Let's talk about meal preppin!
It may be one of my favorite things to do ever. Seriously. It may be my OCD in me coming out but something about going to the grocery store, bringing everything home and prepping it equates to the best day ever!
This past Saturday I went to Trader Joe's. I love that place. The Baton Rouge location opened in October and I've been obsessed with it since Day 1. On the day it opened I went twice... I know, I have a problem.
Every time I go I walk in with a list of what I need and attempt to stick to it. But that never works and I end up wandering the store for hours grabbing everything I see.
This is what I walked away with this weekend.
Beauty ain't it?
This was a full sized grocery cart, by the way.
Some of my favorite things I got this week were:
Root Vegetable Chips
Spinach Kale and Greek Yogurt Dip (delicious!)
Crunchy Almond Butter
Garlic Chipotle Salsa (heaven in the form of spicy tomatoes)
Coconut Chips (get up and buy them now)
I also got some of my regular items: a few packs of Organic Spinach, Arugula, Kale, Frozen mango and pineapple, frozen Chicken breasts, unsweetened almond milk, a pineapple, baby carrots and a large container of non-fat plain Greek yogurt and that's not even everything (it's just all I can remember)!
Trader Joe's has such great stuff it's hard to leave without filling up an entire buggy full!
I decided to set aside the day to do some meal prepping for the rest of the afternoon.
I decided to work on slicing fruits, putting lettuces into containers and trying a few recipes I had seen on Pinterest. I've been meal prepping for a while now and had my fair share of mess ups with it!
Here's a couple tips I've learned from my meal prepping journey:
1. Keep lettuces in air tight containers to keep them for twice as long! - I have been doing this for a while now and I cannot believe I haven't been doing this all along. I kept spinach in that container for close to 2 weeks before even ONE leaf started to get gross. And that Kale, stayed good in there for close to 3 weeks.. 3 WEEKS. That's making the most out of your dollar y'all!
2. Label, Label, Label! - I am the type of person that forgets whatever I put in containers the minute I put it in there. A great way for you to keep track and see at a glance what you have when you open the fridge is to label your containers! It also just looks really cool, don't you agree?
Excuse the terrible image quality.... and the third grade handwriting.
3. Your freezer is your best friend! - You can premake anything and freeze it. One of my favorite freezer meals I made recently was meat and vegetable stuffed bell peppers! The total cooking time was about 15 minutes and all I did was put everything in the peppers, wrap them in cellophane, put foil around them, label them and I was done! A few days later I took 2 of them out, popped them in the oven and the rest is history! They were fantastic! Another great idea would be to place a label on the foil and write how long to cook it and at what temp! It saves time and is a lot faster than having to look it up!
4.Store you premade juices in mason jars to keep them fresh! - If you're a juice person, but not a morning person, and don't have a lot of time in the mornings you can store homemade juice in mason jars to keep them fresh for a couples days after making them! This was some juice I made Saturday that had basically a culmination of everything: Carrots, Kale, Spinach, Lemon, Apples, Strawberries, and Oranges. The color does not match the taste! This thang was nutrient packed and a huge morning pick me up!
5. Make a quick and easy breakfast to eat throughout the week! - This weekend I also spent the 10 minutes it takes to make these Paleo Bacon Muffins to eat throughout the week. They are a perfect post or preworkout breakfast to give you the energy your body needs! They also only take about 30 seconds to warm up in the microwave and taste fantastic! If you make these and have a toaster oven that would be an even better way to warm them up and get them extra crispy!
6. Checkout Pinterest, blogs and websites to research recipes you might want to make! - If you're like me, I need tangible pieces of paper, at all times, for everything. I've recently started keeping track of recipes and workouts I love by combining them all into a huge binder. This helps keep my on track and organized! I know whenever I am hungry I know I can look in my binder and there will be nothing but delicious healthy recipes. If you're looking for some great recipes, Paleo or not, I pin... a lot... so check out my Pinterest page here!
7. Cut fruit ahead of time! It saves so much time! - "I hate, hate, hate, double hate, loathe entirely..." cutting fruit. I hate it, I cannot stand it. It takes forever and especially if you're in a rush and all you want is some pineapple and you've just got some big, prickly, vegetablish fruit, thing staring at you, it can get annoying. One thing I've learned is to definitely set aside time to cut your fruit and store it ahead of time. I typically like to cut pineapples and strawberries up, for me it saves time and it's super easy to grab and go on the way out the door. One thing I have learned with fruit is if you're going to cut a fruit beforehand especially if it is known to brown, squeeze lemon juice on it and it will keep it from getting as brown. Also a great trick if you plan on taking an apple to go, but want in in slices, cut it before you leave and use a rubber band to keep it from browning! Genius, I know! Wish I would have thought of it first!
8. Plan your day around your food! - Like most college students, I am constantly on the go and with being Paleo it is hard not to plan my meals ahead of time if I plan on staying on track for the day! I've learned that the best way to keep myself fueled and focused is to always be prepared. I love taking a huge lunch box and filling it with great food for the next day! A great way to stay on top of your eating is to plan it out the night before. Think about what your day is going to be like and think of when the best time to eat what would be. For me my day starts off with breakfast, a 7:30am Kinesiology jogging class, a workout, then a post workout breakfast. My day continues to work (10:30am-4:30pm) where I eat my mid morning snack, then lunch, and then mid afternoon snack. Having my day planned out makes other food choices less tempting and keeps me on track throughout the day!
Well, that's pretty much all I've got for you guys today! Hope my tips helped!
Have a fit and fabulous day!