Sunday, November 1, 2015

Meal Prep Madness

We are the epitome of busy.  We have three girls ages 8, 5, and 3.  My husband travels some for work.  I am a nurse (not currently practicing).  I run a business from my home helping people meet their fitness and nutritional goals.  We workout daily.  I grocery shop.  I run monthly accountability groups for my clients.  We prepare our meals fresh.  We have even been known to do fitness competitions. My life is a constant whirlwind.  I need a cleaning service. And a laundry service.  Most days I don't have time to prepare for what is thrown at me.  But I've come to learn how important it is to prepare our meals in advance for that very reason.  Some days I'm in class, some days I'm in clinicals.  Some days my husband is on the road, some days he's working from home.  We budget for our groceries and we don't budget for eating out, fast food, etc. We used to eat that way but we don't anymore.  It works for us, we are healthier for it, and financially it doesn't make sense.  See my tips on how to grocery shop on a budget here. 

Sundays are a great day for us to meal prep for the week.  Most weeks, I do my grocery shopping on Sunday.  I make my menu.  I write my list.  I plan ahead.  For all 5 of us.  Sunday afternoons consist of a crock pot meal and/or cooking lunches for the week.  I want to give you a peek into a week of meal prep for us.

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I prepared our lunches for this week today (Sunday).  This afternoon, Luke grilled two 3 lb bags of chicken, I baked 8 sweet potatoes, I cooked 2 cups of instant brown rice, we cooked a very large bag of frozen green beans and cooked a bag of broccoli (my fave, his- not so much).  This is pretty much the norm every Sunday.  Fresh fruit for snacking, with nuts- unsalted, unprocessed, or a tbsp or two of all natural peanut butter for dipping. We do love our Quest bars on occasion, too.  We eat very clean. We buy organic as much as we can and we buy a lot of frozen veggies in bulk as well as our chicken. We use Shakeology as an addition to our nutrition because of the nutrients, probiotics, health benefits, and wholesome protein for after workouts.  It is also natural- no added flavors, artificial sweeteners, or phony additives.  I'm very selective about what I put in my body as well as what I feed my family so this is a product I feel really good about, plus it saves us money each month on additional snacks, and replaces one of our 6 meals we have each day.  I usually drink mine after my workouts but on rest days I blend it with ice, occasional fruit, peanut butter, or PB2.  Our breakfast is usually 18 eggs and two small cartons of liquid egg whites we prepare late Sunday night or Monday morning.  We can eat off of this for the week.  We also eat 1/2 cup of quick cook oats mixed in hot water, dash of cinnamon, dash of vanilla Shakeo or  PB2.  A normal day of calories for each of us is anywhere from 1,900-3,000 depending on the day and our fitness regimen (bulking calls for more calories).

I also make my menu for the week for our evening meals.  This week's menu will be ground turkey stuffed peppers, baked tilapia, chicken stir fry, lettuce wrap fajitas, and chicken and broccoli cheddar soup (a healthier version- recipe to come!).   We're having grilled chicken, sweet potatoes, and green beans tonight.  Many of you with children ask how we do it with kids.  Well, they eat eggs.  We make waffles, pancakes or muffins on the weekends and freeze them for the week.  Granola, more fruit, yogurts, string cheese, english muffin mini pizzas, baked chicken tenders/nuggets, whole grain or brown rice spaghetti, and they usually eat what we eat for dinner too!

You may see a pattern here.  We eat very similarly each week.  Why?  Because we know what we're eating, we have goals, and eating clean and keeping our health in check will help us get there. Having competed, I can tell you that nutrition plays a GIGANTIC role in your body fat percentage, your muscle tone, your weight loss or gain, and your overall health.  I will also tell you that after indulging in a little too much Halloween candy this weekend, G.I. distress reared it's ugly head in this household! Headaches and sugar also go hand in hand for this lady right here.

It's been a learning process but we have made it work for our family and we have never been healthier in our entire lives!  That's a really amazing feeling to tell you the truth.  If you're struggling with meal planning, prep, don't know where to begin or have questions on how to get started, I would love to help you.  I have monthly accountability groups that incorporate nutritional needs as well as fitness, that are great for beginners and individuals looking to improve their current nutrition as well as lose weight.  If you are interested, please find me on Facebook and send me a message, or complete the application below.  I hope you have found this information useful, please feel free to comment or share!  Thank you!

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