Meal Planning Ideas for a Healthy Week…This is a work-in-progress for me and I’m getting better and better at each attempt I make with planning our household meals ahead of time. Shh..Here’s a secret about me that I don’t like to admit, I’m not a prep person, I prefer to cook on the fly depending on what my mood calls for and whipping up delicious meals quickly. But, I had to face the hard facts that I had to start meal prepping to stay on a healthy regimine and to cut down on my weekly cooking time. Healthy eating is possible—even for the time-crunched and cash-strapped. It just takes a little creativity! I’ve been working out 5 days a week for years, but deep down I knew that I had to change my food in-take, which is extremely difficult for me since I absolutely love cooking and love experiencing restaurants and their great chefs. If I really wanted to see results from all my hardwork working out at Shift, Cardio Barre, Barry’s Bootcamp and Core Power Yoga then I had to make big changes in my food consumption. So now I’m slowly moving into the world of Meal Prepping!
So what exactly is meal prepping? For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, essentially it is planning and prepping your meals in advance for the week. This means cooking items in bulk and eating leftovers! Left overs are a wondrous time saver!
Before beginning any meal prep, I advise you to have tupperware containers on hand, you’re going to need them! I suggest buying tupperware of similar sizes/shapes so you can easily stack them in your fridge, making your meal prep more space efficient so your fridge doesn’t become a war zone of toppling tupperware containers.
Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prep Plan and Prep: Don’t try to prep it all! Start small, getting into a new routine of prepping all your meals ahead can take time to take some getting used to. Start with a few days’ worth of meals at a time, then slowly building up to making a whole week of meals in one session. Making a whole week of meals is a lot of work and messy so start small until you get into the groove. I cook almost every day and It’s alot for me to meal prep in one day for the whole week! The first week prep 1 or 2 recipes ahead of time and as you get comfortable with the process you can prep more. HOW TO: – Pick one day a week as your “plan and prep” day – Grocery shop on this day as well! – Sunday is the day I use
Don’t try new recipes: When starting out with food prep it is best to stick with recipes you already know. This way you are confident in the outcome of the recipe and the only thing you need to focus on is preparing it ahead of time. This is the way I started with my food prep. I took recipes that I had made often, like baked chicken and brussel sprouts and prepared them ahead of time and then stored in the refrigerator and sometimes freezer. I was able to focus on what worked, what didn’t, and most importantly it allowed me to experience the benefits of having food ready. Also, I love food prepping because my family never comes home asking what’s to eat,there’s always something in the refrigerator, which buys me a little more time for all my endless projects.
Don’t get me wrong this doesn’t mean I won’t be blogging new recipes every week this is just a new addition to the blog.
My goal is to lose a few extra pounds meal prepping, I guess I need to give all the wine and cocktails up too!
Yikes, when will I have fun?
Ali in the Valley
Gluten Free Oatmeal Bars (recipe below)(store in tupperware)
Gluten Free Oatmeal Bars...
Author: Alison Ball
1½ cups old fashioned rolled oats certified gluten free for gluten free bars
½ cup crispy cereal I used an all-natural puffed rice cereal
½ cup steel cut oats certified gluten-free for gluten-free bars
¾ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
pinch of sea salt
¾ cup of your favorite mini chocolate chips use a dairy-free brand if you have a dairy allergy
Combine both oats, cereal, and cranberries in a bowl and set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, brown sugar, honey, and pinch of salt. Stir while heating to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook for two minutes. Remove from heat, pour over dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until well blended. Mix in chocolate chips.
Pour mixture into greased 8x8 pan and press down until flat with spatula. Cool completely and cut into 10 bars.
I popped mine into the freezer for a few minutes to set them so they wouldn't want to break apart when I took them out of the pan. Just don't leave them in there long or they will be difficult to cut! 😉
Easy Baked Chicken Thighs
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Author: Alison Ball
8 bone-in skin-on organic chicken thighs
1/2 cup olive oil
1 lemon juiced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
In a bowl, toss chicken thighs with olive oil and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper and marinate 1 hour (or up to a day).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roast chicken, skin side down, in an oiled roasting pan, 20 to 25 minutes; flip and roast 10 more minutes.
Baked Halibut w/ Steamed Broccoli & Sweet Potato
Hardboiled eggs – these last all week. Also, you can whip up a quick no mayo egg salad too if you want. Almonds – portion out into ¼ cup bags
Cut up some cheese Veggies snack packs – these last all week. Use whatever vegetable you like.
Wash and cut up fruit for snacks