Make Me Up Mia: A Lifestyle & Beauty Blog: Food Prep | Saving Time & Staying on Track.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Food Prep | Saving Time & Staying on Track.


Meal Planning

Alright, you aren't going to find any mind blowing tips here today, but I wanted to share some simple things that I do to help save time during the week. I'm always on the lookout for healthy & fast meals/snacks, so with the new year here I thought I'd share my usual routine with you. Dustin and I both work full time and then spend 3 nights after work at the gym, plus I normally have LifeGroup 1 night a week as well. We really do not have a lot of spare time on weeknights to plan or prep food. (I'm not complaining, we enjoy working out so this is just how we have to find time)

#1 for us is meal planning. I grocery shop every weekend for that week and have our meals planned out for the week. The 1-2 weeknights that we are home, that evening usually consists of meals I can spend a little time on. The 3 nights we spend at the gym are usually lighter & quick options- salads, grilled or cold sandwiches, leftovers, chicken quesadillas or soups. I can spend 1-2 hours tops on the weekend doing a little food prepping and have everything ready to go throughout the week. I know this may not be for everyone, but for us it's what works. 

Meal Planning

one | Pre-wash and pre-chop your veggies
I can't tell you how many times I've bought veggies and thrown them out because I didn't have time to chop them before a meal or was just too lazy. If I prepare them ahead of time and have them ready to go, I'll use them without fail. 

two | Cook & shred chicken in the crockpot on Sunday
We prepare plain or salsa chicken in the crockpot all the time! We'll use it for all kinds of recipes - baked burritos, quesadillas, salads, tacos, pizzas, pastas, quinoa mixes, etc. 

three | Prepare lunches & snacks for your work week
Same as number one, I will buy stuff and it'll go bad because I'm running behind for work and don't have time to wash & prep stuff. Having everything washed, cut, bagged, divided and/or placed in Tupperware ready to go makes all the difference.

Other things I'll often do?
- Make meals that serve more than 1 purpose. For instance - 1 pot of chili can serve us a bowl of chili, chili turkey dogs, Frito chili pie and can be frozen for future use. 

- Make banana nut muffins, homemade granola bars or my Egg White & Chicken Sausage Quinoa Cups to keep on hand throughout the week for quick & healthy grab and go breakfast options. 

- Put your meat in the fridge the night before so it's thawed and ready to go when it's time to cook it. I know thawing doesn't take a whole lot of time, but I love when it's just ready to go.

Some of our favorite snacks during the week? 
Cottage cheese
Beef jerky
Greek Yogurt
Fruit
Veggies with Greek Yogurt Ranch
Peanut butter toast
Apple or banana with peanut butter
Green smoothies (I drink one every morning, YUM!)
Lite cinnamon applesauce
Almonds or trail mix 

Do you have any time saving tips?
What are your favorite healthy snack options? 

55 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree with these tips more. I have such a weird relationship with food, and it mostly revolves around being lazy. I find that if I have plan and if I prep ahead of time, the food gets used must more wisely. Especially with veggies--I try to make a point to chop them right when I get home from the store. I basically try to have "deconstructed salads" packaged in the fridge at all times--so that in a pinch we just have to throw the stuff together into a bowl and boom: healthy quick meal! And the cooked chicken. Yes. YES! I almost always used to have a batch of baked chicken in the fridge that could be used for a last minute meal, thrown into a salad or a quesadilla (we were friends last year when I basically survived off chicken quesadillas for the majority of the first 8 months of 2014? haha). I need to get back to that--the baked chicken thing, not the quesadilla thing.

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  2. We meal plan our dinners, but I need to get better about my lunches for work!! I love getting rotisserie chickens and we can pretty much get three meals out of that which is great!! Thanks for all your tips girl!! xo, Biana - BlovedBoston

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  3. I need to get better about meal planning. I never plan out my lunches in advance but I try to do dinners. Sometimes it's too boring though so I need to mix it up a bit! Great tips!!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  4. great tips!! we always plan out our meals for the week but i never cook things in advance...i might have to do that once the baby arrives! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

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  5. This actually is super helpful! I've been much better about meal planning, but having some meals, or at least the ingredients, prepped over the weekend also would be a time saver. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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  6. These are such great tips and helpful reminders! I used to be so good about prepping meals + snacks on the weekends, but I've not been doing it for awhile. I'm always throwing fresh fruit/veggies out! Setting aside the time on the weekend is key though - I need to start doing that!

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  7. I did this last year and lost 18 pounds. I really need to get back on meal prepping. It makes a huge difference.

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  8. My meal planning has really fallen off in the past while but I definitely want to get back at it. It saves a ton of money and I eat healthier overall. It really doesn't take more time it's just dedicated time. Great tips Mia!

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  9. Love this! I say its time for me to get back on track with something similar for sure!

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  10. I definitely need to start putting these tips to work. I'm always so rushed in the morning when I make my lunches for work I feel like I don't have time to put together a full healthy meal! Doing crock pot chicken on the weekend is such a great idea!

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  11. This is all super helpful! Meal planning is a must for me, otherwise real meals don't happen and half my food goes to waste. I usually make about 3 big meals a week and then use the leftovers for the rest of the dinners and my lunches. Big fan of keeping a stock of shredded chicken on hand, so easy!

