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

Fit Diet, Fit Body, Fit Skin

There is a recipe for everything! Although I hardly ever follow recipes, I do believe the recipe for fitness success lies within the walls of your very own kitchen. Whether you shimmy into an alley style kitchen or dance around a large kitchen with an island (my dream kitchen!), you can find everything you need to win the war on weight loss, increase your energy levels and reveal tight, youthful skin with a radiant glow. All it takes is a plan….

Step 1: REAL FOOD!

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Your first mission is to look around your kitchen and identify all sources of real food. This basically means it should have a mother or grow in the ground and Chester Cheeto is father to nobody! Throw out processed foods such as crackers (yes, even those fancy gluten-free ones you got suckered into buying), chips, breads, candy (really?? What is that doing in there?!?), sugar, flour, cereal and cereal bars, protein bars, etc. Don’t freak out on me now! You’ll be without these beloved processed foods for about 3 weeks, then you can slowly start to inch them back into your diet. Well, except sugar…we don’t need that. Replace these foods with oats, rice (brown, black, wild, basmati), quinoa, and so on. You can use sliced cucumber in place of crackers. Don’t scoff! Try it with tuna, it’s quite good plus you get extra hydration. After a FULL 21 days eating whole foods, you’ll notice a difference in your energy level AND on the dreaded scale.

Step 2: SHOPPING!

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Make a list. This will save you time, money and headaches. On the left side of the paper write the meals you are planning for the week. On the right side, write the corresponding ingredients needed. This is the simplest form of prepared list making. Search your pantry and fridge for signs that you need some staples and make sure to write those on the list as well. Remember that the cheaper the produce, the more in-season it will be. Try not to bog yourself down with fancy recipes. My goal is usually to try out 1 new recipe a week and vary dinners throughout what I know everybody like and what the season calls for. Lunches here are typically tuna or salmon and lots of salads or soups.

Step 3: PREPARE YOURSELF!

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The second step is bringing these whole foods mentioned above and prepping them for consumption. Let’s face it, if it’s not ready to go, we won’t reach for it! Upon returning from the market, set aside about 30 minutes to wash your produce and chop what needs chopping. Typically, I’ll wash apples, pears cucumbers, carrots, celery and all when I return. Cucumber and celery are then chopped and placed into containers at EYE LEVEL in the fridge. I’ll also wash berries and place them in bowls at eye level in the fridge. The clean apples and other fruits go into produce bowls directly beside the sink. I also have a bowl for onions, garlic and potatoes as well. My grocery days are usually on the weekend, so I carve a little extra time to prep what needs to be prepped. If chicken is on the menu, I pound it tender and throw it into a bowl, covering it with milk. This ensures the chicken will not dry out as it cooks. The chicken can stay like this, covered in the fridge, for up to 24 hours prior to cooking. If we’re having beans and rice (a staple in this household!), I’ll soak the beans and make a couple batches of rice in the rice cooker. Meal prep does not need to eat up the majority of your day and you should be able to get most prep work finished within an hour at most. Don’t be disheartened if it takes you a little longer on your first couple of tries…practice will make for greater efficiency!

Step 4: MAKE SOME SPACE!

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This is in regards to your workout. Since food plays the largest role in how we look and feel, I think it is important to make sure our workouts help in this process without overwhelming us. Make sure you have proper space for your workouts. Some people rather enjoy a gym setting and if you’re going to pay for a gym membership, by all means please use it! Just don’t get stuck on the treadmill. Branch out a bit. Try the free weights or maybe even check out a class. If home workouts work best for you, consider clearing some space in your garage or basement. This is why I like yoga so much, you can literally do it anywhere with a small amount of space and a mat (or towel!). When I was in Moldova, I worked out in the bathroom :) Just make sure that your space is special to you. Make sure that it is safe and you won’t bang your knuckles on the ceiling fan should you be jumping!

These 4 steps will get you started on a lifestyle that reaps BIG results. You’ll notice that your nerves will calm as your food is already prepared for the week. You’ll find that happy space for your workouts and be able to release more stress. Remember that this lifestyle isn’t about waiting for everything to be perfect, it’s about making it work for you.

Have a healthy day!

Michelle