Meal Prep Myths, Bliss & Tips

I am obsessed with Meal Prepping because I am … LAZY. Every Sunday, I prepare all of my snacks, lunches, and dinners for the work week. By bringing my lunch to work I have more time to eat and un-wind and its heaven-sent to be able to just pop my dinner in the microwave after I return home from work. Between work, working out, and my Stella, I don’t have the time to cook multiple meals during the day. Below, is all by best tips & tricks.

The How-To

  1. Clean and Organize your kitchen: (you’ll be happy you did this) You must throw away all the junk food, old food, and stuff that doesn’t belong in the kitchen.  Make a catalog of all the food that you already have and don’t need to purchase quite yet. Designate space in your kitchen for your timers. food scales and fruits and veggies. CLEAN the kitchen. By clean I mean, wash and put away all dishes, wipe down all surfaces, wipe down the fridge, sweep, throw away the trash, and mop.
  2. Grocery List: CRUCIAL. Set your weekly budget because you will only shop once a week. Mine is $35.00/week, which includes the farmer’s market. Think about 7 days of healthy eating. What do you want to eat for Breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and Dinner almost everyday that week? Here is a beautiful Grocery Template created by homegirl, Abby. I shop at Aldi because they have a plethora of organic options and the prices are very reasonable. EAT FIRST then grocery shop haha Do not grocery shop hungry (I also suggest not taking your kids to the store with you).

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    Lunches for this week: Kale, Brussel Sprouts, Asparagus, Ground Turkey and Quinoa
  3. Cook: Cook all of your food now. Veggies, meats, and starches will last all week. Seafood only last a few days so you’ll have to cook it twice a week.
  4. Prep: Measure out your portions and put in you travel containers. I prefer the glass containers because they are the best for warming.
  5. Clean: Clean your kitchen again.

 

Myths

  1. Too Much Time: The first you meal prep it may take a good portion of your Sunday for the simple fact that it’s new to you, but you’ll get faster, quickly. I can now make a list, shop, cook and prep in 2 hrs 45 min. You’re also saving time by not making your lunch in the morning or cooking dinner after work.
  2. Healthy eating is expensive: No, babe, chips sodas, eating out, fast food and doctor bills are expensive. You can stay within a budget. It is astonishingly cheaper to just grocery shop once a week than to frequent the store multiples times a week.
  3. Your kids do not eat what you eat: My dear, that’s a parenting issue. If they are hungry they’ll eat. Also, if you feed your kids crap then they’ll behave as such.
  4. Boring: You must cook what you like to eat and you’ll love your meal everyday. The next week you can switch it up.

Bliss

My favorite thing about meal prepping is that it supports my healthy lifestyle. My meals are prepared so I have no choice but to eat them. When I’m hungry and cranky after work I do not want to cook and that is when I make bad food decisions. Therefore, I love having food ready as I get home.

Also, I love trying our new recipes. If the recipe makes 4 servings then I have a meal for dinner for that night and three more nights.

My Tips

Here are a few suggestions that make meal prepping a little bit easier for me:

  1. Take out cash and only shop with the money you budgeted to spend.
  2. Start cooking your starches and marinating your meats, first.
  3. Invest in a vegetable chopper, non-stick skillet and spiralizer.
  4. Buy raw vegetables and steam them.
  5. Do not cook your meat too hard because you’ll be microwaving it.
  6. Don’t let anyone else in the kitchen while you’re cooking.
  7. Take pastic wear from the grocery store or gas stations (like Wawa) to stash in your lunch box.
  8. Let your dog eat the scraps.

I hope you enjoyed this! Love, Kiahhn’ & Stella.

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= )

 

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Toast

Breakfast is very important to me. I workout in the mornings, Fasted Cardio style, and my first meal is directly after that workout. “Fasted cardio is cardio done while in a “fasted” state, wherein your stomach is empty, but it’s a bit more than that. It has to do with how your body processes and absorbs the food you eat.” – Muscle For Life I’m starving at this point in the morning.

I love my toast and milk for breakfast. It’s filling, nutritious, super easy and takes well to substitutions.

