If you’ve ever scoped out our Instagram, you’ve probably seen incredible meal prep scenes from Tracey Grant (@wholedailylife). In the ZÜPA HQ, we’ve oohed and ahhed over her ability to incorporate just the right amount of veggies, protein, and healthy fats into each meal. All the while making each dish unique, Whole30 compliant, and 100% tasty! If you can’t tell, we’re a tad bit jealous…
That’s why we’ve teamed up with Tracey (meal prep expert, Registered Dietitian, and #SOUPSQUAD member) to give you all the tools and info you need for success in the ZÜPA NOMA x @WHOLEDAILYLIFE Guide to Whole30 Meal Prep! This handbook features her top tips, kitchen tools, meal strategies, recipes and so much more — it’s everything you need to follow her lead and up your meal prep game, just in time to rock September Whole30! Team ZÜPA is putting it to good use already as well – the Pizza Frittata is already an office staple, but we’re still working on our flatlay skills.
We sat down with Tracey recently to learn more about her background, her passion for meal prep, and her Whole30 journey:
Q: What do you love most about meal prep?
A: I love meal prep because it allows me to eat healthy food that works for my body all week long, without having to think about it. I have always had somewhat of an unusual work schedule, and meal prep alleviates the workweek stress that would otherwise come from having to figure out what and when to cook each day! (Plus, the feeling of seeing all of my meal prep containers full and stacked is a beautiful thing!)
Q: What’s the best tip you have for someone just starting their meal prep journey?
A: The best tip I have for starting out is to keep it simple! Fancy recipes are nice, but in my opinion, the goal of meal prep is to have healthy options on hand, which can be as simple as roasted veggies and batch cooked protein. The other tip that I have is to invest in good storage containers that you actually like.
Q: How many times have you done Whole30? How did you start your first one?
A; I’ve actually only done one official Whole30, and I loved it so much that I live mostly Whole30 Monday through Friday each week! My journey to eating whole foods started back in 2015 when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s and SIBO. I treated these with a combination of naturopathic medicine and diet, which evolved from therapeutic plans like GAPS and The Autoimmune Protocol to the Whole30.
Q: How did you start getting into meal prep?
It really started out of necessity. When I got my first job as a Registered Dietitian back in 2011, I was working very long days with a lot of overtime, so I rarely had time to cook. I started planning and prepping my lunches for the week over the weekend, and it evolved from there.
Q: What is your favorite ZÜPA NOMA product, and why?
A: The Kale Avocado #CollagenCollab with Whole30! The flavor and texture are perfect, and I appreciate that it has a protein boost from the collagen. Before that came out, it was a tie between Tomato Gazpacho (which reminds me of my days studying abroad in Spain) and the Cucumber Avocado, which always leaves me feeling refreshed!
Q: Do you have a workout routine, to go along with your meal prep routine?
A: I do! I didn’t exercise up until college, at which point I started running. Once I started working as a registered dietitian, I transitioned from running to mostly doing intervals and weight training in the mornings, because it better fit my schedule. My current routine is weights or HIIT Mon/Wed/Fri, walking on the treadmill Tues/Thurs, a long outdoor walk or hike on Saturday, and whatever I feel like on Sunday! I have learned a lot about intuitive exercise over the past couple of years and now trust my body when it tells me to switch up my routine or take an extra rest day. The thing that I love the most about exercise is feeling strong and capable!
Q: What is your secret to creating such beautiful charcuterie boards?
A: Hah, a lot of ugly ones!! I have been making charcuterie boards for years now, and believe me, they weren’t all so pretty! I’ve learned some tricks along the way though: aim for a variety of textures, flavors, and colors, cut things in different shapes and sizes, put each item in a couple of different spots on the board, and plate the biggest items first.
Q: What’s your favorite #SOUPSWAP?
A: My favorite #SOUPSWAP is definitely using ZÜPA NOMA as part of my no-cook lunches during the workweek. Back in the day, I used to do sandwiches for lunch all the time because they were convenient, but now it doesn’t get much easier than a bottle of ZÜPA with some no-cook protein and fruit on the side!
Q: Favorite “Whole30 cold lunch” combo?
A: The cold lunch combo that never gets old is a bottle of Kale Avocado with Collagen, fresh berries, some deli turkey drizzled with Primal Kitchen’s Caesar dressing, sliced cucumber, and half of an avocado with salt!
Q: If you could have any superpower what would it be?
A: Teleportation! Can you imagine?! I would flash on over to Italy for my morning espresso, take my lunch break in Greece by the sea, and dine with the Parisians in the evening! (Can you tell I love to travel?)
Q: What is your tip to create amazing avocado art?
A: There are a few things that can help here. Make sure that your avocado is ripe, but not so soft that you can’t handle it and move it around. Cut it in half and peel the skin off before slicing, then use a sharp knife and some patience! I also really like to pixelate my avocado, which just means slicing it horizontally and vertically while the skin is still on, then scooping it out with a big spoon!
Q: When you’re not busy with amazing meal prep, what’s your day job?
A: I love what I get to do for work! As my full-time job, I manage a team of health educators at a hospital here in San Diego. In my private practice, I work with clients 1:1 to help them heal their digestion and learn how to cultivate sustainable healthy nutrition habits. I also have a lot of fun doing social media work and sharing my life on Instagram!