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CD17734278 Posts: 10
7/13/19 11:14 P

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OMG! I just got back on SP tonight and I want to give a shout out of thanks to everyone who wrote on this topic/message board. I actually read every single word of every post given in response to the start of this topic. How inspirational! I know it won't be easy but if I really want good health and appropriate weight, the hard work will be worth it and my goals achievable with all of the great support here. Thanks, again!!

ZELDA13's Photo ZELDA13 SparkPoints: (99,354)
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7/4/19 9:18 P

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I do plan meals in advance. I use a combination of what we are hungry for and what is a good buy at the grocery store. I go through the ads to see what's on sale. I first decide on the protein for the meal. Then I decide what sides to serve with it. Some things are staples at our house. We eat salad 9 days out of 10. Depending on what looks the best, I'll buy peppers, cukes, whatever to add to them.

So if I decide to buy chicken, I may have it for dinner one night with sides, and prepare extra to use for sandwiches, top a salad with, or make a soup or casserole with. If I have brown rice as a side, I'll make double so I have more for another meal or to add to that soup or casserole.


I usually prep veggie sides with each meal. The exception is roasted veggies. I find they are easy to double and put aside to use another night. I love to add them to homemade burritos, and it saves prep time when I make them.


I usually make a pot of soup or chili every week or so. It makes a quick meal with a grilled cheese sandwich and I make enough to have a second meal. These freeze well and saves you time on another night. We top our chili with cheese and onions to add more flavor. We enjoy leftover chili over nachos, salad, and even a baked potato or in a burrito. Again, it freezes well.

Anytime you can double a recipe and freeze half for another meal just makes another night easier.


Alice

"I have not been placed on this earth to fit your mold or conform to what makes you feel more comfortable with my existence." Michelle Steinke

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.


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ENGINEERMOM's Photo ENGINEERMOM Posts: 1,184
7/1/19 2:35 P

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Meal-prepping and planning are really just about thinking through your resources - time, money, and equipment - and planning around that. I find making meals to be most successful when I flex a menu around my schedule, rather than trying to make my schedule fit around someone else's prepared menu.

I find the following most helpful:
1. Eat mostly the same breakfast every day.
2. Eat leftovers for lunch, supplemented by the occasional salad or sandwich when leftovers run short.
3. Plan dinners for my family for the week.

I plan my weekly meals on Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, and then I build my grocery list from that. I shop on Saturdays, usually first thing in the morning so that chore is done and over for the day. I try very hard to only go to the store that one day, as I think it really helps cut down on food waste and extra expense.

My sequence for meal planning:
1. Erase the white board where we do our weekly plan.
2. Write out the days of the week in black. Because of the size and shape of our board, we have Sat Sun Mon on the top half, and Tues Wed Thurs Fri on the bottom half.
3. Using my iPhone calendar, write down all the major events and appointments for that week above the day name in another color (red for important all-family stuff, blue for me or DH, green for the kids - eventually as my kids get older and we get busier, I'll probably start color-coding each person, but for now, this works)
4. Looking at the calendar, I start filling in meals. I check the fridge for anything that needs to get used up in the next day or so when planning Saturday and Sunday. On days that are especially busy, I choose meals that I can make quickly, typically with stuff from my freezer as the base. On days that aren't as busy, I choose meals that take a bit more time. I pay attention to the sequence, too, so I can use leftovers from one meal to help out another meal - grill lots of chicken on Sunday for Greek chicken, then use some of that grilled chicken in open-faced grilled sandwiches on Wednesday.
5. Now, I build my grocery list. I check the freezer, fridge, and pantry for any items I usually have on hand to make sure I don't need to restock. I check the other whiteboard we keep in the kitchen for the kids to write things on that I might not notice we're out of (their toothpaste or soap, for example).

Sometimes I'll plan to make something on Sunday to help out with the week, like if I'm out of cooked brown rice in the freezer, I'll just cook some on Sunday afternoon while we're watching a movie, then freeze it so I have it around later in the week when I need it.

I keep certain items in my freezer because they help cut the time required to make dinner:
- fully cooked meatballs (regular or turkey)
- fully cooked sausage patties (turkey) - I use these at breakfast
- Cooked, rinsed/drained ground beef (packaged in what you would get from 1-lb raw; meat was cooked, rinsed in hot water, and drained, so it's the equivalent of about 93% lean)
- Grilled, sliced chicken breast meat, packaged in 5-6oz servings. These I will grab and throw in my lunch in the morning to add to salads, soups, pita pocket sandwiches, or just to beef up the protein of another leftover like enchiladas
- Cooked, crumbled Italian sausage in a microwave-safe glass storage container (it's easier to grab just a little for pizza if I microwave it 30 seconds first)
- Cooked brown rice in 1 or 2 cup baggies
- Cooked quinoa in 1 or 2 cup baggies
- steamable pouch corn
- steamable pouch peas
- fresh carrots, diced and ready to add to stir-fry, soup, etc.
- frozen strawberries, blueberries, and a bag of mixed berries - easy to toss into smoothies, add to muffins, or microwave and mash to top plain greek yogurt on waffles

Edited by: ENGINEERMOM at: 7/1/2019 (14:59)
Take life one day at a time - enjoy today before you worry about tomorrow.


