This is food prep made easy. My reasons for food preparation are to save time during the week, to keep my meals clean and healthy, spend less at Zoe’s Kitchen (love) and to keep me from eating out a box when I am home from teaching classes (so hungry and tired). Can anyone relate?
Hey, I get it. We are all busy. The world is busy. I understand. We all do different jobs, have different schedules, have loads of responsibilities, families to take care of etc. and I think many of us have some of the same goals too. We want to get fit and healthy, we want to maintain fitness and health, we want to choose better foods, and we want our families to be healthy and happy. I know it is overwhelming. I am here to tell you there is a way to prepare simple healthy meals and snacks ahead of time so you are not consumed by chaos and then resort to “the box” full of fake food or fast food.
Say hello to my little friend, the Isobag Mini 🙂
I found this little gem at http://www.IsolatorFitness.com so I ordered. When I received it something clicked. Food prep made easy. I have food prepped before and I was not organized, I over complicated things, I did not have the correct types of tools, I was a mess. I know you may think it is just a cooler but wait, it is a cooler, but it is special. It comes with its own containers (dishwasher and microwave safe and BPA free), a shaker bottle, its own ice pack, and it is small and light. It also comes in different colors. I think the pink suits me. I am here to tell you Big Things do come in small packages.
Anyway, I am writing this post because I have many clients and students asking me about food and nutrition, how to eat healthier, easy recipes and all of that. I give them my opinion, write-up plans, follow-up and then I get the spill, “I don’t have time”, or “I can’t”. Well, we all have the same amount of time in a day and we all are busy. If you really want to change something, you have to make it a priority. This is what works for me and this is how I did it.
I had to think ahead. I ordered the bag with some extra containers. I decided to make simple meals that did not have too many ingredients (save time right?) I chose Sunday afternoon to do food prep. I chose baked garlic chicken tenders, spinach and feta turkey balls, asparagus, brown rice, green beans, sweet potatoes, white potatoes with salsa on top, sliced apples, rice cakes with peanut or almond butter, raw nuts, and protein shakes. These foods are so easy to prepare. Bake the potatoes, steam the veges, cook the rice (not minute stuff, it is just rice and water and simmer), bake or grill chicken, turkey balls are simple and are under “fitmuffins” here on my blog. Done.
I then portioned out the meals in the handy Isobag containers, mix and match, and food prep was done.
I placed neatly into the refrigerator and I packed my bag when I was ready to go. The ice pack stayed very cold all day.
To top if all off, dinner was ready when I got home. It just took a couple of hours to prepare and it was so worth it. Now if you are overwhelmed with thoughts of how to eat healthier and incorporate it into your lifestyle, give this a try. It is great for those of you at the office all day and for those of you who travel for work. Hey busy moms taking your kids to after school activities and sports, don’t go to the fast food drive through for their snacks everyday, try food prep and the Isobag mini. Oh and hey all my runner friends who put miles and miles of training in for that marathon or ultra marathon, I know you need your fuel handy. Give it a try.
Hope this helps inspire someone to see that preparing healthy food can be simple. Remember, don’t over complicate. FYI, the bags come in different sizes and colors 🙂
I will post more food prep ideas on my Instagram and Twitter if you would like to see more. I am @nthefitzone.
*Consult your physician before beginning any new exercise or nutrition program.
Yesterday was a full day in the kitchen. I felt like I was cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the Duggar family. Keep in mind it is only 3 of us in this house. Two humans and the dog will be enjoying every bit of this organized chaos I have created. Well, it is not chaos anymore, but if you could have seen me yesterday, I was a hot mess.
I decided to try my hand at meal preparation for the week to make the week a little less “in a hurry to get something or get somewhere fast”. Lately I seem to be in a hurry the majority of the time. I feel so unorganized to the point that it is giving me anxiety and making me nuts. So food prep began. Oh wait, first the day started at Wal-Mart, one of my favorite places (inserts sarcasm), then home to put away the perishables. Now on to Costco. I actually had to stop buying stuff because the buggy was hard to push, which by the way, one of my goals right now is to work on more strength training. Next, back to the house to begin prepping.
As usual I got side tracked by looking for something to eat, since the shopping took so long, it was past lunch when I got home. After I gobbled some food down, all of the madness began. I prepared my easy Chicken taco chili, salmon, roasted asparagus and brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, boiled eggs for snacks, baked chicken, steel-cut oatmeal, and a new recipe I will share this week which I will call my protein pumpkin redheads 🙂 I also washed and cut lettuce for chicken taco salads, bagged washed spinach in individual servings for my protein smoothies every morning. Whew, I am stuffed just writing this. Here is the product.
Everything is not pictured. I was exhausted so I give applause to all you out there who have this prep thing down to a science. I am going to practice and I think if I stick with it, I will become more efficient.
I can’t wait to share with you what I have coming up this week at work. My LeanBody 30 Day Challenge I held at work last month was such a huge success, now we will begin LeanBody Challenge Part 2 tomorrow. Details are coming.
How do you feel about Meal Prepping? Thumbs up or down?
Dinner last night was prepared in 5 minutes. I mixed 1/3 cup of water with a packet of Grill Mates Zesty Herb seasonings (you could use italian seasonings) with 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar. I place chicken breasts in a pan and snuggled some asparagus and carrots around the edges. I then drizzled the herb mixture on top of the whole dish. Ready to go into a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until chicken is done. Quick and healthy 🙂
This pasta salad has to be one of the best tasting salads I have ever had. The best part, it is simple. These are the ingredients I used.
