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Busy woman's guide to Sunday food prep

It's 5:00 p.m., you're leaving work and haven't thought about what to make for dinner.
Or, you get home from work, open the fridge and wonder what the heck am I going to eat? What am I going to make for my family?
Then you cave and order take-out!

I get it. I've been there.  It negatively affected my waistline, and every night m
y anxiety would increase over what I could prepare quickly for dinner.  This was not how I wanted to live! I needed a change, and discovered with a little bit of planning, I could make my dinners with only slightly more work as ordering delivery pizza, but with less anxiety and healthier ingredients!

Prepping food can set you up for a week of healthy eating. Prep on Sunday in less time that it takes to watch the latest episode of your favorite show and you'll have a week of totally delicious and healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner options.  This works to keep your health goals on track and keep your sanity with a busy schedule. AND you'll save money and time in the kitchen, and have healthy food on hand to power through your workouts and your work week.

Before you prep, write out a quick meal plan. Start with dinners, then go from there, trying to use dinner components or left-overs for lunch the next day.

Quinoa, Brown Rice, Sweet Potatoes
Choose two of these and make enough for the week.  One cup quinoa or brown rice to two cups water.  If you make quinoa, make sure to rinse it before cooking.
Bake 3 sweet potatoes in the oven, or even quicker, put them in the microwave.

  • Quinoa 
    • Make it the base of breakfast and add fruit, nuts, cinnamon, and a splash of almond milk.
    • Add a bunch of chopped veggies, some beans or chicken, and serve over fresh greens.
    • Chop parsley, cucumber, and tomatoes, add olive oil and lemon juice and serve as a side to grilled chicken, or fish.
  •  Brown Rice
    • Add half a cup to a lunch salad
    • Make it the base for a rice bowl, adding spinach, a scrambled egg, a
    •  1/4 cup of avocado, chopped tomatoes, and cooked ground turkey.

  • Sweet Potatoes
    • Chop and add to salads
    • Make it a side to any protein and veggie
    • Add sauteed spinach and onions, a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, and a bit of crumbled turkey bacon for a stuffed baked potato
    • Chop and add with chopped veggies to a frittata

Cook Spaghetti Squash or Zoodles
Spaghetti squash or zoodles (zucchini noodles) deliver the same noodle like texture and comfort-food fix for almost 100 less calories per cup. It's a great replacement for pasta, and while my family doesn't eat it, I make pasta for them, and zoodles for me, and we eat the same sauce or toppings.
For spaghetti squash, cut it in half, and roast it (425 degrees for about half and hour), then scoop out seeds.  Or even quicker, pierce it wit a fork several times and cook whole in the microwave for 10-12 minutes.
Zoodles: buy them premade or buy a vegetable spiralizer.  I spiralize them, and sautee with a little olive or coconut oil and garlic, and have them for the week.
  • Sauces
    • Tomato
    • Pesto
    • Parmesan Cheese
  •  Meals
    • Make it into Pad Thai
    • Mexican style, adding beans, chili powder, cumin, chopped tomatoes, and corn
    • Top with any sauce and a protein

Prep Veggies

Chop peppers, celery, cucumbers, onions, carrots (or just get baby carrots), broccoli, de-stem kale (or buy baby kale), snap the ends of green beans, and prep any veggies you like that you and your family will snack on, or you will use for cooking. Have them ready to eat or cook.
Wash salad greens. Store in airtight container with a paper towel.
  • Place veggies for snacks in single portion containers or baggies, to make packing lunches a cinch!
  • Add chopped veggies to salads, quinoa, brown rice, frittatas, or anything else you can think of!
  •  Roast with garlic and olive oil and have it as a quick dinner side any night.

If I don't wash and destem the strawberries, they will sit in the refrigerator drawer until they rot, and then I throw them in the garbage.
Wash and destem strawberries, wash any other berries (I wash all produce with a one part vinegar/three parts water solution in a spray bottle to make sure I remove all bacteria and pesticides, even washing organic produce).
Cut up melons or any other fruit to take on the go.
Freeze bananas and grapes for quick healthy desserts.
Place furit in portioned containers. Ready to grab and go, to back for lunches, or when the kids are looking in the fridge for a quick snack.

  • Chicken
    • Grill, bake, roast, or sautee enough chicken breast for  the week to add to salads,  zoodles or spaghetti squash, shred and use for tacos, chop into stir-fries, or make a no-fry chicken parm.
    • Make it the main course for Sunday dinner(like Mediterranean Chicken), but make enough for the week.

  • Ground turkey or ground meat
    • Make into turkey burgers or turkey muffins, and use them as dinner one night.
    • Crumble into salads, pasta sauces, tacos.
    • Slice in half and put on paninis with cheese and tomatoes.
  •  Beans
    • If dried, cook and store in a container in the fridge, ready to add to recipes
    • If canned, add them straight from the can to recipes. 
  • Meat
    • I'm not a big meat eater, but sometimes my husband likes a steak on the grill. On Sunday, I'll place it in a ziplock with marinade ingredients.
    • Cook to your liking and chop to add to recipes.
Cook steel cut oats in water: one cup oats to two cups water.
  • Use in oatmeal bowls for the week, adding prepped fruit, cinnamon and protein powder.
  • Don't cook, and portion in individual containers with almond milk and favorite fruit, nut butter, cinnamon, nutmeg or other faves to make no-cook refrigerator oatmeal. Grab and go in the morning.
  • Make baked oatmeal muffin cups, and have one per day per family member.
  • Hard boil a dozen eggs, and peel them for quick protein.
  • Make baked egg cups.

I hope this helps make your week run more smoothly.  Would love to hear if any of these tips helped you and please post if you have any additional tips!

Want more tips and tricks for busy women? Fill out the form below to get information on my next accountability group!

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