Fresh Start Fridays

[By Marcie Beshears]

We are a month into the Fresh Start Fit Challenge thru the Kroc Center and I feel that the challenge has been a great resource! For instance, the last couple of weeks included a tour at Festival Foods and this week the Kroc Center did a cooking demo on energy bites. These were perfect opportunities to focus on food as part of our fresh start and how it can improve our health. For me, losing weight and being healthy MUST include eating healthy and appropriate portions. I can work out and hit the gym hard, but I will not see many results unless I’m eating to fuel my body properly.

This week I wanted to share with you my secret to successfully eating 3 healthy meals and snacks each day.
I started with sitting down and writing out what I like to eat and then took that and researched recipes on Pinterest. I have learned that every meal should have a protein, a complex carbohydrate and a vegetable/fruit. Personally, I’ve eliminated dairy from my diet, so I planned my meals based on these requirements. I plan foods for approximately 120 grams of protein and less than 40 grams of sugar each day. I limit sugar and fruit products to before 3pm. I also set a goal of having 80 ounces of water each day. Every weekend–specifically Sundays–I do my meal prep. I bought plastic food containers from Amazon that have 3 compartments and keep my food separated. These containers hold my lunch and snacks for work, and the best part is they are dishwasher safe! I try to make something at dinner that my family will like, but that doesn’t always work out, so I adjust a little for them or for me. My biggest time savers are crock-pot meals, stews, making double portions at meals and saving the leftovers for meals.

Now I pack pretty much the same thing for my lunch everyday at work. I take my 5 containers with me to work on Monday so I can’t forget them at home and be stuck without a lunch at work for a day and leave room for a cheat. This makes meal prepping a LOT easier for me. I do eat different snacks and have something different for dinner most nights to add variety.

Here is a sample of what meals for a week look like for me:

  • Mon-Sat Breakfast: Protein Shake (I am using Advocare Protein Meal Replacement Shakes)
  • Snack: Fresh Fruit and a Protein (apple slices and peanut butter OR grapes and a slice of turkey)
  • Mon-Fri Lunch: Lemon Chicken Quinoa Stew (or a slow cooker recipe)
  • Snack: Carrots, Celery with Hummus or Hard Boiled Eggs (2)
  • Dinner Ideas for the Week:
    • Honey Mustard Salmon with Broccoli, Roasted Sweet Potato
    • Protein Pancakes, Turkey Sausage
    • Turkey Burgers, Sweet Potato fries made in the air fryer & Side Salad
    • Taco Salad (I omit the shell & cheese; add avocado or guacamole & salsa)
    • Turkey Chili with lots of veggies (in place of crackers I use non-roasted, non-salted cashews)
  • Saturday Lunch: I use this as an opportunity to meal prep and eat a portion for lunch!! Idea: Firecracker Chicken Meatballs over Spaghetti Squash and with Strawberries.
  • Saturday Dinner: Salmon with Green Veggie and Salad
  • Sunday Breakfast: Protein Pancakes with Eggs and Turkey Sausage (make extra for a meal during the week)
  • Sunday Dinner: Teriyaki Turkey Meatballs over Salad or with Roasted Sweet Potatoes. Again, use this as an opportunity to meal prep and eat a portion as your dinner as well.

I’d love to hear your suggestions on meal prepping secrets and time savers! If you use MyFitnessPal, follow me at  Marphydoll.

Cheers to being healthier and happier!!

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