Can you believe we are on week #5 of the #TeamSOA Biggest Loser Challenge? Mary Mather, CFO at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates and co-captain of our challenge, adopted some great ideas to stay organized on her quest for a healthy lifestyle. She believes a bit of planning and a Sunday afternoon are keys to a week of healthy eating. Mary shares her discovery with us … we love the helpful hints to inspire us on our quest to fitness and well-being. As with any new fitness program or diet, always consult your physician as everyone is different.
In the past few years, a trend has developed among people who want to eat healthy, are short on time, and can’t afford fresh, pre-packaged meal plans. It’s known simply as Meal Prep Sundays. Mary discovered this trend 3-4 years ago when a friend told her about a company selling fresh prepackaged meals with perfect portions of protein/carb/fat for weight loss.
The portion and calorie control were interesting, but she wasn’t willing to order meals from Texas at $6-7 per meal + shipping, especially when they only last 3-4 days. She looked for something closer and found similar concepts locally where she bought meals from time to time, but still felt they were pricey for anything more long-term.
Then came the idea of a DIY meal prep plan. Looking at menus of these well-known companies is great inspiration to create your own knock off, easy recipes. First you’ll need containers; they are available in bulk online.
Sunday is Mary’s best day for prep but the process starts Friday or Saturday by choosing the recipes and grocery shopping. On Sunday, she makes a huge batch of eggs (supplementing with egg whites), a very few potatoes (sweet potatoes are best), and chicken sausage. The potatoes and sausage can be cooked in a Ronco vertical grill, called Ready Grill, and is a great help in minimizing the actual cooking part of the prep. Divide the results into a week’s supply of breakfast containers and sprinkle lightly with grated cheese – Yum!
For lunch/dinners, cook two proteins, one or two veggies, and a healthy starch (quinoa or brown rice is best) and divide this into containers. The result is that for each workday of the upcoming week, you have a breakfast and lunch ready. Double it if you’re including another family member. It’s also helpful to cook extra protein to use in salads. Mary has a yogurt maker that makes 8 single servings of yogurt; she then adds fruit and nuts to for breakfast supplement or snacks.
If you are tired of digging around to find something to take for lunch, make for dinner, eating frozen entrées, or eating out … give meal prep a try. You’ll find LOTS of inspiration on the internet to help you get started with a program tailored to your tastes and lifestyle. Below are a few ideas to help you get started. Enjoy!
Key points for success include:
- Designate a time/date that works for meal prep
- Enlist a friend or partner to make the prep go faster
- Meal prep recipe ideas
- Plastic and mason jar containers for storage
- Time saving devices like rice cookers, yogurt makers and indoor grills.
- Healthy staples on hand like quinoa, brown rice, nuts & egg whites
Some helpful links for inspiration: