Weekly meal prep is something I am a huge advocate for. I usually set aside a couple of hours on a Sunday and prep my lunches, dinners and snacks for the working week. You don’t need to go all out like me and prep all meals and snacks (I am just very time poor during the week). Even preparing your lunches for the week can save a great deal of time and money.
Why meal prep?
There are a few excellent reasons to meal prep. Some key reasons are:
- Saves time during the week
- Prevents spending unnecessary cash buying lunches
- Helps to stay low FODMAP. Since portion sizes are key on a low FODMAP diet, meal prep can help ensure your meals are low FODMAP (can be hard to do when buying lunches).
- Can assist with weight management (due to portion control).
Where to start?
Typically a well-balanced meal contains a source of protein, carbohydrate, fat (mostly unsaturated) and plenty of veg (can’t forget that colour!). So a good way to plan what meals you will prepare is by selecting an option from each group. You can then whip it up into a stir-fry for example, or simply portion into containers and heat up before serving. Now, lets look at how to build those meals.
Step 1: Choose a protein source
|Protein source||Serving size||Cooking method|
|Chicken breast||80g (cooked)||Roast/bake, BBQ, pan-fry, poach.|
|Lean beef, pork or lamb (mince or steak)||65g (cooked)||BBQ, stir-fry, roast.|
|Fresh fish||100g (cooked)||Bake, BBQ, grill|
|Tinned fish (in spring water)||95g can||N/A|
|Eggs||2 eggs||Hard Boil|
|Tofu (firm)||170g||Bake, pan-fry|
Step 2: Choose a carbohydrate source
|Carbohydrate source||Serving size|
|Rice (e.g. basmati, brown)||½ – ¾ cup (cooked)|
|Quinoa||½ – ¾ cup (cooked)|
|Potato||1 medium potato|
|Gluten-free bread/wrap (ensure low FODMAP)||1 wrap/2 slices|
|Pumpkin (Kent or Jap – NOT butternut)||1 cup (cooked)|
|Gluten-free pasta||½ – ¾ cup (cooked)|
Step 3: Choose a source of fat
|Fat source||Serving size|
|Extra virgin olive oil||1 Tbsp|
|Walnuts, pecans, macadamias, peanuts/peanut butter or pine-nuts||20-30g|
|Seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, pepitas or linseed||1 Tbsp|
|Hard cheese (e.g cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan)||1 slice (~20g)|
Step 4: Choose your veggies
|Carrot||1 medium (75g)|
|Broccoli||¾ cup (75g)|
|Baby spinach||1 ½ cup (75g)|
|Cucumber||½ cup (75g)|
|Red capsicum||¼ whole (75g)|
|Green capsicum||½ cup (50g)|
|Green beans||15 beans (75g)|
|Zucchini||1/3 cup (65g)|
|Tomato||1 small (120g)|
|Eggplant||1 cup (75g)|
|Red/purple cabbage||1 cup (75g)|
|Oyster mushrooms||1 cup (75g)|
|Yellow squash||2 squash (75g)|
|Tinned beetroot||½ cup (60g)|
*Note: our daily vegetable target is 5-6 serves per day. One serve is equal to 75g. Aim for a variety of colours – it is a good idea to put different varieties of veg in your prepared meals on different days.
Step 5: Add flavour
You can certainly still enjoy flavoursome meals on a low FODMAP diet, despite the whole no onion or garlic dilemma. Some great ways to add flavour to your meals are:
- Garlic/onion/lemon/chilli Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil (great to include as your source of healthy fat to the meal).
- Herbs, chilli and spices (note some may find spices/chilli irritate their gut)
- Green section of spring onion and leek
- Lemon/lime juice
- Balsamic/red wine vinegar (limit to 1 Tbsp) great combined with olive oil as a dressing.
Image sourced from @Pinterest
Start feeling better now! By signing up to The FODMAP Challenge you will receive meal plans, recipe ideas, and regular support with other resources, such as a private Facebook group, to make this as easy for you as possible.