Sunday night basically looks like meal prep, laundry, gym, and The Walking Dead (any other fans out there?! Glen!!).
Nope, not super exciting (except for The Walking Dead of course), but probably the most important night of the week. It sets you up for successful healthy eating for your busy Monday-Friday!
I have been prepping all of my lunches, snacks, and many dinners for almost the last two and a half years. A little time consuming on a Sunday, but totally worth it.
Sunday morning begins with a nice, steaming cup of coffee. I simply cannot explain to you how much I enjoy sitting on my couch in the morning, relaxing, and sipping my coffee. Sometimes I’ll also make a yummy (healthy) homemade breakfast!
As soon as breakfast is done, we get those gym clothes on and jump in the car to head to the grocery store where we get the haul and head back home.
There’s always a debate at this point. What to do next? Laundry or gym? Both need to get done, but which first? I won’t bore you with those details, but to sum it up, they both happen!
Now, the challenge is to finish meal prep before The Walking Dead (which btw comes on 9 for those non-fans) which is especially important because we don’t have a TV in our kitchen. I’ve spent many nights running back and forth during commercials from the kitchen to the living room!
Although we also prep snacks and sometimes also dinner, for now I’ll focus on lunch. It’s the time of day when most of us are working or pretty busy. It can be a time of day when unhealthy choices are made simply due to lack of time and a rush to eat. That’s why meal prep becomes so important for this meal.
There are a few different things to consider when meal prepping: veggies, protein, carbs (if any), and size.
I’m going to share a pretty standard prep we do for lunch each week. Yes, we change it up here and there from the veggies to the protein to the spices, but it usually looks something like this:
1. Veggie(s): About a half of your meal (or more)
Mostly green beans here. Green beans are my standby veggie for meal prep. Filling, lots of vitamins and nutrients, and super easy to cook whether you boil them in water for 5 minutes or buy the steam fresh bags and cook them in the microwave.
Other options: Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, squash, asparagus, spinach,… literally any veggie or veggie combo you want as long as there are a whole lot of them. Avoid butter and salad dressing! I try to get lots of green veggies in. I usually leave the veggies unseasoned and just mix them with the other food for flavor.
2. Protein: About a quarter of your meal.
I eat a lot of chicken. I’ll cook it with extra virgin olive oil and whatever spices we are in the mood for (lemon pepper, freshly squeezed lemon, hot sauce, chili powered, etc…) We either put it in the Crockpot in the morning on high for 5-6 hours or bake it in the oven for an hour to an hour and a half on 350 depending on how big the pieces are. I’ve also grilled it on my George Foreman Grill, but that takes awhile if you are cooking a lot for the week.
Other options: ground turkey meat, lean red meat, chickpeas (I love chickpea parties), black beans (black bean burgers are delicious also!)
3. Carbs: About a quarter (I do maybe 2-3 tablespoons depending)
In this prep I have quinoa and that pretty much stays the same for me. I’ve tried cutting it out in the past, but found that I just ended up super hungry within an hour of eating lunch. So the carbs stay for me. Quinoa is also super easy to make (just like rice) and if you are short on time you can also buy it all cooked.
Other options: brown rice, whole wheat pasta, gluten free quinoa/corn pasta
I go for the square Rubbermaid Tupperware with the red top. It’s the perfect portion size for me and hasn’t leaked on me yet! Be careful not to use items that are too large because if you fill it then you will probably be overeating.
I hope this gives you an idea of how to get started with your weekly meal prep. Once you get in the habit it becomes a whole lot easier!
Varying the ingredients and spices in your prep can also keep you from getting too bored because it can become a little monotonous over time if you are continuously eating the same thing.
Like I said, we do switch it up here and there, but I’d love to hear any other ideas for meal prep that you have tried!
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