Sunday, August 17, 2014

Plan to Succeed

Is anyone else glad to see summer come to an end and watch the kids head back to school?  This summer has just blown by and has been full of fun with friends and family.  We have been so busy that blogging took a major back seat.  I am pretty eager to share about some of our adventures this summer though, so stay tuned for that!

I have been continuing to work on getting back into shape and losing weight.  During my vacation last month I actually lost 5 pounds!  What a nice surprise considering I enjoyed all of the local fare I could find.  

After five weeks of not running (having the kids home makes that task so much more difficult!) I started back up again.  Currently, the plan is to run a mile a day.  Today was day 5 and my time is improving!  

So while some things are helping, one thing I noticed as I read blogs and talked to others who have lost weight, the one thing that fit people tend to have in common is that they plan out their meals.  And not just write them down, but prep, cook and store their weekly meals.  This may be the one thing that boosts my efforts in a positive way.  Yesterday, I sat down and wrote out a meal plan - breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks - and went to the store to purchase the items I needed.  Then I came home, nursed Baby B to sleep, and set to work.

I do shakes/smoothies twice a day and eat every 3-3.5 hours to keep my metabolism up.  Keeping that in mind, here is my plan:

Meal 1 (7:30 am): shake

Meal 2 (11:00am): M-W Sweet potatoes, asparagus, and turkey meatballs
                                 T-Sun: Brown rice with chicken, red bell pepper and pineapple

Meal 3 (2:30): shake

Meal 4 (6:00 pm): M-Th: Veggie Burger with a salad
                               Fri-Sun: Grilled chicken with brown rice and green beans

Meal 5 (9:00pm): M-W: Blackberries with almonds
                              Th-Su: Greek yogurt with banana slices, flax seed and agave nectar. 

First thing you should do is make sure your counters are clean and clear and that you have all of the containers you will need.  Wash all of your produce and make sure meat is thawed.  I also like to do all of the veggie chopping first and get everything in little prep bowls so that I feel cool like chefs on TV ;)

The first thing I made was the asparagus.  All I do is mix a bowl of lemon juice, olive oil, lemon pepper, fresh garlic, and pepper in a prep bowl.  I spread the asparagus out on a foil-lined baking tray, drizzle the sauce over them, shake the pan to coat each spear, and pop them in the oven at 400 degrees for 12 minutes.  Easy!

I also start cooking my rice at this point.  After the asparagus is done I move them to a plate and start the sweet potatoes.  For these, I diced them and followed this easy and delicious recipe.  Baby B even gobbled a few up before I packaged them up.

Here is the sweet and spicy chicken I love to make.  You can find the recipe here. I omitted the tortilla and served it over brown rice.

For my turkey meatballs, I mixed together a pound of ground turkey, 1/4 bread crumbs, 2 tbsp diced onion, 1 egg white, and added cilantro, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper to taste.   rolled them into 18 (that's how many I was able to make) meatballs  and baked them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

The quickest part was prepping the snacks.  I tossed a handful of berries and almonds into some cups for one.  The other was a serving of yogurt topped with sliced banana, a spoonfool of flax seed and a drizzle of agave nectar.  

I also whipped up some protein balls.  I used 3/4 cups oats, a scoop of chocolate protein powder, 2 egg whites, 2 tbsp dark chocolate chips, 2 tbsp Skippy Natural Peanut Butter and mixed everything together.  I formed them into 8 balls.  These of course, must stay in the fridge to stay good.

A few things I am missing from my photos - I also made some pizza veggie burgers that I found at Trader Joes and stored those in a container for easy reheating.  Today I will finish my last set of meals which will be the grilled chicken strips and green beans and add them to my leftover rice.

That is it!  Everything included, this all took me about 3 hours and now all of my meals are ready for the week!

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