In my last post How to Meal Prep, I mentioned that I would make a post featuring an easy meal prep menu and grocery list. This isn’t the menu that I personally used this week, as ours was a bit more complicated and tailored to what we like to eat, but I wanted to make a menu with simple and easy meals that everyone can make at home. I just want to note that with meal prepping, although it may seem “boring”, a main part of it is eating the same meal a couple times a week so that you can make a large batch of it on your meal prepping day.
- Monday, Wednesday, Friday:
- Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats
- Snack: 2 hardboiled eggs + blueberries
- Lunch: Spaghetti Squash with ground turkey marinara
- Snack: Apple + Protein bite
- Dinner: Baked chicken + broccoli + brown rice
- Tuesday, Thursday
- Breakfast: Egg Cups
- Snack: 1/2 cup of cottage cheese + fruit
- Lunch: Spinach + kale salad with baked chicken, cucumbers, grape tomatoes & Lite Balsamic dressing
- Snack: Apple + Protein bite
- Dinner: Pasta + kale & turkey sausage
- Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats: http://blog.freepeople.com/2014/09/apple-cinnamon-overnight-oats/
- Dark Chocolate Protein Balls: http://ameessavorydish.com/dark-chocolate-peanut-butter-energy-bites/
- Egg Cups: http://showmetheyummy.com/healthy-egg-muffin-cups/
- Pasta + Kale & Turkey Sausage: http://www.teambeachbody.com/eat-smart/recipe/-/rcp/14774
- Old fashioned rolled oats
- Unsweetened almond milk
- Chia seeds
- Organic Apples
- Ground cinnamon
- Sea salt
- Vanilla extract
- Spaghetti Squash
- Ground turkey
- Organic Marinara Sauce
- Dark chocolate peanut butter
- Unsweetened, flaked coconut
- Raw, shelled hemp seeds
- Ground golden flax seed
- Coconut oil
- Chicken breast
- Brown rice
- Red, yellow, green peppers
- Yellow onion
- 1% Skim cottage cheese
- Grape Tomatoes
- Newman’s Own Lite Balsamic Dressing
- Whole wheat pasta
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Italian style turkey sausage
- Low-sodium, organic, fat-free chicken broth
- Shredded Parmesan cheese
*Remember to look at the recipes and decide how much of each item on your grocery list you will need. Look at the serving size and figure out how many times you will be eating that meal as well as how many people will be eating that meal.
Ever since John and I decided to kick our butts into gear about our health and fitness, we’ve been really cracking down on nutrition. We used to have it set in our minds that “if we workout, it doesn’t matter what we eat”. After continuing to see no results from all the “hard” work we thought we were doing, we realized that it’s going to take more of a conscious effort than we thought.
Eating healthy seems like it SHOULD be a really easy thing to do. And it truly IS, but you really have to find what works best for you and stick with it. We used to go to the grocery store close to every night to get something to make for that evening. This always ended up to be bad because we would end up picking things that were quicker to eat because it was already later in the evening and we didn’t want to be eating dinner at 9 pm. Another bad part about it was that we would always buy something random and useless just because we were making a trip to the store. Basically, we were always wasting money just because we didn’t grocery shop “correctly”.
I’d always seen a lot of people that are into fitness that would post their weekly “meal prep”. I would think to myself “that’s crazy, there is no way I could do that!” Until one day, John and I decided to try. We’ve been doing it for a couple weeks now, so of course that doesn’t make us experts by any means, but I thought I would share some of the tips that I find useful when it comes to meal prepping.
First of all, I should probably clarify what meal prepping is. Basically, you make all or at least most of the meals that you are going to be eating for the week on Sunday. That way, you already have items portioned and ready to eat when each day rolls around and you don’t have to worry about choosing an unhealthy option because you have plenty of healthy options that you made for yourself!
Here are my tips:
- Make a meal plan: Generally on Friday or Saturday, I like to come up with meals that I want to eat for the week and write them down in my notebook. I try to stick with “simpler” or “easier” meals so I’m not trying to make a 7 course meal come Sunday. Some easy things are overnight oats for breakfast, hardboiled eggs or chopped up fruits and veggies for snacks, salads for lunches, and a protein and veggies for for dinner.
- Gather recipes + make a grocery list: First things first, I like to print off any new recipes that I will be using for the week. Typically the servings for those recipes need to be doubled because John and I will both be eating that meal a couple times that week. So I like to make sure that I account for that when I compile my grocery list.
- Get your groceries: Depending on our schedules, I usually like to get my groceries on Friday night or Saturday so that we can start right away on Sunday. The grocery list might seem long, and it might add up, but believe it or not, John and I have noticed that we’ve been saving a lot of money on our groceries!
- Prioritize your recipes: Once Sunday comes along, I like to prioritize my meals by finding the ones that will take the longest and starting those first. For an example, this Sunday one of our meals was spaghetti squash with turkey marinara. We started to bake the spaghetti squash first because it takes over and hour to be prepared. We also started baking the chicken (for another recipe) at the same time to get that out of the way. Once you have some of the main things baking, we generally starting making the rest of the recipes.
- Put everything together: Once everything is cooked, grab your tupperware and portion everything out! Based on the serving sizes of the recipes, I put all the ingredients into one container and label it for the day that I plan on eating it.
- Clean up: The first couple times you do meal prep, it might take quite a while and it will definitely use a lot of dishes and utensils but just think, you won’t be doing all those dishes during the week!
Those are usually the steps that I go through when I meal prep each week. For those that are interested, I will be posting a sample meal plan and grocery list for people to use for their meal prep next Sunday. I hope these were helpful! Feel free to comment any questions below and I will answer them in my next post!
Welcome to my new series “What I Made Wednesday”! I’m always searching for new recipes and tweaking my own that I thought I would start to share some on my blog. So each Wednesday I will share a different recipe that I’ve tried during the week. Most recipes will be pretty quick and painless and of course, tasty! For the first post I’m sharing the recipe for these healthy tuna cakes I made this weekend for lunch! They are so simple to make and I actually had all the ingredients in my house already!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 4 tuna cakes – Serving size: 2 each
2 5-ounce cans of tuna
2 TSPs of Dijon mustard
1/2 CUP of white bread (torn into small pieces)
1 TSP lemon zest
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP of water (or liquid from the cans of tuna)
2 TBSP on Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper to desired taste
A couple drops of hot sauce
1 raw egg
2 TBSP of olive oil
1/2 TSP of butter
1. Drain the liquid from the tuna cans. If you are using tuna packed in water, save a tablespoon of the tuna water, and add a teaspoon of olive oil to the tuna + water.
2. Mix together the tuna, water, olive oil, mustard, torn white bread, lemon zest, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and hot sauce. Sprinkle on salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste the mixture before adding the egg to see if it needs more seasoning to your taste. Mix in the egg.
3. Divide the mixture into 4 parts. With each part, form into a ball and then flatten into a patty.
4. Heat the butter (for taste) in a non-skillet on medium high. Gently place the patties in the pan, and cook until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes on each side.
5. Serve with a lemon wedge. Add the patties to a bed of spinach, or on a whole wheat bun with a side of vegetables.
I can’t help but sing that Gwen Stefani song in my head whenever I type “banana”. But, on a different note, during one of Lincoln’s naps last week I finally made use of my old rotting bananas and baked some banana bread. It was delicious! Needless to say, it didn’t last very long! One nice thing about the recipe that I used was that all of the ingredients were already stuff that I had in my kitchen!
Here’s a link to the recipe, I suggest you try it out!