Showing posts tagged with: meal prep

SUNDAY MEAL PLAN: WEEK OF 12/4-12/9

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Habits Recipes Uncategorized

11709665_10152999976828589_2402333278699294805_n{SUNDAY MEAL PLAN}

It's been a minute since I shared our meal & prep plan for the week ahead. Never fear it's still been a Sunday staple but we've been keeping in on the boring side out of ease. This week we are making a few new recipes PLUS I'm indulging my hubby in a mid-week Mexican food penciled in.

Tonight we will be prepping the first few night's protein & sides so we can simply saute a few veggies to have food on the table quickly:

SUNDAY: Chicken Mofongo w/ Simply Kalep1090088

MONDAY: Ina Garden's Roasted Chicken w/ Fall Roasted Veggies

TUESDAY: Leftovers - Monfongo or Chicken, to each is own!

WEDNESDAY: Jalapeno's - hubby' request! I typically get fajitas w/ blacks beans & guacamole

THURSDAY: Salmon w/ Baked Sweet Potatoes & Broccoli - Straight from the freezer to oven!

FRIDAY: Out to Dinner w/ Friends - Heading to a new spot, the Atlantic Eatery! 

SUNDAY PREP PLANS:page-130-web-horizon

  • Cook the mofongo for tonight & to have as leftover for lunch or a dinner. We are using chicken thighs instead of breast because they were on sale! Easy swaps to save a buck.

  • Roasted the chicken! Again i'll use the leftovers on top of salad for lunch at least once. PS If you haven't made Ina's perfect roasted chicken, you must! It's awesome to have in your culinary arsenal.

  • Chop the veggies for tomorrow night & make vinaigrette for it plus to use on salads. Monday's I get off work in time to roast those bad boys in the oven. If it was a laer work night i'd go ahead & roast them tonight to reheat tomorrow.

  • Since the oven will be on I am going to roast some beets, chopped sweet potato & broccoli to have throughout the week. Having these pre-cooked veggies make it MUCH easier to increase my veggie intake every day!bananabread2

  • I'm craving banana bread so I'm going to try out this recipe but make them into muffin. I may toss in some leftover canned pumpkin just for a little fall flavor. Will let ya know if good!

That's about it around these parts. Keeping it simple & making it easy for us to get in home made meals on the busiest of weeks.

What's on your weekly meal plan? Any new recipes your are testing out?

Sunday Grocery Haul + Weekly Menu + Recipe

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Meal Prep Recap Recipes Uncategorized Weekly Menu

Happy Valentine's Sunday! Nothing says love like a little weekly meal planning right? My husband thinks I am so romantic. <3
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I won't lie, Valentine's Day is not a big holiday around our household. However we do enjoy any excuse to cook up a delicious meal. We are staying in, cranking up pandora & going to enjoy cooking together this evening. Therefore I wanted to share our grocery haul & what's going to be on our plates (or mostly bowls) this upcoming week.
 
Sunday Meal Prep:
~ Bison & Bean Chili: a new recipe we are testing out.
~ Chicken Mofonago: love this meal, link to recipe below.
~ Egg Muffins: making spinach, red pepper & feta.
~ Simple Almond Granola: for the hubby's breakfast.
Weekly Meals
 
Weekly Grocery Haul - Total Spent $91.22
 
Protein:
~ Ground Bison
~ Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
~ Applegate Deli Turkey
~ Liquid Egg White
~ Cottage Cheese (unsalted)
~ Stoneyfield Plain Greek Yogurt
~ Canned Salmon
*we have eggs & local yogurt in the fridge already.
 
Produce:
~ Green Bell Peppers
~ Green Plantains
~ Spinach
~ Jalapenos
~ Onions
~ Cucumber
~ Tomato
~ Apple
~ Banana
~ Frozen Broccoli
~ Lemons & limes
*we still had kale, avocado, sweet potatoes & spaghetti squash.
 
Dry Goods:
~ Canned Tomatoes (varying for chili/mofongo)
~ Whole Almonds
~ GF Rolled Oats
~ Canned Black & Kidney Beans
~ Canned Boneless/Skinless Salmon
~ Unsweetened Almond Milk
 
And that's a wrap. So how will our meals look this week based on these groceries?
 
Breakfasts: Eggs, egg muffins or cottage cheese/yogurt bowls for me. My husband sticks with yogurt & homemade granola.
 
Lunches: I usually will eat a salad topping w/ deli meat, leftovers or I keep frozen turkey patties & such on hand for quick make meals. The hubby eats out for lunch....yes everyday.. no comment!
 
Dinners: Mofongo, chili or we keep frozen salmon on hand if we get bored with those options. I add sautéed kale or a spinach salad on the side of each dinner for extra veggies.
 
