After spending the first Sunday of May cooking, cleaning, and repeating for a good chunk of the day, I wanted to drastically improve our meal prep efficiency. However, as the week progressed, I soon realized we had cooked well over a week’s worth of meals (at least for the main dish). This was quite a relief because I was a bit worried this whole meal prep thing wasn't actually going to be saving us time.
On our second Sunday of cooking I didn’t have to make anything but quinoa and sliced vegetables for myself because I still have so many servings of chicken left. I even cheated a little bit on Saturday by making six meals worth of quinoa, roasted vegetables, and salmon because it was all pretty much hands off, since the vegetables were already sliced and diced.
Most of the day was instead spent on preparing meals for Morgan. The greatest difference between our eating habits is that I can pretty much eat the same exact meal over and over until I’m lying in my grave, whereas Morgan needs more variety. By midweek, she about had it with the chicken, quinoa, and veggie combo and she desperately needed something different.
So, she went searching for some new recipes she would be comfortable eating on a consistent basis and landed on this gem from Heidi Powell (I might have to hijack a meal or two). She is also fond of broccoli slaw salads, so she found a homemade dressing and threw some ingredients together on her own accord.
Those two meals were labor non-intensive, so time was hardly a factor. By the time the main meals were completed and the dishes were washed, we only spent a total of two hours in the kitchen (you can add 45 minutes from my cooking the day before).
The final item on our agenda was something we knew we were going to add from day one, but we thought there was enough on our plate (pun fully intended) last week, so we pushed it back. Since we knew our day of cooking was going to take far less time than our first go around, we wanted to take advantage and head down the road of healthy snacking.
Unashamedly, Morgan and I are grazers. We enjoy snacking in between meals and ending our evenings with a little something after dinner. During the day, a little snack here and there gets us through some of our more mundane tasks and provides energy in the less than energetic world of sitting at a desk all day.
Now, as we all know, when it comes to snacking, we can either opt for the “look at how I’m treating my body…” kind of snack or the “look at how I’m treating my body!” kind of snack. We needed to experience the latter emotion. In order to incorporate snacks that would fill some gaps in our nutrition intake, we headed over to myfitnesspal.com in order to get a general idea of what macronutrients our meals consisted of. Here were the results of my daily meals:
Overall, I was really pleased with my results. When first creating my meal plan, I wanted to keep things simple by including meat, grains, and vegetables in my diet. This strategy put me a bit high on protein along with some room to improve in my carbohydrate and fat intake. My daily goals are actually based on gaining ten pounds from my current weight, so if you choose to evaluate yourself, your daily goals will likely be different.
Given my results, I wanted to find a snack that would increase my carbs and fat intake without adding too much protein. Enter these quinoa bars made from a host of wholesome ingredients. So many ingredients in fact that I spent longer than needed making sure everything was in the bowl before mixing it all up (slow and steady is my philosophy with new recipes).
These bars, although adding more protein into my diet, brought me to my goals. Outside of these bars, I wanted to include some raw veggies and hummus and Morgan made some ranch dip.
These will be our main resources for snacking, but I will also be taking a swing at Greek yogurt because we have some left over from the ranch dip recipe. I have been warned about its tanginess, so I will proceed with caution.
With all of that being said, here is my menu for the week (this is like those menus you’d see in school, but you know it’s actually tasty and healthy). I look forward to getting even more creative next week, but until then, I'll see you in the comments:
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