Meal Prep 101

 

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So I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me how to meal prep…. therefore! I’m going to show you how easy it is, the trick is to do it all at once.

Meal Prepping is a great way to stay on track, especially when you are low on time and just want to grab something fast. Our first instinct is to go to fast food or something simple when were in a rush right? … So this way, you’ll already have it made and set to go so therefore your diet and all the hard work you’ve already put in with trying to eat clean and workout doesn’t go down the drain.

So what it basically is, is preparing everything you’re going to eat for either that week or more (depending on how much you cook). I like to do my meal preps about every week or even twice a week depending on what days I have off work.  In a nutshell- its cooking in bulk and eating left overs….

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First things first though, you’re going to need a good variety of Tupperware.

Then, you may be asking…. “but what do I cook???”

Well pretty much anything that your diet calls for… My meal preps usually consist of these things:

– LEAN PROTEIN ( chicken,  catfish, tuna, tilapia, salmon, shrimp, beef (shoot for the leanest you can find) , turkey, game meat(deer, elk) protein powders … eggs and egg whites would be good too. Hard boil them, it will make it easier too. )

– VEGGIES ( pretty much all is accepted. I like salads with different green blends, mixed veggies (frozen or fresh) zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus…. you get the drift…)

– COMPLEX CARBS – Yams, sweet potatoes, brown and wild rice, quinoa, couscous, Oats, Whole wheat bread, beans.

– FATS (almonds, cashews, pistachios, avocado, coconut, walnuts, peanut and almond butters, flax, chia, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and oils and oil based dressings. )

– FRUIT – obviously you don’t have to “cook” these..  (pretty much any, Berries, apples, banana, peach, pear, orange, strawberries …etc. )

DAIRY- I don’t eat dairy for the most part, it makes me sick… every once in a while Ill have a Quest bar which has Whey protein isolate in it and I seem to do fine. If your going to add dairy, pick these! ( Low fat mozzarella, low fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt (shoot for plain and add your own goodies!), low-fat milk and creamers for coffee and whatnot  )

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Now that we’ve got the basis of whats pretty much “healthy” and whatnot, how much do you cook? ? ?

Well that all depends on how many days your prepping for. You can do an entire week or a few days. Up to you. Best part of this way of eating (notice I didn’t say diet) is that you DONT STARVE and your constantly eating to rev up that metabolism to ultimately .. lose weight or gain muscle. You ideally want to eat every 3 to 4 hours so that makes about 5-6 meals a day. Now these meals .. since there are more than your average three, are going to be smaller in size, but that’s ok because every 3 hours your going to eat more.

Here is a basic every day meal plan for me currently.

Meal 1: Oats with 1 banana

(this is the time I workout usually)

Meal2: Protein Shake with a piece of fruit

Meal 3: 4oz grilled chicken, 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup mixed veggies

Meal4: 4 oz fish, Big salad with as much veggies as I want. 2 tbsp. oil based dressing  (you can add in a complex carb here if you’d like )

Meal5 : 4 oz turkey, 1 cup veggies (add carb if wanted)

M6: Protein Shake

SO in example I really only need to “prep” 3 meals per day. The oats and shakes take like 2 minutes for me to make on the spot … So when prepping keep in mind how much you actually need to make. Now I’m not saying to follow THIS plan, this is just an example .. Do what you want, make it fun, add in some fricken cottage cheese ( man I miss that stuff haha) and make it YOUR meal plan and make the food towards Your Goals!!

So basically cook like your having a party or barbeque haha. Light up the grill and grill up some chicken and turkey burgers, meanwhile while that’s going, cut up salad and veggies and also have either some rice on the stove or a few sweet potatoes in the oven. Its really quite simple, just start cooking and see how it ends up. Use different spices so things don’t always taste the same or seem bland. (I like Mrs Dash a lot because its salt-free yay!)

