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Fabulous February: Plan your meals

Today’s tip is designed to give you a project for the weekend, and you’ve got the last three weeks of February to try and turn it into a habit. It’s a good one though – a legit plan to change the way you eat!

Meal prep. This may sound like a daunting task at first, but it really becomes pretty easy and simple once you commit to it. Since the beginning of January, my husband and I have agreed to grocery shop once a week (instead of 2-3x a week like we normally would), but only after we came up with 5-6 dinner ideas for the week. We just focus on dinner, because we like to make enough for left-overs so that we have something to take for lunch the next day. Focusing on preparing even just one meal can make a huge difference in your waistline and grocery budget.

by Linda Wagner

Spicy Chicken Salad – photo by Linda Wagner

Saturday or Sunday is when I will sit down and write down what I/Justin plan on making each night during the week. After I’ve looked in my cupboards to see what I have on hand, I make a list of the things I need. Then and only then, will I head to the store to purchase my ingredients. This way, I don’t accidentally forget something I need and it keeps me from being tempted to purchase something that isn’t on my list. Pretty easy! Below you’ll find a sample meal plan that I’ve used. Bonus: I will often buy things that can be used in more than one recipe and make some of the stuff ahead of time so that I only have to heat and serve. I hope you give meal prep a try. It does require more prep beforehand, but it is worth it not to have to scrounge around for something to whip up every nigh tor default to take out.

Sample Meal Plan

Monday- Southwest Rice Bowls– brown rice, chicken, shredded cheddar, black olives, avocado and salsa.  Tip: I boil my rice the day before so I don’t have to wait while it cooks and I buy a whole organic rotisserie chicken. I de-bone the chicken and portion it out into plastic baggies so that I can just grab one and put it on top of the rice. Top with the cheese, olives, cheddar and avocado and you are good to go.

Tuesday-Thai Coconut Curry Soup- I’m a big fan of the CrockPot and try to use it at least once a week. This recipe is perfect for a slow cooker. Just add all of the ingredients into the cooker before work, turn it on low, and when you get home add the rice and carrots. SO easy. Tip: sub shrimp or tofu instead of chicken.

Wednesday-Spicy Chicken Salad-Remember that rotisserie chicken? Time to use the rest of it for this salad! I’m kind of reluctant to share this recipe with you, but it’s on Pinterest so you’d probably find it anyway.

Thursday-Roasted Veggies and Pork Chops- All I do is cut up a bunch of Brussels sprouts and red potatoes, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper and lemon juice and roast them in the oven. I’ll either bake or grill pork chops. Bonus: roast the veggies the night before and reheat in the microwave or oven. Saves about 45 minutes!

Friday-Fish Tacos- Fry or grill any kind of white fish you like, shred purple and green cabbage, toss with some cilantro and lemon juice and top with cotija cheese. Use corn or flour tortillas. I’m a HUGE fan of this salsa by Rick Bayless. Try the chipotle flavor. You’re welcome.

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About Abby Meek (84 Articles)
Abby was raised in Tigard, Oregon and moved to Denver, Colorado in 2007. While in Colorado she ran her first 5K, which led to a 10K, which led to a half-marathon. Abby moved back to her native Oregon in mid- 2015 and has since completed more 5K's, 10K's and more half-marathons. Abby's favorite distances are the 10K and the half marathon.

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