How to make a week’s worth of Paleo meals in 1 hour

If you’re experimenting with any sort of real food, whole food, ancestrally-based eating regime, you may have found that you feel sort shackled to your kitchen.  Planning, shopping and preparing meals every evening can be a lot of work.

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Personally I have breakfast and lunch at work during the week so when I get home after work I have to make dinner for that night, plus breakfast and lunch for the next day.

I can imagine with kids this would take on a whole new level of difficulty, because of the sheer volume of food needing to be prepared, and also the time that’s needed every evening. I kind of understand why my mum used to just pop a frozen pizza in the oven sometimes…

But, once you’ve experienced how a paleo-type diet can majorly boost and repair your health,  you can’t really just go back to those frozen pizzas! Luckily there are ways to “hack the system” of meal prep to achieve your paleo eating goals without blowing your budget or your evenings on food.

Hacking the paleo meal prep system

The key is planning out your meals in advance, and then having a concentrated shopping session and prep session. Planning first allows you to be a lot more efficient with the whole operation. You mastermind the whole week first, and then never have to think about it again. No coming home and thinking “what’s for dinner…” and standing in front of the fridge for 10 minutes trying to come up with something.

Shopping all in one go means you save a whole lot of time, rather than popping to the store or the market in dribs and drabs whenever you need something. Then, prepping or cooking all in one session, all according to your meal plan of course, gets you all set up for the week. That way on each day during the week you only have to “assemble” your meals, rather than make them.

The 4 stages of fast paleo meal-making



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This is a basic process on how to make your path to eating tasty paleo meals fast, painless and stress-free.

STEP 1: Plan

Put together a plan for what you’ll be eating each day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Then write out a shopping list corresponding to the plan so that you’ll have all the ingredients.

SMART TIP: Write the list in the order of the areas of the supermarket, or grouped under “fish store”, “farmer’s market”, “Whole Foods” etc, according to where you shop. That way it’s much easier to keep track as you work through the list.

ANOTHER SMART TIPSubscribe to a service like 20 Dishes, which produces your meal plan and shopping list for you, based on how many people you’re feeding, and any special requirements like if you’re on the autoimmune protocol or low FODMAP. Their meal plans are specifically configured so that you can make a week’s worth of meals in 1 hour!

They also provide an “action plan” to make your time most efficient. This takes away the problem of wrestling with 5 recipes at once trying not to burn anything. 20 Dishes provides a step by step roadmap to prep everything at once in an organized and efficient way.

STEP 2: Shop

Armed with your list, make the circuit of your supermarket or local shops to collect all your goods in one fell swoop.

STEP 3: Prep & Store

This is where that 20 Dishes meal prep action plan really helps; all the mental work is done already so there’s no need to flounder around trying to get things done. It’s proven to take only 60 minutes so I know I don’t need to make any more time than that in my day. All the meat gets cooked, veggies get chopped, and salads get prepped. Then everything goes in the fridge or freezer in pre-planned containers so it’s very grab-and-go.

SMART TIPGet enough food storage containers (preferably glass!!) so each family member has their designated breakfast, lunch and snack container. That way you can just make an assembly line and slap it all together. Here are some great containers that are non-toxic: Glasslock 18-Piece Assorted Oven Safe Container Set

STEP 4: Assemble

Each day when you get home, just pull out all your pre-prepped goodies, heat up any parts to be heated, and assemble on the plates. That’s it! So satisfyingly fast and easy.

SMART TIP: For those parts that need to be heated (ie meat), you definitely want to be storing in glass (as mentioned above) as this will skip even another step for you – those glass containers can go straight in the oven! That way you’re avoiding the yuckiness of the microwave as well. Coooooool.

Well, that’s about it folks. You’ve got my basic fast paleo meal prep system laid out here, and then if you’re wanting to save some more time and mental sweat on getting those meals planned and prepped for each week, I definitely recommend checking out 20 Dishes. Even just thinking about it I can feel that burden lifting off my shoulders…ahhh. :) The image below will take you to more info.


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