Meal Prep Routine + Weight Loss Journey Update #1

Jacob and I have been enjoying our unexpected, long weekend due to “snow” and icy conditions.  We’ve been able to get some stuff done around the house, rest and relax, and just enjoy time with one another.  I think Piper is the main one getting spoiled because she’s getting all kinds of cuddle time.

On Sunday, we did our four week weigh-in.  If you’re new here, Jacob and I started our weight loss journey on December 11, 2016.  Many people were skeptical about us starting around the holiday season.  However, we figured if we can make it through the holidays that the upcoming months would be much easier.  Well, we made it and are just moving right along.  So far, Jacob has lost 21.8 pounds and I have lost 13.2 pounds. Woohoo!

For majority of the days, we stick to our weekly low carb meal plan for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Do we have our cheat days? Yep!  Do we still have an occasional glass of wine or beer? Sure do!  However, we do everything in moderation and make it a point to exercise daily.

For our weekly meal plan, I created a template to help me prep for the week.  On Sundays, in this case Monday, I do heavy prepping for breakfast and lunch and light prepping for dinner.  Today, for example, I made our quiche cups for breakfast, I boiled and shredded chicken for lunch/dinner, I chopped veggies, and I portioned out our snacks.  It only took me about two hours and that was including taking a lunch break.  I can’t tell you how much time meal prepping saves me during the weekday.  If we’re having salads for the week, I usually prep 2-3 salads in our meal prep containers.  Generally, I don’t make meal size salads for the entire week, because I plan dinners in order for us to have leftovers to pair with a side salad.

If you’re looking to meal prep, I recommend starting with one course (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and building from there.  

Here are a few suggestions to get you started–

Get a weekly meal planner and plan out your meals.  I have a template here.  The better you plan; the better you prep.  I plan out my weekly meals a few days before I go grocery shopping.  I typically shop on Saturdays or Sundays.

Breakfast 

Egg quiche cups are the easiest, low-carb breakfast option to add to meal prep.  For example, I make 12 egg quiche cups on Sunday evening and Wednesday evening.  We each eat two per day (only 198 calories).  I like it because I can heat it up in the microwave (only 30 seconds) and eat it on my commute to work.  TIP:  Store in an air tight container and only make enough to last about 3-4 days for best taste and freshness.

Snacks

For our snacks in between meals, I have packed these options for us–cashews, pistachios, or peanuts, mozzarella stick w/ a slice of pepperoni, apples, yogurt, zucchini w/ hummus, baked whole wheat tortilla chips w/salsa, or celery/apples with peanut butter.  You can choose any two-three of those combinations to eat between meals (provided they fit in your calorie intake for the day).

The one thing I like about snacks is that they are easy to meal prep at the beginning of the week.  You can put them in plastic baggies or wrap them in plastic wrap.

Pepperoni + Mozzarella Stick

Lunch

Generally, we eat salads (Italian dressing) or leftovers from the previous night.  I meal prep salads in our meal prep container 2-3 days in advance.  For meat, we add various types of meats such as Canadian bacon or shredded chicken.  Also, we usually add one hard-boiled egg to our salads.  TIP: Measure out dressing & put it in a separate small container.  Typically, 2 tbsp is recommended as a serving size–be sure to look on the nutrition label.

Dinner

With my current schedule, I cook dinners during the week.  Cooking is my daily therapy.  My meal prep of dinner during the work week is focused on making simple, delicious recipes.  For most of my veggies, I get pre-cut and bagged vegetables (broccoli, green beans, onions, and frozen cauliflower rice).  I buy bell peppers and tomatoes whole.  This makes it easy for me to cook during the week night.  Since we like chicken, and I use shredded chicken in most dishes, I prepare it on Sunday and portion it out.  Also, to help with lunch meals, most of my dinner meals will create leftovers for the week.

Boil 2 lbs of chicken breast in chicken broth and shred for meals // 3 oz. ~ 97 calories  and 4 oz. ~133 calories. Shout out to the hubs for labeling the baggies 🙂

Dinner Ideas for the Work Week:

Turkey Taco Salad (no tortilla or homemade whole wheat tortilla chips), Stuffed Bell Peppers w/Buffalo Chicken & Cheese, Spaghetti Squash w/ Broccoli and Shredded Chicken, Cauliflower Fried Rice w/Shredded Chicken or Beef, Salmon w/Green Beans & Roasted Tomato, Baked Chicken Thighs w/Broccoli & Roasted Tomato

FYI: I’m working on posting these recipes to the blog.

I hope my suggestions help you to develop a meal prep and planning routine.  Not only does it save time and money (I’ll show you the budget in a future post), but it helps with the overall weight loss goal.  You’d be surprised how hard it is to cheat when you meal prep.  If you need some inspiration, Pinterest is a great resource.  Create a board and get to pinning!

Have questions, leave a comment below.  Do you meal prep? What are your favorite dishes to make?

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