Meal Planning Vs. Meal Prepping

I know what you are thinking…

Is there really a difference between meal planning and meal prepping? YES! There most definitely is!

Let me break it down the easy way… Think about the words themselves. “Planning” and “Prepping”. I googled it for you. Here are the actual definitions.

plan·ning
/ˈplaniNG/
noun
  1. the process of making plans for something
prep·ping
/ˈprepiNG/
noun
  1. the action or process of preparing something, or preparing for something.
    So why is this even important to know the difference?

    Well, when it gets to the nitty-gritty, it’s not important at all. What matters is that you actually do it! BUT, you can’t prep without planning. AND, if you only plan and don’t prep, what’s the point? Do you see what I mean?

    I hope that makes sense to you and helps clarify the importance of both. I know it’s short and sweet and to the point, but that is exactly what you need it to be, huh?

    CHECK OUT SOME OTHER POSTS ABOUT MEAL PREPPING!

    How to Meal Prep Like a Boss!
    How to Meal Prep Like a Boss!
    Dos and Don'ts of Meal Prepping
    Dos and Don’ts of Meal Prepping

Dos and Don’ts of Meal Prepping

Let’s talk about some Dos and Don’ts

Meal Prepping can be super easy, or super hard. (Not to be confused with Meal Planning… (I will explain that later in another post)) It all depends on how you look at it. But, I am a fan of the saying, “Work Smarter, Not Harder” You see, I am a lazy girl at heart. So, if it’s too hard, I just won’t do it. That is why I decided to come up with some Dos and Don’ts that have helped me simplify my meal prepping.Dos and Don'ts

DON’TS:

  • Don’t overthink it.
    • Often we start to think about EVERYTHING that goes into meal prepping, and we talk ourselves out of it.
  • Don’t make different meals for every day.
    • Now you are just getting too complicated, and too expensive.
  • Don’t get crazy with your recipes.
    • If you are making a brand new, complicated recipe, you risk ruining making something you don’t like and wasting food.
  • Don’t buy expensive containers.
    • Yes, they might be cute. Chances are, they will end up getting ruined, or won’t fit in your lunch box. (True story, happened to me)
  • Don’t do it alone.
    • A: It’s more fun with a friend. B: You can share the cost and make it cheaper. C: It allows for more variety.

DOS:

  • Clean out your fridge first.
    • Starting with a fresh, clean fridge will help you cook clean, good food.
  • Cook what you love.
    • This might be repetitive… But, you know how to cook it, and you know you will like it.
  • Make a plan ahead of time (AKA Meal PLANNING.. See what I just did there)
    • Things will go a lot faster when you have a clear set plan of what you are doing.
  • Wash all your dishes before you start
    • So, this one time, my friend came over to meal prep. Neither of us washed out containers, and we had to spend extra time cleaning everything before we started! Ugh…..
  • Try to stick to your plan, but allow for mishaps.
    • Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Just go with the flow.

Of course, everyone is going to do things differently!

The biggest thing to remember when meal prepping is that you are trying to simplify your life and free up time to do the things you love. In order to do that, you need to sacrifice a little time to prepare everything. I like to pick one day a week and devote about three hours to meal prep. It’s usually the same day and time every week. This time doesn’t include the planning. I can write another post sometime about how I plan my meals later.

So, yeah! There you have it, just some quick Dos and Don’ts that I have learned through my own struggles of meal prepping. Check out more posts like this in our Foodie Facts category, under Healthy Eats.

If you enjoyed this post, let us know! Like, share, and comment what your favorite meal to prep is. Mine is Taco Quinoa Bowls for lunch!

Gearing up for St. Patrick’s Day

Who is ready for St. Patrick’s Day? NOT ME! I am always scrambling to figure out something awesome to make or do. This year, I am on a health kick. Lucky for me, there are a ton of GREEN healthy foods.

This post contains links, but they are not affiliate links.

So let’s get ready for the big GREEN day! You want to celebrate with your friends, family, and lots of food, right? However, like Christmas, you’re worried about the scale afterward, or impressing those picky eaters in your circle. (P.s. I am that picky eater in my circle. Just for the record..) Well, I found some links to some healthy and naturally green food that you can make!

The first one comes from Greatist. I found them through SnapChat and I love their energy. Here is a link to their

31 Healthy Green Recipes to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

The next one is from the very popular and well known, Delish.

20 Naturally Green Foods for St. Patrick’s Day

No food coloring required.

Lastly, another popular brand, Kraft. These aren’t the healthiest of the bunch, but definitely worth checking out!

Green Food for St. Patrick’s Day

 

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Candy Bar S’more Cookie, Don’t Tell My Trainer

Welcome to the newest category, “Don’t Tell My Trainer”

In here will be a collection of “Naughty” posts that my trainer would NOT approve of. Starting with today’s Candy Bar S’more Cookie. This cookie is so yummy and gooey! It’s perfect for summer parties, or really, any time of the year! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

 S'more Cookie

I LOVE baking! So when my husband told me he needed to bring cookies to his bowling league, I was SO happy! I decided to take my favorite things and mush them all together!

