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Monday, June 6, 2016

Healthy Weekly Meal Prep

Second week of summer is in full effect!  Now that the weather is getting hotter and we're spending more time outdoors (and at the pool!), I know a lot of you are wanting to get in better shape.  You're not alone! Even though I've lost most of the baby weight, I still have about 5 pounds to lose and I'd like to put back on the muscle I lost while I was pregnant.  I won't be able to workout with my trainer as much this summer, and I know most of you probably workout alone too, so I'll be sharing some of my workouts tips this month.

While everything about the fitness trifecta is important for transforming our shape: (1) strength training, (2) cardio and (3) food, I give the food portion the most weight.  Working out is easy(er). Making healthy food choices everyday is not.

When I was on bikini prep, I used to prepare most of my meals twice a week, measured out in plastic containers so I could just grab and heat them up every 3-4 hours.  When you are eating that often, it's nearly impossible to cook every meal from scratch.  Prepping meals in advance is so convenient and ends up saving so much time in the long run.  Plus, it encourages you to eat healthy because once you've prepped your healthy food, that's what you're most likely to eat so it doesn't go bad and you don't waste your money!  

I try to eat healthy during the week with some splurges on the weekend.  My meal prep isn't necessarily full meals, but cooking big batches of things like chicken, rice, potatoes and cleaning and chopping veggies and fruit to have on hand for quick meals.  Here's how I do it:



If possible, grocery shop on one day and then meal prep the next because it's a lot to do both on one day.  This food lasted us about 4 days.  My grocery list for a meal prep like this is:  

- boneless, skinless chicken breast (2 packages)
- lean ground beef or turkey (2 packages)
- bell peppers (all colors)
- frozen green beans
- fresh brussel sprouts
- bag Romaine lettuce
- mini carrots
- sliced mushrooms
- 3 onions
- red potatoes
- sweet potatoes
- white rice
- fruit (here strawberries and cherries)
- Greek yogurt
- granola
- tortillas 

From those ingredients, I'll have everything I need for a meal with protein, veggies and carbs; salads, quesadillas, TexMex, and snacks. 

I buy fresh brussel sprouts and just rinse.  When  they're ready to cook, I just cut in half and usually roast them in the oven.  They will go with the steaks this week.

I buy frozen cut green beans and just put them in the fridge.  When I'm ready to eat them, I portion out a cup and microwave them for 1 1/2 minutes.


If I'm cooking chicken breasts on the stovetop, I prefer the breast cutlets because they are thinner and cook evenly.  If you buy chicken breasts, pound them to 3/4 inch thickness so that you don't have dry ends.  Steak is a treat, but I buy a lean variety, like ribeye.  There's still lots of flavor in it without so much fat.  I also buy lean ground beef or turkey, but the 99% lean is too lean for me and doesn't taste very good.  You won't have much success with clean eating if you don't like the food you're preparing.  It should taste good!


Gotta have some carbs for energy!  These are my go-to.  Cook the rice on the stovetop according to the package directions.  Wash and pierce your potatoes and put them in the microwave for a couple minutes and cook until a fork pierces through easily. 



While the potatoes are microwaving, start chopping up your onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms.


ombre shorts | tank similar shoe


On the stove, I start cooking the rice according to directions (as much as you need for your family), and chicken and one of the chopped onions and ground beef.


It's hard to cook with a little baby around!  I started while she was napping, but she woke up!  I tried putting her in James' old exersaucer, but it's still a little big for her.



Luckily Grandma was here and she loves nothing more than holding Jordan.  I don't think you can hold a little baby too much!


For the TexMex, spray a large pan with cooking spray and saute one diced onion.  Then, add 2 pounds of ground beef and brown while crumbling the beef with a wooden spoon.  When the meat is browned, add 2 packets of taco seasoning and water.  Bring to a boil and cook until the water has evaporated out.

Portion out rice, refried beans, beef mixture, shredded cheese and jalapenos into to-go containers.  


These reheat really well for about 1 minute or so and then I add a bit of low-fat sour cream.



Plain chicken breasts aren't very flavorful, so take advantage of all of the great spice blends to add more flavor, whichever you prefer.  And these cutlets cook quickly, just a few minutes on each side. 


You'll have the bulk of your prep done at this point - the rice, potatoes, chicken, TexMex and peppers/mushrooms/onions chopped.  Then, all you need to do is put your veggies and fruit into easily accessible containers.  I also chopped a cucumber so it's ready to do for salads. 




Aside from quesadillas, another favorite meal I make with this is my sauteing the peppers, mushroom, and onions and eating them on top of my chicken with a potato for a side.  It only takes a few minutes to dump those pre-chopped veggies into a saute pan and cook them. 

