Prepping for success week #1.

What? no personal chef at your house during the week creating healthy snacks, meals, and options for you to choose from when you get home?

I wish.

Me neither.

So, how do I eat healthy and fresh foods?  I make TIME to make it happen!

I am writing this to show what I do EVERY week no matter what is going on and how I make it work.

1.  PLAN IT.

I only pick 2-3 recipes to try or have on hand for the week.  I write down what is needed along with my regular go to grocery list (see below).  I keep these recipes SIMPLE unless I think I have a particularly easy week with time to get my hands dirty and be creative.

Black-Bean-Salad-with-Corn_-Red-Peppers_-Avocado-_-Lime-Cilantro-Vinaigrette-Once-Upon-A-Chef-200014-39853.730x410

My choice recipes for this week and why:

1.  Curried beef, broccoli slaw and mushroom Frittatas (because I really dig frittatas and I will make them for my kids anyway so why not make a new kind!)

2.  Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice (and this is outside of my box because it requires a food processor and I HATE using those messy things but I think I will love this and I have an open afternoon this week to try it)

3.  Black Bean Salad with corn, avocado, and lime-cilantro vinaigrette. (to eat with salads, eggs, chicken, quinoa, chips, and always! I love these)

My go to list for prepping each week:  (the obvious milk, eggs, bacon, and wine left off)

  • Grape or whole tomatoes (I dice these all at once, combine half with balsamic vinegar and basil to store).
  • Brussel sprouts, zucchini, squash, & bell peppers
  • Salsa, humus, & corn or rice chip, carrots, and celery
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts (with lemon, s&p, oil, garlic, & herbs)
  • Spinach, kale, green leaf lettuce, and/or romaine (purchased for 2-3 days at a time only, depending on recipes needs and how many salads I will eat)
  • Apples, bananas, mango, and berries for a fruit bowl and to go snacks.

Note:  I usually go to the store 2 times per week to replenish produce and milk.  I plan just 2-3 easy recipes for the whole week because I eat leftovers, make creations with what I have, and tend to eat out a few times for lunch/dinner.

2.  Prep it.

IMMEDIATELY wash, slice, and contain all of your fresh produce.  This is the #1 key to this whole eating clean, healthy, whole movement!

My counter after a farmers market trip!
Ever had bags of produce stuffed in a drawer only to open it during the week and think “ugh…I don’t have time for that!”

My Prep Party goes likes this:  I lay it all out, put on some good music, and maybe a glass of wine or coffee in the morning.  I make containers for vegetables to roast, diced for eggs and salads, and some for dipping in humus.  I prep fruit bowls and slices for kids.  I marinate chicken & fish in large baggies, combine bean salads to soak in lime juice and/or vinegar and cilantro in the fridge.

Inventory Tip:   I write down everything I have in the fridge and pantry that could combine to make a meal of any kind.  This doesn’t have to be a fancy recipe, it is just like an inventory list with simple suggestions that may or may not be done this week but it is in my face when I  find myself standing in the middle of the kitchen thinking that I don’t have anything to eat.

3.  Eat it.

This is easy, once it is available, convenient, and most importantly READY, choosing the healthy options become 10 times easier.  I don’t always want the healthy options in my kitchen, but I do choose them the majority of the time and if they were not available I know it would be FAR LESS.

My typical prep party results
My typical prep party results.  This usually makes me feel like I am a host on a cooking show with all the work done for me!

The goal is to embrace food that requires a little time and effort…it’s where the good stuff is, where LIFE is.

Here’s to Making Healthy Happen, Cara

2 thoughts on “Prepping for success week #1.

  1. Love this! I find myself engaged in many of the same habits as you — choosing 3 meals per week, always having prepped healthy produce on-hand and ready to eat, and keeping an inventory of what’s the fridge to prove to myself I don’t need to go out anywhere to eat! I use my store receipt as my inventory list to save time, and just cross things off as they are used (which also then doubles as a shopping list for next time depending on what stuff I went through the fastest!). Keep up the awesome site.

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