Today is Day 17 since I started keeping a food journal where I write down everything I consume each day. By Day 11, I had lost 7 pounds. I haven’t stepped on the scale again yet but I probably will tomorrow. Last Wednesday was my birthday and I decided to start my daily walking routine again that day. I walked one mile in the morning. Every day since I’ve walked four miles a day, two in the morning and two in the late afternoon.
Last Sunday I also tried something new referred to as meal prep. I was killing quite a bit of time last weekend on Pinterest and came across some posts all about it and decided to give it a try. Meal Prep is where you spend some time on Sunday prepping healthy meals for the week. It’s usually lunches or dinners or both for one or two people. We decided to do lunches only.
For us, we both work Monday through Friday. J is usually rushing in the morning to get out the door by 6:30am and in the past, lunch usually consisted of a turkey sandwich with just cheese and mayo, and a protein bar. And occasionally an orange or some grapes. That’s it! Yep, I know…boring!
For me, I don’t leave until 7:30am so I have more time and usually had leftovers from dinner, a sandwich, soup, a salad, or whatever I felt like making. Some days I just took hard boiled eggs and raw fruit and veggies, so my lunches were healthy a lot of the time. Though I had more time to fix lunch for myself and always had more variety, I hated doing it because I never knew what I was in the mood for so lunches often still felt boring to me.
Thanks to Pinterest, I also picked up some healthy recipes for the meal prep idea. I made roasted carrots for the first time. We already eat a lot of ground turkey, but I found a cool recipe that incorporated some vegetables into it. And I also found a yummy recipe for a pot of black beans.
To really make it work and to keep it from getting boring, you should prepare two kinds of meat so that you can alternate them each day. Stick with turkey, chicken, fish, or very lean beef. You should also make three to four side dishes so they can be alternated as well. Since I was prepping for two people, I had to make large batches of each that would give us enough portions for at least four days. J always eats out with coworkers on Fridays and I decided I could do leftovers on Fridays or something else.
For our meats, we made chicken and turkey. The chicken was pulled chicken that we boiled and seasoned. Here’s a fun tip: we actually made it using our microwave rice cooker! It cooked quickly and was very yummy. The turkey was just a meat crumble cooked with onion, celery, yellow pepper, tomato, and seasonings.
For the side dishes, I made a pot of black beans. I also made a large dish of roasted carrots. I prepared smaller portions of green beans and some sweet peas. We also had some leftover potato salad that I had made to use up some potatoes we already had. And I bought a bag of frozen broccoli. This gave us lots of choices for side items.
Most meal prep stories urge you to go ahead and divide the portions and prepare your meals in small plastic containers like the one above for the entire week. We don’t have that many containers so I decided I would prepare the container the night before so it would be ready in the morning and that worked out well. Each morning we didn’t have to think about lunch because it was ready to go! And when lunchtime arrived, we both loved it! And there was just enough left for me to have a lunch on Friday, and then we had no leftovers!
So later today I’ll be prepping again for the week. This week we are having chicken again. I’m also trying a new turkey and avocado egg roll recipe. We will have cauliflower and broccoli as a side. And we are having chick peas with veggies and also brown rice.
Do you do meal prep for you or your family for the week? If so, feel free to share your tips and successes with me.