Let's be honest, the work week is busy. It is easy to get lost in the routine and we find ourselves rushing- falling behind, leaving the house late, and even forgetting appointments. Sometimes, we forget to take care of ourselves, nutritionally, during the work week. The effort and time to prepare heart healthy food is an obligation that many of us shove to the side when things get too busy. We choose to run through Subway, McDonald's, Papa Murphy's, etc... just to take SOMETHING off our plate.
Did you know that feeding yourself properly during the work week will help keep your mood uplifted, your energy up and feeling prepared for the gym? Those results you have been ACHING for- pushing and sweating for are made in the kitchen too. Food preparation over the weekend can help alleviate the stress of trying to prepare everything the night before or even the morning of your workday! Here is how the Fonseca Household prepares for the week on Sundays:
1. Meal Plan
Yes, I plan our dinners for the week. We have our snack and lunches down to a routine and staples that we always have prepared to make for quick healthy meals. I write out each day of the week and find recipes that I am excited to try or are tried and true recipes we love. In particular recipes, I will replace sweet potatoes for white/red potatoes, spinach and arugula for iceberg lettuce to pack our meals full of nutrition.
2. Plan an "Extra" Crockpot Meal
To ensure we have enough "grab and go" food- I plan, prepare and cook and "extra" crockpot meal for each week. I start the crockpot with the meal on Sunday mornings. These tend to be our "lifesavers." Run out of chicken? Good! You have a healthy already prepared and stored in the fridge crockpot meal! Usually my crockpot meals are hearty soups and stews- easy to throw in the hydroflask already heated and go!
3. Costco Run
Costco is great for frozen chicken, canned tuna (in water), eggs, steel cut oats and almond milk! If you buy enough, Costco doesn't have to be a weekly run either!
4. Grocery Store Run
I don't buy my veggies at Costco- we eat veggies like they are going out of style, but we just can't seem to get through the bulk of Costco ones fast enough. The Grocery Store I purchase all my veggies for the week- green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, Bok Choy, Spinach, Bananas, Apples, Onions, Avocados, tomatoes, limes, and lemons- all staple items in our house!
5. Defrost Chicken, Marinate Chicken, BBQ Chicken
We defrost upwards 15 chicken breasts- for the week. Mr. F will eat 2 chicken breasts and I will eat 1 for one of our meals throughout the day. This is enough chicken to last both of us for the week! In addition, it makes a great refrigerator item for chopped salads at night, quick reheat meal for the kids with a side veggie on those sports nights!\
6. Boil Eggs
Who doesn't love some hard boiled eggs as a good grab and go snack? H= hard boiled in our fridge!
7. Steam Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a great source of energy and are packed FULL of nutrition. These are a great pre-workout snack or a side with steamed veggies throughout the week.
Now, I will be honest. I do wake up in the early morning to finish preparing our meals for the rest of the day aside from what is listed above. You can do the rest of these things over the weekend too- but I like fresh veggies, tuna, etc... At about 5am, I wake up after Mr. F leaves for work and organize our 5 meals we take to work with us- meal 6 is always dinner at home.
I start steaming broccoli and green beans first thing in the morning. I let them steam for a while when I am frantically getting the kids dressed and backpacks together. When they are tender, I pull them off the stove and allow to cool down. I prepare the kids lunches and snacks. I place our chicken and some of the steamed veggies together in Tupperware, I mix up some tuna fish with dijon mustard, jalapenos, and pepper and put into a separate Tupperware with some of the steamed veggies, and finally I start scrambling eggs.
Our eggs are simple. Mostly egg whites, with a few whole eggs in there too!I quickly chop jalapenos, green onions, fresh tomatoes to throw on top when they are cooked. Sometimes, I just toss on some salsa! This is our breakfast. I make enough for Chad and Claire so they can start right too! And guess what? Because life is so busy sometimes we eat our eggs on the run- otherwise they are there when I arrive at work.
I put our food into cooler bags so we can eat throughout the day. Try to eat every 2-3 hours- smaller portions but 6 times a day! How you pair your food for performance and fat loss is crucial, however, having food prepared in your refrigerator and treated as grab and go is even more critical- why?? So it is easy to make smart choices throughout the week!