• Emily Achey, MS, RD

How To Create Beautifully Balanced Meals All Week Long | 3 Simple Steps

Meal creation can get boring, tedious and be somewhat of a chore if we aren’t prepped for success in the kitchen. The meals we design for our bodies are ultimately what fuels them to thrive. With the intentions to provide ourselves with optimal nutrition to look and feel our best, meal creation is an important piece of the puzzle.

Follow these 3 simple steps to create your own beautifully balanced meals all we long:

STEP 1: Stock your kitchen!

The foods stored in our kitchen are ultimately the ones that will comprise our meals throughout the week. So, it all starts with grocery shopping! Selecting quality, nutritious and delicious, foods from the store (or online ;) ) is the foundational step to ensuring optimized meals all week long.

I have designed a clear and concise FREE Master Grocery List to make it easy for you to stock your kitchens for success.

Click HERE to download!

This list is categorized into the building blocks of a beautifully balanced meal (high fiber carbs, lean protein, plant based fats, non starchy vegetables and 'other')! It includes purchasing recommendations, highlighted “dirty dozen” produce, and empty slots in each category for you to customize.

Grab your FREE copy to get prepped for success!

STEP 2: Prep some ingredients in bulk.

Life gets busy, right? It can certainly be a challenge to carve out time to prepare food, but I assure you, it is worth it! Having ingredients ready to conveniently assemble is key for quick and painless meal creation.

Here are some tips to make your bulk prep successful:

>>High fiber carbohydrates. Bulk prep 2 - 3 sources of high fiber carbs each week.

For example: Cook a whole bag of dried beans. These can be used in salads, chili, taco night, and blended into a hummus- like dip. In addition cook 2 or more cups of quinoa for the base of grain bowls and stirfrys, throw in salads, and create nice cold or hot sides with chopped kale, tomatoes and basil. In addition keep sweet potatoes on deck for a quick option!

>>Non starchy vegetables. I recommend always having frozen veggies as a backup, but purchasing and preparing a variety of fresh ones weekly when possible. Also, have onions, minced garlic and bell peppers on hand for instant flavor boosters to any meal!

For example: Prepare 1-2lbs of fresh Brussel sprouts. Then, have leafy greens, celery and raw broccoli on hand for raw crunchy snacks, salads, smoothies, or additional ingredients to any meal. Vary each week, and play around with your cooking and seasoning methods to keep it interesting and tasty!

>>Lean protein. Try bulk prepping lean proteins 2x per week to ensure freshness. Another option is to cook enough protein every evening for dinner and lunch the next day.

For example: Prep chicken breasts 2 ways for 3 days worth of meals; whole roasted chicken breasts, and some stove top strips to pair with fajita vegetables. Then, prepare a bag of frozen shrimp for the last few days of the week. Add seasonings to vary the flavor as you go! Eggs, greek yogurt and quality canned tuna are great, quick options to have on hand. [Note: if you are vegan or vegetarian, your protein selections will vary, and animal proteins are certainly not required at each meal.]

>>Plant based fats. No need to bulk prep fats, unless you like to pre portion out nuts/ seeds for snacks! Otherwise, just make sure you are stocked with options (i.e. quality oils, nuts/ seeds, avocado, etc.).

>>Herbs + Spices (other). No need to bulk prep these either. Just make sure you have your favorites ready to go!

STEP 3: Follow the Meal Creation Template.

It’s time for the fun part! Now we get to be creative with the ingredients we prepped, and make some beautifully balanced, nutritious and delicious meals. Simply make sure each component below shows up!

  1. High Fiber Carbohydrate

  2. Non Starchy Vegetable

  3. Lean Proteins

  4. Plant Based Fats

  5. Herbs + Spices

Incorperating all components above will ensure optimal vitamin and mineral absorption, satiety and metabolic function. Portions of each will depend on your specific needs.


What's cooking in your kitchen this week? Share below, or contact me to share.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

For individualized nutrition programming and questions, contact Emily today!

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