Food is no longer entertainment at my house… if you don’t count the personal pizzas we made with the grand kids yesterday. Food is fuel. That doesn’t mean that we don’t eat well. We do! Food is tasty in it’s natural state. I am enjoying food more than I have before.
Today I have decided to focus on meal prep (mostly because this weeks meals are simple due to busy schedule – sauted veggies for breakfast, soup and/or salad for lunch, and sauted veggies for dinner).
I am sure you have heard the old saying, “fail to plan, plan to fail.” I have proven it right over and over throughout my life. I have now put that behind me. Now I plan! When you put down the processed food and start to eat in the nutritarian way, it takes prep and cooking ahead so you always have something ready for a meal on those impossible days. Some weeks it’s hard, because I am busy and very tired. However, there is no putting it off. Once you make the mental shift and create a plan it becomes a bit easier.
I start by collecting the recipes I would like to try from my Eat to Lean Cookbook, Pinterest, etc. If thinking of what to make for dinner isn’t something you enjoy, you could try a meal planning service. I use eMeals app on my iPhone. It sends me vegetarian recipes once a week. Sometimes I use them. Sometimes I don’t. Nearly always, I modify them to fit the goals I have set for myself.
Remember to Plan For Lunch
Don’t forget to think about lunches. Sometimes I forget to consider what the rest of my family likes to eat. I need to remember that they are not all on the same healthy veggie wagon as me. I plan soups and salads for my lunches, buy my teenager would rather eat junk food. I need to plan for fruits she enjoys and easy grab-n-go veggie packages, nuts, and crackers she will enjoy. Without planning, I often cave to her begging and get her junk or fast food. (I won’t be successful at teaching her health if I keep that up).
Once you have made a menu, make a shopping list. I do my shopping on Saturday. I’ve fallen into the trap of repeated shopping trips per week. It made me nutty and was so expensive! Going once a week makes life simpler. By the end of the week the fridge looks a little lonely, but I like it that way. We waste less food.
Let the Chopping Begin
Once I return from the store, the family chips in and we get to work. We wash and peal carrots and cut them into sticks. We make celery sticks and sliced bell peppers and/or cucumbers. We assemble snack bags of veggies to eat with hummus.
We chop mushrooms, onions, zucchini, cabbage, asparagus, green Beans, etc. and assemble gallon size veggie bags that are easy to dump and saute for breakfast or dinner.
We chop veggies for a do-it-yourself salad bar. On some weeks we assemble the salads in jars for mornings that are too crazy to put it together a salad before leaving for the day. Salads full of beautiful raw veggies and no dressings are the cornerstone of the Eat To Live program. Prepping veggies ahead helps you to get the recommended 1 pound of raw veggies a day in your diet. We chop red onions, green onions, cabbage, carrots, cucumbers, bell peppers, beets, broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, olives, artichoke hearts, tomatoes, green peas, jicama, romaine lettuce, spinach, and zucchini. To help the veggies stay fresh in the containers, I often add a paper towel on the bottom of the container to absorb water.
We chop watermelon and cantaloupe and store in containers for quick lunch grab-n-go. We make sure we have fresh fruits available.
We make a big pot of soup and store it in jars in tee fridge, ready to -grab-n-go when we head out the door. My favorites are split pea soup, Japanese Ramen with Veggies, Black Bean Soup, Lentil Soup, and Cabbage Soup. (I will post these recipes later).
Be sure to invest in good containers. I will blog about my favorite containers on Satisfaction Saturday… glass with green snapping lids. I also love to use canning jars with reusable lids.
Prepping food ahead of time relieves the stress at dinner time throughout the week.
How do you prepare for the week?