Hello, everyone and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday! TJ and I spent most of the week with my family in the West Palm Beach area, and I am so thankful for the time we were able to spend with them. The food we ate was amazing and being able to have everyone together was such a treat. We came home on Saturday and watched the very disappointing UF vs. FSU football game. Maybe next year, Gators!
We spent the rest of the weekend cleaning up and preparing ourselves for the upcoming work week. I managed to get most of our Fall decorations packed away, and we were able to put up Christmas lights and a few decorations around the house. I am typing up this post Sunday night and am in complete denial that I have to work tomorrow. Christmas time better hurry up because this lady is in need of some more long weekends.
Each Sunday I prepare as many things as I can to minimize the amount of time I have to spend in the kitchen each day before and after work. The time I spend preparing meals ahead of a time are make it or break it for me if I want to eat healthy. I am much more likely to eat at home and make healthy choices if I have things in my fridge that require minimal preparation. There are 3 small things that I do weekly to ensure that I am going to have healthy meals on hand so that I don’t make a bad decision and reach for something like a bowl of ice cream like I am snacking on now!
- One Potato, Two Potato
My love for sweet potatoes runs deep, but I hate that they take 45 minutes to an hour to bake in the oven. I refuse to put mine in the microwave to cook them, so I am stuck having to wait for the potatoes to bake while I have the rest of our dinner usually already ready. Making a batch of potatoes in the beginning of the week is a HUGE time saver and it encourages me to use roasted potatoes as a side instead of pasta or something covered in cheese.
To make the potatoes I combine the following:
2 medium sweet potatoes – chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 medium yukon gold potatoes – chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. seasoned salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
Toss the chopped potatoes in the olive oil and spices until they are thoroughly coated. Bake the potatoes in a casserole dish for 40 minutes at 400 degrees or until they are fork tender. I serve the potatoes on their own as a side to grilled chicken or fish, or I will add them to a taco bowl with some seasoned beef and veggies – super good!
- Loads of Veggies
I try as hard as possible to eat salads throughout the week at work. If I make 3-4 salad bases on Sunday, I am much more likely to eat a salad instead of going out and eating an unhealthy lunch.
I start by chopping up veggies that I know will hold up in the fridge until the end of the week and remain cold and crispy by the time I eat the last salad. I add either romaine, spinach, arugula (pictured above), or whatever green I have on hand to reusable containers.
I wait until the morning I leave for work to throw in some grape tomatoes, sliced deli meat or cheese so that the ingredients don’t get too soggy. As simple as making a salad is, making them ahead of time is key to having at least one meal a day loaded with fresh veggies.
- Breakfast of Champions
Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of each day, but I unfortunately do not give myself enough time each morning to make a nice warm omelette or sweet protein pancakes that I am usually craving. Leaving 5 minutes to make breakfast in the morning sometimes poses a challenge. Instead of reaching for a sugar filled prepackaged granola bar or a muffin, I make smoothies packed full of protein and fiber to fuel me through my morning. I hate having to sort through my freezer to find some frozen fruit, or chop up fresh fruit just to make a smoothie. If you pre-portion your smoothies and add the ingredients to freezer bags, you can simply grab a bag out of the freezer, add your liquid & protein source, and blend away!
I used a combination of the following…
1/2 medium banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1 cup organic kale
In the morning I will put my frozen fruits/veggies in the blender with 1 cup of any type of milk I have on hand. I always add in some extra protein with 1 scoop of protein powder or a small single serve container of greek yogurt. Keep the bags of frozen smoothie ingredients on hand at all times for a quick breakfast or a refreshing afternoon treat!
I hope that you use some of these very simple ideas and incorporate them into your weekly routine. They certainly make my life easier and healthier!
Questions for you:
- What is your favorite type of smoothie?
- Do you enjoy planning ahead to make things easier during the week?