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MOMTOLJ's Photo MOMTOLJ Posts: 2,465
7/1/19 1:15 P

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The recommendations are: • 45% to 65% of calories eaten should come from carbohydrates.
• 20% to 35% of calories eaten should come from fat.
• 10% to 35% of calories eaten should come from protein*.

Already over in carbs and protein,,,,

Baby steps = Big results
Healthy eating only - NO DIET
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LOTUS737's Photo LOTUS737 Posts: 6,310
7/1/19 7:19 A

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It depends on the week- sometimes I'll prep lunches/dinners, others I'll prep ingredients. I like to make a larger batch of poached chicken and then portion it out- I season it as I use it (chicken salad, fajitas, shawarma, pulled bbq, etc). Sometimes I'll prep veg by pre-cutting them as well, makes it quick to pull together a meal. Or I'll roast a large batch and use it throughout the week (as a side, pureed into soup/sauce, in a sandwich/wrap, tossed with pasta, etc). If we're having grains, I do like to prep those in advance (to the extent possible)- quinoa is a great one to prep in a larger batch.

We prefer to eat the same meal only twice, so I only make enough of each item to last us one dinner and one lunch.

Healthy choices and actions have positive impacts, even if the scale doesn't move!


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SLIMMERKIWI's Photo SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (335,911)
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6/30/19 4:26 A



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I bulk cook and freeze it in single serve containers. I have various soups (balanced re protein etc.) so I can have it on it's own for a light lunch, or by adding some quality bread with reduced fat cheese or cottage cheese, and perhaps a piece of fruit, it becomes a larger complete meal. I have a variety of casseroles which are also loaded with veges, in the freezer, and bulk cook a 'healthy makeover' pizza and have that cut into single serve portions so I have have it with a salad or with some soup. I have various stir-fries and one-pot stews, also in the freezer. I label the lid with the date and what is in it, and also include the calories and fibre content (I track the latter, too) and also save the details per meal into my grouping so it is just a quick add to the Nutrition Tracker when I eat it.

I also bulk cook my veges for 3-4 days at a time. I do a variety of them so I don't have the same thing every day. I can easy go a full month or more without having to cook any meals at all. I buy Rotisserie Chickens on special and have some with veges that night, but the rest I usually strip down and create various casseroles out of them, such as Leek, Mushroom and Chicken or Apricot Chicken. I sometimes buy a hot cooked pork loin when that is on special. I eat it with veges or make a full one-pot meal or stir fry out of the rest. I bulk cook meat patties and freeze them too. It is great if I just want to add it to a burger, or have with my veges.

Take good advantage of the specials. It:
* Saves Money especially if you take advantage of specials, and saves power/gas costs
* Saves Cleaning up time
* Saves time worrying about what to cook
and it also provides very healthy quick to heat/eat when you don't have much time or are too tired to cook.

Kris




Edited by: SLIMMERKIWI at: 6/30/2019 (04:28)
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NITEMAN3D's Photo NITEMAN3D Posts: 23,750
6/30/19 1:29 A

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Here's a couple ideas:

www.sparkpeople.com/resource/mix-and-match
-meal-planner.asp


www.sparkpeople.com/resource/slideshow.asp
?show=220


Also, give the Nutrition Tracker a try. There are planning tools at the bottom of that page as well.

There are just two of us here and we don't eat together all the time, so having single serve portions of meats both canned and frozen give us the option of building a soup, casserole or meal around the meat by just adding things. We can whip up pretty tasty meals by adding meat, veggies, spices, and grains to a can of reduced sodium soup or a frozen light entree like Smart Ones. We're never more than fifteen minutes or so from a complete meal made from components like that. DW loves to cook and garden so it's her hard work and dedication that keeps those bowls of salad, cooked grains, and baggies of meat on hand all the time. She also does a lot of canning and prepping with pressure cookers and Dutch Ovens. She still works so most of this gets done on the weekends and I just try to keep the cleaning caught up and do the grocery shopping so we make a pretty good team. Hope that's helpful.

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Dave A.- South Central PA, USA

I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. - John Burroughs


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FITNESS4TAMMY's Photo FITNESS4TAMMY Posts: 269
6/29/19 7:46 P

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Hi everyone,

Does anyone meal plan or meal prep on here. I want to start doing both. But could use a bit of advice from sparkers.

Thanks for your time,
Tammy





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