Meal Prep for the week.
Instead of just talking to you about meal prep and meals through the week, I thought I would show you what a typical week looks like for me.
I always start with veggies, then build around them.
I have been making this same salad every Sunday or Monday for about 4 years now. We have yet to get bored with it. I used to prep it and keep it in a sealed bowl but the veggies would go bad quick. Then I bought these Rubbermaid Food Savers and they do give me more time.
Putting the hardier veggies on the bottom and the more delicate ones at the top makes a big difference too. The layers always go – Cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, onions, cucumbers, then tomatoes. We get a good 6 days with this system.
We use this mix as a topping to a spring mix of lettuces. Already prepped and washed so I don’t have to do that. We eat these salads as a side with our dinner, we make it our dinner by plating more and adding a protein on top, and we also use it as a lunch, again paired with a protein.
Any leftover cucumber or tomatoes will be used as a snack throughout the week.
Veggies for eggs.
I chop bell peppers and onion to eat with my eggs. I also buy a bag of cleaned and ready to eat spinach to go in it too.
I prep an egg pan with a short spray of canola oil, add a little water, then add in the amount of veggies I want. Onions, then peppers, then the spinach on top. Once the spinach is wilted and the water is evaporated I then put my scrambled eggs on top and stir until set. This has been my first meal for years. I love it.
Veggies for dinners.
I usually plan out my dinners through the week. It is easier when I have an idea of what we will be eating to help me stay on track.
Roasted Chicken and Brussels Sprouts
Mondays I try to make as clean and lean as possible, because I know at least one point in the weekend it wasn’t. So this week was roasted chicken and brussels sprouts with my favorite spices. I won’t prep the brussels sprouts in advanced, I will just clean and cut them real quick before I toss them in the oven. While those are cooking for 20 minutes, I prep the chicken. Then toss the chicken on top until cooked through.
Make Your Own Tacos
Taco Taco TUESDAY! No veggie prep needed for taco day, usually, but this is my kids favorite meal. He eats tacos in a tortilla wrap. And jason and I will cycle through eating taco meat on a salad, in a wrap, on a potato, and this week as a taco bowl. I made cauliflower rice after all the other veggies were chopped and saved it in a meal prep container. You can sauté the cauliflower rice on the stove top or like I did this week, measured it out into a bowl and popped it into the microwave for a couple minutes. Then topped it with the taco meat, black beans, salsa, plain greek yogurt, and some shredded cheese.
If you prep the taco meat in advanced you can use it for dinner and lunches in any variation you choose. It is easy to cook, save, and reheat.
Riced cauliflower can take some time to get used to. (Same with substituting Greek Yogurt for mayo or sour cream.) But making that simple swap of the cruciferous veggie for the starchy carb makes a huge difference in calories and volume. If you are the type of person that needs a lot of food (me!) then this swap works wonders. I get to eat so much more when I use cauliflower rice.
It can be used as a base for a dish, like my taco bowl, or seasoned to your liking and used as a side. I even add it to my scrambles eggs when I am feeling extra hungry, or if I run out of peppers and onions.
It is super convenient to portion up and freeze too. Buy a bunch of cauliflower, rice it up, portion it into freezer bags, and pull it out when you need it. It is quick to heat and eat.
Crockpot Turkey Chili
Wednesday was Crockpot Turkey chili which calls for red onion and bell peppers, so I prep that after salad and keep them in these awesome meal prep containers. They fit really well in the fridge. It doesn’t matter when in the week I will be making chili, but it makes the process go so much smoother when the veggies are already all ready. Nice thing about this recipe is that all you do is cook the ground turkey and season it how you want it. Then throw everything else into the crock pot for the day. You could also make it easier by making the ground turkey in advanced, then it is really just toss, set, and forget.
Full Crockpot Turkey Chili Recipe below.
To get the right macros for big batch meals like this chili, I weigh everything out on a food scale before I put it in the crockpot. I put all of the information into the My FitnessPal app. After the chili is done I let it cool a bit then weigh the whole dish as one. Then divide that by the number of servings I feel suits that dish. So this chili I decided to be 8 servings. Divide the total weight in grams by 8 servings and then that number is what I aim for when serving myself. I use that food scale more than I use anything else in the kitchen. I have even used it to weigh mail.
