Meal Prep on The 21DSD!

Do you meal prep? My week is a disaster for 2 reasons if I don't.

1. I don't eat as well as I know I should. This creates a chain of events...making poor choices, feeling worse, throwing a pity party  for myself...

2. It cost more money. If I don't bring my lunch and/or snacks I'm probably going to eat out ($$), or run to the store and get things that are conveinenet that I normally would not have purchased ($$).

So what do I do to prevent this? I spend at least 2-3 hours setting myself up for success. Considering how much better meal preparation allows me to eat, and how much money it saves, its actually worth the few hours. Not to mention the HEALTH BENEFITS. I also know and understand that people are stressed for time. I get it. I have a baby, a house, work more than full time and try to get some workouts in...BUT MEAL PREP IS A PRIORITY. Its just something thats on my "to-do list," like laundry...but its so much more rewarding. This week I'm preparing to start The 21 Day Sugar Detox with some fellow coaches, so things are a little more strict than normal. Im really excited because I think I need a "refresh" from this past month of summer parties, BBQs and treats. Next month I'll post a non-21DSD meal prep session, but its not too different. Here are my steps to "prepare for food prep."

  • Check out what you have
    • This may also involve considering whats coming that week from your farmers market, CSA, etc. if you don't already have it in your possession
    • I look in my freezer, fridge and cupboards to get an idea of what I need to use up
    • I know that this week I have a TON of veggies to use (overload from my garden and from my CSA box this past week)
    • I also know that I have fresh ginger and a bag of sesame seeds that I got on sale randomly last week
    • DON'T get discouraged if you're new to eating whole foods/paleo/allergen free, I have a lot of things in my kitchen that I never thought I would. Sometimes when I would look at recipes everything would seem so odd/expensive, but once you "get going" your pantry builds up! Rarely are you ever buying those "expensive" ingredients.

  

  • Make a list of what you're going to eat this week
    • This is really keeping in mind what you have already, you don't want anything to go to waste
    • This is as complicated as you make it- I don't like complicated so I keep it pretty simple
    • I make a list of veggies (salads, sides) that I can prep ahead, protein (eggs, chicken for lunches and some main courses for dinner) and snacks or "extras"
    • Snacks can be things prepped or easy grab and go items (sometimes I grab a piece of chicken as a snack), changing your mindset of "snacking" works wonders. I'm prepping some extra snacks this week because of The 21 Day Sugar Detox
    • Check out this weeks list....
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I know I have eggs. I also know I have a busy week and probably won't have time to make my lovely fried eggies, so Im going to cook them all ahead of time. Plan is to steam 1 dozen and then make egg muffins from the other dozen-

BREAKFAST ✔️

I also know I need protein for my salads and veggies Im prepping for lunch- chicken breasts and salsa in crockpot, hard boiled eggs, canned tuna... I'm going to make the mason jar salads last because I can throw all my leftover veggies In them. Here are the ones I made last week-   

LUNCH ✔️

Dinner? Im going to have a few different options (21DSD are from The 21 Day Sugar Detox Guidebook)-

  • Shepard's Pie 21DSD style (I need to use up that frozen cauliflower, and I already have carrots)
  • Beef and Broccoli  21DSD style (I already have broccoli and ginger)
  • Burgers on cabbage leaves (always fast and easy...maybe I should make ketchup and mayo)
  • Cucumber salad (I have SO MANY cucumbers...this would work with burgers or lunch
  • Asian style meatballs with ground turkey

I checked out the ingredients of each recipe to see what i would still need from the store...I tried to pick out items that I wouldn't need much more for.

DINNER ✔️

Snacks...check out this fruit basket, I just need some green apples and green tipped bananas to go with this grapefruit (fruits allowed on the detox). The lemons and limes will be used for some recipes and IN MY WATER. I love citrus in my water. I also have pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, shredded coconut and sunflower seeds to make a trail mix.

SNACKS ✔️ 

And...Im making Lemon Vanilla Meltaways from The 21 Day Sugar Detox Guidebook. Because Im awesome.

NOT SWEET TREATS ✔️ 

  • Make your grocery list and STICK TO IT. Unless you see something that is an amazing deal, you need to stick to your list.

My list.

Its SUPER short this week because I have SO many veggies waiting for me. I also already have a lot of paleo staples- coconut oil, coconut butter, nuts, seeds, etc.    Sooo...that gives me breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for at least 4 days. It will probably last me 5-6 days, because I'll probably have an "off plan" meal or two at some point. Stay tuned these next few weeks! Ill try and post about my own 21DSD and recipes/meals that Im eating.

I'll also try to share more about food prep, I know I've been getting some messages and questions about it.

Happy meal planning!

Protein in the morning.

I need protein in the morning…and sometimes its not eggs.

Do you eat crap for breakfast? By crap I mean a load of sugar that comes in a wrapper or box. If you do, take my advice- get some protein in, your body (and maybe your boss) will thank you later.

Starting your day off right can make all the difference. When you eat concentrated sugary products first thing in the morning, with no protein and no real nutrients (let’s face it, your 90 calorie granola bar doesn’t have much to offer), you’re not reaching your optimal health.

Why you need protein in the morning-

1.     ALERTNESS. Who doesn't want to be alert? Protein provides amino acids that can directly influence the neurotransmitters in your brain. That’s right- WHAT YOU EAT HAS AN IMPACT ON YOUR BRAIN(1).  Getting in the amino acids that your brain needs to function optimally can help you to feel alert and awake; there are a TON of people I talk to in the morning that are clearly not getting in protein at breakfast.

2.     HUNGER. Are you hungry before snack time or lunch? The University of Missouri recently completed a study showing that eating a protein rich breakfast can reduce food cravings and keep you fuller longer(2). Eating a meal high in carbohydrates first thing in the morning can result in you being hungrier faster- carbs are digested more rapidly than both protein and fat.

3.     WAKE UP. WAKE UP. WAKE UP. Feel like your dragging? How was that bowl of cereal or plate of pancakes? Meals rich in carbohydrates can increase tryptophan levels, making you sleepy and relaxed; protein rich meals can increase tyrosine levels, which can increase energy(3). Which do you need in the morning- sleepy and relaxed or more energy and power?

4.     WEIGHT- Have some to loose? Protein rich meals in the morning may help.  Not only do they help with all of the above, but they were also found to help increase satiety throughout THE ENTIRE DAY(4). A high protein breakfast has been found to decrease levels of ghrelin- a “hunger hormone.”

Those of you that have followed me for a while know I’m a fan of EGGS (I’ll post about that later), but I don’t always have time to make them, or feel like eating them.

When I do, a vegetable almost ALWAYS is sitting by their side. I’m OBSESSED with giving some broccoli (or any other veggie) a quick stir fry with coconut oil, salt and pepper and then setting it by my pastured, organic gems (EGGS).

                         

I’ve also been known to bake them, especially if I’m in a rush. I just throw some already cut up veggies in a dish, with some lightly scrambled eggs on top. If I’m really getting crazy I’ll even sprinkle some cheddar on top when they're done.

 

If a day comes along and I’m not in the egg mood (which is rare)… I’ll get creative and be frantically looking for something else with protein. This last week I let some organic frozen berries set out to thaw a bit, I mixed some vanilla protein powder with unsweetened almond milk- and poured on top. It tasted like a dessert; trust me- better than pancakes (who decided frying cake was appropriate in the morning anyways).

 

I also love a banana covered in almond butter, almond milk, walnuts and unsweetened coconut. Fast, easy and healthy!