Ok so maybe I’m not the best, but it was hard to come up with a play on words in song lyric form for this one that made sense! This week I’m going to share another one of the secrets to my success in weight loss, the magic of meal prep. Meal prepping has become a crucial part of my weight loss and fitness regimen and has allowed me to continue making great progress. Some people take time on Sunday or Monday to prep all of their meals for the week, but I prefer to just prep dinners and have a protein shake every morning for breakfast. This way, I can pre-log 2 of my meals ever day ad have a better idea of what calories I have left for lunch and snacking (which is a crucial part of my nutritional regimen). But I’ll talk more about snackage later on!
Probably the best investment I made for meal prepping has been my crock pot, it was about $20 to buy and I use it at least every other week. It gives me the freedom to do other things like school or work while my food cooks and when I get home at the end of the day, I have several days of food waiting for me. I get the majority of my recipes from Pinterest, typically by searching “skinny crock pot ___” based on what meat I have to work with or whatever is on sale at Publix that week. About the only thing I don’t use the crock pot for is seafood, though I have seen some recipes for various shrimp dishes. The easiest crock pot recipe I have is for buffalo chicken, it involves putting 2 pounds of chicken (preferably boneless skinless breasts) in the crock pot and covering it with half a bottle of buffalo sauce and a packet or ranch dressing. You let it cook for 6-8 hours, shred, and bam you’ve got 4 days of chicken ready for you to put in a wrap or sandwich, or I just eat it on its own. I typically make my meat in the crock pot and then cook whatever side dish I decide elsewhere, lately I’ve been using a lot of sweet potatoes. Baked sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes in place of home fries… I’m kind of addicted. Also, I advise investing in some portion sized Tupperware, it’s been so awesome to be able to divide my stuff up into equal portions for the week. Plus there’s the added bonus of getting to reheat in the Tupperware and using less dishes for the lazy!
A couple of weeks ago (haven’t used my crock pot in the new place yet) I made honey garlic chicken in the crock pot and mashed sweet potatoes (told you I was obsessed).
Sometimes when I’ve got more time available or I’m just in more of a hands-on mood I’ll prep something on the stove/in the oven. A recent fan favorite (and by fans, I mean my godmother and her family) is the skinny shrimp scampi I made. My mom was predominantly Italian, so I ate a lot of pasta growing up and it’s still a dish I love to have from time to time as long as it fits within my calorie goal. This dish is pretty easy to make, and I was lucky enough to find shrimp was on sale at Publix when I made it. Scampi is usually a butter-heavy dish that has a pretty high fat content, but this recipe is about 475 calories per serving and has less than 11 grams of fat. You can find the recipe I used here: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/15-minute-skinny-shrimp-scampi-recipe/#_a5y_p=1206983
The delicious shrimp scampi on my first attempt (I added spinach/kale/chard mixture to it for a little color).
I mentioned earlier that I have protein shakes for breakfast (pretty much) every morning, if you’re curious what goes in it I figured I would include my “recipe”. I put quotes around it, because it’s less of a recipe and more a bunch of stuff I toss into the magic bullet and turns out delicious. I start with a cup of almond milk (you’re more than welcome to use regular milk, I just use it because it’s lower calorie), add half a frozen banana, a handful of frozen strawberry halves, a tablespoon of peanut butter, and a scoop of protein powder. Now protein powder is something you have to try out different brands until you find one that you like. I started with Slim Fast that Ariel left behind for me (until I found out that it had barely any protein content), tried Muscle Milk for a bit (but it was a little sugary for my liking, and finally ended up sticking with Publix Greenwise brand. I use chocolate, but again you could use whatever you prefer.
The last thing I would like to touch on is the importance of having healthy snack foods available to you. While this isn’t exactly meal prepping, it is part of my weekly meal plans so I count it. I’m a big fan of snacking between meals, and I’ve found that having healthier alternatives keeps me under my calorie goals. One of my favorite snacks is Greek yogurt, I usually have the Dannon light and fit ones because they’re only 80 calories but pack 12 grams of protein in each serving. Having a high protein content means you stay full longer and aren’t tempted to eat junk food. I also keep various Fiber One snacks on hand, I like the brownies for a sweet treat at only 90 calories. As for something a little saltier, I try to have Cheezits (which are pretty low-calorie for 29 pieces) or veggie straws in the house (only 130 calories for 38 sticks). Fruits are also a good way to get some complex carbohydrates and keep things lower calorie. Believe me when I say that snacks can be a big part of “dieting” and not keep you from losing weight.
I seriously cannot get enough of these things, that satisfy that salty craving without taking away too many of my calories for real food.
So now you’ve all got a better idea of what goes into meal prepping and the process I’ve used to lose some of my weight. If you’re interested in seeing more of my recipes, check out my Pinterest boards especially Healthy Living (https://www.pinterest.com/mego7263/healthy-living/ ) and Crock Pot Recipes (https://www.pinterest.com/mego7263/crock-pot-recipes/ ) as it’s where I pin most of the ones I use. Any questions for me can be directed to the comments below or if you have any insight to your own meal plans I always appreciate more info! Also I should probably add that no one paid me for endorsements in this post, I just really really like food and sharing the food I like with others.
Here’s a bonus picture of my godbrother Hayden helping me cook the shrimp scampi after our workout when I went to visit them. He loves to cook and is always happy to assist me!