meal prep

Preparing Meals Ahead: A Simple Guide

Preparing Meals ahead of time is a key to success with the Fresh Start for Health program.

Once you've pre-determined your meal plan, you can easily move into preparing pieces of your meals (or even full meals) ahead of time.

Not only does this making this a weekly habit continue to pay off in terms of saved time and money, but you'll be miles down the road toward your healthy goals as well.

One of the most frequent concerns I’ve heard from my coaching clients over the past several years is about "not having enough time" to meal plan. I think people assume that making time to prepare fresh, whole foods is a time-intensive project. I'm going to help break that myth with you right now!

“I never have enough time to make healthy lunches or chop all those veggies.”

“How am I supposed to find the time to make all this fresh food when I work and have little ones at home?”

“I travel so much of the month. Where am I supposed to find the time to make even these small changes?”

 

I'm here to tell you, YOU CAN DO THIS!

 

Coaching Tip: To start small, just choose ONE of the ideas I'm sharing with you here to start doing to improve the quality of your weeknight meals - just ONE! Then, when that ONE has become a habit, move to the next ONE idea and make that a habit! One new idea at a time - over time - soon becomes several ideas, and soon, you're following a whole new way of doing weeknight meals after a few weeks of faithfully applying!

 

If you follow this simple guide to prepare some of the items in your meal plan ahead of the week, you'll save yourself a LOT of stress during the week!

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In our FREE Online Community I share specific points for how to prep ahead. One of the consistent reports I get back from my clients once they begin to DO this ACTION STEP is how much easier and doable eating Fresh is once they really dig in and prep portions of their meals ahead of time.

Here on the blog, I'm sharing a bit of the exact HOW you can establish this meal-prep healthy habit in your life! 

PREP AHEAD 101 with Directions:

Quinoa - 2x water as Quinoa, cook on the stove top at a rolling simmer for 20 minutes or in a Rice Cooker with a dash of salt

Brown Rice - 2x water as Rice, cook on the stove top over rolling simmer for 30-40 minutes or in a Rice Cooker

Steel Cut Oats - easy to make ahead for quick re-heat breakfasts! Here's the How To

Hard Boiled Eggs -Fill a pot with COLD water, lay eggs in the bottom, sprinkle in lots of salt—makes them more easily peel-able! Heat water to a boil, close lid and leave on a rolling boil WITHOUT REMOVING LID for 10 minutes. Remove pot to sink immediately, letting cold water run through to chill the eggs and stop the cooking process. 

Crock Pot soups or stews - SUPER simple to make ahead for two full dinners for a large family or a week full of healthy chicken, beans or beef main-dishes for a single person…the crock pot is a busy individuals life-saver when eating fresh! Try this plain shredded Chicken Crock Pot recipe to use creatively the rest of the week in dinners and lunches! I’d love to hear about your go-to crock pot meals in the comments below!

Veggie Prep - Make your own veggie tray or chop them up for healthy snacks. Chop up onions, tomatoes, cilantro and add a healthy dash of fresh LIME juice for an east fresh salsa. Chop root veggies ahead of time for a fast roasted veggies side dish any night of the week –place in a ziplock, add a dash of olive oil and herbs/spices of your choosing and shake thoroughly. Right before roasting in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 minutes the night of your dinner, give another good shake!

Grill Chicken and/or Salmon to use as the protein in the next 2-3 dinners. You can chop them up, or shred the salmon for patties later in the week. Toss the chicken into a salad, gluten-free pasta or sauteed veggies and brown rice as a quick stir fry.

Pre-Bake Sweet Potatoes and Squash for easy quick-energy sides you can re-heat and enjoy later in the week - here's a 9 minute video on how to do this! 

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What do you think? Is this a realistic plan for you?

I’d love to hear about your meal-prepping experiences and frustrations.

What are your favorite make-ahead meals or dishes?

What day works best for you to do your meal prep…do you set aside a couple of hours on the weekend or weeknight? 

Share with me in the comments below!

How to Make Steel Cut Oats {Cook Once and Eat All Week Long!}

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Looking to eat a healthier breakfast and save time in the mornings? Steel Cut Oats are a great option  for a quick and satisfying weekday morning meal. Whip up enough at one time before your week gets busy and you can warm them up or eat them cold all week long.

(Be sure to pin this recipe to your favorite Pinterest board so you can easily find it later!)

 

How to make Steel Cut Oats

Breakfast can be one of those tough meals to get into our day - we're going, going from the minute we get up most days - and breakfast can sometimes be an afterthought. But our bodies and brains need a good breakfast, daily! We need to be eating healthy fats, proteins, and whole grains (for brain power!) - but how to get all that into our diet when we're in a rush, as mornings often are? 

PRE-COOKING and meal prep are the answer to this dilemma! Taking a few minutes on the weekend to pre-cook a few servings of Steel Cut Oats and enjoy all week long! 


Here's how...

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Steel Cut Oats
  • 4 cups water
  • Topping of choice (nuts, seeds, raisins, maple syrup, cinnamon, FRESH berries etc)
     

 Instructions:

1.     Bring water to boiling over high heat in a medium saucepan.

2.     Add oats to boiling water, and immediately lower heat to LOW.

3.     Cover pan, simmer oats in water for 20 minutes, stirring gently every 4-5 minutes or so.

how to make steel cut oats
how to make steel cut oats

4.     Turn the heat off, remove pan, cover and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

5.     Scoop pre-measured amounts (ie 1/2 cup) into small storage containers to refrigerate to use and re heat later.

...then, later in the week, for easy go-to breakfasts that will fill you, keep you feeling full and are no trouble to fix...

 


Reheating Instructions:

1.     Place refrigerated oats in a bowl, add ½ cup or so unsweetened almond milk or water.

2.     Microwave on high for about 1 minute or so.

3.     Stir, blending oats and milk or water, add toppings of choice.

4.     Enjoy!


IF YOU'RE MAKING HEALTHY CHANGES IN YOUR LIFE AND YOU THINK IT'S MORE FUN TO DO WITH FRIENDS, THEN JOIN US!