  • S’mores
  • Cookies
  • Candybars

All the things I’ve missed since switching to the “Healthy” path. I hope you enjoy! Let’s get right to it!

Recipe

Click here for printable for the Candy Bar S’more Cookie: Ingredients

Some Tricks!

One trick that I use for EVERY cookie is rolling the dough into a ball before you bake. This helps keep that “cookie” shape and makes them more pleasing to the eye. Here are photos, but really it’s self explanatory. The trick is to cover your hands in flour so the dough doesn’t stick to your hands.

This post is kind of an experiment! Let me know how the printable works or if you like the layout of it. How would you like me to change it in the future? Leave your advice in the comments!

You are the ones who make this blog great, and I want it to be tailored just to you! Let’s build the perfect blog together!

Salad (SAL-ad), EEWWW!

Has anyone seen the episode of Spongebob when Pearl takes over the Krusty Krab and turns it into a “Hip” joint?
It has one of my favorite scenes in it, when Spongebob has never heard of salad, and he pronounces it SAL-ads. It’s SO funny! And yes, I am that juvenile.

But what the heck is a salad? According to google, the definition is:

noun

  1. a cold dish of various mixtures of raw or cooked vegetables, usually seasoned with oil, vinegar, or other dressing and sometimes accompanied by meat, fish, or other ingredients.
    “a green salad”
    1. a mixture containing a specified ingredient served with a dressing.
      “a red pepper filled with tuna salad”
    2. a vegetable suitable for eating raw.
      THEM: “Do you even like salads?”
      ME: Uh, NO!
      Salad is a pointless food to me. It’s bland, and to make it good you have to add a ton of food that is saturated in fat and sugar, which defeats the point of it.

    Some people, like my weird friend, LOVE salad. I’m just not one of those people. I don’t see the point.

    Sure, I will eat a small, very small, salad with my dinner every now and then. However, I still love my ranch ALL. OVER. IT.

    Salad

     

    In all seriousness, there ARE other things you can eat besides salad when you are on a “diet”. However, it’s a great idea. Leave me ideas in the comments on what you do to make your salad bearable. Also, stop going on diets! Start a “Lifestyle change.”

    Your welcome.

    Okay, I love you guys!

Fruit Salad, Yummy Yummy

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Who remembers The Wiggles? I sing this song every time I make “Fruit Salad” EVERY. SINGLE. TIME.

I really love fruit, but you have to be careful. It is FULL of sugar! The general rule of thumb is to eat all your fruit in the first half of your day.  That’s why I LOVE it for breakfast! I decided to get crazy one day, and meal prep fruit. Now, you know how scary that is! Bananas, apples, BROWNING. Ew. Just ew.

BUT WAIT! I have figured out a trick to make it actually work! These pictures might look familiar, but I want to tell you exactly how I made it work.

First things, first, meal prep small. Four days or less. It’s super quick, so you can do this once or twice a week after the babies go to bed.

To get started, gather all your supplies.

Fruit of your choice

Cutting board

containers

knife

lemon juice (The secret ingredient)

The rest is easy. Cut up all your fruit and distribute it evenly among your containers. Once all your fruit is cut and distributed, that’s when you add the secret ingredient. A small splash of lemon juice. This will help your fruit stay fresh for a couple days. If you really want to get crazy, I have heard that you can put water or a sugar free juice in it as well. I have not tried that, though…

I like this because you can change up the fruit based on the season or your mood. The lemon juice adds a hint of flavor, but not enough to ruin the fruit. I actually really like it! I find myself craving fruit every morning. It’s so easy and fast!

Give it a try and let me know how it goes! Thanks, Lovelies!

 

If you missed it, check out my previous post about how to be a BOSS!

(Clickable picture)

 

How to Meal Prep Like a Boss!

I’ve already given you tips and tricks on how to meal prep, you can read that post here, but today I want to talk more in depth on how to truly kick ass at meal prepping.

When I first started meal prepping, it was a lot to take in. There are so many different ways to meal prep! Some take more time then they are worth. There are a million things on Pinterest and Youtube. If you are interested in my research, I have a board with a friend of mine that we have saved ideas to. You can check it out here if you want.  The bottom line is that it can be overwhelming. The trick is to not let it get you down.

A kick ass tip is to get creative with your storage. First, invest in Tupperware with a friend. Don’t get too attached, the idea here is to share your Tupperware and forget who it actually belongs to. You can buy cheap, or even invest in actual meal prep containers. Here are some affiliate links to some cheap ones on Amazon, just click on the pictures.

*Affiliate links help out your fellow mom when you click and buy

These Rubbermaid ones are very similar to the kind I share with my meal prep buddy. They might last longer, but are slightly more expensive.

Expanding on the whole “get creative” thing, use your imagination. For example, Mason jars are a big thing now days. It all started with someone getting creative and using their imagination.  I like to use Ziplock bags for things that need to be frozen or my favorite are the snack size for portion controlled snacks.

Another kick ass tip is to add variety. A lot of meal preppers make the same meal and eat the same thing 5 times in a row. BORING! That is the number one reason why you grab a friend, spouse, sibling, whoever. You can make twice as much food, and separate it between the two of you. Even better, you can get a whole group involved. Everyone makes a meal to split up and share with the others.