Of course boil your pasta. I was looking to find brown rice penne but the store I went to does not have it, so I used whole wheat penne. Place arugula, chopped onion, feta, a jar of marinated artichokes drained, and a jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil drained in a large bowl. I did not measure ingredients I just eyeballed how much I wanted. I made a large bowl of salad because I want leftovers. It is best when all the ingredients marry each other if you know what I mean 🙂 Add cooked pasta and drizzle with a little olive oil, sea salt and pepper to taste and it is done. So flavorful!!!
What is on your plate today?
I thought beer might get your attention. I really liked last weeks ROW because I love the chili garlic sauce. I am obsessed with that right now. This weeks ROW is Crock Pot Beer Chicken. It is so easy to prepare, high protein, low-fat and you get to put a beer in it. I found this recipe over on laaloosh.ziplist.com This is how it was done.
- 2 lbs skinless boneless chicken breast or thighs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 bottle or can of your favorite beer
You can use more or less of the seasonings to your liking. I put in the fresh garlic because I like it very garlic-y. Dump all that in the crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Done.
I served the Beer Chicken with Sweet Potato No Skins (better than potato skins) and steamed asparagus. The Sweet Potato No Skins recipe came from Prevention Magazine and I think it was a “Biggest Loser” recipe. This is how they are done.
- 3 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt
- cayenne pepper
- low-fat cheddar cheese
- non fat Greek yogurt
- just a few bacon bits (the real deal)
- chopped green onion
In a big bowl toss cut potatoes with olive oil. Line pans with foil and place potatoes on pan without them touching. Sprinkle with salt and cayenne pepper. Cook on 400 for about 10 minutes and then turn them over. Cook for another 7-8 minutes or until done. Top with a little cheese, Greek yogurt, bacon bits, and green onion. These are so tasty and healthy, a definite do over at my house:)
This is how it looked plated.
The first ROW (Recipe of the Week) is chicken taco chili. I thought this would be a good one because it is a one pot meal. The Crockpot. Who is the genius that invented the crockpot? Anyway, on a cloudy rainy day it is always comforting to smell something slowly cooking, leaving a mouth-watering smell lingering throughout the house. When I think of comfort food I usually think of recipes high in fat and sugar. Well this chicken taco chili is comforting and healthy. Go figure. I got this recipe from this great blog Skinnytaste. Check it out, there are tons of healthy dishes to try. It was a hit and a definite do over at my house. This is how it went.
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 16 oz can black beans
- 1 16 oz can kidney beans
- 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
- 10 oz bag frozen corn
- 2 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 3-4 skinless chicken breasts
- chopped green onion, tiny bit of cheese, or cilantro for toppings
Dump first nine ingredients in crockpot and then top with the chicken. Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours. One half hour before time is up, remove chicken and shred and place back in the pot to finish cooking. Can be served with brown rice. I ate it with just a tiny bit of cheese and chopped green onions. Delicious and filling.
We have a good bit of leftovers, so I am going to try a yummy chicken taco chili salad tomorrow for lunch. I will take a pic and post to the FB page. This is a great recipe because it is low-fat, high protein and fiber. It is great for fueling these workouts. I hope someone out there cooks this and sends me a picture.
October is here. Time to get serious about my goals. Has anyone done the fit test?
This was dinner last night and it’s what’s for dinner tonight. Buffalo chicken! This was an easy, healthy, spicy, tasty crockpot recipe. The white hoagie bun, not so healthy. I could not find a wheat bun and I had to leave the store asap so no time to stop at another. This is how it went down.
3 large skinless organic chicken breasts
1 large bottle Frank’s RedHot Original Sauce
1/2 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dip
2 tbsp melted butter
Hoagie Rolls (preferably 100% wheat)
Lettuce, tomato, onion
First, place chicken in the crockpot. Sprinkle the ranch dip mix over the chicken. Pour a little more than 1/2 of the bottle of Frank’s RedHot Sauce over the chicken. Add about 1/4 cup water. Cook on low for 4-5 hours. Take chicken out and shred. Discard juice from crockpot. Place chicken back in crockpot. Mix 1/2 cup hot sauce with melted butter and pour over shredded chicken and blend. Spicy and delicious. Enjoy in a Hoagie like this:)
This would be a great tailgate party food. It could be done with little slider buns for easy handling at a tailgate. Try it out. Let me know how you like it.
What is your favorite tailgate food?
It’s taco night!
Shredded salsa chicken crock pot style! So easy to do. Place 6 skinless boneless organic chicken breast in the crock pot. Add your favorite salsa. I use a fresh variation (not in a jar). Add a little taco seasoning, cover and cook on low for about 6 to 7 hours. There will be plenty of chicken for chicken tacos, chicken taco salad, chicken burritos, etc…
The Husband loved taco night. I used a whole grain taco shell open-faced. Topped with the shredded chicken, lettuce, a little cheddar, homemade guac, and home-grown tomatoes from The Husbands garden. Served with a side of jalapeno(straight from my side of the garden)garlic butter grilled corn. Delicious:)
Corn recipe is on the way. Hope you enjoy. How do you do taco night? Do you use the crock pot?