Sunday, January 11, 2015

Meal Planning

On December 29, I started the new Beach Body program Insanity Max 30 with a challenge group and I've really enjoyed it despite it being as flipping hard as the original Insanity, maybe even more so!  I am two weeks in now and working out consistently, only missing one day.

This makes me super proud of myself because after all that hard work last year, I slacked off. I felt good, watched what I ate and stayed moving periodically. Then I did it less and less and found that weight I had lost again.  Oops, that wasn't what I wanted.

So, I started and stopped a few other programs and eventually, this one by Shaun T came out and caught my interest.  Even better, I know I can do this program physically so to maximize my results, in week 2 of the program I committed to creating and following meals that fit with the program's recommended meal plan.  It took me a long time to do that. It's hard to get the  right amount of protein and veggies and carbs when you aren't familiar with it but I was determined and it eventually came together. That's what this post is really about. What meals I planned out, my prep for the week and whether I followed it.

First off, the plan in the program is relatively easy to follow. I just like a lot of variety in my eating so wanted to give myself that through the week.  Below are the meals I set up for myself. I eat 4-5 times a day so I can keep my metabolism moving (and because, let's face it, I get hungry!)


I have to say, I did deviate from these just a little bit but I managed to stick with it for the whole week. (Some recipes and photos below.)  Meal prepping for the week helped. What did I do as the weekly prep?
1) I made egg muffins instead of cooking eggs each morning. 

2) I pre-baked the chicken meatballs and roasted the spaghetti squash (I also removed the squash from it's skin. 

3) I cut all the veggies I could precut for salad and cooking (carrots, cucumbers, onions, mushrooms) and labeled the bags so I knew how much to use for each meal and what meal. (FYI, a paper towel helps keep moisture at bay and keeps the veggies longer in your refrigerator.)

4) I made my almond milk (I use that in the shakeology or smoothies)
I could have prebaked the pork and precooked some of my vegetables but I don't like eating leftovers more than a few times and the egg muffins were enough for me. I wanted to cook during the week. As it is, what I did do took a couple hours but will go faster each time I do it. Mostly, I was trying to figure out what worked best for me.  That time was well spent b/c actual meal prep/cooking time during the week was next to nothing. I enjoyed yummy meals! 

Seriously, yummy.

Now, did I stick to this? Mostly. I find it REALLY hard for me personally to have pre-planned meals.  I think for me, I need to have a more generalized plan and then fill it in with my day to day needs (sometimes I want protein over veggies and sometimes I want all veggies). :)  I will be better about tracking my macros and following a little more closely to a plan during the week. Like a category of foods rather than actual meals.  For me, I can still prep veggies, etc. for meals but I don't have to eat the meals at exactly the same time I originally suggest to myself. Does that make sense?

I am going on and on about this, I know but it is an important part to our health. We eat so many prepared and processed foods that we don't realize how poorly we do eat simply by not knowing what ingredients are in the food.  I don't want that for me anymore. I love the taste of fresh food with 5 simple ingredients. These chicken meatballs? Just look at the recipe below to know how simple and yummy they are.  I will stick to my plan, 6 more weeks and I will proudly come back here and post my successes once again. I'm so excited. 

I hope, if you are thinking you need to make a change, you take a little time and think about why you haven't started and then start.  Or, if you are making a change toward healthy and fit, you continue on your journey. You are all so worthy of being healthy, fit and happy! 

If you are interested, here are the meals/portions I planned.  Part of this helped me prep and portion out the meals.

Per Serving Meals
Eggs w/veggies: 2 lg eggs (or 4 egg whites & 1 lg egg) plus 1 cup worth of veggies (tomato, onion, asparagus, mushroom) - Need 4 servings
Avocado & Tomato on Rye Bread: 2 slices tomato , ¼ c. mashed avocado spread over rye bread – Need 4 servings
Mixed Veggie Salad w/Turkey: 1 c. veggies (mixed greens) plus tomato, cukes, 1 Tbsp sunflower seeds, 1 Tbsp Dijon Vinagrette, 3oz turkey, ¼ cup avocado (only for 1 serving) – Need 4 servings (only 3 have turkey)
Berry Banana Shakeology: strawberry shakeology, 1 banana, 1 c. almond milk – need 4 servings
Bananas Yo Shakeology: chocolate shakeology, 1 c. almond milk, 1 tsp. peanut butter, 1 banana - Need 2 servings
Chicken & Veggie Meatballs:  chicken meatballs (see recipe p. 2), 1 ½ c. spaghetti squash, ¼ c. tomato sauce – need 1 serving
Beef & Veggie Stir Fry w/rice: ¾ c. brown rice, 1/2 c. steak cubes, 1 c. veggies (use broccoli, peas, carrots, onion, water chestnuts), 1 egg, olive oil & sesame oil – need 1 serving
Avocado & Shrimp bowl: ¼ c. avocado, ¾ c. shrimp, 1 c. brussel sprouts (or 5 md. sprouts) w/shrooms & onions – need 1 serving
Roasted Pork Loin w/carrots & Couscous: 1 c. carrots, ¾ c. pork, ½ c. couscous – need 1 serving
Chicken Breast w/Veggies: 1 c. veggies of choice (leftovers?), 1 chicken breast, ½ c. couscous –need 1 serving
Grilled Steak w/brussel sprouts (cream corn for M) & mashed taters: ¾ c. steak, 1 c. sprouts (or 5 md.
sprouts) sauteed w/shrooms & onion, ½ c. mashed taters – need 1 serving
Green Smoothies: see recipes below – need 2 servings

A couple recipes I used.

Veggie Turkey Meatball (on
This lean, clean and green delicious meatball is shared by YingYing Kuang (IG: @yingying258) is super easy to make.

- 1-1 ½ pounds 99% lean ground turkey (substitute ground chicken)
- ¼ cup chopped onions                                                                     - ¼ cup chopped celery                     
- ¼ cup chopped kale or spinach                                                        - ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed                                                                - ¼ teaspoon sea salt (I prefer Trader Joe’s Garlic Salt)
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper                                                                       - 1 large egg white
- 1 teaspoon of almond flour (secret ingredient)(substituted 1Tbsp quick cook oats)       - Coconut oil/cooking spray
*Note: you can also use any of your favorite veggies as substitutes to the above
 Preheat oven to 325C - Coat broiler pan with coconut oil or cooking spray. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well, shape into size you prefer. - Bake at 325C for 15-18 minutes (depend on the size of the meatball) or until done.

Apple Pie                                                                               CITRUS CRUSH
serves two                                                                              serves two
2 cups fresh spinach                                                              2 cups fresh spinach
1 1/2 cups almond milk, unsweetened                                  1 ½ cups water
3 apples                                                                                 1 cup pineapple
4 mejdool dates                                                                     1 orange, peeled
1 tsp cinnamon                                                                      1 cup grapes, any variety
pinch of nutmeg

For the egg muffins, I just used whatever veggies I wanted and precooked them a bit before adding the egg to muffin tins and baking.

All said and done, this one week experiment was a success for me and I will take a good bit of it into these next several weeks so I can retrain myself to make better choices and to enjoy the benefits of it, too!

Here's to a healthy and Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Issabella The Cat said...

That is some organised food prep! I'm on my 3rd Whole30 after nosediving off the paleo wagon over December and feeling really rough for it, so can attest to what you eat affects how you feel both physically and emotionally. As a side note Insanity scares the pants off me so well done you for kicking it on this version :D