Sunday, January 6, 2013

Make Ahead Tips For Healthy Eating

Who's ready to go back to school after a 2 week break???
NO ONE!!!!

Don't get me wrong, I missed by co-workers and my students, but who wants to go back to work after two weeks of actually getting to go the restroom anytime you want??

Like it or not, here we go...and it is a new year, so many of us will go back with resolutions and goals for a healthier year.  I know me -- I will get so into work that my healthy eating will be the first goal to go unless I plan ahead.

So I made a few things that will help my family and me stay on the right track during the coming week.  You will rarely, if ever again, see Annette or I blogging on a Sunday.  We consider Sunday the Lord's Day, to be spent with Him, with our families, and resting.  We will most likely also be preparing for the coming week for our families.   We encourage you to do the same, in order to maintain the proper focus and balance we need in life.


Of course you can add any freezer items you want for your smoothies, but I added the following:

1 cup frozen strawberries (these happen to be slices, but they can be whole)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 banana

Now all I have to do is grab a packet, some milk, maybe some spinach, add some ice, and blend it all up -- I won't have to  pull out any measuring cups (portion control matters), all the bags, knives, or whatever.   Healthy smoothies for us!!! :)

Another combo I put together is a cereal mix.  I can use it for breakfast, but I will most likely use it for snacking -- gotta have that fiber!!!

Again, pick any healthy ingredients - cereals, nuts, dried fruits
You can make it different every time or pick a favorite mix to keep on-hand.
This time I picked the following 3 items:

Shredded Wheat (TONS of fiber), Multi-grain Cheerios (love em!), and Pistachio Lovers Nut Mix (a new FAVE of mine):

No biggie here - just put in however much of each and mix it all up.  You can make one bowl to dip from (Be sure to watch your portion control and dip out only 1 cup or so each time!) or you can bag it in individual bags to grab on the go.  I will most likely do both - lol

YUM ~ Fiber AND Protein!

Here are a few things I got ready or pre-bag, so I can quickly grab them and plop them in my cute lunch kit.  Again, think of what you and your family likes, and make it as easy on yourself as possible.  I chose carrots and grapes, because everyone likes those.  I even sent a few bags with my college daughter.  I also keep cheese sticks on-hand.  We found these individual hummus packets that my husband and I enjoy with our carrots for a healthy snack.  We also love the grape tomatoes, which are easy to bag as well (forgot before I took pics).

Bob Harper says to "eat berries and apples every day" as one of his "Skinny Rules," so we always have those as well. (Remember the berries in my smoothie packets?)

Nice variety!  Tomorrow might look like a sandwich plus this (Morning snack, After school snack, and lunch side):

There are many combinations, but having easy options to choose from means even if you're in a hurry, you can eat healthy!

What about dinner?  I have gotten in the habit of buying meat in bulk and making double batches of most things when I cook - eat some, freeze some.  Casseroles, chilis, and soups are all good to do this with.  I also buy large quantities of chicken breasts, divide them into bags, add whatever marinade I have on-hand, and freeze.  I can pull them out in the morning and they're ready to cook when we get home.  (I say we, because the guys often grill the chicken or put it in a roasting pan and bake it. SO EASY!)

This was a packet of 8 chicken breasts.  We decided to marinate it all in Teriyaki Sauce, because we wanted to use it up and everyone likes it best. HaHa


Now looks like this:

Those two red quart-sized bags are individual pieces that went with our daughter to college.  There is a "family" meal with 4 chicken breasts, and then a "pair" for when it is just the hubby and I. :)
Tip:  Be sure to date everything, so it can be rotated and nothing gets left in the fridge forever and ever (Annette and I have caught a few people who really like to keep those freezers loaded! YIKES!)

As time goes by,we can add more "make ahead" ideas if you all like these. Leave us some comments, because we love those, and let us know if you have any ideas or questions for us.

Remember - Plan Ahead and Eat Healthy (most of the time ;)

Always in Our PJs,
Annette & Beth

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