Saturday, February 4, 2012
Weekend Meal Preparation AND Thrive in Five Day 27!
Woke to face a day of catch up! Yet my energy level is low - understandably.... 3 days with 7+ hours of riding in a car.... sleeping in horribly soft hotel bed.... yikes!
But it's a good sunny day... took my walk and felt MUCH better when I got back. A cup of tea and a piece of fruit..... just sets me up to get going again!
I have to say that my Healthy Habits for the year are really helping build better health and life!
I putzed around a bit trying to get some housework done... the laundry was overflowing (of course)... the pet hair has accumulated (of course)... the kitchen wasn't as bad as it could have been (thank you, boys!)... so I chased after this and that.... but mostly tried to clear the decks of the immediate issues - and get myself back in place :-)
Eventually gave up - checked the tides and went out in the sun for another walk! How refreshing to my spirit! I have allowed myself - in the last year or so - to stagnate inside. I have forgotten how much 20 minutes outside shores me up and clears my head.. One of my HABITS this year will be to identify and CEMENT in place some coping strategies that are healthy. Stepping out of the door and WALKING is an easy one of them!
Saturday is the day I try to get my food planned and prepared for the week ahead. I don't like having food decisions to make when I am hungry!
I usually prepare a soup or stew, a casserole, and a basic meat entree. And I have a list of the ones we usually eat that I can rotate.
So.... here is my strategy:
Go through the pantry, freezer, fridge, etc. and discover items that either need to be used, we haven't had in a while, or I feel like using up. While I am doing that, I recognize that I need to dream up about 3 meals ahead - that's meals for 3 mights & leftovers for a couple..... and we will free think the others (eating out, sandwiches with the teens, etc)
With this knowledge & the knowledge of what we have eaten recently, I choose my items to make. I usually choose a soup or stew (like chili or potato soup), a casserole (taco rice) or sandwich (burger - dog) meal and a basic entree meal (grilled chicken or turkey). I put any additional needs on the grocery list (I go on Mondays). I also shop AROUND the store... buying sale produce FIRST!
Then - the advance prep! Chopping veggies, soaking and cooking beans, cooking rice.... all this can be done ahead. Most can be cooked ahead and put in the container size you need for a meal. After I serve meals, I preserve the leftovers in good servings to keep us from overdoing it! Many things I do can also be frozen - so my weekend planning sometimes comes right from the freezer!
I also cut and bag servings of veggies, cut romaine & spinach for salads (keeps pretty well for about 3 days)... and I put it in serving size containers so I can grab and go. I 'containerize' things like cottage cheese and yogurt that no one eats but me. I am more likely to eat it if I don't have to think about it or prepare it... and eating from a container is bad news for me!
One serving in a container means I have good food to grab when I am in that hungry NONthinking place :-)
And sometimes I'll make sandwiches ahead so I can simply choose good snacks / meals. I like having choices ready to go.
I have a small organizing container on the top shelf of my fridge with my personal-sized foods..... and, more often than not... my family is beginning to snag the good stuff too :-) YAY!!
Have fun this weekend - and get your weekly plan done! It will save you a TON of time and aggravation as the week goes on - and save you remorse too - when good choices are easier to make!