Meal preparation is another strategy for success in achieving your health goals. Beyond weight loss health goals can include eating more fruits and vegetables, incorporating fish into your diet twice weekly, adding protein to breakfast, or cutting back on portion sizes. Meal preparation is a great strategy to help achieve all these goals. When it comes to setting goals I always recommend my clients to set at least one non-weight related health goal. This could include adding a vegetable to lunch daily, decreasing carbohydrate portion size in half at each meal, or replacing 1 sugar beverage with 8 oz water. When it comes to accomplishing goals it often takes purpose and planning, and that is why meal preparation can be such a great tool to help achieve these goals. Instead of hoping to find something for lunch with vegetables have your lunch ready. Planning is key to success when it comes to dietary goals especially with all the temptations in the food world. Set yourself up for succcess and move a step closer to meeting your goals!
8 Meals - Chicken + orzo + roasted broccoli AND Salmon + sweet potato + spinach
4 Luna Bars for breakfast + Fruit
8 Snacks: 6- 1 ounce pistachios with fruit , 2- Guacamole + Triscuit Crackers
4 split chicken breast cutlets
4 sweet potatoes
4 crowns of broccoli
2 heads of spinach (or 2 bags spinach)
1 cup orzo
4 pouches salmon
4 luna Bars
2 -100 calorie single serve guacamole packs or 1 avocado
2 servings of triscuit crackers
Pistachios (6- 1 ounce servings)
Fresh fruit of your choice (10 servings)
Salt and pepper
Cooking Supplies: Large pot, small pot, deep skillet, large baking sheet, single serve meal containers, and foil.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Marinade chicken*. Trim chicken cutlets and place in large plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp salt, and pepper. Zip bag shut and push chicken around as to coat all the marinade. Place in fridge to marinade for at least 30 minutes.
2. Wash sweet potatoes. Poke holes throughout the sweet potato with a fork. Tear off 4 sheets of aluminum foil. Then lightly coat each sweet potato with olive oil and wrap in foil. Place directly on oven grates to cook for ~45 minutes while you meal prep.**
3. Line baking sheet with foil. Wash spinach and broccoli. Cut broccoli and place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper and place in oven to roast for ~ 10-15 minutes. Remove spinach from stems and place in small cooking pot with ~ 1 inch of water. Cover and steam on low for ~ 3-4 minutes or until just wilted. Remove from heat and lightly drizzle with olive oil or season with lemon juice.
4. While broccoli continues roasting cook orzo according to package instructions (1 cup ozro per 8 cups water. Bring water to a boil, add orzo, cooking boiling for 8-10 minutes, and then drain water from orzo). At this time broccoli is likely nearing completion or complete.
5. While orzo is cooking start the chicken. In a large cooking skillet on medium heat add chicken cutlets. Discard marinade. Cover and let cook for ~ 7 minutes per side or until cooked to correct internal temperature.
6. While orzo and chicken continue cooking place broccoli and spinach in their storage containers or single serve containers to help cool and to allow for clean up. Clean baking sheet and small pot***.
7. Remove chicken and sweet potatoes when they are done cooking and allow to cool. Plate with vegetables and orzo for single serve meals.
* If your schedule allows you can marinade the chicken overnight in the refrigerate.
**To save time you can also cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave. Follow the same prep except do not cover with foil. Cook for ~ 5 minutes per potato.
***This meal prep is on the higher side of pots and baking sheets used, but there is also good down time to clean as you go and prevent a large mess at the end.
Total Meal Prep Time: 1.5 hours.