Monday, May 26, 2014

My Meal Prep Tips

Meal prep is a great way to keep yourself on track.  It's easy to get caught up when life gets busy and grab whatever is close and easy to eat, which we don't always make the healthiest choice sometimes especially if you're HUNGRY!! And you know the saying:

Our family was notorious for hitting the drive through way too often! Our wallet and our stomachs couldn't take it much more to be honest.  For what you pay for, is the food really that great? I don't think so!

So I make bigger effort now to Meal Prep and have healthy food on hand as much as possible, it doesn't just save me time during the week but also $money$.  So I thought I would share some of my Meal Prepping Tips that always save me in a pinch and don't require a ton of kitchen time.

  • Plan Ahead
 Every Friday I start taking inventory in my pantry and refrigerator to see what I already have and what I need to buy.  I make a chart on a piece of paper and write out what meals I plan to make and eat each day. This way I can see what I may need to grab from the grocery store before the weekend is over.
  • Keep Fresh Fruit and Veggies on Hand
I keep Strawberries, Blueberries, Apples, Bananas, and whatever else is in season on hand all the times! It is crucial that they stay within reach.  These are the first thing we all grab to snack on over the chips and cookies that I may have in the pantry hidden in the  When we have errands to run I throw a few in baggies and BOOM we're out! They're a quick and mess free and healthy snack.
  • Pre-Chop your Veggies (or splurge and buy the ones already pre-washed and cut)          
Keep sliced bell peppers, carrots and celery on hand for another quick and easy snack option.  They fit in a zip lock and go great on salads or with a light dipping dressing.  I prefer to skip it all together and eat them fresh and use the bell peppers to add to my salads or eggs in the morning for breakfast.
  • Have an Easy Grab and Go Breakfast
You know those mornings, rushing the kids to school, trying to find your keys and you  have no time to make that breakfast you thought you had the time for...solution, besides my beloved Shakeology...Make hard boiled eggs so you can grab them on the way out the door with a fruit.  Muffins are also a great and easy breakfast option. Not the ones covered in chocolaty goodness.  Try blueberry protein muffin, or pumpkin muffins.  You can also make egg breakfast muffins and top them with veggies and turkey bacon or sausage. They're perfect for a grab and go breakfast!
  • Chicken or Fish? Why not BOTH!
These two are really the easiest thing to make ahead of time because you can have them in so many different ways and you know that once cooked they will stay good in your fridge for a few days.  I prepare a few chicken breasts on Sunday or Monday and then slice up a couple for my salads, kids lunches (the real chicken strip) and leave the others in a Tupperware to make sandwiches for lunch for my hubby or for Dinner when I'm in a time crunch! I make about 4-5 chicken breast and they last the whole family a couple days.  I also make 2 salmon or tilapia in the oven and have them with brown rice and veggies.  Easy Peasy!
  • Add Quinoa to your list of Must Eats
This is a delicious!!! I have found the most yummy mix with brown rice,  ready to eat under a minute pouch at Costco and Vons and I love it!! It's whole grain and provides you with fiber and protein to help keep you fuller longer.   The plain Quinoa is also easy to make and I've even made it with tomato sauce and other spices so it tastes like Spanish Rice and it's been a success!!

Here's a little video I made a while back for one of my challenge groups, but this is basically what I make sure to do to have a successful week :)

If you're new to Meal Prepping and have some more questions or if you have any meal planning tips of your own I'd love to hear them!

Please share in the comments below ;)

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