A proud salad makin, meal preppin machine!
And, my dirty little secret to avoid grocery shopping mishaps & stay on plan!
Blog series: The restart
This is how I spent my Sunday afternoon — prepping salads in an assembly line, grilling fresh veggie kabobs with a titch of olive oil and garlic, and readying the second shift for the grill — an awesome new turkey burger recipe, fresh grilled asparagus and lean grilled pork chops. And I did it all in about 1.5 hours.
For someone who hated to cook, and who just over five years ago was lucky to eat one salad every few months, I’m pretty proud of my Sunday meal preppin skills. It’s absolutely one of the keys to my success at weight maintenance and living a healthy lifestyle. And when I need a restart, like right now, I get right back on plan and crank the tunes, create a colorful salad assembly line and embark on meal prepping for the entire week.
If you struggle to eat healthy or stay on your clean eating program, I’m guessing that lack of time is one of the reasons. Any chance preparation and planning would help? Try it. I’m guessing — YES!
Today’s blog is the second in my “restart” series. As I wrote last week, I got myself off track and have embarked on a public plan to keep it real. The next several weeks will include blogs about stopping the stinkin thinking, the restart mentality and setting yourself up for success. Meal planning and prep is an absolute key to setting yourself up for success.
I hear from many people that struggle with healthy eating or dieting because they get home from work exhausted and are unprepared. Planning and preparing a healthy meal at 5 or 6 p.m. after a long day at work is the last thing they want to do. So what happens instead, many people skip meals and screw up the metabolism, OR end up binging later. Some raid the refrigerator and eat whatever is in sight. And some do what I used to do, order a pizza or stop at a fast food drive thru on the way home. Sound familiar? Well, there is a better way.
A big part of my success in weight loss (and now in weight maintenance) was to learn to embrace meal planning and preparation. First, I had to see myself as a healthy cook! I had to stop whining and just get to it. And I found a method that works for me. You can too!
They include: 1) Know what works for you & do it. 2) Plan out 1-2 weeks of clean, healthy dinners so you have some “go to” meals. 3) Don’t forget lunches! Have your “go to’s” on hand at home, at work and in your car. 4) Shop well. 5) A good food scale and containers are key. 6) Salad assembly to keep it fresh and fun. 7) Plan, shop, prep, portion, package, track. Click here to read the full blog on my 7 tips.
Planning and shopping
Of course you can’t embrace meal prep until you’ve done the planning to figure out what to eat and you’ve shopped and stocked your refrigerator with good things.
My tips for meal planning are pretty darn simple, find things YOU like to eat that are within the realm of healthy eating. Adopt an eat to live or eat to find your strong philosophy, and go for it. There are so many healthy recipes with nutrition facts out there and if you can’t find one, follow us on Pinterest and check out our Happy Healthy Food or Summer Grillin boards.
My meal plans mostly consist of lean proteins like chicken, fish, seafood, turkey and salmon; lots of fiberous carbs in veggies and salads (green is great); and healthy fats like nuts, avocado, peanut butter, etc. For starchy carbs, I keep it clean and do plain oatmeal, sweet potatoes, and avoid bread, pasta, etc. If you feel you need a bit more of the basics on nutrition, read here, or check out the Nutrition section of my blog, under Start Here.
My dirty little healthy shopping secret
In 2008, when I was at my highest weight, I had a medical crisis that rendered me in the hospital for a week and home on the couch for almost 6 weeks. I couldn’t get out to shop during that time so I discovered online grocery shopping. I ordered online and had groceries delivered from a place in the Twin Cities called SimonDelivers (Lunds/Byerlys and Coborns also deliver). Wow, was that cool! Groceries ordered online and delivered to your door, and they have the resources now to keep stuff cold if you are at work all day.
When I started my weight loss program in 2010, I realized that the grocery store was one of my triggers. Too often I would fill the cart with bad stuff I didn’t intend to buy and go home and binge away! So now I do most of my grocery shopping online and never step foot in the store.
If you live in an area where you have this option, it can be a great one for that reason and more! 1) I now have my go to list and just pull it up online and reorder every week. 2) I am not physically tempted in the store by things I don’t need or that are bad for me. 3) I don’t stray beyond my healthy and clean shopping list ever so there is only good stuff in my cart. 4) It’s super convenient for the busy person. 5) We get delivery in Mpls-St. Paul for only $5 and the prices and sales are every bit as good as what’s in the store.
I also shop the Farmers Markets in the summer. And when I do go to the grocery store, I try to stick to the outside aisles to the fresh produce and meats.
Keep it fun and a commitment
Another key for me is to know that every Sunday when I am home I am going to work in meal prep for the week. And I keep it fun by cranking the tunes, getting creative with my assembly by doing it outside sometimes in the summer, inviting a friend to prep with me, etc.
This week, I am ready to roll. I can’t wait to try my Turkey Burgers infused with Dijon mustard, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion power and cayenne pepper, topped with a dollop of salsa! See, I am a healthy cook!
I hope these tips help you with the restart, or just your own meal prep and planning. To read more about the restart and the first blog in the series, check out these links below. Have an awesome, happy, healthy and in-your-equation week! And if you attempted a restart with me last week, let me know how you’re doing my dropping me a line under connect here, or writing a comment below. It’s #motivationmonday peeps and we’ve got this!
Read more about the restart and how it changes everything here:
- Solstice: A time to restart and let go of what no longer serves us (June 2016)
- Time to restart
- Meal prep. Works for me!
- Weight maintenance is hard, rewarding and totally doable!
- Staying in the equation when the going gets tough
- Operation reboot! 7 tips for the restart
- An epiphany on my mountain!
- Milestones, meaning and memories
- In the Equation Coaching now available!