Easy Meal Prep for Week Day Success!

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Hey there! I’ve gotten a few questions recently about my meal prep. Again, one of my goals for 2020 is to focus on my health. You can read about all of my goals here.

As a mom of five, a wife and a full time employee one of the most frequently asked questions I get is HOW. How do I do it? I’m not kidding, some days I truly don’t know how I do it. BUT! I do know that meal prepping is one of the many things I am able to do to make my life easier. Because it makes life easier for me, I thought I’d share my easy meal prep steps to make your week successful!

Before We Begin…

I know you’ve searched high and low for meal prepping pictures. You’ve looked on Instagram, Pinterest and so much more. Each picture looks so delicious and yet, seemingly difficult to prepare.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Meal prep is so simple. So simple a caveman can do it, no offense to my caveman readers. Before you begin you’re meal prep there are a few things you may want to pick up.

Meal Prep Containers. Depeneding on your work schedule and how many people you prep for, you’ll want to get containers for your meals. For example, I prep for myself. I prep based on the weeks I work. I work 5 days one week, and 2 days the following week. I also eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at work. Therefore I need at minimum, 15 containers. I currently use the Good Cook brand of containers. I use the two compartment, half cup for breakfast and a three compartment for lunch and dinner. These come in a variety of colors and sizes so add your personal flair!

Lunch Box. Another important tool in preparedness is something to take your meal prep with you when you go! I have tried countless lunchboxes. The most important thing about lunchboxes is the ability to fit your meal prep containers. I was lucky enough to be gifted a lunchbox for Christmas that fits all of my containers and then some! You can find my lunchbox here.

Room in the fridge. Clear room, especially if you are a Monday-Friday employee. You’ll need space in your fridge to store the meals as you grab and go for the rest of the week.

Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy.

I’m gonna let you in on a secret. Are you ready? Come in close…

I’m no expert on meal prep, I draw ideas from my Pinterest board and “build” my own.

Shocker, I know. But, seriously! I look for simple ideas on Pinterest. I find things that look good, that look appetizing and that are easy to modify. Check out my Pinterest board, Meal Prep Central for your own inspo.

I typically meal prep the day before my shift. So if I work on a Monday, I’m meal prepping Sunday. If I don’t work till Wednesday, I’m meal prepping Tuesday. That means I’m gathering the ideas, shopping and ready to prep before these days!

To begin, I look at my weeks work schedule. Let’s look at next week for me. I work Wednesday and Thursday next week. I’ve already pre-planned my two meals. I eat the same thing for both days.

Breakfast – 2 Eggs/2 Oz Johnsonville Chorizo/2 oz Steamed Sweet Potatoe w/onion.

Lunch – California Sushi Roll Bowl W/Cauliflower Rice.

Dinner – 1 Cowboy Turkey Burger, Slaw, 1 Cup Grilled Zucchini.

See, how simple it is?! I cook starting with breakfast and make my way down. Any extras I have I utilize on my day’s off. I try to keep it as simple as possible. I will admit, I am not great at sticking to recipes but I do try! The most complicated thing on this meal prep is the California Sushi Roll Bowl but it’s still simple! You just have to break down what works for you. Protein, Veggie, Carb. That’s it.

You can do this same thing with dinner, though I prefer using my Instant Pot. You can find all of my favorite Instant Pot recipes or ideas on Instant Pot Dinners, here.

Love the boards we’ve linked here? Why not give us a follow!

Have your own essentials for meal prep? Recipes to share? Comment below or on any of our social media. We’d love to chat!

Xo, Sabrina.

You Can, You Will.

Yes, it’s Monday again! Yes, it’s the beginning of the week and I can hear you moaning and groaning all the way from here. We’ve already discussed jump-starting your Monday and how to do it. If you’re choosing not to do that, it’s fine. Please understand that this is a mindset! This is you vs. you.

You Can.

Wake up! There has been a great awakening to brain health in recent years. Brain health is of utter importance when speaking of diseases that are age related such as dementia and alzheimers. While we don’t know exactly what causes the diseases, we do understand that your brain’s health is directly linked to overall health. Furthermore, your physical well being is just as important as your brain health. This is where you must put your “mind over matter”. Your brain is known to trick you. When you don’t want to do something, your brain is willing to say “ok, we won’t.” Instead, we need to push past the brain. You can do this, you want to do this.

One way to push past your brain’s game is to create a daily mantra. A mantra is a saying that you are able to repeat and hold on to when the going gets tough. A good place to start is “I believe I can, I decide I will”. When your struggling to get of bed, instead of hitting snooze, repeat your mantra. When your struggling to breathe in the middle of a workout, trick your brain and repeat your mantra. When you just want to quit because the scale isn’t moving, REPEAT YOUR MANTRA! You absolutely can do this.

You Will.

When your at your wits end with your body or lifestyle, you’ve decided to change. We’ve discussed that you can change, but how will you implement this change? It’s simple really, you must be prepared.

You will….start small. Change is not meant to be large. Change is not meant to be all at once. Instead, change is small. Start with one item to change. Start with water, drink more water starting today. Set a definable goal tomorrow, 100 oz of water. Smash that goal, and add another. You can do this in triumphant style and spread your success, or you can stay quiet and create your success on your own time.

