We are all busy. Between work, getting the kids to all their activities, taking care of the house, trying to work out, and eventually decompress at night, the last thing you want to think about is “what’s for dinner.” Or better yet, “what’s for lunch” since it is common for this meal to be an afterthought, and when you have a protein-packed lunch, you are much less likely to reach for that 3pm sugary or caffeine-filled drink. This is why meal prep is so essential for women with busy lives. But not all meal prep is created equal. Mindful meal prep that includes plenty of protein is essential for building muscle, avoiding disease, and keeping hormones balanced.

Why You Should Incorporate More Protein into Your Meal Prep

Protein is crucial for repairing and building muscle tissue. Whether you’re an athlete looking to enhance performance or simply looking to maintain muscle mass, adequate protein intake is essential. Including protein-rich foods in your meal prep ensures that your muscles have the necessary building blocks to repair and grow effectively.

Women have been taught that building muscle will make you look “bulky”, when in fact, it makes you strong and prevents diseases like osteoporosis as we hit perimenopause and menopause. Protein and amino acids are the building blocks of muscles, and women, across the board, are not getting enough protein.

Protein helps you feel full and satisfied after a meal. Including protein in your meal prep can help control hunger and cravings throughout the day, reducing the likelihood of overeating or snacking on unhealthy foods. It also has a higher thermic effect compared to carbohydrates and fats, meaning your body burns more calories digesting and metabolizing protein. Protein also helps slow down the absorption of carbohydrates in the bloodstream, which can prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. Including protein in your meals can promote more stable energy levels throughout the day, reducing fatigue and helping you maintain focus and productivity.

Many protein-rich foods, such as lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes are also rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Incorporating these foods into your meal prep enhances the overall nutritional quality of your meals, providing your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal health and function.

Two of My Favorite High Protein Meal Prep Recipes

Baked Chicken with Tomatoes and Spaghetti Squash

Courtesy of Dr. Danielle Litoff, DPT

Dr. Danielle Litoff, DPT and Meal Prepping with Protein

Half one large spaghetti squash and season with 3 tbsp high heat oil (olive, coconut or avocado) and salt to taste and bake at 400 on a baking sheet for an hour. Shred the insides of the squash with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a Pyrex or similar baking dish place four chicken breasts seasoned with 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tbsp rosemary and 2 tbsp thyme.

Add 2 containers of cherry tomatoes and 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced. Liberally add 3 tbsp olive oil and ½ cup of goat cheese crumbles.

Add the chicken dish to the oven with the spaghetti squash and bake chicken and tomatoes at 400 until internal temp on chicken is at least 165 degrees F. Around 20 – 30 minutes.

Five to 10 minutes prior to finishing cooking add 1-2 cups of spinach to the chicken dish and return to the oven.

When the chicken is done, remove from the oven and gently stir all ingredients in the dish to combine. Serve by placing the chicken on top of the spaghetti squash. You can also top this with a warm Marinara sauce (I love Rau’s Arrabiata).

Nutrition Information – Per Serving
Calories: 741
Total Fat: 34.8 g
Net Carbs: 25.8 g
Protein: 75.9 g

Paleo Chicken Tortilla Soup

This recipe comes to us courtesy of The Healthy Consultant. This crock pot chicken tortilla soup is truly the easiest dump and go recipe, and that’s why we love it!

Chicken Tortilla Soup - Protein Meal Prep


  • 2 lbs chicken breasts – you can use chicken thighs as well
  • 2 14.5oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 4oz can of diced green chiles
  • 1/2 13.5 oz can of coconut milk- optional, but highly recommended. It adds a creamy texture to the soup
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 16.9 oz carton of bone or chicken broth
  • Spices: 1/2 tbsp cumin, 3 tbsp cilantro, 1tbsp chili powder, salt and pepper to taste
  • To add more veggies (optional): carrots, bell pepper, or celery


Place all ingredients into the slow cooker and set to LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or HIGH for 3 to 4 hours, or you can use an Instapot and set it on high pressure for 25 minutes.

Remove chicken breast from the slow cooker and shred.

Serve warm and fill your bowl with your favorite toppings.

Nutrition Information – Per Serving
Calories: 323
Total Fat: 6.2 g
Net Carbs: 19.1 g
Protein: 39.8 g

5 Benefits of Weekly Meal Prep

1.Saves You Time

By dedicating a few hours each week to plan, prepare, and portion your meals, you can save valuable time during hectic weekdays. With pre-prepped meals readily available, you eliminate the need for daily cooking (and clean-up) sessions.

2.You Eat Healthier

By planning your meals in advance, you can make more mindful choices regarding ingredients and portion sizes, leading to a healthier diet. Additionally, having nutritious meals readily available can prevent impulsive fast food or unhealthy snacking, ultimately supporting your long-term health goals.

3.You Save Money

Cooking in bulk and buying ingredients in larger quantities often results in significant cost savings. When you meal prep, you can take advantage of sales, buy ingredients in bulk, and minimize food waste by using up perishable items efficiently. Over time, these savings can add up, making meal prepping a financially savvy choice.

4.Reduce Your Stress

The daily decision of what to eat can be a source of stress for many people. Meal prepping eliminates this stress by providing a clear plan for the week ahead. Knowing that your meals are already prepared can alleviate anxiety and save mental energy, allowing you to approach each day with a sense of calm and control.

5.Portion Control and Weight Management

Portion sizes play a crucial role in weight management and overall health. With meal prepping, you can carefully portion out your meals according to your nutritional needs and weight goals. This helps prevent under and overeating making it easier to maintain a healthy weight or achieve weight loss goals.