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  12. I so need to get into meal planning, but for some reason lack to motivation?! Or maybe it's because I really don't like to cook. But I so need to do it! For some reason I have been craving cottage cheese, so it's been a snack staple of mine! It sounds cliche, but one of my new years goals is to eat better!

    www.madeintheshadeblog.com

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  13. Great tips lady! I worked out with my sister and her trainer in Singapore and it was fun yet there were times where I thought that I was going to collapse. My husband was impressed that I was able to keep up though!! Cheers to a healthy lifestyle and Happy New Year to you!!

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  14. I need to do the same thing with my veggies. I throw so much of that kind of stuff away, because I'm too lazy to chop it up beforehand! What a good idea to get it over with once you get home from grocery shopping!

    Those quinoa cups sound so good!! I'll have to make those today for the rest of the week.

    What a great post girl!

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  15. I meal plan and grocery shop on Sundays. I do some prep work as far as fruits and veggies go, but most nights I am home to cook after work because I get my work outs in the mornings. I do cook my shredded chicken in the crock pot too!! So good because it saves time and doesn't dry out cooking that way. Great post!!!

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  16. I really need to start doing more of this!! And that food looks so yummy and sooo much healthier than fast food :) Thanks for some great inspiration to start off the new year!

    Tori
    FashionBlingGirlyThings

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  17. This is great! I got so lazy and off track with meal planning the last few months, but this weekend I shopped and planned EVERY meal for this week, including snacks, and packed my lunch for today so I could just grab it this morning. It's amazing how much better I feel knowing everything is planned and ready, I KNOW I will do so much better staying on track!

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  18. I'm big on meal planning too! It keeps me from aimlessly wandering the grocery store and spending money on a bunch of stuff that you can't combine to make meals with! Great tips friend!!

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  19. Meal planning is HUGE! I started doing it a couple of years ago and I can't even imagine how much time/money it has saved me. Love the idea of cooking up your chicken in the crockpot on Sundays - I'm going to start doing that!

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  20. This is such a good idea! I have good intentions and think about it, but somehow never follow through. :(

    Come link up today!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle
    acutelifestyle.blogspot.com

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  21. I needed this today! One of my goals for 2015 is to bring my lunch to work everyday and guess what I didn't bring it today because I was sick over the weekend and did not prep! These are great tips!

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  22. Great tips! I have a couple of friends who do this and they swear by it!

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  23. I wish I could get into food prepping, but for some reason I just can't!

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  24. It's like we have the same mind!! I grocery shop on the weekend (except I try to go for two weeks at a time), and then prep as much as possible ahead. I just made several meals over my break and stocked my freezer. If I need to make two chicken breasts, i make as many will fit in my crockpot then shred and freeze what I don't need right then. I don't prechop my veggies, but sounds like I need to start!

    Amy Ann
    The Real Arnolds

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  25. Man, I sit & shake my head... I so wish I could do this. I do good to figure out what I'm making for dinner at 6pm each night. SOOOO frustrating :(

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  26. How did I not think to cook and shred chicken to save in the fridge? Saves so much time! Love all these suggestions!!!

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  27. You are so good!! I use to do this but then I started to slack! I need to get on top of it again!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  28. These are great tips. I always love how others do things because you never know, it might help your everyday life. Great post

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  29. the one week i meal planned was like the best thing ever. my husband rarely eats dinner with me - he gets home earlier and we have such different tastes - but he did that entire week and we were both so happy and stress free, not having to think about what to cook. i need to get better about using what we have in the pantry and whatnot. and the multip purpose thing is brilliant. i make a big thing of chicken in the crock pot and then i make vegetarian meals for myself and just add chicken for KC. seriously I need to start meal planning.

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  30. This made me SO hungry first thing this a.m. when I saw your post on Instagram! I go through phases of keeping meals really planned and prepped to being totally slack. New year = time to get back on track I hope! You are motivating me for sure!

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  31. you are my inspiration. for real! this is amazing!!

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  32. I must do this. Such a great idea, and such yummy meals.

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  33. You have a rockin' system, lady! I need to take a few cues from you for sure- nine times out of ten, I have no idea what I'm having for dinner that night!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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  34. Wow! Great tips! Once I can get a schedule and get organized, I hope to do this. It's just so tough to be that organized when plans change on me. I've been so out of whack since we moved.

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  35. Meal prepping is going to be a huge part of our healthier lifestyle. I've just got to be as disciplined as you and actually take the time to do it! All these tips are so helpful, though!

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  36. great tips. Meal planning can save so much money. Not to mention it is healthier!

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  37. This is seriously so helpful! We do good with meal planning every once in a while and then stuff happens and excuses are made and we eat out (or eat junk) way too often! I'm not a big salad fan most of the time but your salads look so good and fresh!

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  38. Really great tips Mia! We love food prep, when we do it. We fall off the wagon often though. But when we do we rock it, haha!

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  39. prepping is my downfall. i need all the help i can get!

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  40. I so need to try this! Sometimes at the end of a long day the las thing I want to do is cook, although I always find the energy to meal prepping would make things SO much easier!

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