My last tip for today is to start small, very small! Pick one meal to prep, take it on one week at a time. I picked lunch. It’s hard for me to remember to eat, let alone eat healthy, at work. I always end up starving and running through the fast food line, wasting both my money and calories. I started meal prepping lunch for 5 days. Once I felt like I had that down, I branched into snacks. Now I pack a full day of food for work, including a snack before and after lunch. For a minute, I even had breakfast prepped and ready to grab-n-go out the door.

Meal prepping takes time. It can save you minutes elsewhere, but initially, you’ve got to start somewhere. I will be posting some of our lunch and snack ideas later on, but for now send me your suggestions and questions! I love communicating with you guys. If you are currently meal prepping, comment letting me know your level of prep craziness! Love ya’ll!

Tips and Tricks for Every Meal Prepper

Meal Prepping is my saving grace! I don’t wake up early enough to make my lunch or plan snacks. Doing meal prep has changed my life, but it can be scary and hard at first. Here are my tips for saving you time and money!

  • PLAN AHEAD

    • The number one thing you need to do is make a plan! Write down what meals you want to make and what you need to buy to make it.
  • BUY IN BULK

    • When you buy in bulk you can save money. The biggest thing to remember is that you need storage space for what you buy. Don’t go over board, but do get what you can.
  • DO IT WITH A FRIEND

    • You will save money by splitting the cost. You will have more variety, because you can meal prep more than one thing and split them up. It’s super duper fun!
  • SHOP>MAKE

    • By this, I mean shop one day and make the food on another. I am a crazy busy person and don’t have an entire day to shop and make food. It can be time consuming for the prep part, but it saves you so much time in the long run!
    • TUBBERWARE

      • Have lots. Share with your friend. Don’t buy super expensive stuff. Make sure you have the right sizes. That’s that.

 

 

Meal prepping is so fun for me and my friend. We bond over it and love going shopping and cooking together. I suggest making a shared Pinterest board and adding meal ideas to it. I will post more meal ideas and recipes each week, too.

REMEMBER: Have fun and don’t stress about it.

Who wants bonus points for the Valentine’s Day giveaway? You do? Okay, go to my Facebook page and send me a message of your favorite dessert! I am going to challenge myself to make a healthier alternative to everyone’s favorite desserts!

Healthy Eats, Let’s Get Started!

I am so excited about this new series geared toward one of my favorite subjects, FOOD! Everyone makes a resolution to eat healthy, but most of those resolutions fail by February. Well, not this year! This year, I vow to make healthier choices and to change the way my family and I eat. This is both a way to keep me going and a way to share my recipes with all of you!

Now, if you are like me, you love everything that is bad for you. I eat way too much, way too fast, way too often! If you have great healthy ideas, let me know. Send me an email or comment below! I will give them a try and an honest review. On Friday I will be posting my first official blog in this series. I’m excited!

So let’s get going together!

Let’s challenge each other and hold each other accountable. It’s time to change your life!

My Go-to Quick Dinner Ideas

We all have those days!

More often than not, when we just don’t have enough time to think about cooking dinner. 8 times out of 10, I cook the same dinners over and over again. It’s simple, I know how to cook them, and I know my family likes to eat them. Here are some of my favorite things to cook at least once a week.

 

Mac-N-Cheese

Boom, easy, follow the directions on the box…

What I do to mix it up is serve it with biscuits, or add sausage or hot dogs to it. We’ve even had it with chicken. Easy, quick, simple.

Tacos!

Hail the tacos! We eat tacos weekly.

So, I use ground turkey. It tastes exactly like ground beef without the grease and healthier for you. I bought a giant tub of taco seasoning. That way, we can add as much or as little as we want. The best ways to mix it up is to switch between hard shell and soft shell. Sometimes I have taco salads, sometimes it’s nachos. There are so many different ways to mix it up! You can add beans with it, use different cheeses. There are so many ways to mix it up!

Spaghetti

We don’t eat this every week, but it’s a good honorable mention. I just boil some noodles and brown some meat (usually ground turkey or sausage), then add spaghetti sauce to it and WABAM, your done. Change it up by changing the flavor of meat or sauce, and even the noodles. I like to rotate between biscuits, french bread, and a salad. For a healthier choice, try using spaghetti squash as your noodles instead of regular noodles.

Chicken

You can grill it, steam it, bake it, fry it, whatever you want. Each way you cook it changes the flavor. I like to switch up seasonings, and randomly marinade it. There are like a billion different marinade options. You also have different cuts too. Thigh, breast, legs, etc. Bone-in or boneless. Chicken is great to have in your house at all times. Pair with a salad, bread, or veggies.

 

Those are just some super easy meals that I can interchange and mix up depending on my mood.

I try to always keep the following stocked in my house for easy dinners:

  • Salad
  • Mac-N-cheese
  • Ground turkey
  • Taco seasoning
  • Biscuits
  • Hot Dogs
  • Tortillas/hard shell tacos
  • Noodles
  • Chicken