We keep eggs and AllWhites on hand too, so you're ready to go with a veggie omelet.

Or you can keep the veggies raw and add them to your pre-washed lettuce with chicken. 

For snacks, I love Greek yogurt (the no fat is hard to eat alone), but add some berries and granola and it's really good! 



Such a nice sight when you're all done!  


Next week I'll share some workout tips you can do at home! without a trainer or any fancy machines.  Remember, we're all works in progress!  There is no finish line! :) 

ombre shorts | tank | old Nike sports bra, love this one / similar watch

If you need a little extra motivation before then, put on some cute workout clothes!  You're bound to feel better when you look better - even your workout clothes! 


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49 comments:

  1. Thank you SOOOOO much for this post!!! Eating is/has always been my biggest problem when it comes to losing weight & here I am again back in the same boat. I wish you could come cook for me!! All of your food looks so yummy!! I'm not the best cook & don't really know how to make it taste good w/ seasonings (I'm not the creative type). I can't thank you enough for sharing your meals!!!!!! :)

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    1. I'm so glad this helps!! Thanks for letting me know!

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  2. Love this post! Prepping meals ahead of time is the ONLY way that I survive and get healthy meals on the table with 3 little ones. I'm always looking for new ideas, so this is great! Looking forward to your workout posts, too!

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    1. Especially with a baby, I'm always hungry and I have to have quick food on hand or I'd starve. It's hard to cook from scratch anytime, especially with kids and babies that need so much attention.

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  3. Hey Megan,
    that looks so delish - I really think about to try meal prepping now!
    Have you ever took a plant-based.diet into consideration. Not just because of ethical reasons but because of health? I'm on that bandwagon for 2 months now and I lost some weight easily and my skin never looked better... even lost some cellulitis.

    Love your blog so much!

    Love from Germany
    Nina

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    1. I haven't really looked into that. So excited to see those results! Do you get your protein from beans?

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  4. Great post! I've been wanting to do this for awhile now...summer will be the perfect time to try it out...and good tip on shop one day/prep next. :)

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    1. Yeah, I find it's hard to do both on one day. Sometimes I do, especially if hubby shops, then it's easier for me to do the prep.

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  5. Hey Megan! Love your meal prep :) My problem is that sometimes, the veggies will start to get slimey..any advice?

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    1. I haven't had that issue, but I know what you mean. I'm not sure if that's because they get too old before you get a chance to eat all of them. That has only happened to me with bagged lettuce if I didn't eat it in time.

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  6. Love your meal prep. I try to do something similar, but my veggies get slimey..any tips?

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    1. I hate that! The tupperware I use is supposed to help with that, but I'm not sure if I've really noticed any difference. I just try to eat ours before they go bad and not buy/prepare too many in advance.

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  7. I'm always looking for new meal prep ideas. THansk for this post. It truly is the only way I can stay on track.
    www.morgan-jennifer.com

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  8. I love this post and find it incredibly helpful. I appreciate the grocery list and plan to try it out this week!!

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    1. I was trying to post a pic of my grocery cart, but it wouldn't load! I'll have to go back and try to add it. I also need to figure out how to make printables so you can just print my list or recipe. Thanks so much for reading Kim!

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  9. I tried to find a Pinterest link that I could just click on so that I save this blog for future reference, but am not having any luck. I already follow you on Pinterest, do you already have it in one of your boards?

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    1. I'll pin it now to my Honey We're Home board. My 'pin it' button broke that used to appear when you hovered your mouse over one of my pics in the post. I have asked my web designer to fix it, just waiting on her to get to it! :)

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  10. Hi Megan! Love your blog! All this food looks yummy :-) I'm just curious, does your little boy eat this food too or do you cook separately for him? xx

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    1. Oh Ella, I wish! No, I have to prepare separate food for him. :( He'll eat the yogurt and fruit, but he won't eat meat and is super picky!

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  11. Great post! This is exactly what I do every Sunday and it is so helpful to set me up for success during the week.

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  12. Awesome post! Lunches are the biggest struggle for me. And after feeding kids I am usually hangry and have snackcidents. Lol. Would love to hear about how you feed your picky eater because I have a very picky 6 year old boy. Like cheese quesadillas and pb&j is about all he eats. 😁

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    1. Snackcidents! Oh I love that!! We are slowly trying to incorporate more food into our son's diet, but he sounds a lot like your boy so I'm not much help!

