Meal Planning and Prep Made SUPER Easy

Most busy moms lead the kind of life that makes us want to use the NO TIME excuse when it comes to the kitchen.

While I do support family involvement when it comes to meal planning and prepping, you can become the Wonder Woman of your domain AND reach your goals by learning a few simple tips.

Wonder Woman Approves

  1. Be prepared. For starters, if you haven’t planned and prepped before, don’t expect a fail-free start from the blocks. This is the kind of skill that can go on a resume!
  2. Have a list. I so have you covered on this one with a video shared with my Healthy Holidays challenge group HERE.
  3. Don’t go to the store starving. Seriously, I speak from experience and cleaning out all of the Valentine candy on 80% off.
  4. If possible, wash and chop veggies when you get home. You and I both know you don’t want to do that later! It’s a chore, so invest in good containers and wash and chop it all when you get home.
  5. If the weather is still a bit cool (or you’re weird like me) throw your anti-inflammatory soup on to cook. Then, put your chickens in the roaster with some onions, carrots, potatoes and various spices (set roaster for 375 degrees and cook 90 minutes for PERFECTLY roasted chickens). You can then turn your chickens into various meals throughout the week.
  6. If you are like me and pack your kids lunches, have them get involved by prepping and bagging the veggies (if they help, they are far more likely to eat it).
  7. If you’re just starting out, set a timer for yourself and please don’t turn the TV on! It will distract you and before you know it, the movie is over and you’re feeling spent. Set your timer for an hour and see how much you can accomplish.
  8. Remember the goal: it’s not to cook and package every single meal. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of reheated meals. The goal here is to prep as much as possible ahead of time. Most nights I can throw dinner together in 15-20 minutes with the food I have prepped. The entire meals I cook beforehand are usually spaghetti and chili since they get better with age :)
  9. Take a look at some of the BLOG POSTS I have about meal prep and the art of mastering your kitchen HERE.
  10. If you need more info on mastering NUTRITION, I have you covered HERE.

In good health,

Michelle

Motivation Monday: How the Pros Do Meal Prep

20130902-063218.jpg

 

By now we have all heard how important it is to prep foods ahead of time right? In our fast-paced lives it can be hard to find the time to cook meal by meal and that leaves us with seemingly no alternative to fast foods. Being armed and ready with delicious meals is one of the secrets bikini competitors and fitness models have that keeps them in tip-top shape year round. I know you’re thinking you “don’t have the time”,  but in reality you have the same 24 hours we all have. And if I can run 2 businesses, home school my daughter, do humanitarian work, keep up blogs and writing assignments, then I promise that YOU can prep a few meals :) It’s all in the small details…….

 

20130902-063230.jpg

 

My personal meal prep day is Sunday afternoon around 2-3. In order to make meal prep easy on yourself I recommend a couple of things:

  1. A rice cooker. You can steam veggies and cook brown rice, white rice, quinoa and even oats for the week! It’s a super time saver in that it’s a “throw-and-go” gadget where you set the time and move on to other things.
  2. A crock pot. This is handy for the same reason as above. I can make soup, chili, beans, or just about anything else in a large crock pot.
  3. A Vitamix or other blender. I’m a Vitamix convert, but if you don’t want to drop the cash, simply blend and strain….it takes more time, but it’s your money.

 

20130902-063237.jpg

My Sunday meal prep usually follows the same simple guidelines every week. Yesterday, I was making my rice, quinoa and soups and veggies for the week, so it went a little something like this:

  1. Place quinoa in rice cooker on “white rice” setting.
  2. Wash and chop veg for the GGS (for recipe, please see Kimberly Snyder’s blog).
  3. Run the GGS through the Vitamix and store in container. I make about 3 days worth at a time.
  4. While GGS is running through, place deer sausage, chicken and veg in crock pot with chicken stock and turn on high heat.
  5. Place sweet potatoes in oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  6. Once quinoa is finished, cook jasmine rice.
  7. Steam broccoli and squash once rice is done.
  8. While veg is steaming, cook fish for fish tacos (dinner last night with enough for leftovers).
  9. During cooking time I usually spend any extra moments washing and chopping fruits and veg. I place clean produce at eye level in the fridge.

 

20130902-063244.jpg

 

The entire process of meal prep takes me about an hour to an hour and a half. This includes making dinner for that evening as well. There are times when it may take longer as when I am making breads or muffins for the week. There are a few basic rules to follow about meal prep:

  1. Keep your prep area clean.
  2. Clean up as you go to avoid meal prep sanitation backlash, otherwise known as “I will never do this again because it creates too many dishes!”
  3. Make sure you have good quality, and plentiful, containers.
  4. Cooked chicken can remain in fridge for 3 days max, beyond that please freeze.
  5. Soups and juices freeze well in glass containers.
  6. Have a plan before you get started.
  7. Music makes it so much more fun!

 

20130902-063252.jpg

So, it really is that simple. As a matter of fact, I usually tackle laundry in between main courses. The deal is that if you have food ready to go then you will be less likely to eat food that does not have the same healthy benefits. If you’re going to tell me you don’t like leftovers, I will simply retaliate with the observation that you must love your spare tire then…..meal prep is one of the key components to a rockin body that looks as though you invest time and effort into your health. Suck it up and do it.

I say that in love, ;)
Michelle