We save all of the left overs each night in those meal prep containers that I put the prepped veggies in. And sometimes weigh and portion a meal (like chili) out so we can just grab a container and put it in the microwave when needed and already know the macros. (This is the >> scale << that I use) Most others, like the taco meat or chicken, just all go in one container then weigh it out when ready to use.
Thursday and Saturday are leftover days. So any of the above we eat again. Usually in a different form. The left over chicken I might turn in to a chicken salad. Or put some leftover chili on top of a baked potato or on top of the left over cauliflower rice.
And I always keep canned tuna on hand for a super quick dinner if I didn’t get around to making dinner, or use it as a lunch, or we if run out of leftovers. I just mix up tuna with greek yogurt and throw on top of a salad, in a wrap, or on bread. Most lunches, when I eat tuna, it is just the tuna and greek yogurt mix from a bowl. Even my kid will eat it that way.
Then start over again on Sunday.
I know, you are asking: “What happens on Friday?” Well, Friday we do our grocery shopping and eat at our favorite grocery store, Wegmans! Their cafe has plenty of options ranging from healthy to not so calorie friendly. It is our family date night. With the added bonus of eating before shopping, all the snack temptations stay on the shelves. Going grocery shopping while hungry can be dangerous on your wallet and pant size.
I try to keep meals as simple and basic as possible but still can be used over and over and in different forms.
The salad is a real life (waistline) saver. Especially those nights where you really want pizza but the salad is already there and ready to eat.
My Ideal Eating Schedule Looks Like This:
Remember, not everyday is going to be perfect, but this is what I strive for. Most of the time it doesn’t happen any more, I am working on it daily.
What I Drink
The BSN Protein is something that I started drinking years ago. I have bounced around from brand to brand to try other versions and this BSN Protein is by far my most favorite. I always come back to it.
I started drinking this protein back in 2015. The Amazing Grass Green Superfood however, I just started using them in October, 3 months ago. And they sure have been a great addition to the routine. My husband recently lost over 30 pounds and he attributes a lot of the success to using those greens.
My Contigo water bottle is never far away from me. I take it everywhere. It has the fluid ounces printed on the side to help me keep track of how much I am drinking. I try to set ounces of water goals for myself. And that also changes with the day.
If I know I am going to be in the car for a long time, I certainly don’t drink as much before hand. Then when I get home I chug.
The only other beverages I drink daily, (other than water, greens, and protein), is coffee with unsweetened almond milk in the morning and tea at night.
Occasionally I will drink a sparkling water durning the day. And because I am not used to drinking carbonation, it helps to make me feel full. So the carbonation comes in handy when I am feeling particularly hungry or when I have the munchies.
- I build my meals around a LOT of veggies and a few easy meats.
- It doesn’t have to be complicated to be healthy.
- Pick meals that you can use over and over in different variations
- Prep any veggies and meats ahead of time to help you stay on track.
- Using the right containers like the Rubbermaid Food Savers or the meal prep containers make it easier and keeps your food fresher for longer.
- If you are counting calories, using a food scale helps you stay more accurate.
- Using veggie based swaps over starchy products allows you to eat more in volume and still keep your calories in check.
- Don’t go grocery shopping while hungry.
- What you drink matters too. Buy a water bottle that has the measurements printed on it and stay hydrated.
Crockpot Ground Turkey Chili Recipe
- Crock Pot
- Slow Cooker
- 1.5 pounds ground turkey lean
- Spices to taste Minced Garlic, Garlic powder, Onion Powder, Black pepper
- 28 oz Crushed tomatoes
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 2 whole bell peppers chopped
- 1 medium red onion chopped
- 1 can corn
- 1 can black beans
- 6 tbsp dry lentils and/or split peas
- 1 packet chili seasoning
- Brown the turkey with minced garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper, to taste.
- Chop the bell peppers and onion.
- Drain and rinse the black beans and corn.
- Rinse the dry lentils.
- Toss Everything into a crockpot and set on low for 6-8 hours.
- I use low sodium or no salt added items when I can.
- Use a mix of lentils and split peas if desired.