We all have busy lives. All of us. So part of being successful at losing weight, changing your body and staying healthy requires a bit of a juggling act to stay on track. Making time to plan out a successful week is key for us. Even as you reach your goals, staying there is going to be a lifestyle change for life. One of the best changes you can make a habit is menu planning. I know, I know. That sounds like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be. A hour or two of prepping and planning can mean the difference between a week where you struggle, and a week where you succeed.
As a mother of two active boys, I am rarely home long enough to even sit down to eat, so if I don’t have healthy food available that is easy to make, I make less healthy choices and end up eating the wrong things out of desperation or lack of time. Planning is essential to maintaining my weight. Here are some of my Sunday Prep secrets that keep me on track. Not all of you will love everything I eat but adapt the rules to food you like and you’ll be on your way to a better planned week:
1. Wash, Slice and Dice: Wash produce and do preparatory slicing and dicing early in the week. This allows me to throw together snacks and salads in record time. The weeks I don’t do this I am less likely to eat those types of foods. I wash and slice up all three colors of peppers, broccoli, carrots, rinse grape tomatoes and anything else in season that I can easily toss on a baking sheet for roasting. This saves me loads of time and I have found that I’ll eat out of a bag of red peppers rather than a salty snack due to the convenience. Convenience is Key!
2. Boil and Bake: Once a week I hard boil eggs, bake protein and have easy proteins like canned tuna and frozen fish handy. One of my favorite things to do is bake chicken on Sunday and use it all week on top of salad or along side roasted veggies. Here’s a simple way to make “ready to go” chicken that is great for any dish or salad:
Ready Ahead Lemon Chicken
- 2-3 Cleaned and trimmed large chicken breasts
- 1 Lemon
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken on both sides with a bit of sea salt and fresh ground pepper. In a glass baking dish place chicken side by side, drizzling olive oil over top of chicken. Cut lemon in half and squeeze lemon juice over chicken breasts. Slice the rest of the lemon in rounds and lay on top. Place uncovered in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on thickness of your chicken. You don’t want to over cook, remove once chicken is starting to turn brown. I like to just cook enough to be safe so that when I re-heat it later on and it’s not dry.
Store in an air tight container un-sliced and use as needed during the week.