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Healthy Meal Prep Ideas -Cheers!

Let’s yum up that healthy meal prep!

You remember Sally from the last blog post, right?  Sally found her groove with healthy meal prep measures.  Much time was spent preparing by reading these blogs and consulting with her personal trainer to determine her dietary needs.  She isn’t looking for a bulk up diet to gain mass, like Nick, but for a fat loss diet.  Each week gets easier because she has built up an arsenal of go-to ideas and could give me a run for my money on Supermarket Sweep!

She has been staying on point with healthy meal prep and weight loss diet with the three tips she read last month.

  1. Time: She plans most of her meals for the week. She plans when she’ll prepare these meals. She is loving the one-dish options because she hates doing dishes!
  2. Intellect: Building on the basics. She can always use them as the foundation for her healthy meal prep.  She always has a default healthy meal option but can now begin to broaden her belly’s horizon.
  3. Money: She buys and cooks in bulk. She has gotten better at knowing her ideal portions and divvying the 5 pounds of chicken throughout the meals for the week.

Sally has a great healthy meal prep foundation.  Now she’s going to get a little more artistic with her healthy meal prep.  She was inspired during her recent trips to Karn’s.  Seeing seductive snacks made Sally salivate so she’s strategizing simple suppers sure to satisfy!   (Who doesn’t love a yummy alliteration?!)

Remember the basics of healthy meal prep:

Time, intellect, money.  Now, it’s time to focus on taste & fun!

NO ONE WANTS TO BE UNHEALTHY

No one says, “I love the way I feel when I eat highly processed foods!  Eating like junk makes me feel invincible!”  They never say, “I hate food with great taste and prefer the blandest and least flavorful slop on my plate!”  Many people wish to build muscle and burn fat but still enjoy their food.  Let us help!

In healthy meal prep, YOU DON’T HAVE TO SACRIFICE TASTE FOR HEALTH!

Get a little creative.  Let your taste buds evolve.  Like a fine wine (we’ll get to libations in a bit!), your taste will refine with time.

It will always be easier, quicker and more fine-tuned to go with the most simple, basic and boring healthy meal prep.  It is not only okay but healthy to actually make food to be enjoyable.

I believe in the 80/20 Rule.  For 80% of the time, I keep myself on the tight and narrow.  That way, I can get a little food frisky for the other 20% of the time.  Balance is key!  For me, so is a little wine and chocolate!

Ween into healthier foods and out of sugars and processed foods.  It may take time, but your taste buds will change.  You’ll start to crave the good stuff more and the bad stuff less.  You may eventually find that consuming sugary foods and simple carbohydrates (think donuts, cookies, etc.) makes you feel kind of cruddy.  You don’t have to do this cold turkey or in one swap of ingredients.  Give yourself a few days or weeks to make the change.   Try weening your portions of sweeteners and higher calorie ingredients and condiments throughout the week.  Are you a coffee drinker and love that caramel macchiato creamer?  Cut the calories by simply cutting your portion size down and, if you must, add an almond milk or lower calorie substitute to give you that creamy texture.  Make your goal to ween off the creamer within 5 workdays.  Your body will slowly adjust to the new taste and texture and you’ll save yourself 35 calories per tablespoon!

You’ll realize what foods actually taste like!  The sun will shine brighter and the birds will chirp louder.  Okay. Maybe not, but you may actually appreciate the taste of whole foods!

Sick of boiled chicken on plain greens?  Try this seasonal side salad!

Arugula, nut and fruit salad

You’ll need:
– 2 cups fresh arugula (100 calories)
– 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (191 calories- CalorieKing.com)
– 1/2  cup  fresh pomegranate seeds (70 calories)
– 1 oz. goat cheese (120 calories)
– 4 oz. broiled chicken breast (130 calories)
– drizzle of olive oil (120 calories-ish)

This is my favorite salad all year round! Get crazy and change it up!

