and/or a meal that you could prep for the week ahead.

Some examples of simple meal prep ideas:

  1. I like to make a big batch of quinoa that I keep on hand for added protein for salads, sides, lunches, or dinners.
  2. I might also make some chia pudding or cook a batch of hard boiled eggs for a nutrient packed snack.
  3. Breakfast muffins are great for breaky when you’re on the go.
  4. And having options like a batch of pre-cooked chicken breasts or sweet potatoes to use as a main course or even in a salad are fabulous time savers.
  5. Mason jar salads are another fabulous meal prep option
  6. Having pre-washed fruits and veggies are also great for snacking and/or meals.

Pre-made vegetable soup in a mason jar.

Once you get comfortable and find your groove, you can start adding to your meal prep repertoire!

Do something your future self will thank you for. One of the most important things to remember while you learn how to meal prep: have fun with it! While you’re prepping, throw on some music, get your family involved, and enjoy the process. Pick foods that you love and that will love you back.

Once you have practiced meal planning and prepping a couple of times, it will start to feel more natural. You’ll wonder why it took you so long to start. And your health and sanity will thank you!

Related: Health-Esteem Queen Kelli – Pancreatitis, Healthy Lifestyle, Self-Love and More

Final Thoughts

Prepped meals in 3 seperate tuperware containers.

(This is Sara taking back the wheel!) Thank you so much for taking the time to teach us how to meal plan like a pro Kelli! Wasn’t this so flipping helpful guys?!

I love how she encouraged us to have fun and make it our own! Adding music to the mix is always a good idea, wouldn’t you agree?

And I could seriously go for one of those mason jar salads! I’ll have to go get my meal prep on.

Pesto being prepared in a morter and pestle.

Meal prepping and planning can really be a lifesaver when we’re busy bees. But remember – it’s so important that you create a healthy balance that feels right for you. Love to plan? Awesome! Want to try it out? Great! Not feeling it? That’s totally cool too.

Whatever helps you find your healthy balance is wonderful! You do you darling <3.

Be sure to head on over to Kelli’s site for more awesome meal prep tips and ideas. You won’t be disappointed.

Thank you so much Kelli!

Do you meal plan and prep? Are you excited to implement these meal prep ideas into your routine? What tips would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments below! Health and love <3. 

Health and love,


Thought of the day: You can never go wrong with a good plan.

About Kelli Magrath:

Kelli Magrath or

After being hospitalized in 2013 and told she had less than a 10% chance of survival, Kelli took control of her life and her health. Today, she is an incredible wellness warrior thriving with real foods, gratitude, kettlebells and avocados.
She loves to show you that healthy eating isn’t about calorie counting, deprivation, complicated recipes, or bland foods. And she shares her meals, incredibly helpful tips, delicious recipes, healthy living inspiration, and passion for living a nourished life that never leaves you feeling deprived or restricted on her wonderful website Want extra goodness? She has a pretty rad Instagram too.

Learn more about Kelli through her Health-Esteem Queen interview here. Bonus, you’ll get your hands on her delicious recipe for Overnight Crockpot Cacao Steel Cut Oats with walnuts and berries. Trust me, they’re AMAZING!

Kelli of prepped all of these amazing meals for her clients.
This is all professional meal prep done by Kelli! How cool is that?!

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Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.


  1. Reply


    August 15, 2019

    I’m a huge fan of meal prepping. I have three kids, two dogs, a husband, and my own business. I need to save time whenever and wherever I can.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 25, 2019

      Yes! Meal prep helps so much when we’re busy bees! I’m so happy it’s been helpful for you Stacie :). That’s awesome! Happy prepping <3

  2. Reply

    emman damian

    August 15, 2019

    Your meal prep tips are so amazing! I also do my own meals as it helps me to have more nutritious and tasty food. Much cheaper too!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 25, 2019

      I’m so glad you appreciated Kelli’s guest post Emman! Her tips were fantastic <3. And it's awesome that you have a fun meal prepping routine! It really does make an awesome difference :)

  3. Reply

    Steph Social

    August 15, 2019

    Meal prep is definitely something I want to spend some time on! I love how you can save time, money and eat healthy!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 25, 2019

      It’s a mix of so much goodness! I totally agree Steph! I plan on getting more into it too. So grateful for Kelli’s thoughtful advice 🙂

  4. Reply

    Shannon Gurnee

    August 16, 2019

    I need to get better at meal planning for sure! This is some great information! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 25, 2019

      I hope you have a wonderful time getting more into it Shannon! Kelli’s advice it truly so helpful. I’m happy you enjoyed it! Happy prepping 🙂

  5. Reply

    Wendy Polisi

    August 16, 2019

    Meal prep is such a great way to stay ahead of your schedule. It is also a really great way to avoid eating out all the time.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 25, 2019

      Heck yes it is Wendy! It’s a wonderful addition to your routine if you’re a busy bee <3. Make a world of difference! Happy meal prepping :)

  6. Reply

    Brandy (@brandyellen)

    August 16, 2019

    I love how thorough your meal prep tips are and help guide me forward easily with my mission to be better at meal planning for my family. You really provided a great resource that’s easy to follow for beginners like me.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 25, 2019

      I’m really glad you enjoyed Kelli’s guest post Brandy! She really did break things down in a wonderful way <3. I truly appreciate her advice and it makes me so happy that it was helpful for you too. I hope you and your family have a wonderful time meal prepping together!

  7. Reply

    Ronnie E.

    August 16, 2019

    This is my #1 weakness! I always want to meal prep and have no idea where or how to start. So thanks for these great tips! I’ll give it a new go. 🙂

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 24, 2019

      You absolutely aren’t alone Ronnie! I felt that way too before I met Kelli. She’s the meal prep queen! I’m so glad you enjoyed her tips! I hope you feel more empowered to prep away and have tons of fun giving it a go <3

  8. Reply


    August 17, 2019

    Such good ideas! I’m going to these tips next week!!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 24, 2019

      I’m so excited for you to give Kelli’s tips a go Brianna! I hope you have a wonderful time getting your meal prep on 🙂

  9. Reply

    Jocelyn Cañasa Brown

    August 18, 2019

    I haven’t done meal prepping in a while, so I need to get back on it. I know it saves a lot of time and money. These are fantastic ideas!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 24, 2019

      I’m so glad Kelli has you feeling excited to get back on the meal prep train Jocelyn! I adore her advice. I hope you have a wonderful time getting back into it 🙂

  10. Reply

    Deborah Hunter Kells

    August 26, 2019

    Thank you for the inspiration where meal planning is concerned I have been winging it – but have just added an app “Copy Me That” to help also with gaining new recipes – both simple and healthy too. Keep it up – and fab pics too!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 26, 2019

      I’m so happy you enjoyed Kelli’s guest post Deborah! That’s awesome <3. Thank you!

      I've never heard about Copy Me That. It sounds awesome - I'll have to check it out. Thank you so much for sharing that with us! You rock 🙂

  11. Reply


    August 26, 2019

    Pepitas!!! Those are my favorite! So much protein in a little tiny seed!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 26, 2019

      Isn’t it awesome how much goodness there can be in teeny, tiny packages? So neat! Hope you get to enjoy some pepitas soon 🙂

  12. Reply

    E R I N ??‍? (@StorybookErin)

    August 28, 2019

    without meal prep – i’m pretty sure we just wouldn’t eat lol. Great post!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 22, 2019

      Thank goodness for meal prep! I’m glad it helps you so much too 🙂

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