Snacks: Check out my Vlog to see what I stick with for healthy snacks on the go: VLOG - Healthy Snacks on the Go
 
What's on your meal plan this week??
P1090088-1024x768Chicken Mofongo Recipe: we tweaked the following recipes just a bit after a few attempts. While i have no problem w/ bacon, we actuallyleave it out because it overwhelms the dish. We use 4 chicken breasts for extra protein. We first tried mofongo in Puerto Rico & fell in love. This is definitely a different version but something new to add to the mix: Chicken Mofongo Recipe

Getting Back on Track with Ease – Post Special Occasion

by Emma Hammond 0 comments

Fitness goals Habits Mindset Nutrition Uncategorized

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Red velvet wedding cake - amazingly delicious one year later!

I was fortunate enough to enjoy a wonderful long weekend away with the husband to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. In all honesty the weekend included zero formal exercise, all meals eaten out & many glasses of delicious wine. Plus a side of wedding cake with champagne to end the weekend right.I went into the weekend making a decision to skip my normal hotel gym workouts & to not over analyze how to make every meal perfectly balanced. I wanted to relax, let my body rest & enjoy the special occasion with my husband. As much as I like to strive for that perfect balance, it just doesn’t always happen. I am 100% ok with that! In fact I still ate lots of nutrient dense foods, walked all about Atlanta & most importantly enjoyed the moments without stress or guilt around every little decision.
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A much needed night out at a hilarious murder mystery dinner theater.

As with most overly indulgent trips, when I arrived back home the mind games of guilt still kicked in regardless of making a mindful decision to relax for a couple days. My pants felt a little tight, I felt a little less fit & my stomach was rather unhappy with some of my food decisions. The negative self talk crept back in & less than kind thoughts began swirling in my head about my body. In the past, after returning from a vacation such as this one I would have been angry at myself about the bites of desserts I partook in. I would have pinched the imaginary added fat that magically popped up overnight on those love handles & vowed to fit in punishing workouts while eating nothing but lettuce for the next week to make up for my unacceptable behaviors. Which usually lasted a few days until it backfired with an eating binge confounded with a week long bad mood. How unrealistic as well as unnecessarily cruel to my body right?NegativeSelfTalkAll that sounds pretty dramatic & ultimately futile. It's taken YEARS of changing those behaviors & my mindset but progress has been made. As I'm a work in progress like everyone else & am certainly not immune to my emotions being in conflict with what my brain knows. This is how things have changed these days. Instead of the emotional freak out I took a deep breath & said “ok, back to normal today”. These are a few of my must do's to get back on track after a vacation:1. ADDING healthy additions back into my daily routine. I focused on getting back to my normal water intake, centering meals around colorful veggies & including quality protein at every meal. I quickly felt that eating out bloat & newly added sugar cravings subside as I re-balanced my diet.
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Give me all the veggies!

2. EASING back into my normal workout routine. A few years ago I would have immediately dragged myself to the gym as soon as I rolled back into town. This trip I knew I was tired & had a 14 hour work day ahead of me. Instead I skipped the workout, got organized for the week, prepped healthy food & made sure to sleep. I eased back into a normal workout week with my regular rest days included. I really tried to listen to my body & probably went a bit lighter in my first few sessions to not overdo it. By Friday I had a killer workout & felt back to my usual badass self.
A little more stretch & a little less intensity is ok sometimes!

A little more stretch & a little less intensity is ok sometimes!

3. SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP was on the agenda during the week. I always need a vacation once I arrive home from my vacation & normally come home feeling a bit rundown. I got into bed a bit earlier & even snuck in a nap or two when I had the opportunity. Again focusing on being kind to my body instead of punishing is the key.
Nothing like a sleepy puppy after a weekend with the grandparents.

Nothing like a sleepy puppy after a weekend with the grandparents.

4. SAY NO TO SUGAR is also a must do for me upon returning. I don't eat a lot of added sugar items anyway but on a weekend away there was dessert on multiple occasions. This is a trigger food for me so once I get back home I bow out of those extra treats I often eat in moderation. Not forever, but I try to reach for fruit instead of the chocolate I might usually choose or a kombucha instead of a glass of wine.
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Dialing back the sweets that trigger those cravings.

5. STAY AWAY FROM THE SCALE is another must do for ME. Everyone is different & I actually don't weigh myself on a regular basis. It causes me unnecessary stress so why bother. Reality is I know when I'm living according to my health goals by what I put on my plate. Also how my clothes fit tells me when it's time to readjust. Yet occasionally I'll have that curious "how much damage did I do" temptation to hop on post-vacation. All it ever does is make me feel bad about myself & jump on the deprivation bandwagon. So for me personally, I give myself a week or two to get back to normal before I care to ask the scale how I should feel about myself that day.Here it is a week later & I feel happy, back to normal physically & in my everyday balanced nutritious routine. For me, it all started with a bit of kindness, trusting my ability to get back to healthy habits & a bit of fake it til you make it positive self talk. Plus a lot of repetition along the way!How do you take care of yourself post-special occasion celebration? 