Ingredients:breakfast

  1. Wheat Rye Bread: ≈ 80g
  2. Nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, etc.): ≈ 10g
  3. Medium Banana
  4. Honey
  5. Milk (Almond, cow, soy): 1 cup
  6. Protein powder: ≈ 15g

To Do:

Start by toasting the bread. Take 1/3 of the banana, the milk and the protein powder and blend them all together. The drink is done. Slice the remainder of the banana. Spread the nut butter on the toasted bread and add the banana slices. Finally drizzle a small amount of honey over the banana. DONE. It’s delicious; I promise.

P.S. – My morning snack in 200g of non-fat yogurt with 12 almonds mixed in the yogurt = )

 

 

Irritated with your dog?

Whoever says that they have never been pissed at their dog is a bold-faced liar. The only person who can irritate you more that your mother dog is your dog. Sometimes, I look at Stella and say, “Why did you do this, ya freak? I feed you and this is how you repay me?” I can state, “Sit” and she’ll just stare at me, but when I say, “Come on, let’s go potty” she’s standing by the door. She can be such a butt.

Well, this morning I kicked her. Yes, I kicked my dog and it’s my second time doing so. I kicked her after she was running in circles in my den when she should have been sitting waiting for me to open the back door. While you’re freaking out and ready to call the SPCA … it was a swift kick to the butt, I didn’t like it, Stella didn’t like it, and Stella is 75 lbs aka she’s fine. After that ugly episode she sat and waited for me to open the door and permit her to exit. She knows the “Wait – Free” command. When she ignored me I was thoroughly irritated. I know that dogs reason about as well as two years old, but I still didn’t let her play while outside. It was all business then back inside. I was pissed at myself for letting an animal annoy me. In this episode, I want to share with you the methods I utilize when Stella upsets me and why they help me get over her idiosyncrasies. To the select few, do not kick your dog.

  1. Calm Yourself Down: This is the most important and first method. Never interact with your dog when you’re frustrated. My dog and I learned this lesson the hard way. Humans do not operate well while frustrated.  Dog is a dog and doesn’t understand the emotion of frustration or that their human is angry because of their actions. Dog picks up on your energy and strength. You must come to peace, lift your shoulders and remain a confident and level leader.
  2. Abort Mission: Change your plans (and go calm down). At that moment maybe the walk doesn’t happen or its not the time for the dog park. Maybe it would be better to just take Dog to the bathroom and return to the house for chores. You and Dog won’t have fun if you’re irritated. Abort and retry in an hour or so.
  3. Turn your back to Dog: This is my favorite method. Stella hates it and, in turn, she fixes her behavior. When Dog, for example, jumps around when you’re trying to connect the leash to their collar you can drop your hands to your side and turn your back to dog. Do not talk to Dog or look in the direction of Dog. Dog wants your attention, always, and will adjust their action to receive it.
  4. Exercise: This was my most utilized method before Stella had her ACL surgery. Fortunately, I have a large backyard so I just let her run outside to chase squirrels and birds. Maybe I’d throw the ball around with her; maybe I’d just let her do her thing. This method always calms me down because I can witness the beauty of my dog. I see her athleticism, her beauty and her playfulness.
  5. Train: The reality is that when Stella acts crazy its usually because their is a lapse in her training. For example, someone knocks on the door and Stella runs barking to the door. NO MA’AM. It’s is the perfect time to reinforce the thin layer of door-training. I quiet Stella with a literal snap of my fingers. You do what works for you and your dog. Next, I tell the person at the door to hold on because I’m going to do a little training. Most people understand and hopefully appreciate it. Many people keeps treats around the house for training purposes. Finally we work on guest training, which is having Stella lay/sit at the end of the foyer until Guest reaches her AND she can only engage when Guest acknowledges her. Usually she does great and I feel better. Training reminds you that your dog isn’t a wild coyote.
  6. Look at their puppy pictures: The funnest method is pulling out your dog’s puppy pictures. Baby animals are engineered to make us happy. We fell in love with our dogs when they were babies. Their baby pictures bring back all those warm and fuzzy feelings and remind us that we actually love them when we want to take them to the pound.

I hope these aforementioned methods help you and your dog live a more harmonious life.