Use the fruit of Fall with an apple, crumbled blue cheese, and hummus salad.

Try red beets, feta cheese, and balsamic vinaigrette (homemade, of course) in the Spring.

Or try apricot, goat cheese, white wine vinaigrette for a Summer twist.

Make it TASTE good!

Try a few of these healthy meal prep ideas. I personally love these chicken meal prep recipes!

Baked Chicken Caprese

You’ll need:
– PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
-1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt’s® Petite Diced Tomatoes, drained
-1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
-3/4 teaspoon garlic salt, divided
-1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
-4 boneless skinless thin-sliced chicken breast fillets (4 breast fillets = about 1 pound)
-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
-3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 8 slices
STEP ONE
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line shallow baking pan with aluminum foil; spray with cooking spray. Stir together drained tomatoes, basil, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt and pepper in medium bowl; set aside.
STEP TWO
  • Place chicken in pan. Brush both sides of chicken evenly with 2 tablespoons olive oil; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt and oregano.
STEP THREE
  • Top chicken evenly with tomato mixture and mozzarella slices. Bake the chicken  for 10-15 minutes.  The center should reach 165°F. Transfer to serving dish; drizzle evenly with balsamic vinegar . Serve immediately.

Spaghetti Squash Chicken Parmesan

For 2 people, you’ll need:
-1 spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeds scraped out
-4 tablespoons olive oil
-6 oz. sliced(1/4″) chicken breast
-16 oz. can of your favorite tomato sauce.  Be careful, tomato sauce an have lots of added sugar!
– 1/4 cup. shaved parmesan cheese
-6 slices of fresh mozzarella cheese
-salt and pepper
STEP ONE
  •  Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil onto squash halves and sprinkle with S & P
  •  Place flesh side down onto baking sheet and bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes
STEP TWO
  •  Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in pan over medium heat.
  •  Sprinkle S & P onto chicken breast slices and brown in pan
STEP THREE
  •  Using a fork, shred the spaghetti squash.  The flesh will come off as strings of squash.  Keep all the spaghetti in the squash shell
  •  Pour the tomato sauce on top of the squash
  •  Place the browned chicken slices on top of the squash and sauce
  •  Lay 3 mozzarella slices on each squash
  •  Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top
  •  Place back in oven for 12-15 minutes.  The cheese should be melted and the squash edges slightly brown

Healthy meal prep doesn’t meal you can’t have fun!

You don’t need to be a Grinch about your libations and hor’dourves!

Here are some healthy meal prep ideas to put a little extra jolly in your stockings!

Grinch Kabobs

You’ll need:
– 24 Cherry tomatoes, halved
– Fresh basil leaves
– Mozzarella pearls
– Fresh mozzarella (to cut)
Directions:
-Cut cherry tomatoes in halves.  Cut fresh mozzarella into small (1/4″ long) slices.  Tear basil leaves in half.
-On each skewer/toothpick, place folded basil leaf, cut mozzarella rectangle, 1/2 cherry tomato, and top with mozzarella pearl.
-Drizzle skewers with olive oil, salt and pepper.

Cheers to all!  Eat, drink and be merry with your healthy meal prep.  Just don’t chug the eggnog and knock over the tree!

Alcohol is the biggest waste of calories with 7 calories per gram.  That’s 7 calories that provides ZERO nutrients for your body’s function.  We’ll keep this in mind with a few figure-friendly options.

Seasonal Spritzer

You’ll need:
-5 oz. rose sparkling wine (105 calories)
-2 oz. no sugar added grapefruit juice (23 calories)

Champagne with pomegranate seeds.  I prefer to call it POMPAGNE! (Yup, I made it up)

You’ll need:
-5 oz. (96 calories – CalorieKing.com)
– 1/4 cup pomegranate seed (35 calories)
-Pour seeds into empty champagne glass
–  Fill with champagne!

 

May your holiday be filled with cheer!  Happy New Year from your PFT Team!

 

Written by Samantha Stewartz