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
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.
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.
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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! 🙂