Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Make Ahead Lunch Meal Prep

Everywhere I look online and to people I know in real life who are focused on fitness and living a healthy lifestyle all always say the exact same seven words- "Failing to plan is planning to fail."

Well, there are two things I know about myself:

  1. Planning is how I live my life. You think I'm a hot mess now? You have no idea. If I didn't have a to-do list at all times, I'd hate myself.
  2. I don't like failing. At anything.
failing to plan is planning to fail

But, there's also something else I know about myself, that I'm not skilled in the kitchen. I've been trying to cook/bake a little more lately for a lot of reasons, healthier options at home, having leftovers that last a few more meals, feeding the manfriend, and perhaps the biggest reason, saving some $$$ (dolla dolla bills, y'all!!!). My crock-pot has become my main alliance in the kitchen, joining in with my other favorite appliance, my George Foreman. 

My eating has been horrible lately, and I can tell by the way my skin has been breaking out, how bloated and puffy I feel, the increase in frequency in my Migraines again, and the fact that the number on the scale has crept back up a bit. So, thanks to the motivational stories and photos posted on Facebook by an amazing group I belong to, I decided to finally give the meal prep thing a try. I had lofty ambitions to meal prep both lunches and breakfasts for this week on Sunday evening, but that didn't happen. So last night, lunches happened. Yes, they did.

I decided to stick to four basic ingredients. Here's how it happened:

First, I marinated the chicken in some low-sodium soy sauce for about 2 hours to add a bit of flavor and to help tenderize the meat. Then, it went on the George Foreman. This is most similar to the one I use. I love the removable plates because it makes clean-up so much easier and faster.

While the chicken was grilling, I got the rice going. I use Success Boil-in-Bag Whole Grain Brown Rice. It needed 10 minutes, so I put it on and tended to the asparagus.

I roasted the asparagus according to the recipe and directions here, on Yummy Healthy Easy. What did we EVER  do without Pinterest??!
Left: tossed, dressed, and ready for the oven. Right: freshly-roasted

Then, instead of using fresh broccoli, I usually buy a huge bag of frozen because it's cheaper. So, some broccoli out of the bag and in the microwave for a few minutes.

Then, with everything cooked, it's just time to assemble. I know some people buy special containers for food prep, but I just pulled a stack of tupperware and rubbermaid out of the cabinets.

 It was as easy as cutting the chicken breasts in half, and adding one half to each lunch, then dividing the asparagus, broccoli, and rice into thirds.

Voila! Lunches for the week! It's pretty, healthy, and will taste yummy!

I have to admit, this process was MUCH easier and faster than anticipated. I wish I had tried it months ago, but you live and you learn. I will probably try to add more variety in future weeks, but I consider this a resounding success for only about an hour of real work and cooking time.

Have you ever tried meal prep and making meals ahead? I promise, it's easy, money-saving, and calorie-saving, too!



  1. This looks awesome! I try really hard to meal plan and I can totally feel a difference when I don't. You're making me hungry over here lady!

  2. Um, yes please! Come do the prep at my house too! I know I need to prep food, and prepare ahead of time. But I always fail :(

  3. I've tried meal planning, but not meal prep. No matter how many times I've tried, I'm not even motivated to boil eggs for the week on a Sunday night, so a whole week's worth of lunches never happen. Plus, all the good TV comes on Sundays! Motivation = gone.

    However, if I could find wherever all of my Tupperware went, this looks like a great meal to make for weekday lunches. I hate cold lunches and this is easy and hot.

  4. I LOVE Duplin wine! I have a good friend from North Carolina and every Holiday her parents ship her a case of Hatteras Red and Brice's Creek. When we were in Myrtle Beach, I bought an insane amount for myself as well. Wine and Friends is the perfect combo.

  5. I try and meal prep on Sundays or Mondays. Right now it's brown rice, roasted sweet potatoes, and baked chicken tenders. It helps make life easier and I like knowing what I'm going to eat for lunch ahead of time it makes it easier to track with mfp.