We are all crunched for time, everyone knows that. It seems, unfortunately, like this has become a fact of life. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. I decided to do this “one day, food for a week” plan because honestly, I was tired of thinking about having to one more thing every night. It just became a burden, and it was taking time away from more important things, like spending time with my boyfriend, talking to my friends and family, and even just taking some time for myself. So, I knew I had to come up with a game plan. One Sunday, I decided to make allll of my lunches and snacks for the week. It seemed like a monumental task, but when it came down to it, it wasn’t hard at all! It was all about time management and organization. I think this is something a lot of people struggle with, just like me. You want to eat healthy and pack your own meals, but time often wins. I know it sounds boring, but the key is to eat pretty much the same kind of thing each day, just in different variations. Here’s what I did:
1. Take out a pack of boneless, skinless chicken breast and one package of extra lean ground turkey out of the freezer to defrost.
*divide the counter up visually so that you can bunch for together for each day of the week. Start with breakfast and you’ll see what I mean.*
2. Breakfast: I eat oatmeal and Greek yogurt for breakfast each morning. Yogurt is easy, just throw it in the bag. So, take out five Greek yogurts, and put five on the counter, all separated as much as you can, depending on the counter space (you can use a kitchen table too!).
I get instant oatmeal packs, but you can also take a container of instant oatmeal and measure out 1/3 cup servings, which is about how much is in a packet. Take out: oatmeal, five bowls, flaxseed, stevia, a measuring cup, teaspoon, and tablespoon. I’ll give you my blueprint and some ideas, but you can really make the oatmeal however you want. You can even combine it with the yogurt (see my overnight refrigerator oatmeal recipe!). In each bowl, put a pack of oatmeal, three packets stevia, a teaspoon or tablespoon of flaxseed, and water or almond milk. I use a half cup of water. Now, you can get creative. Make a different flavor for each day! I make apple pie oatmeal, adding apple pie spice to the mixture, chocolate covered strawberry oatmeal with cocoa powder and strawberries, raspberry almond with raspberry sugar-free jelly, raspberries, and a little bit of almond extract, blueberry oatmeal, brown sugar cinnamon with some organic maple syrup…… I think you catch my drift. Make the oatmeal as to your taste. You can see the bowls of oatmeal and the finished product on my Instagram collage picture.
3. While each bowl is cooking, put together Tupperware containers of plain Greek yogurt and fruit (in collage too). I have a whole recipe for this with pictures under the “recipes for a fit and healthy life” tab.
4. Next, cook up some sweet potatoes in the microwave. Make sure you put holes in it with a fork or they will explode. Learned that the hard way! 😉
5. While those are cooking, clean some grapes or other berries and put them into individual snack bags. I used grapes, put them in five snack bags, and done. Also, you can cut up five apples, put baby carrots into five snack size bags, or any other fruits and vegetables.
6. Let the sweet potatoes cool. Meanwhile, marinate the chicken and throw it in the oven. I’ll give you a great recipe for the turkey later.
7. Time to microwave vegetables! I use the “Steamables” brand, but any will do! Just make sure you have enough for five servings.
8. While those are cooking (are you noticing the multi-tasking here??!? 😉 ), scoop out the sweet potatoes from the skin and put it into single-serve Tupperware containers (also see my picture for what I mean!)
9. Here’s an easy step: put one clementine or orange into each bunch, Monday- Friday. Then, you can either measure out a serving of almonds, or use the 100 calorie packs of almonds and do the same thing, add them to the pile! Same goes for sugar-free pudding or jello, or another simple sweet treat.
10. Ok, chicken is done! Cut each piece in half, or five total pieces about the size of a deck of cards. Cut up the chicken into bite-size pieces. Take the cooked veggies and fill five container oh, about halfway full. Add the chicken to each container. See my picture of this also! Now, you have sweet potatoes, chicken, vegetables, a sweet treat for lunch. Perfect!
11. Alright, all done! You have breakfast, lunch, and snacks for in between! See how easy that was?? 🙂 Now you can relax and think about what you’re going to do with all that extra time during the week!
Now you’re probably wondering, what about dinner? Well, I am going to add a delicious make-ahead recipe for that ground turkey. Put it together the day before, pop it in the oven, and voilà! Dinner 🙂