Best Regards,

~ Stella’s Momma

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How I’m forced to watch TV.

Pasta: Land & Sea

Lately, the health word villain has been Carbohydrates and their evil side kicks, Pasta and bread, have been bullied the most. Fortunately, people are wising up and befriending are mush needed friend, the Carb. The trick with Carbs is that they must be Complex and eaten in the correct serving size. Complex Carbohydrates are rich in fiber thus satisfying and health promoting; examples are: Green vegetables; Whole grains and foods made from them, such as oatmeal, pasta, and whole-grain breads; Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and pumpkin; Beans, lentils, and peas.

The following uses whole grain pasta. I  like WHOLE MEAL pasta best, but whole grain is fine. Are you catching on that meals contain carbs, protein, and veggies?

Ingredients:

  • Oil (or butter)
  • Salt
  • Whole meal or whole grain pasta (any kinds of pasta) – half cup cooked
  • Turkey sausage, sliced – 2 oz
  • Shrimp – 1 oz
  • Broccoli, steamed – half cup
  • Carrots, steamed – half cup
  • Cauliflower, steamed half cup
  • Honey
  • Soy sauce
  • Garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes

Start Cooking:

  1. Cook the pasta. Put salt and oil/butter in the water
  2. Season the shrimp with honey, soy sauce, garlic powder and red pepper flakes
  3. Slice the vegetable so they are bite-sized
  4. Steam the vegetable, together, in one pot sprinkled with light salt
  5. On Medium heat, Cook the turkey sausage and shrimp in one saucer, together – 3 min. on one side and 2:30 minutes on the other side.
  6. After everything is cooked, drain all excess liquid from the past, veggies, and meat
  7. Mix in one big bowl
  8. ENJOY

I love this meal. It filling and it fulfills my macros (macro-nutrients) .

Shrimp & Bake

Hey Eaters, sorry I’ve been gone. I’m a meal prepper, therefore, at least 5 days out of the week I eat the same things for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Snacks. Cooking a new meal is a treat for me. A couple of weeks back I wanted a casserole for dinner. The historic casserole is horrible for your health; just horrid. As any great eater, I improvised.

Ingredients:

  • Quinoa – 1 cup cooked
  • Broccoli – 1.5 cups steamed
  • Cheese: 0.25 cup shredded
  • Shrimp: as much as you can fit, deveined without tail
  • Onions
  • Butter, soy sauce, pepper flakes, siracha, avocado oil

Do It:

  1. Start cooking the quinoa with oil and salt in the water
  2. Chop the onions and add them to the quinoa
  3. Start steaming your broccoli (or microwave for some people)
  4. Marinade your shrimp with soy sauce, pepper flakes, siracha and avocado oil
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  6. Find that snazzy small casserole dish that you’re too scared to use because you drop things
  7. Baste the dish with a light layer of butter
  8. Spread the broccoli on the bottom of the dish
  9. Add your cup of cooked quinoa
  10. Sprinkle the cheese evenly
  11. Place as much shrimp (uncooked) as you can on top on the cheese
  12. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes
  13. Remove and let sit for about 3 minutes
  14. DONE

This meal in for one person. It is the perfect post-workout meal. We can eat so much when it’s the right stuff! This meal includes vegetables, complex carbs, dairy and protein. Unfortunately, I workout in the mornings. It’s delicious. It feels like a cheat meal, but it’s not.

Of course, my girl was with me being the perfect vacuum cleaner.                                           (Also Stella has her own Instagram: @StellaJaxTheDobe)

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Shrimp & Veggie Croquettes

Hello to my other pseudo foodies. Sunday night I attempted a healthy twist on my all time favorite dish and fortunately for my parents it was delicious. Picture it: 1996. The youngest in the house, ME, gets to decide what my family eats for breakfast. Without hesitation I choose Salmon Croquettes, rice (white), and biscuits with syrup. Obviously, that is a horrid, unhealthy breakfast, but I loved it, my brother ate it and it was easy for my Dad to prepare. Back to this past Sunday: I kicked my dad out the kitchen and I attempted to recreate my favorite meal; I just made it better.

First, croquettes are an American version of the fabulous Spanish croquetas. Croquettes, are usually in a patty shape, while croqutas are like poppers.

