#Lesbehonest shall we?
I am not a fitness guru, or an experienced meal planner. I still weigh excessive amounts, and I am just beginning to learn how to balance work with exercise. It is only Week TWO of me trying this new healthy lifestyle, and so I really have no idea what I am talking about. But after explaining my little plan-of-action to my sister, she concluded that I had officially cracked healthy eating. Yippee!
I started last week doing the 7dsd, which was actually eye opening. I had to study the structure of it extensively because it did not simplify the grocery list for me. It did however, have a step-by-step meal plan for each individual day which was a nice visual. So I then did all the math and compiled a master grocery list for my first official MP (meal prep) trip to Trader Joe’s.
I was actually a nervous wreck. Compiling my list took me forever to do because I was avoiding it. I do not know why, but I held an irrational fear to this daunting task ahead of me. Like that typical fear of succeeding that people have? Welp, Exhibit 1: Yours truly. Even when I grabbed all my necessary groceries, I lallygagged and avoided checking out.
Anyways, I had a pretty successful Week 1 as I lost 2 pounds and ALMOST two centimeters around each parts of my body. The next step was to naturally look at the TIU 8 week meal plan, but I was surprised at what I found…
I did not like it.
It is a wonderful guide and it resembles a cookbook. Beautiful colors, pictures, and masterpieces of food with ingredients I have never heard of, and best of all? It is so healthy, I remain indefinitely impressed with it.
But let me tell you about my life a bit…..I work at the hospital between 30-40 hours a week at varied shifts. I work every weekend. I have class for three hours twice, in the evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have an online class that requires attention, and my free time is spent going to the gym on MWF, whenever work allows me, and spending at least two hours there running and stretching. The other spare time I manage to squeeze out of my days, I must spend time doing laundry for work, cleaning up my life by decluttering and organizing my room and bathroom (when it is done I will post before pictures and you will be horrified). Adulting is hard. Adulting sucks.
So I am looking at the TIU meal plan, because it is the ONLY one I have, and I am overwhelmed with the reality that I have NO TIME to spend meal prepping these beautiful meals. I work almost every Sunday, and to do it all after work (assuming I have a morning shift) is just unbearable and stressful to even think about, therefore, not an option for me. So in doing so, I just resorted to a simplified meal plan that follows the basic structure of 7DSD of eating six meals a day, but is actually geared for someone as busy or as high-strung and easily stressed out as me. I actually prefer the 6 meals option as opposed to eating three meals a day. I find that I become really hungry between breakfast and lunch, and then between lunch and dinner. However, I tend to skip “Meal 6,” because I run out of time in the day, so my day is planned around a 3 Meal+2 Snack Plan.
So here goes nothing! Please read on 🙂
Meal 1 – I love the Chia Pudding options that TIU gives. I have not tried their dessert options but the Chia Pudding for 7DSD is actually really simple and only includes four different ingredients. Buzzfeed actually has a wonderful array of options with fruits and stuff that I would love to try as I become more adventurous with my taste buds. I add trail mix to mine because it adds some crunch and chocolate 🙂 Look how much fiber chia seeds have!
Meal 3 – I end up just having rice with veggies, and protein.
This was the hardest thing for me to overcome because I dreaded being stuck in the kitchen for hours and hours. However, I have simplified each section. For rice, I use a rice cooker and add garlic, salt, and sometimes other spices. BOOM, done. For the veggies, Trader Joe’s has these lovely microwavable bags of freshly cut veggies, like brussel sprouts, string beans, and broccoli. Stick them in the microwave for 3 minutes. BOOM, done. For the protein, I use chicken my parents bring from a farmer’s market and is organic. But I bake my chicken in the oven for approximately 30 minutes each side after putting an array of spices on it beforehand. You don’t have to watch the chicken, just put a timer twice, and BOOM, done. Lunch is literally in the bag. (hahahah, I crack myself up.)
Snack – Some granola bar that is under 300 calories, preferably under 250.
I just bought Cliff bars for last week, but I bought some Quaker protein bars that were on clearance on Target today. But there are so many to choose from! I have never tried the KIND brand kind (which are highly suggested by the hiking/backpacking community), but I do like the LARA brand. I hope to one day make my own, but again, time is of essence.
Meal 5 – Again, rice with veggies and a protein source.
When preparing for Meal 2 I just make enough rice and veggies to cover this meal as well. This week I actually didn’t make enough rice, but I am hoping to just eat a massive amount of vegetables instead. As for the protein, this is entirely up to you. I tend to shred my meat so that there are no bones for Meal 2, but I keep the whole chicken portion together in Meal 5 so that it looks more official, haha. If you are REALLY short on time, Trader Joe’s also has these delightful frozen meals like the Cilantro Lime Mini Wonton’s, or Gyoza options that are really easy to make and are quite delicious. Yes, I know they are frozen. But again, we are short of time here! I hope that in the future, I can start incorporating fish, and like carne asada because I miss meat so much. Tears.
In addition to all the above, I fill up at least 5 snack bags with the same trail mix that I added to the Chia Pudding for breakfast. I also purchased five different flavored greek yogurt just in case I wanted to eat that instead for breakfast or for dessert. I forgot to buy carrots, but I meant to also pre-package them so that I could easily grab them on the run. Lastly, I have tuna cans in case I get sick of chicken. There are options people!!
I hope this is helps someone! I feel like I just had an epiphany on healthy eating and I am SO PUMPED. I am so determined to keep this up, especially because I discovered that I feel such relief knowing what I will be eating next. I do not have to stress about what I am going to eat next, or what the cafeteria is or is not serving at work, and I definitely do not have to stress about what exactly I am consuming either (Is it healthy?).
I have goals this year to achieve. To be fit and fabulous and to save money for adventures, and this meal prepping allows for both. I feel so excited, I had to share! But now I am off to complete Week 3 of BBG….