Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Meal Planning & Meal Prepping

As of this week I'm down 12 pounds since the new year. It's been hard, but it'll be worth it. There's been weeks where I lost 3 pounds and then weeks where I stayed the same for 3. dang. weeks. Lots of fluctuation, but slowly and surely I'm finding out what works for my body. What I need to eat, don't need to eat, drink, and do!
The main thing for me {I really should say us since Ethan is on this journey with me} is meal planning and meal prepping. We've played around the planning before and have found it saves time and money. There's no eating out randomly for work lunches. No guessing in the mornings and fumbling to make a sandwich when you should have been out the door 5 minutes ago. Also, no excuses when you're dieting. Plus it's been nice to not have to cook dinner and clean the kitchen every night! Can I get an amen?!
For meal planning and prep, the steps are:
- Pick your recipes
- Pick your quantities.
- Plan your shopping list.
- Shop & cook!
Before you start, I recommend getting plenty of meal prep containers. I found mine on Amazon. My other containers are just normal plastic containers you can get at the grocery store. I recommend getting a lot. We have 10 compartment food containers and then at least another 10 round containers. The compartment containers are good for days when you have a protein, starch and veggie. The round containers are good for salads and one-dish meals.
Picking your Recipes
I like to get most of my recipes from Skinny Taste. I know her recipes are diet friendly and I haven't had a meal I didn't like. Plus the organization on her site is great! Special diet needs? She's got a section for you! Wanting seafood? It's separated out! Oh and she creates a meal plan each week if you don't have the time to pick your own meals. Seriously. The website is dreamy.
Lately we've been loving the Naked Salmon Burgers with Arugula and Sriracha Sauce and Turkey Meatloaf. They're easy meals that you can make multiples of and they re-heat nicely!
Picking your Quantities
The past two weeks Ethan and I have prepped for lunch and dinner for the week ahead. We do Sunday night through Thursday night, and lunches Monday through Friday. We like to keep Friday night and Saturdays open for eating out. Probably should change that, but we tend to get stir crazy if we don't go out by Friday! Once we've figured out who wants what, meaning "Katie wants 2 chicken meals, 4 salmon meals, and 4 meatloaf meals for the week," we get to planning.
Planning your Shopping List
The next part of planning is the actual planning. I love using Publix's online grocery shopping list. You put in the items you want to buy and it automatically sorts it by aisle and section. Or you can browse the Weekly Shopping Ad and add items directly from there. Also, if you select the store you'll be shopping at, it sorts your list by your store layout. Amazing time saver! Plus Publix's digital coupons make saving some extra money a breeze.
Shop & Cook
This past week our menu was Mojo Grilled Chicken with Cilantro Lime Rice, Naked Salmon Burgers with Arugula and Sriracha Sauce, and Turkey Meatloaf with Sweet Potatoes. This is the part where knowing how many of each you're making really is important. Also, we've tried just two meals, but when you're eating the same thing for lunch and dinner, two really isn't enough variety.
Cooking is the most time-consuming and messy part. It takes us roughly 3-4 hours on Sunday afternoon from start to finish. Yes, 3 to 4 hours at least. But, I'm not coming home every work night cooking and cleaning. It's much better in my opinion. It's time consuming because we only have one oven and one grill, but while one thing cooks, I'm prepping the next meal. And as meals start finishing, we're slicing and sorting. It's a constant, busy thing!
Once all your meals are sorted out in their containers, it's a beautiful sight! I love sitting back on Sunday evening knowing I've got a dishwasher full of dirty dishes "for the week" and 20 meals in the fridge. It's rewarding in a weird kind of way!

Obviously my pictures are from SnapChat. You can follow along @klm61210.
Oh and if you do decide to meal plan & prep and you find a recipe that's to die for.. pass it my way!
The 'ole chicken, meatloaf, fish routine isn't going to cut it for next week! I need something new!
Hope these little tips help! I know they're helping me get downs to pre-baby weight!
And that makes me very happy!
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  1. this is very interesting dear
    thanks for sharing

  2. This is awesome! And you're totally motivating me to meal prep! It's so tough, especially on nights when Dan's on shift to come up with a healthy meal or have time to cook an entire meal after work. Plus I just want to spend the short time I have in the evenings with Harper! I am definitely going to try this out next week and see how it goes!! Thanks for the motivation Mama!

  3. You are amazing!! I loved reading about your process and how it works at your house every week. Your meals look yummy so I'm definitely saving this post to refer back to post baby :) Congrats on the -12!!

  4. This post is awesome and really inspriring Meal prep is such a good idea. With worked all week, I never come home and make dinner which leads to eating such unhealthy things when I get home. I'm def going to check out the website you mentioned and get those meal prep containers!

    Ashley @ A Cute Angle