Mom’s Workweek Meal Prep
Before having Olivia, my daughter, I loved prepping my meals so that 1. I didn’t have to cook every night of the week and 2. I didn’t eat unhealthy meals during my busy work week. After having her, we struggled with her sleep patterns until she was almost 9 months old. During that time, I found myself in survival mode, eating whatever I could throw in the oven or pick up while I was in town. This attributed to me not losing any of my extra baby weight and eventually gaining back some of it.
When Olivia finally started sleeping better, and like half of the world at the first of the year, I decided it was time to get back on track with my health and fitness. When I went back to meal prepping, not only did it give me more time with Olivia and my husband in the evenings, but I lost 6lbs in the first 2 weeks. The key is to make sure that you weigh and measure your food so that you aren’t getting too many calories. No matter how healthy they are, it’s still about output over input. I always do a Sunday night meal prep that last through Thursday night. Four days is always the max time for the tastiness and freshness of healthy meals.
My meals are delicious, nutritious and my cool mom hack is that I do a baby meal prep for Olivia too! She loves to try the different meats, veggies and starches every week. She gets a balanced meal and I add in some other purees for her as well so she doesn’t get bored.
4 packages of organic chicken breast
8 large sweet potatoes
2 lbs brussel sprouts
4 large carrots
1 large red onion
1 head califlower
1 package cut broccoli
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
I like to start by grilling my veggies on the Traeger. They take longer than the chicken if you want to get them soft and delicious. I chop all the veggies. This will typically fill two full trays of veggies. I use one tablespoon of olive oil and mix all of the veggies in a bowl with the garlic and onion powder. Because I use very little olive oil after mixing it, I add a little water to it so that it will help to steam the veggies. I them dump them on the tray and set them at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. During the 40 mins I turn them 2 to 3 times. They come out smoky and delicious!
At the same time I start the veggies, I set the oven to 400 degrees and wash and prep my sweet potatoes. I put them in a pan and add water to them as well to help steam them. I cook them a minimum of 1 hour, but I check them and let them go a little longer if needed.
Grilling the chicken is probably the easiest part, but you don’t want to overcook them, so don’t leave them unattended. I use the onion and garlic powder again. I try to limit my salt intake during the week, but I do add a bit of season salt to my chicken. I typically grill them each side for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken. Some pieces I pull sooner. I let them rest for 10 minutes before cutting into them or you lose all of the juice.
The recommended single portion of chicken is 3 to 4 ounces. Most of the time a cooked chicken breast is anywhere from 5 to 6 ounces. This is why even if you are eating healthy sometimes you won’t see weight loss because the portion is too large. Using my food scale, I cut and measure all of the chicken for myself. My husband works outside and is very active all day, so I portion his at 6 ounces. I portion for myself a 3 ounce sweet potato. That serving size contains roughly 160 calories, 8 grams of fat and 23 grams of carbs. These are good carbs!
This is a great starch to add to any meal. I portion that out and weigh it on my scale. I then add my delicious grilled veggies! I fill almost half of my meal prep container with veggies. The only thing with extra calories in my grilled veggies is the small portion of olive oil I use, so I consider these free calories and they are delicious!