You will…create a routine. Routine is necessary if you’d like to stay on track with your change. Starting a routine is difficult. For many people, writing down a routine is easier to remember than simply trying to follow it. This is where calendars, reminders and planners come in handy. For example, if you are a by the hour type of person writing down what hours you need to do specific tasks is helpful. For other people, simply writing out a list of items to do, in no specific order is more helpful.

You will…be prepared. You will set yourself up for success! Lay out your workout clothes, set your alarm clock, meal prep! All of this preparation is aimed towards your success. If you are unprepared, your routine, your goals and your success will quickly be unraveled. I know it sounds extensive, it sounds hard. Again, this is a mind over matter situation. You can and you will!

You will…continue on. Consider this, each day you are one step closer to your goal so do not give up today! If you need a break, that’s fine but remember your nutritional goals. If you need a break from nutrition, have a cheat day but keep it to one day only. Whatever you do, you must continue on!

If today is your starting point, hit today with a BANG! If you’re in the middle of your journey, make it worth your time. If you’re nearing the end of your goal, make new goals and SMASH them!

Xo, Sabrina.

All About Food!

Hello all! I’m here to explain myself. I have another relationship. Yes, it’s true! I have a second relationship and it’s with food! I know you’re laughing!

I’m not gonna lie to you, food is a big deal to me. I need convenience, I need healthy, I need kid friendly and I need cheap. Yet, to find all of these in one recipe is no easy task. I am here to share the recipes that are tried and true in my household. Before we begin, please note that I also have a love affair with the Instant Pot. The Instant Pot gets almost daily use, especially on the days I work. I know many people also love air fryers, I do not have an air fryer but, gosh darn-it I want one! Let’s get started!

Breakfast

On any given school day, the girls typically run out the door with cereal in bellies or in hand. It never ceases to amaze me the love kids have for cereal. They would have cereal for morning, noon and night if they could. Alas, I do not let them do this..every day. Typically breakfast is cooked on Saturday and Sunday mornings. More so Sundays as I have extra hands to help with babies. Here are three recipes we’ve given a shot and actually love! PS – I use Pinterest for all my food recipes.

One family favorite, easy for me and great for the kids is Dutch Babies! A Dutch Baby is a take on German pancakes. It takes minimal effort and maximum YUM effect. For the best results, I do recommend cast iron, a whole lot of butter and a working oven..which we currently do not have. We use this recipe! You can top the Dutch Baby with different things such as syrup, fruit or powdered sugar. It’s a light and airy take on the typical thick pancakes.

The second family favorite is Kodiak Cakes. If you are anything like me, I try to pay attention to what I eat. It’s not easy when we stock snacks and what not for the kids. However, Kodiak Cakes is simple enough to be the right macros for me while still being delicious for my kiddos. With three flavors, all being able to be made into pancakes or waffle they’re sure to be a hit in your home too! I typically pair these with a breakfast meat, Mm-mm bacon! *

Gordon Ramsey Eggs are the final recommendation for breakfast. I’m going to need you to listen closely, I don’t care for eggs (unless we’re talking about cheesy eggs from Waffle House). I tolerate them, I force myself to eat them. My kids on the other hand, eggs are ALWAYS a hit. Whether their topped with ketchup or hot sauce, they adore eggs. I came across a video last year on Facebook of Gordon Ramsey making eggs. No, I am not a chef but it looked so easy. Ya’ll… these eggs are to die for. Soft, fluffy, often cheesy goodness in a matter of minutes. Slap these eggs on a toast and you have a complete breakfast. You can watch that same video here.

Dinner

Ah dinner, this is wear recipes often get elaborate. Instead, I like to get down to the nitty gritty. I work till 7 PM so the nights I work, Zoram is on his own with the kids. I’m not gonna lie, they eat a lot of Mac’n’Cheese and Hamburger Helper. I typically eat at work on the days I work so I can be ready to work out and hit the hay when I get home. On the days I don’t work, I still look for easy recipes. I try to have dinner on the table when Zoram walks in the door that way we have time to spend as a family before kids have to go to bed. This is why the Instant Pot is my friend and why an air fryer would be amazing! Feel free to donate to my air fryer cause, HA! Here are a few tried and true recipes my family could eat over and over again.

Want your kids coming back for seconds? Look no further than this Chili Mac. Chili Mac is one of the easiest and cheapest things to make! All you need is elbow macaroni, hamburger or in our case ground elk, a can of tomato sauce and a can of Rotel, you can even add in a “chili” packet if you don’t have the spices at home. This requires almost no true “cooking”. All you do is brown the meat, dump the rest of the ingredients in and a mere four minutes later (after pressurizing) you have a complete meal.