This recipe is completely mine (no pinterest inspiration). When you feed it to your family let them know that I hope they enjoy it = )

The What:

  • Avocado Oil – 2 TBSP + more
  • 2 Eggs – beaten
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper – finely diced
  • 1 Onion – finely diced
  • Mushrooms – Handful – finely diced
  • 12 oz of Shrimp – Thawed
  • Spinach – raw
  • Non-rising flour
  • Salt & Pepper

The How:

  1. Cut the thawed shrimp in small pieces and season normally with salt and pepper.
  2. Beat the eggs in a LARGE mixing bowl and add the Avocado oil.
  3. Finely dice or chop all of the vegetables and add them to your eggs.
  4. Add the shrimp to your mixing bowl of goodness and mix very well.
  5. Sift a thin layer of flour on top of the mixture and mix again.
  1. The next part moves you over to the stove with your mixture. Take out your favorite pan, add your preferred cooking oil or more avocado oil and crank up the heat to almost the High setting.
  2. Grab your large spoon (not the ladle) and your spatula. Just scoop your mixture, drop it in your pan, let it sit for FullSizeRender (10)about 1 minute, flip it (and reverse it lol), let it sit for about another 50 seconds more and then remove your gorgeous croquette. The same muscle movements as pancakes. [I cooked 2 at once in my pan.]
  3. After removing the croquettes from the pan place then on a plate with a paper towel to absorb the extra oil and to solidify.

Your batch will make about 15 million croquettes (a little bitty hyperbole).

The Yum: I ate mine with quinoa. You should eat yours with your favorite side. I hope you enjoy = )

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Review: Spiralizer

Meal: Sausage Garden

Wednesday night was my first time turning a vegetable into a noodle. I love all starchy noodles so I was hesitant to replace them with zucchini.  With so many people giving themselves diabetes and cancer replacing a high calorie, fast digesting carbohydrate with a low calorie, slow digesting carbohydrate was an easy decision.

Ingredients (notice all the organic):

  • 6 – normal sized organic zucchinis (about 2 lbs) – noodled
  • 1 sweet onion – sliced
  • organic mushrooms – sliced
  •  3-5 TBSP – avocado oil
  • 1 organic red bell pepper – thinly sliced
  • Cumin – to taste
  • chipotle power – to taste
  • chili powder – to taste
  • salt – to taste
  • Turkey sausage – sliced

Cook the turkey sausage and slice it. Keep it on low heat in whatever you cook it in so the sausage will stay warm.

Using the Spiralizer: The purchaser is provided basic instructions, which is all that is needed. The device comes with 3 different blades for curly slices, straight slices, and very thin slices. The pictures on the instructions are impossible to differentiate which slicer is for what use; that was irritating. The blade with the biggest poking “triangles” is the blade that I used. You can see it in the picture, below.

I “spiralized” the zucchini after washing and cutting off the ends. You must press one end of the zucchini into the circle on the blade and the other end of the zucchini into the white dull spokes on the other side; you can’t miss it. Then you just crank that thing. It’s very easy FullSizeRender (3) and fast. <- Look how pretty the zucchini is now. The 2 lbs of zucchini makes a lot of noodles so you’ll need a big bowl to store them. When you’re done place the noodled zucchini near the stove.

Grab your beautiful, large skillet, add the olive oil and set it on medium-high heat. Toss in the sliced onions, bell peppers, and seasonings. Once the veggies start to get soft add the mushrooms and sausage.

After about 2 minutes, add the noodled zucchini noodles, season again, and bump the heat up to high. Use your trusty tongs and keep tossing. MIX TOSS MIX TOSS. You are done when the zucchini is hot and is just beginning to wilt. Serve immediately … with a tall glass of water.

I enjoyed using the spiralizer and will def use it again. It made zucchinis much more enjoyable. (btw, I don’t like zucchini nor mushrooms.) My parents loved the meal. My dad called me at worked to tell me how much he loved it haha Stella ate the middle of the zucchini that I didn’t use.

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SAUSAGE GARDEN

I hope you enjoy it as well = )

*Shop at you local farmer’s market; no veggies with a sticker on them!