Barefoot by the Sea: Meal Preparation (Life Tips)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Meal Preparation (Life Tips)

Meal preparation is essential for my sanity. There, I said it! I honestly think it's my saving grace during these busy weeks of school, work and activities. I find that when I'm not prepared, I have the tendency to eat poorly or opt to spend money and eat out. Don't get me wrong, I love a nice meal out but prefer to save those splurges for the weekend. Meal preparation allows me to stay on track from a health perspective and a financial perspective. 

In general, I try to make 2 to 3 "from scratch" snacks each week and prep my fruits and vegetables. I also like to make a large soup or stew on Sunday which kick-starts the week on an easy note. For the rest of the week, I have a menu plan but in general, everything is prepped and ready to go. Ideally that means evenings are less hectic and more time can be spent with the family, helping with homework and getting things ready for the next day. 

This past Sunday, I made a huge Spinach Ziti Soup. I knew it was going to be colder and rainy this week.  Nothing warms us up than a nice, fresh soup! I also made a fruit salad which the girls love. Here's a link to one perfect for St Patty's Day! This week it included mango, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe and melon but generally, I buy what's most economical. We're definitely looking forward to berry season! I also wash and slice vegetables. Having them handy simply means I'm more likely to grab them for snacks with hummus. I usually roast vegetables as well so they're handy to serve as side dishes during the week or for roasted veggie sandwiches. Rounding out the menu this week included Orange Chia Seed Bread (the recipe to a similar recipe can be found here, I just used orange juice instead of lemon) and simple peanut butter cookies (no flour - only 4 ingredients? GENIUS!) 
Here's hoping this will help make my week a little easier.  So far, so good! What weekly meal tips to you use to make your life more organized and easy? I'd love to hear! 

14 comments:

  1. I am sooo not a smart phone person, but I finally got an app for making lists. That helps me keep up on what I need to pick up when I am in town. And living the rural life, it's essential to have what I need on hand.

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    1. I agree the lists keep is on track and are convienent! Sounds like a cool app!

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  2. Hi,
    I sit down on Sunday and plan our meals for the week. If I need to pick anything special up at the market I will start that list. I agree, it really helps to plan. :-)
    Carla

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    1. That's a great idea Carla. It helps for me to have a plan, especially with hungry kids in the mix!

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  3. I should be meal planning right now (but instead I am on line, ha ha). I love your strategy. I have been thinking about doing a blog post on meal planning too. I agree that it affects the course of the whole week.

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    1. So many things pull us away! I'm not an expert, this just happened to be a good week :)

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  4. I try and plan out our weekly meals and I prep a lot of fresh veggies and make big batches of oatmeal, rice and quinoa to have on hand. I try and eat dinner leftover for lunch the next day or so to clean out the fridge...constantly cleaning out the fridge and keeping on top of. Going to check out that spinach ziti soup. yum! I really hope we're not going to get this spring snow storm I keep hearing about. Wahhhh!!! :(

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    1. That's a great strategy! I need to do big batches of quinoa too, it's so versatile!

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  5. I've tried the prepping vegetables for snack bit...peeling and chopping carrots. Problem is, they all end up in one bowl, and eaten in one go, versus lasting a few days, ha!
    Not a lot of what we eat can really have meal prep done for it, beyond cooking large batches of ground meat and freezing it, but that's never a huge issue when it comes to making dinner, so I've not done it. I've always liked the idea, though!

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    1. I guess it depends on what you eat too. With a busy family of four, making their lunches, etc it helps me! Plus I really try to avoid packaged snacks and things like that so having a plan on Sunday helps me through the week but really, you do what works for you :)!

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  6. this is so inspiring, and very smart! I don't do a lot of food prep, as my almost 4 year old is still so very fussy about what she eats, and it's hard to figure out what we can all eat for a meal together. but hopefully that is drawing to close- I'm trying to get her more involved in food prep and cooking, and it seems to be helping, albeit veeeery slowly!

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    1. I've found getting the littles involved really inspires them to try more! She'll get there, baby steps!

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  7. Hi Friend - I made your Energy Bites today, yummy! The boys want me to thank you too. They love them. :-))
    Thank you,
    Carla

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