Meal Planning 101 – Simple Steps to Make Healthy Eating Easy!

by Emma Hammond 2 comments

Uncategorized

menu-planning-1It seems to be a weekly cycle of kicking Monday morning off with big proclamations to eat healthier, hit the gym & skip the fast food line. Yet after a late work evening, grumbling belly & an empty fridge, you are yet again grabbing take out. Which is usually mindlessly gulped down on the sofa only to fall asleep in a food coma. It's not easy to balance work, family, social activities & all the other moving components of our days. Add in trying to come home & make a perfectly healthy from scratch meal nightly that will please yourself, plus possibly other pickier eaters in the household. This is exactly why I started experimenting with how meal planning can make my healthy lifestyle goals easier.So first off, why do I meal prep & how does it make my life easier:2015-02-15 19.45.10-21. It makes me communicate with my spouse about my nutrition goals, needs & how ours may differ. I find far too often that people really struggle balancing their nutrition needs with their significant other, family or roommates. The husband suggests grabbing a pizza instead of a home cooked meal. When you are tired post-work, haven't planned a meal ahead or communicated that you want to focus on healthier habits you are much more likely to simply say "sure". When I am struggling with my eating habits this is also a time I tell my husband that. I ASK for extra support & accountability during weak moments throughout the week. We are a team & it just makes like easier to act as one. Plus the best part, no more "what's for dinner?" walking through the door.2. We absolutely save time & money by doing even very basic meal planning on a Sunday afternoon. Taking 5 minutes to evaluate what's in the freezer, pantry & fridge helps to make sure we don't waste, which is a pet peeve of mine. The freezer starting to overflow with leftovers? How about a freezer based menu for the week. Problem solved. In terms of time, I spend much less time wandering aimless up & down the aisles, cut down on multiple trips to the store & eating out due to an empty kitchen. All major benefits for us!whats-for-dinner-logo3. I stick to my goals with much less stress. While eating a mostly unprocessed whole foods diet has become a natural habit over time, initially it was not nearly as easy. I felt stressed trying to find recipes & learn different cooking techniques that fit within my new lifestyle. Planning ahead allowed me to have what I needed ready, when I needed it during the busy grind of the week. I didn't have to stress over could I have made a better good choice at lunch or not having time to grab a healthy breakfast running out the door. I had a plan & that was one less barrier to my success.There are plenty of other benefits but those are the most important to ME! Everyone is different but I am willing to bet that everyone would enjoy saving time, money & being less stressed over food throughout the week.Eating-Plan_NLM-500x399Now the next step...where to begin! This can absolutely become an overly complicated situation so let's skip that & focus on the motions to go through to get started today. We can get into nitty gritty details in another post.Step 1 - Pantry, freezer & fridge check: evaluate what you have on hand & plan ways to use any items onHealth-Goals-Board the way out first.Step 2 - Sit down with family to make a plan: write out a Sun-Mon calendar for the week including breakfast, lunch & dinner if needed. Add in any events that will entail eating out so you don't over plan the menu.*Tip: Having a Taco Tuesday or Italian Wednesday can take a bit of the weekly decision making out of the equation. Also plan in LEFTOVERS! We only cook 2-3 meals a week, the rest is leftovers.Step 3 - Make a grocery list based on meals selected. Write in your calendar WHEN you are going to make chosen meals. Aka do you really have time to cook a roasted chicken when you work until 7pm on Tuesday? If not plan to make in advance. choose a leftover or a quick fix meal for that night. Make sure to post the weekly calendar where the whole household can see the grocery-shopping-by-the-oatmealplan!Step 4 - Hit the store & stick to your list! I give myself 1 off the list choice based on what looks fresh & delicious. AKA still a whole food such as delicious berries or that steak I really want. Not oreos...Step 5 - Wash & get to prepping is last on today's list. Set aside an hour on Sunday or whatever day works best for you to wash veggies, chop what's needed, boil eggs, make a breakfast frittata, a big batch of sauce, roast a chicken etc etc! Make anything you can ahead of time plus have easy to snack on foods available in the front of fridge for when hunger hits.Also just to note, this is just ONE way to meal plan. Once you become more seasoned or if you live by yourself, it can be as simple as cook off a couple of proteins & have lots of ready to cook vegetables on hand. Some weeks we have a very specific menu planned. Other weeks we have easy to mix & match combos so we are able to be a bit looser with our choices. Find what works for you & play with it as you go.My last tip is to make meal planning a fun part of your routine. Attitude is everything & it doesn't have to be a drag. We work to make it fun by trying new recipes, foods we've never had or challenging ourselves to be creative with items on hand. It's not always gourmet but overtime you will increase your recipe index with ease.Mealprep  Do you meal plan for the week ahead? If so any tips or tricks that work for you?