Put it all in Tupperware and you can even mark what day they are for on the containers if you want. The more organized you are the easier it gets. Preps usually only take me an hour (that’s 4% of my day) .. You have time, just find or make the time =)

Also, get creative, find new recipes and learn to have fun with it =)

HAPPY PREPPING!

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ps. I do a lot more “prepping” and what not on my instagram! FOLLOW ME! @amanda_fit_

 

 

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Red Lobster Healthy Options

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LOVE SEAFOOD!!! ok. So what’s the good? what’s the bad?Lets figure it out my friends!!! 🙂

So since America is kind of catching on that we eat kinda crappy.. (sorry but its true).. they have this new Lighthouse Menu that is supposedly healthier options to choose from.

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Oh the delicious signature biscuit they have…….. Yea…. you already know what I’m going to say. One biscuit has 150 calories, 8g fat, and 16 carbs… Nope! resist the urge! (if you  have one, make sure your dinner is healthy- that’s usually what I do, since sometimes I like to enjoy life a little…Then, take the basket away of make sure they aren’t close to you on the table otherwise they will stare at you in the face!)

So any of the grilled or broiled fish are wise choices (including the grills shrimp skewers). Add a nice steamed veggie like the asparagus or broccoli and Voilà!   Types of fish they have is salmon, flounder, rainbow trout, catfish and tilapia.

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The wild rise pilaf is alright, but a plain ol’ backed potato will do just as good too.

Stay clear away from anything fried .. OMG . That goes for all food lol…. common, if you want to loose weight and be healthy, do you honesty think fried food is on that agenda? No!

And as much as I LOVE scampi, its a no-go too since its basically just chilling there in butter with garlic.

Now you’d think that salads wouldn’t be a bad choice right? Wrong! Ha! Seafood Caesar Salad – the thing is DRENCHED in enough creamy dressing to drown a horse. So don’t even bother.

Now the Garden Salad they serve you at the beginning of the meal (before they put the dressing on it… ) is a good choice! So ask for an oil based dressing such as Balsamic Vinaigrette on the side. Dip your fork in the dressing so you don’t have much on your fork and then stab the salad so its not drenched. Works pretty good!

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So in a nutshell… Stick to fresh veggies, avoid the butter laden foods and have a nice piece of grilled fish! , oh yeah and remember to get your dressing on the side 😉

My Everyday Grocery List!

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So I get a lot of questions on what to buy at the store. How do I know how to pick out produce, and such. So without further ado.. Here is my “everyday grocery shopping list”.

  • Most of the things like condiments I already have stocked up so you’ll only have to buy things like that every so often.
  • Also when buying produce keep in mind that this stuff goes bad fast, so only buy what you think your going to eat within that week. (Learned that lesion the hard way!)

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VEGGIES – feel free to add other favorites!

  • Spinach
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Any other “salad” Mixes you’d like
  • Baby carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Tomatoes (baby ones, and big ones)
  • Squash
  • Zucchini
  • Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow, Green, and Orange)
  • Radishes
  • Green Beans
  • Chives and Onions
  • Corn
  • Asparagus

Fruits -Feel free to add other favorites!

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Grapefruit
  • Grapes
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Oranges
  • Lemons (for cooking with and water)

Lean Meats and Protien  ***grass-fed and hormone-free is ideal**

  • Shrimp
  • Tuna (in water)
  • Skin-less Chicken Breasts
  • Ground Turkey
  • Low- Sodium Lunchmeat
  • Turkey Bacon
  • Salmon (wild caught)
  • Lean Beef
  • Eggs and Egg Whites
  • Other fish is good too.
  • *** Any kind of Game meat is awesome for you as well because its in its natural environment and its “grass-fed”. (Antelope, Deer, Bison, Elk, Pheasant etc. )

Carbs

  • Brown Rice
  • Baby red Potatoes
  • Quinoa ( this also comes in a noodle form-by far the best gluten-free choices)
  • Whole-wheat Bread (or Gluten-free)
  • Yams
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • OLD-Fashion Oats
  • Low-Sugar and Low-Carb Cereals

Dairy

  • Skim or Low-Fat Milk
  • Almond or Coconut Milk (Dairy Free)
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Low-Fat Cheese (string cheese options are available in this too)
  • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

Healthy Fats!