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  13. Oh my word, this could not have come at a better time. I started at the gym last Friday and I have committed to clean eating. Working out isn't a problem. The eating part, I was clueless. This is perfect Meghan!!! My trainer told me to not eat carbs which I found disturbing. I remember my mom going on an all protein diet and she lost so much weight and started losing hair. I'm gonna follow your prep. It all looks so good. I am 5'6" and I weigh 138. The most I have ever weighed. I hope to lose about 10 pounds or inches around my stomach. So excited to follow you on this journey. Jordan is getting so big and she is beautiful. Have a great day

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    1. Yes, I think you for sure need carbs! My portion size is about 1/2 cup rice or about 5-6 oz cooked potatoes. But, you do need protein at each meal to to build muscle- I aim for 4-5 oz protein per meal. You can do it! It takes some time and dedication, but over time the results add up!! Thanks for the compliment on Jordan- she's the best baby!

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  14. Thoroughly enjoyed this post! I don't know why I never thought to grocery shop one day and meal prep the next- makes so much sense!!

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    1. Makes it much easier and that way it's not too overwhelming of a job. :)

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  15. Megan, thank you so much for the inspiration! I have missed your meal prep posts. I started meal prepping because of them:) Would love to know where you got the containers you put your Tex-mex in. Also, the ones with green lids for the veggies, do they say fresh longer there?

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    1. I think I got them on Amazon or at our grocery store- Gladware. And the veggie containers are from a tupperware party I went to. They are supposed to keep the food fresher and have little diagram to show you have much air to let in through the lid, but I can't really tell if they make a difference or not.

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  16. I love this post and the helpful ideas! I just started my healthy eating fit journey.

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  17. Hi, I love your blog; you are such an inspiration. Do you normally drink coffee when you are on your healthy eating plan? What coffee do you recommend? Thanks

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    1. I do! I drink starbucks medium roast at home with my vanilla caramel creamer. I'm not supposed to have the creamer but I couldn't give it up!

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    2. I had a hard time giving up my creamer too. I found that putting a teaspoon to 2 teaspoons of coconut oil and blending it is wonderful! Plus all the added health benefits. I don't even need sweetener in it anymore.

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    3. I had a hard time getting of my creamer too. I found that 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil in my coffee and then blended is wonderful! Not to mention the health benefits, too! Most times I don't even need a sweetener anymore.

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  18. Great post Megan! I really love meal prepping, but I have fallen out of the routine. You have inspired me to get back into it. It makes life so much easier with little ones around! It is so important to feed yourself healthy food so you can keep up with the kiddos!

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    1. Yes! Otherwise I end up eating cereal all the time! ;)

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  19. Loved this post, thank you! How long does meal prep take from start to finish?

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    1. Thanks! I'd say about an hour. Not too bad! But then there's also the cleanup! ;)

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  20. Looks like Jordan likes grandma to hold her as much as grandma likes holding Jordan :-) I have never noticed chicken cutlets in Kroger before last week and bought a pack and they are great! Perfect portion size and something I will buy regularly going forward, I like cooking chicken with Mrs. Dash table blend in a skillet, so good.

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    1. I like that seasoning too, but my husband doesn't, so for him I just use salt and pepper. Those cutlets are awesome, when I used to buy chicken breasts, I hated having to pound them out!

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  21. Thank you so much! You made meal prep look much less overwhelming and gave us some great ideas!! Your new little baby is so cute! Love seeing all the sweet pictures.

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    1. Thank you so much Tammy! She is really getting cuter by the day! And starting to "talk" more! Just so sweet!

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  22. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing! I've been exercising and losing weight but I'm stuck on the last 10 pounds. I'm 47 and my son is 12 and my daughter is 10. I'm trying to lose the last of the baby weight. Lol! I was 110 lbs. before kids, 137 after. Now I'm down to 127. 120 is my goal. I know the meal prep will be a huge help! I try to eat an egg a day as well. Do you eat eggs? Thanks!

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    1. You're doing great! Only 7 pounds to go! You really can do it! I do eat eggs! Love them- special treat is with bacon and whole wheat toast with real butter!

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  23. Megan!! I've had so much fun catching up on your blog tonight! It has been a Honey We're Home post marathon at my house. Popcorn included! ;) Absolutely LOVE this post. I have just started meal prepping better this summer and it has made such a huge difference! You have given me some great ideas of things to try. Thank you! As always you are such a HUGE inspiration. Love your blog. Love you! xo
    p.s. Jordon is so adorable! Love that pic of her with grandma. :)

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    1. Ah! Thanks Erin! I saw you pinned this post- thank you! I've been drooling over your backyard and pool! When can we come over!?!?

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment, I read every one! I try to answer questions in the comment section since many readers are "no reply" and so everyone can benefit from the response- so please check back. :)

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