The cold kept me home again today, but it didn’t keep me down! I fired up what energy I did have (with the help of coffee) and meal prepped!! I told you I would.
But brace yourself for a big dose of reality……..
Here is what no one, and I mean NO ONE, wants to hear……..
Its all about…..What. You. EAT.
Especially on those days where your ass does not meet the stair climber.
When I started Jessie Hilgenberg’s programs, I was introduced to a macro based diet or IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). In this nutrition plan, you track how many grams of Carbohydrates, Fats, and Protein you eat in a day. You can easily find out how to calculate your macros by doing a quick search on the web. It’s not any big secret. What is unique about calculating your macros is its based on your body, amount of activity you do and what your end goal is. So you can make it very unique to you and your desired results.
The other thing no one wants to do or hear is, you have to Track. Your. Shit…….I mean food. Your food people. You have to. I honestly don’t know how people make a salad , throw a whole bunch of stuff in a bowl and not track it!! How in the world are you supposed to know if it’s even balanced?? It kills me! Take a cake recipe for example. You absolutely cannot make a cake without the proper balance of ingredients. Everything is weighed and measured. If you don’t, you will not have the desired outcome. YET, you expect to just throw together a days worth of “healthy” food and expect to walk away with the body you want. I’m here to tell you that will not happen. Ever. So start thinking about what your shoving into your mouth. And track it.
Ok…….that takes me to todays meal prep. Get your scales ready people. It’s just the way it has to work.
I chose to keep my meal prep pretty basic today. I wasn’t up to planning 3-4 meals per day for an entire week. I’m sick. I also don’t really need to do that. I mostly like to meal prep because it’s just another tool to help keep me on track. I know that on those days that get away from me, I have food ready to rock in the fridge. I can grab it and go. I can grab it, add a few extras and have a great meal. Keeping it simple now, pays off in the days to come.
First off, I made Turkey Meatballs. Simple yet delicious. Easy to grab. Easy to put into other dishes. Easy to eat on the go.
I used 20 ounces of ground extra lean turkey meat, one egg, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and some seasonings. I like Mrs. Dash, its easy to find, inexpensive and salt free!! I did this all in one bowl on the scale so I knew how much of each item I had. I divided it into 15 meatballs, baked on a parchment lined baking sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. I kept them relatively plain because I like to take my prepped food and add it to other dishes. For example, these could go in a soup base later in the week. Or over rice with some teriyaki sauce. I could even break them up, throw it in a tortilla for a taco. Make sure you take your weight from the scale and divide it out so you know how much of each ingredient is in your meatball. SO easy! Took me about 10 minutes to prep this!
Next, (while the meatballs were baking) I cut up and prepped my butternut squash. I bought a whole squash, so I had to sharpen up those knife skills today. To drastically cut away time here, you can buy pre-cubed squash. I just happened to have a whole one. I like chopping food up.
As you can see I ended up with 998g of squash. I added 2 tsps. of olive oil, some sea salt and pepper. I baked this at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until fork tender. I broke this down into four servings. Now when I go to log my butternut squash I know I’ll need to divide those numbers by 4.
I should add, that I keep a little log book of all my totals. Then after I’ve made everything and I break it down into the serving sizes, I sit and do the math in the log book. (I hope you’re better at math than I am)
By the time the squash was cut up the meatballs were done, so I was able to put them directly into the oven. AH! THATS the other thing I did!! The oven temp was the same for all the items!! A good tip to remember. Makes going from one dish to the next, seamless.
While the butternut squash baked I chopped up all my zucchini, yellow squash and red bell pepper. Again, if time is of the essence for you, there are a lot of grocery stores that sell all these items pre-cut. May cost a bit more, but you can decide if its worth the time savings. Again…..I don’t mind the chopping.
Here, you can see my little work station. I chop up each of my veggies individually on a silicon mat. When I’m done chopping, I can fold it up and pour it straight into my bowl on the scale! Then take note of the weight, then transfer it to the baking sheet. Super simple. Hardly any mess. I keep a colander near by for all the scraps as well. Love it!!
While those were baking I pan seared some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a little coconut oil spray. Another kitchen staple of mine. Then I cleared the decks and started dividing up the food.
I started this process at 12:30 and was done with kitchen cleaned (that’s what I consider done, when all things are washed and put away) by 3pm. That includes a 20 minute diversion with a guest who came by. Not bad! Again, some of that time could’ve been shortened with pre-cut veggies. I ended up with 4 servings of each of the veggies. About 4 servings of the meatballs and quite a bit of chicken. I cooked 6 chicken breasts, so that will be enough for roughly 3 meals per day that would include chicken.
Some examples of what I’ll do with this food: I will weigh out some chicken and eat that along with the zucchini/red pepper combo. I love to add a little teriyaki sauce to that, or soy (being mindful of added sugars or sodium). I will have the butternut squash with the meatballs or chicken. I love to put my salmon with the zucchini combo. So tasty! I could literally grab a bag of veggies and a meatball and jet out of the house if I needed to. I should’ve added rice as a pre-made side (I will do that tomorrow for sure!) Rice is always a great carb to have on the ready to mix with your protein.
Meal prep is all about setting yourself up for success. The few hours you spend in one afternoon can make all the difference on those days where you’re running ragged and barely have time to fill your cup with water. It’s really hard to make a decent choice in those moments.
This way of life is a choice. Everyday, I chose to eat well. I chose to fuel my body so I can build strength. When I don’t, it shows. Plain and simple. The results of what I chose to eat today show up on my body. There is no amount of time I could spend in the gym that would make up for food choices that don’t get me to my goal. It’s not that their wrong, or bad, or I should feel guilty……they just don’t get me to where I want to be.
I have found that if I stick to and 80/20 rule, I get to live that balanced life and still reach my goals. Basically that boils down to one day a week I can relax a little. Take a break a little and not let it overwhelm me. Trust me when I say, there have been plenty of weeks where that doesn’t happen, it quickly becomes like 60/40. But there are more weeks where its 80/20. Even some that are 90/10 and yes I do have spurts of weeks where I’m 100% all in (that’ll be the next two weeks leading up to Christmas, damn cold).
Find what balance you need today to get you to your goal. Is it 100%? Or is there a balance you can find? One step at a time, one choice at a time. Always with your vision in your heart and mind.