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado
  • Almonds, Walnuts, Cashews and Pistachios

Condiments

  • Stevia (liquid and sugar form )
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Salsa
  • Balsamic Vinegar (almost any “clear” type of dressing is better than the creamy kind)
  • Mustard
  • Agave Nectar
  • Flax-Seed Meal (to put in oatmeal and any baking goods)

Drinks

  • Water (obviously) -try to get a BPA free glass container then your saving the environment too!
  • Coffee
  • Green tea (not pre-made, but the tea bags)

Chicken Cacciatore (WW)

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You’ll Need:

8 pieces of chicken, skinned (I used 8 small thighs)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 teaspoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped

1/4 lb of mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup of chopped celery or fennel

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Pinch if cayenne

2 cups of prepared marinara sauce

  • Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in large non-stick skillet and set over medium heat. Add chicken, and cook until browned on each side (about 4 min) Transfer chicken onto plate and set aside.
  • heat the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in the same skillet. Add onion and garlic , cook, and stirring occasionally until tender. add bell peppers, mushrooms, celery, oregano and cayenne.  Cook, stirring occasionally until tender.
  • Return chicken to the skillet, add marinara sauce and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered. Cook until chicken is cooked all the way through and veggies are tender (around 20 min).

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    • I made this dish with 2 sides (you can find both of these in my recipe index, or click on links below):

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Chives (WW)
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes (WW)

All together (with both sides = 8 points for Weight Watchers)

For just Chicken:
SERVES 8     WW points 4    PER SERVING 1 piece of chicken, 1/2 cup of veggies with sauce.

(Note: I took this out of a Weight watchers cookbook, I did not make this recipe up on my own…. besides recipes are meant to be shared 🙂 )

Roasted Asparagus with Lemon and Chives (WW)

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You’ll Need

1 (1 pound) bunch of asparagus, trimmed at the ends

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Put asparagus into shallow roasting pan. drizzle oil over asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper, toss to coat evenly .
  • Place in oven, shaking pan occasionally until tender and browned in spots ( About 20 min) .
  • Transfer asparagus to platter and sprinkle lemon juice and chives on top.

SERVES 4 :   WW points 1    PER SERVING: 4-6 spears

(Note: I took this out of a Weight watchers cookbook, I did not make this recipe up on my own…. besides recipes are meant to be shared 🙂 )

Grilled Pork Chops with asparagus and baby potatoes

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(Serves 4)

You’ll need:

4 Pork Chops

Seasoning or marinade of choice (I used a little natural BBQ sauce, garlic powder, oregano, rosemary and cilantro)

1 container of sliced mushrooms

1 group of fresh asparagus

2 lbs.  of baby potatoes  (like Yukon or red potatoes)

2 tablespoons of EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil)

Preheat oven to 450. And light your grill!

Marinate or spice the meat according to directions of as preferred. and place on grill.  (Grill till centers aren’t pink anymore)

Wash, trim the ends and place the asparagus into a steamer bowl above a pot of boiling water and cover. (steam till tender)

Sauté mushrooms in small skillet till tender. (I like to  use olive oil or a dairy and soy free butter called Earth Balance. You can find it at any grocery store pretty much)

(Put potatoes into large bowl, and mix with EEVO, a dash of salt and pepper, oregano, and a little garlic if you like into the mix, and toss potatoes around till they are covered with mixture. Transfer potatoes to large baking sheet and spread out evenly. Roast potatoes will they are nice and golden and soft in the center.

Once all is cooked .. serve!. And top your Pork chop with the mushrooms! YUMMMMMM