Sunday, February 17, 2013

What works for me: Sunday food prep

While I am still reeling from the fact that I am actually 43 instead of 42, as I had thought, I had to set aside my train of "what-the-heck-am-I-doing-with-my-life" thoughts and press on. A new week ahead and we are much busier than I am comfortable with at the moment. One of the things that I do to help myself stay on track and not fall face first into the nearest bag of cookies, is to take about an hour on Sundays to plan out my meals for the week. I actually kind of like it, because I get a sense of satisfaction in preparedness. I usually cook dinner at home every night, so I will peruse Pinterest or just use my old tried and true recipes from memory. Our dinners consist of protein, 2 vegetables and sometimes a starch, sometimes not. Nothing fancy, and not hard to keep mental note of as I scan my fridge, freezers and cupboards for what I need at the store. Nothing too complicated there. Breakfast? Unless I have an unusual amount of time, it is pretty basic: eggs (scrambled, fried, poached) with whatever leftover vegetables we had from the night before. My youngest child is 15. He is somewhat feral in the morning and forages on his own for breakfast. (And no, there are no cereals, pop tarts, or breakfast bars here, so he typically will fix an everything bagel and an egg) When the children were smaller, I would fix everyone's breakfast at once, and if I remember correctly, I usually ate mine cold. :-) Again, nothing complicated. Pretty straight forward.
 But what about those in-between meals? Now THAT is where I can really get stuck. I eat every 3 hours from breakfast through dinner, and I feel SO MUCH better eating that way, but it was so difficult to find a way to remain consistent.
Enter: Sunday Food Prep. I go ahead and get things together for my week on Sunday. I boil a bunch of eggs, I steam some vegetables, I put together some salads, and I portion out my proteins and snacks. Here is what it looks like this week:

You can see from the picture my complex carbs are salads, broccoli and steamed carrots. My protein choices are baked chicken, sliced roast beef(pre-packaged), and salmon cakes made from canned salmon (cheap, but good!), Teras organic whey powder that I mix with unsweetened almond milk +1/2 banana(post work-out), almonds, and chobani yogurt (which also has fruit in it). My starches for lunch are sliced and roasted sweet potatoes. For healthy fats I ADORE the Wholly Guacamole, pre-made 100 calorie packs, Kens lite balsamic vinaigrette, and I always cook everything in coconut oil, olive oil or grape seed oil. If I get hungry (which I usually don't since I am eating every 3 hours) I will add in a spoonful of almond butter on an apple or munch on almonds.
 I just choose something from each grouping for my in-between meals. I don't worry much about serving sizes, I just always eat proteins and veggies first and I eat until I am full.I don't count calories. And I usually fix my teens something from this same pile o' food if they happen to be home.
Now  this week, we are going to be celebrating my mom's birthday!!! I am so excited to get together with the rest of my family. We have a tradition of going to a lovely little French restaurant in town and renting their private room and just having a wonderful time laughing, eating, drinking and just celebrating together. When we have special occasions, I enjoy them. I don't over think what I order and I eat pretty much what I want. I just enjoy the night and the special occasion and then I get right back to my clean eating the next morning as best I can when I am not at home.
So this is what works for me. It enables me to keep going and not really think about what I am eating all that much because it is already prepared for me.I can get on with my week and get all of the the other things done that must be done. It also keeps me from falling into the "quick and easy" trap, because I know it is there waiting for me if I am out away from home. 
So, maybe this is helpful for you. Or maybe you have another way that you have found to juggle eating healthy in your life, for your family. I would love to hear about it! 

P.S. I apologize for the layout here, I am still trying to figure out how to make this thing look like I want it to!! Thanks for bearing with me. :-)


  1. I always find my week seems to go more smooth if I have a good prep day to kick things off. This looks like a great prep. Do you prep things for your husband during the day also? I'm intrigued by couples who are both into healthy living and how prep works for them, I am also intrigued by couples where one person is into it and the other is completely unaware.

    1. Hi Carolyn! Thanks for reading Any yes,I do prep for my husband too! His schedule is such that he eats breakfast at home every morning and then takes his lunch to work. So he and I eat breakfast together and then I pack his cooler for work. He works hard to eat right, so he is thankful to have me do this part and make it easy. Most days, I pack him our dinner left overs and he fills several large water bottles that he carries with him throughout the day. I am so thankful that he and I are on the same page about this. I think it would be difficult to go "solo" and not have your partner on board with you, but I know people do it and are very successful at it. In my house, I am the main cook and grocery-getter so.....what I fix is IT. LOL!