As I mentioned a few times, I really believe being prepared is the key to the success in any life change, especially one as huge as what you eat on a daily basis. So, not only do we meal plan each week, but we also have other tricks to stay prepared. I know it will seem like a lot of work but it really only takes a couple hours over the weekend to save you a ton of time during the week. We try and make it fun, put on some football or music with the kids and have them “help.” Involving them makes them feel like an important part of our family’s nutritional health and it’s a great way to spend time with them.
1) On Sundays, we chop peppers, onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, etc., and place them into Ziploc bags in the freezer. Some are finely diced for quick grabbing to throw into omelets, a meatlof, or as a soup base. Some we slice into strips for fajitas or a stir fry. Having these already prepared saves a ton of time during the week with two little kids underfoot and busy full-time work schedules.
2) Make a soup or stew in the slow cooker over the weekend to have easy lunches.
3) Learn to love your slow cooker!!! 1) Stick a few sweet potatoes in, poke a few holes, and set on high. In four hours, you’ll have a perfectly cooked, easy to peel, excellent source of post-recovery WOD fuel. 2) Slice 5-7 large onions (mix up red, sweet, and white for best flavor), place in Crockpot, throw in 1/2 stick butter, pinch of salt and in 6-8 hours, you’ll have amazing caramelized onions to keep in the fridge as use as toppings or stuffing in anything you want!
4) Hard-boil eggs for quick protein – either for breakfast or to make egg salad or scotch eggs. Want the perfect easy-to-peel with a perfect yellow hard-boiled egg? Here’s a trick: steam them. Place your eggs in a steamer pot, cover and bring to a boil. Boil rapidly for exactly 5 minutes, then lower to a simmering boil for exactly 15 minutes. Then immediately place the eggs in an ice bath. Perfect every time but set timers, trust me!
5) Make notes of what days you need to take out what meat from the freezer to defrost and tape it to your fridge to remind yourself.
As promised, here is the meal plan for my family this week. Yesterday (Sunday) I made a mushroom beef onion soup and a friend brought over some of a very large smoked pork butt he had made. I also hard-boiled a couple dozen eggs and made egg salad with half.
B: Paleo banana bread (without the choc. chips)
L: Egg salad on lettuce boats w/bacon, raw carrots
D: Pulled smoked pork hash – sauteed with onions, spinach, and sweet potato, topped with an egg.
S: apple and almond butter pre-WOD
B: Scotch eggs
L: Big ass salad with rotisserie roasted chicken, lots of veggies
D: stuffed peppers with homemade Paleo marinara, maple roasted Brussels sprouts, sweet potato fries
S: Sunflower seeds, 1/2 banana
Thursday (I leave for Chicago for the night, so the menu is based around that.)
B: HB eggs, bacon
L (Mike): Leftover stuffed peppers
L (AA): Likely a lara bar or a muffin and raw veggies on the drive to Chicago.
D (Mike): Steak salad.
D (AA): Fogo De Chao so staying strict won’t be hard in Land O’ Meat.
B (Mike): steak omelet with leftover steak from dinner
B (AA): something delicious at a restaurant in Chicago
L: (Mike) mushroom beef soup, raw veggies
D: BBQ Bacon Burgers with avocado, red onion, mayo, roasted fresh green beans, sweet potato fries.
S: almonds, apple slices
Saturday (Garage Games)
Big ass breakfast to get me through the busy day: eggs, bacon, sweet potato hash with spinach.
Dinner: Chipotle salad fajita bowl with the kiddos.
Brunch: Paleo crepes with fresh berry compote
Dinner: Chuck roast with oven roasted root veggies: onions, carrots, and parsnips, sauteed spinach.
I realize that for a lot of you starting out, getting creative is kind of scary, especially baking. Don’t think you all have to go crazy chef in order to be satisfied and happy. But trying new things isn’t bad either. Stay simple if you have to, but be brave too.
So, did you guys do your weekly meal plans? If so, please post them here to share ideas!!