Natalie has lost her baby weight twice after giving birth to three daughters in just three years.
In fact, the mom-of-three has shed 20 lbs twice on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge.
Natalie says the MAIN things that helped her reach her goals INCLUDE altering her attitude towards food, being prepared in the kitchen (like having the right pantry staples) and of course MEAL PREPPING!
“Meal prepping doesn’t need to be hard. It doesn’t need to be over the top. It just needs to get you ahead. It needs to give you no reason to opt for the bad stuff!” says Natalie.
Check out Natalie’s favorite meals to prep below.
10 EASY and healthy recipes to meal prep
1. Five ingredient No Bake Cookie Dough Bars
- 2 cups almond meal
- 1 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp vanilla protein powder
- 1/4 cup dark choc chips melted
In a food processor add everything except for the melted dark chocolate
Mix until it comes together and forms a dough
Use a silicone loaf pan or muffin tins to put the cookie dough mix in.
Firmly press down the mix into the pan, and then pour the melted chocolate over the top
Place in the fridge to set for an hour
Cut into 8 bars. To prevent the chocolate on top from cracking when cutting it, use a knife that has been heated in a jug of just-boiled water.
2. Chocolate Mint Balls
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 cup dried dates pitted
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
- 2 tbsp cacao/cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp shredded coconut
Place all ingredients, except the coconut, in a food processor and process on high until smooth. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as needed.
Spread shredded coconut on a plate. Roll tablespoons of the mixture
into 12 balls and coat with coconut.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or store in the freezer.
2 balls is one serving.
3. Wholemeal Choc Chip Muffins
- cooking oil spray
- 2 cups wholemeal self raising flour
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate bits
- 2 free-range eggs
- 1 cup reduced-fat milk of choice
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 340°F and lightly spray 12 holes of a muffin tin tray with cooking oil spray or line with muffin cases.
Sift flour into a large mixing bowl and combine with the chocolate bits.
Whisk eggs and combine with milk, olive oil, honey and vanilla.
Make a well in the flour mix and add all the liquids, stir to combine well.
Divide batter between each muffin tin hole and bake for 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the center.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 2-3 days or freeze to defrost as needed.
4. Deviled sausages
- 1 teaspoon mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce salt reduced
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 8 lean sausages of choice
- 1 brown onion peeled
- 1 apple peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 3 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 2 cups trimmed green beans
- 2 cups cauliflower
- 2 carrots peeled
- Fresh parsley to serve
Slice onion into rings.
Whisk together mustard, Worcestershire, soy sauce, corn flour, tomato paste and water in a mixing bowl and set aside.
Heat 2 tablespoons of water (per serving) in a large fry pan, add sausages and poach evenly on all sides for about 5 minutes, until just cooked. Remove the sausages from the pan and chop into bite sized slices and set aside (don’t worry if the sausage is a little under cooked as they will be returned to the heat).
Add the onion to the frying pan and sauté until soft. Return sausage pieces and add apple slices to the pan. Pour over the mustard sauce mixture. Allow to simmer, while stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sausage is cooked thoroughly and sauce has slightly thickened.
While simmering the sausages, boil the sweet potato in water until soft, then mash. Season with pepper.
Slice carrots into rounds and steam with beans and cauliflower in the microwave or in a steaming basket on the stove top until tender.
Serve sweet potato mash with deviled sausages and sauce and steamed vegetables on the side.
Sprinkle over the parsley to serve.
5. Warm Chicken and Quinoa Salad
6. Spanish Rice with Chorizo
- 1/2 cup brown rice uncooked
- 1 chorizo sausage chopped
- 1/2 brown onion diced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 Tomatoes diced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup corn kernels fresh or canned
- 1/2 red bell pepper diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- 2 wedges fresh lime
Cook brown rice according to packet instructions or reheat already cooked rice until piping hot.
Place a non-stick fry pan over a medium heat and cook chorizo slices on both sides for approximately 3 minutes until edges are crisp. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Add onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until it starts to turn golden. Add tomatoes, vegetables and paprika. Toss to combine and cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables are lightly tender.
Add cooked rice and return chorizo to the pan. Toss together and garnish with parsley.
Arrange on serving plate with a wedge of lime per serve.
7. Satay Fried Rice with Egg
8. Double Choc Mini Muffins
9. Slow Cooked Asian Chicken
- 2 Large Skinless Chicken Breast
- ½ Onion diced
- 1/3 cup Gluten free soy sauce
- 1/3 cup honey
- ½ cup water
- 1 tbsp Minced Garlic
- 1 tsp Minced Ginger
- Juice of a small lime
- Rice of choice
- 1 tbsp Cornflour mixed with a little water
- Sesame seeds and spring onion to decorate
Place chicken breast in the bottom of your slow cooker
Add the diced onion over the top
Mix soy sauce, honey, water, ginger, garlic and lime juice all together and pour over the chicken
Set your slow cooker to low and cook for 6-7 hrs
Once cooked, take the chicken out, and shred the meat with a fork
Cook rice according to packet instructions
Tip the sauce from the slow cooker into a small saucepan, slowly being to a boil and add the cornflour and water mix. This will thicken the sauce.
Once the sauce is thickened, pour over the chicken and mix so all the chicken is covered in the sauce
Top cooked rice with Asian chicken mixture and sprinkle sesame seeds and green onion on top
10. Rice Paper Rolls
- 2 cooked chicken breasts sliced lengthways
- 1 cup mint leaves
- 2 medium carrots grated
- 1 medium cucumber peeled into strips with a veggie peeler
- 1 avocado sliced into long strips
- 8 rice paper wrappers
To make the rice paper rolls, place one wrapper at a time into a bowl of warm water to moisten as per packet directions.
Lay out flat on a chopping board and add your fillings of choice.
Fold the bottom and tops in, then pull over the left side of the rice paper and wrap tightly, rolling over to join onto the right side.
Place on a plate lined with baking paper.
Serve with the dipping sauce.
Natalie’s top 5 tips to meal prep on a budget
1. Use what you’ve got
Since following The Healthy Mommy I am very conscious about what I cook with and making sure I use up things in my pantry BEFORE I shop.
2. Meal plan according to what’s on special
Two things I love to meal prep, because they freeze really easy and taste nice, are the Satay Fried Rice with Egg and the Wholemeal Choc Chip Muffins. I have all the ingredients in the house for those at any given time.
3. Bulk cook
I freeze portions of mains in food containers. They stack nicely in the freezer and we’re able to eat straight from the container as opposed to making more dishes. It’s also easy for my husband to grab one and take it to work.
4. Swap meals with friends
5. Alternate veggies or meats if you need
The important thing to remember is meal prep and HEALTHY eating doesn’t have to be expensive. Use up things in your cupboard, so if the recipe calls for turkey I almost guarantee you it tastes the same with chicken.