Prepping for the week

Each week starts the same. The alarm goes off at 7:00 Sunday morning. We get showered and dressed and I blow dry my hair because there's no way I'm getting onto the scale with water weight. lol... We stop at Honey Dew and grab our coffees, but no sips can be taken until after the scale. We sit at our meeting for Weight Watchers and catch up with friends, talk about our struggles, learn some new tips, tricks or suggestions, and get inspired for our week.

We head home, usually after chatting some more with our friends in the parking lot, and have breakfast. Typically, we head to church, but this summer has been... ummm, not typical. After mass, we drop off the kids, get our bags and head to the grocery store.

This part is the most important! If you don't have the foods you need to stay in check, you will either eat the junk, go out to eat more than you should, or skip meals. None of that ends well. I've learned that the choices you make at the grocery store can make or break the week. If you grab something you know could be issue, expect to struggle with it in your house. I read somewhere a long time ago that if you make the choice not to have it in the house, your decisions are over. If you decide to bring it home, then you have to decide when to eat it, how much to eat, etc. This could be bad. Typically, I try to leave it at the store. But sometimes, between all the good stuff, something sneaks in...

This just so happened to be Edy's Sugar Free 1/2 fat, slow churned ice cream, so not so bad. My ice cream of choice right now is Halo Top, but we are on an ice cream black out. I was spending way too much money and eating way more than I should. 

We spend most of our time in the outer aisles, which is where the less processed stuff lives. We tend to sneak into the areas of taco staples, pastas, rice, beans, and baking items. I love to bake, so I must have all my supplies ready for when a whim happens.

We call the kids on our way home to help bring in the loot. The struggles of living on the second floor. But once in, the prepping begins. It takes about 3-4hrs typically, but it is well worth it. I have to add here, we aren't good planners, as far as what we eat each night. We have a general idea of how the week will fall and the types of meals that will fit our timeline, but I don't know what dinner we will eat Wednesday night. 

We prep ALL fruits and veggies. Grapes get taken off their vines and washed. Melons get peeled, cut and bagged. Veggies are cut and bagged into meal sized servings that I can dump on a roasting pan, saute on the stovetop, or steam in the microwave. The best part about bagging them is, if I decide to marinade them or season them, I can toss them right in the bag!

We make a large batch of Overnight Oats. Now, there are MANY recipes for these jars, most of which are milk based. Those tend to be looser and a bit soggy. I am a texture person, who grew up eating cereal fast so that it doesn't get all mushy, so yeah. We use LOTS of fruit. This is our typical recipe:

Overnight Oats 
8 pint size servings

1 quart of strawberries chopped
1 pint of blueberries 
1 small bag of frozen dark sweet cherries
32oz container of Dannon Light &Fit Fat Free Greek Vanilla yogurt
3 cups of old fashioned oats
1 TBSP of vanilla or almond extract 
1/4 cup of almond milk (makes it easier to mix)

Mix it in the BIG bowl, then I use a large 2oz cookie scoop to put it into the jars. I weigh them after to make sure they are even. Then, since you eat with your eyes first, I add even more fresh cut fruit on top, to fill any available space. It makes a difference in perception, trust me!! I make these for the week and by day 3-4 they start to settle. When you open them and there's 1-2" of nothing, you feel like you're getting robbed. The additional fruit makes a difference!

Then I chop some more strawberries and put them into pint containers with blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, kiwi, cherries... whatever fruit I want, but only fill it half way. These are great to grab for 0sp snacks, BUT I can also add a yogurt cup and mix it up (or a sugar-free jello pudding cup!!) and make it a dessert.

I hard boil 18-24 eggs every week. These don't have a set purpose, but 7 egg whites = 1sp! They can be eaten for breakfast, made into egg salad (using half or less yolks), added to some potatoes for a potato salad for dinner, packed into a lunch box for a quick snack. They are easy!! Oh, and if you hate peeling them, you must try this...

Making Hard Boiled Eggs

Bring salted water to a boil
Then add your eggs (use tongs or a spoon to place them and not get splashed)
Then cook for about 12mins
Remove from heat, drain, then cover and shake to break the shells
Run under cold water until cool enough to peel 
The shells will literally fall off!!

You're welcome 

I use my scale and portion cups or portion baggies to divide chips, pretzels, nuts, cookies, anything that might need to get portioned. Pretty much, if things aren't prepped or portioned in this house, they go bad. If it's easy to grab and track, it's good to go!

Here's an example of prepping at home:

And we even prep when we go to the resorts for vacation! Typically, having breakfast and lunch in the suite and then heading out for the day.

I now have a cuter box that I got at King Arthur Flour Co, but this is what our snack area looks like. I can pack lunches, grab a snack, or get ready for a road trip so much easier when it's prepared. 

Now, that's breakfasts and snacks... what about meals, right? I grill up a few pounds of chicken at the beginning of the week, without a plan. It can be used for anything with minimal thought. I boil up 2lbs of shrimp and put into a container to be used for lunches or snacks. I sometimes marinade some meats for the week. Many times, I buy the chicken breast on sale and then grind it myself so it's ready for tacos, meatballs, meatloaves, or burgers. 

In the winter, I almost always have a spaghetti squash cooked and ready for the week. And canned beans are a must!!! I currently have chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, white beans, kidney beans, and refried beans in my cabinet. And then I have plenty of dried lentils, quinoa, rice, and pasta ready and waiting in my pantry.

My trick for pasta is to only make the 4 servings when I cook it for a meal. That way I just divide equally and not have to worry about portions. It's so much easier!! 

Well, that's my day of prepping. I may have missed something. I may have different things on different weeks


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