The next hit is a double whammy. In our family, we’ve always had stuffed peppers. This meal required boiling the peppers, cooking the rice and then baking the final product. While it was delicious it was truly time consuming. In comes the Instant Pot to save the day! We found two recipes that are hits in our household regarding stuffed peppers. The first is a traditional Stuffed Pepper, while the second is a Stuffed Pepper Soup. Only the actual stuffed pepper requires cooked rice. If you don’t already have a rice cooker, may I suggest a Micro Cooker from Pampered Chef.** The link for the Stuffed Peppers is here, and the link to the Stuffed Pepper Soup is here.

The final recipe that is a huge hit in our household is Chicken Alfredo Lasagna Roll Ups. Now, this recipe as is. However, I do a few tweaks to make it our own. The first thing I do when I know I’m going to be making this is buy a rotisserie chicken. Yeah, yeah I know it’s “lazy”. Again, most of the things I cook are in regards to convenience not perfection. Using rotisserie chicken is simple, you shred the already cooked chicken and add it to the recipe. Additionally, we do not use plain alfredo sauce.instead we use a Creamy Basil Alfredo from Bertolli. It is so good! Otherwise this recipe is delicious and filling! The link to the recipe is here.

If you couldn’t tell, in our household we really love food. Making food is half the task but enjoying it with family is always rewarding. I cannot wait to have my traditions passed down to my kids in regards of our kitchen table. Additionally, you can view all of these recipes and many more by following our Pinterest page here.

What’s your favorite recipe? What’s your dinner routine? Give us a shout below!

Xo, Sabrina.

*I am not affiliated with Kodiak Cakes, I simply love the product and enjoy sharing it with my readers.

**This link goes to my cousin’s Pampered Chef page, any purchases made will benefit her.

One Month Down…

Wow! It’s been a full month of the boys being outside of the womb. How crazy is that?!

In the last month we’ve spent majority of our time in the NICU. However, we’ve all been home for going on one week and it’s been quite the adjustment. There are a few things that we’re addressing with the boys but nothing overly concerning. It’s so nice to be home and be able to adjust to them.

Dax is over 5 lbs now! He’s a great eater, loves to be awake for an hour or a few every day and sleeps the rest of the time. He is still on Alimentum formula and has started on reflux medication. The reflex medications have truly helped him!

Emrick is hanging in the 4 lb range. He’s a great eater when he wants to wake up, ha! He is on Neosure formula and has almost no issues. Emrick loves to sleep all day, opening his eyes to just the right people and no one else.

There are so many things that we’re doing with the boys that normal newborns just don’t have to do. And I personally think that’s the hardest. For example, the boys must be woken every 3 hours to eat. It doesn’t matter if they’re sleeping peacefully, you must wake them. Additionally, we must fortify their formula to make each type of formula 24 calories per ounce. So our lovelt gifted Baby Brezza currently can’t be used for two reasons. First because we must mix the formula to make the right calorie content and second the boys are on two different formulas.

All three girls we’re able to meet their brothers. Since we’re only one week in, we certainly have more adjusting to do. It’s been rough, we’re not gonna lie. But, they’re doing so well I’m sure we will all adjust within the next couple of weeks.

A few big items we’re doing currently is hearing tests for Dax, eye tests for Emrick and weight gain checks for both. I’m sure after reading that sentence you want to know more. We will update on hearing and eye exams as soon as we have definitive answers.

On the brightest side, it took us just one month since they were born to finally complete it-ish! Our good friend Izzy painted the mountains, Zoram did the floor and now we just need to fill in the space and baseboard!

We look forward to the days to come! Interested in what’s coming up on the blog?! Feel free to subscribe, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!

This week we’re writing about:

  • CareCredit & Walmart
  • Hunting For Our Family
  • Weight Woes
  • Christmas 2019 Ideas

XO, Sabrina.

Meal Planning for Large Families

Before we decided to have just one more (that turned into two), I meal planned for the five of us on a bi-weekly basis. This made grocery shopping and me working nights ten times easier. However, now that I am back on days, and I have weekly plans it’s much easier. So here I am to tell you about meal planning for large families.

First things first, simplicity is your friend. I love Pinterest for Instant Pot, Crockpot and super simple recipes. I divy my recipes into two categories. The first category is “Food to Try” which is my general board. This is all of the food I want to try! It’s the big, sometimes extravagant but always helpful board. The second category is “Weeknight Specials” this board is specifically for fast paced, crock-pot, instant pot, baking recipes that are easy for me to prep and forget.

Second, I try to utilize recipes that I have bulk freezer items of, or spices that I already have. The worst thing about grocery shopping is having to buy TOO much. When I look for recipes I look for items I already have. For example, chicken, who doesn’t have chicken in their freezer right now? I also look for recipes with items that may be on sale, such as pasta and pasta sauce. Yes, I am completely aware that it isn’t all that healthy.

Third, I plan for a week at a time. This makes my weeknights easier to prep, and my grocery shopping (mostly done online now). I write down ingredients that I don’t have and add them to my cart with Fry’s. In addition to this, I add my girls school lunches (No, they don’t always eat sandwiches).

Some people find meal planning tedious. Yes, meal planning and prepping is tedious. BUT,  to have some reprieve during the week when most things are chaos is a blessing. I hate standing in front of the pantry or fridges to figure out the age old question of “what’s for dinner?”.

The End

Xoxo, Sabrina.