buffet style meal prep

Simple & Easy Buffet Style Food Prep | Clean Eating Tips & Tricks

We all know that what you eat is the major contributor to your success towards your health and fitness goals! And to have success, one of the best things you can do is take time on a Sunday to prepare your meals for the following week!

If you don’t prep your meals, what happens is you just randomly grab foods based on your appetite, and it’s much hard to stay focused on your goals, easier to fall of track. I don’t meal prep every week, but the weeks that I don’t, I:

  • Spend more money on groceries
  • Throw more food away that has gone bad
  • Impulse eat more often
  • End up ordering Pizza 🙂

The problem for me is that meal prep takes time – and while it saves time during the week, as a busy parent of a 4 year old and 3 year old, it just gets really hard sometimes on a Sunday to carve out hours of time to make elaborate healthy meals.

Are you failing at your Meal Prep Plans?

Does this sound familiar to you?

  • Spend several HOURS going through menus and trying to figure out what I want to eat
  • I figure out what the ingredients are for those recipes and put together a grocery list
  • Go grocery shopping (or I use Peapod / pickup to make it easier 🙂 )
  • Meal prep to the nines – mason jar salads, home made dressings, etc.
  • By Thursday or Friday, the meal plan is out the window because I didn’t have time to cook at night even with the prep I did
  • Commit to starting next week again HAHAHAbuffet style meal prep

I end up wasting ingredients, spending more than I have to because each recipe is unique, and having too much or too little because as the week goes on I might eat less or more of one particular meal!

I do this because I love variety and don’t want to eat the same thing every day. I know, we have all seen those people that have 5 days of chicken, broccoli, and brown rice, BLAH! That is definitely NOT my style!!

I ALWAYS over-complicate it and try to do all these fancy healthy recipes that require a ton of time to make and a ton of ingredients; and when I over complicate it, I fail!

Buffet Style Meal Prep Saves the Day!

That’s why I was SO EXCITED when I learned about Buffet Style meal prep! It’s sort of a hybrid between traditional traditional meal prep and just grab & go from the fridge or pantry.

With Buffet Style meal prep, you don’t really have any set meals for the week.

In other words, there is no “On Tuesday night I am going to have Turkey Chili, on Thursday morning I am going to have overnight oats”. 

Buffet Style Meal Prep is all about FLEXIBILITY

With Buffet Style Meal Prep, you prepare a BUNCH of food so it’s ready to make in a variety of ways. What is even cooler is that as you get to the end of the week, you can just look at what you have left and combine it so you don’t waste food. Because you aren’t planning specific meals, you can get creative with leftovers and make sure you don’t waste food (and save money at the same time!)

Flexibility is what helps me succeed. With traditional meal prep, if I miss a meal or don’t eat the right thing, it feels like it was a failure. With Buffet style prep, you just roll with it and you always have healthy foods available to work from. Awesome!

Grocery Shopping for Buffet Style Meal Prep

Easy! Before you do your grocery shopping, do the following:

  • Choose 2 – 3 proteins (salmon, chicken, turkey, etc.) you will want during the week
  • Choose 2 – 3 carbohydrates you will want during the week (quinoa, brown rice, sprouted grain bread)
  • 70 – 80% Veggies & fruits!

You will also want to have a variety of spices and (salt free) seasonings so you make different meals. You will also need to have the obvious staples, things like – olive oil, peanut butter, etc.

If you have a specific meal you really want, you can add it in, but don’t try to plan every meal! For example, I made a pot of Turkey Chili so I did get the specific ingredients for that meal.

You will get better after a week or two of doing this with how much to order. I’m feeding a family of four so we ordered lots of food. Start with 5 – 6 varieties of veggies, 3 – 4 varieties of fruits.

Prepping Food for Buffet Style Meal Prep

OK, so now the prep! It’s all about making it easier later in the week. As opposed to traditional meal prep, you aren’t actually going to make a lot of MEALS, that is why this prep process only takes an hour! During meal prep, you will:

  • Wash and slice veggies
  • Wash and slice fruits
  • Cook your proteins (baking tray makes it easy!)
  • Cook your rice / quinoa or carbs
  • I also hard boil a bunch of eggs for snacks

And that’s basically it!

My first week doing Buffet Style Meal Prep

Here is what we prepared and it will be used for snacks plus lunches and dinners!

  • Veggies: Carrots, peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, and spaghetti squash. The veggies can be dipped in hummus, or used in our salads or for a stir fry. And of course we have a big bin of lettuce all washed too to make salads!
  • Fruits: Pineapple, strawberries, blueberries and we also have bananas and apples to grab on the go!! Drizzle some almond butter over the apples or bananas and now you have a real treat! 🍌🍎
  • Protein: and snacks on the go we made 1 dozen hard boiled eggs and peeled them. For meats we made turkey burgers, and chicken sausage, plus a big double serving pot of chili.
  • Carbs: Brown rice and quinoa

So, when I eat, I can just grab and go across the prepped foods and whip up what I like! I can throw together a salad and put an egg, pepper strips, and a turkey burger on it. Or I can mix up some rice with turkey chili. Or I can make a power quinoa bowl and throw in varied ingredients.
Keep the seasonings ready to go to give it different flavors!

OH and by the way, this works out PERFECTLY with the Fixate portion control system! You can just portion right out of the buffet containers and it’s super easy to follow the plan! Give it a try!

Did you get to try Buffet Style Meal Prep? What did you think? Comment below!

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