Preparing for the Week Ahead

I find that I can really benefit myself by planning my weekly menu and getting a head start on Sunday mornings. I start my Sundays with about 1-2 hours in the kitchen preparing some of our go to foods for the week.

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The first thing is to make sure I have a plan. I then lay out all the ingredients and start the items that need cooking first.

The plan for this week is hard boiled eggs, pickled eggs, lentil bowls, cashew date balls, over night oats and  fresh chunk pineapple.

I first put the lentils and eggs to simmer and boil. While this was happening I chunked a pineapple. Next, I prepared my mushrooms, zucchini and onions for my lentil bowl topping. By the time I had all this chopped and ready to cook, my eggs were boiling and ready to sit for a few minutes and my lentils were also done. While my mushroom mixture was cooking, I  threw together three quick over night oat mixtures for fast hot breakfasts this week. Mix, shake and into the frig, done! Then it was time to peel eggs, I hate this job especially when they do not peel nicely!!! After peeling I prepared the pickled mixture and let it cool in the frig while I then made cashew date balls.  Mixed them up in the food processor, formed into balls and walla, done. Finally, I poured the cooled pickled mixture over a few eggs in a glass jar and back into the frig.

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Now, I feel pretty prepared for the week ahead. Our go to meals and snacks are made, dinner menu for the week is planned and our workouts are scheduled. Now, I can only hope the week goes smoothly. By the looks of it, mother nature may have her own ideas. Today we have been warned of another major snow storm and Thursday they are preparing us all for a good amount of rain. If it’s not severely below zero here then it seems to snow. I guess that’s winter in Wisconsin.

Do you plan ahead to make life easier?

What are your go to meals/snacks during busy weeks?

Protein Lunch Options

We have sort of changed up our eating plan here at our home recently, after my husband announced to me that he was joining the gym I belong to. He is one of those lucky people that can literally eat anything he wants and does not gain a pound. When he told me he was just feeling sluggish and unmotivated, I agreed that the gym would do him good but it also got me to thinking about his diet a little more.

For lunch everyday he typically takes leftovers from the night before. So in other words, if we had casserole for dinner, that is also his lunch the next day. His break consisted of the usual bag lunch snacks such as baked chips, cookies, trail mix, fruit etc. Now, I have put a little more planning into what his lunches are. He still gets the lunch meal of leftovers, but his break snack is protein packed for extra energy and to support the additional exercise he is doing at the gym.

Examples of his protein snacks are:

Hard boiled eggs, homemade granola balls (recipe to come later this week), carrots with dip (not shown)

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Wasabi almonds, cheese, olives

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Apples and peanut butter, dried mangoes, walnuts.

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For me on the other hand, with adding a much more rigorous workout routine to my schedule, I have been also trying to get in more protein. Although this is proving to be much harder for me because I cannot have nuts, I don’t like red meat and I am not a big cheese lover.

So I have been having salmon and Laughing Cow Cheese with avocado.

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And I have come to love lentil bowls. This one here has lentils, sauteed mushrooms and spinach then topped with two over easy eggs with 1/2 an avocado.

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Another favorite lentil bowl is sauteed spinach and mushrooms over lentils with cooked chicken breast pieces and a bit of shredded parmesan cheese. Topped with balsamic glaze. Oh yum:)These bowls provide a lot of protein and are filling enough for a meal.

Both of us have had more energy and have come to really love our new routine of going to the gym three nights a week. So whether you are home all day like me and can cook quite easily when you are hungry or you take your lunch to work everyday, it is quite simple to pack healthy protein packed lunches to support your active lifestyle.