Hey Gorgeous -
The weekend is a great time to set your healthy eating up for success for the next week. Why is this so important? Because I'm pretty sure that one of the reasons that you may be struggling with eating healthy is that it's "not convenient." But here's the good news! With a little extra weekend planning, you can choose to make healthy convenient. Here are a few simple steps to begin that journey:
STEP ONE: Review your schedule for the week and plot your plan.
1) Select a meal plan template. Click here for a simple one or try an on-line source like Pepper Plate,
2) Based on your schedule, determine which lunch and dinner meals you can home cook or "brown bag," and which days you may need/want to eat dinner out or have lunches scheduled. Place a small "H" or an "O" in the lunch and dinner boxes accordingly.
3) Count up the number of H's to determine the number of meals you need to cook or prepare for that week.
STEP TWO: Choose A Menu
Eventually you'll want to build a database of your favorite meals, but for now, you just need a few simple staples. Let's just say that you have 2 scheduled lunches and 2 evening activities that week. You'll be planning for 5 breakfasts, 3 brown bags and 3 dinners. Overwhelmed already? Breathe! Let's break it down.
Side Note: You may not have time this weekend, but eventually you'll want to build a database of favorites/staples that you (and your family) enjoy! When you see a new recipe write it down or keep it on-line. Pepperplate and other web-sites help you keep organized.
BREAKFAST - Think Automate and Rotate
K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple Saints!). Pick up to 3 items for your breakfast rotation, do a little prep and breakfast is done!
1) Overnight Oats - In less than 10 minutes, you can have a yummy grab and go breakfast for the entire week. Click here for the basic basic, but there are TONS of recipes on line. Make it Yours.
2) GLG Smoothies - If you've been in the Village for a while, you know I'm all about a Green Leafy Goodness Smoothie. It[s my breakfast go to, because it's simple and easy to power pack with nutrients. Here is a simple recipe.
I like to 2:1 my greens and fruit (2 cups greens/1 cup-ish fruit), but what is most important is that you love it, so do you!
#1 - Fruit - Go frozen. I love their organic blueberries and Organic Tropical Blend from Trader Joes. And always have frozen bananas on hand.
#2 - GLG - I get the pre-washed Organic Kale, Arugula and Spinach from T.J.'s, but I also buy frozen Organic Spinach, so I always have GLG handy.
#3 - Liquid Base - I usually use Almond Milk, but you can use water, light coconut milk or whatever works for you.
#4 - Power Boosts - which are endless, but here are a few to try:
* Flax Meal
* Chia Seeds
* Hemp Seeds
* Greek Yogurt or Coconut Milk Yogurt
* Nut Butter
* Cacao Powder
* Maca Powder
* Matcha Green Tea Powder
* Protein Powder
To make it even easier, you can pre-package your smoothie fruit in quart-size freezer bags, so you can just dump it in, blend and go!
3) Boiled Egg & Avocado Toast
Boiled eggs are another super simple breakfast to prep and go. Boil your eggs on Sunday for the week, and then just mash an avocado on some lightly toasted sprouted bread (like Ezekiel 4:9) and you're good to go. My kids like the Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel.
LUNCH - Think Salads & Bowls
Lunch prep can also be simple. It's a great meal to power up your produce and plant base. The more colorful foods you eat from God's abundant buffet, the better you will feel, look and serve! Here are a few ideas:
1) Mason Jar Salads - In one prep session, you can have salads for the week!
2) Bento - I love to bento for my kids lunches. This weekend, you can fill the smaller areas with fruit and veggies, and then use the main compartment for dinner leftovers or your favorite lunch meal.
3) Bowls - Buddha bowls can easily be prepped for the week as well. And hearty soups and chilis are a great way to get multiple meals and have some leftover to freeze for the future. Use Google to find a new flavorful recipe with your favorites.
DINNER - Think Cook One - Eat Twice
Prepping for your home cooked dinners is all about cooking more than you need for leftovers and freezing. And with the Fit thru Faith VP3 Formula, planning a nutrient-rich healthy meal is easy.
V = Veggies (1/2 of Your Plate)
My favorite veggie prep is roasting. I LOVE roasting veggies. Roast several trays of your favorites this weekend to be set up for the week. Some of my faves are sweet potatoes, onions, brussel sprouts, beets, zucchini, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, egg plant, cauliflower and carrots. Once they are in the fridge, they also make great snacks.
Secondly, make sure your freezer is stocked with organic veggies to heat and eat. And lastly, grab a few bags of pre-packaged salad greens to make a quick salad by adding in some cherry tomatoes or cucumber and drizzling with a little olive oil, lemon and your favorite vinegar. And if you really want to set your veggies off, try some nutritional yeast.
P - Protein (1/4 of Your Plate)
You know what you like =), although I do want to encourage you to try more plant-based options and K.I.S.S. This weekend, get a natural or organic brined chicken from Trader Joes, wipe it with olive oil and stick and onion lemon and an some herbs in it, roast it and you have multiple meals and a soup starter. If you get one that is brined, you don't even need to add salt. Here's a simple recipe.
3 = 3 F's - Fiber, Fat & Fruir
F1 - Fiber (1/4 of Your Plate)
Shop this weekend to fill your pantry with whole kernel grain options to have on hand. Think whole kernel grains like brown rice, quinoa, millet, farro, etc. Be sure to soak first and cook more than you need for a stir-fry the next day, breakfast fried rice or a lunch wrap. OR since you did your roasting already =), fill the corner of your plate with a fiber-filled carb like sweet potatoes or squash (like spaghetti squash).
F2 - Healthy Fat (Drizzled in)
Drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil and lemon over mixed greens for a quick salad or add some avocado to your meal.
F3 - Fruit Garnish/Meal Closer
Go to a Farmer's Market or stock up on fruit for the week from the produce aisle. Fruit is a great way to end or garnish your meal. Go for color to get all of the rich antioxidants.
STEP THREE: Draft Your Plan
Now that you've selected your menu for the week. Fill in your plan. Again, K.I.S.S. For the days you are eating out, be sure to have half of you meal boxed up before you even get it so you have leftovers the next day!
It takes time and practice, but you truly can make healthy convenient by working your meal planning muscle one weekend at a time.
Would love to hear your comments and AHA moments!
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. - 1 Cor. 10:31
BLESSINGS & XO!