My Updated Food Prep Routine

January 22nd, 2014 | Posted by Erica House in Health | Life

Last week I wrote about crossing the line from healthy to unhealthy. I was overwhelmed by the positive response it received and wanted to share with you all how my food prep/meals have changed in the last week.

My main goals have been:

– Eat more substantial meals

– Snack less

– Not worry about calories

Overall I’ve don a good job of meeting those goals. Before, I was eating 250-300 calorie snacks/mini meals 6-7 times a day. I used to eat about 5 times a day (3 main meals and 2 snacks) but once I started working from home more and was constantly around my kitchen I just started to graze throughout the day. To compensate I never ate too much at one time since I knew I’d just be back to snacking again in a few hours. This pattern made it difficult to go out and operate on the average persons schedule. I was never hungry enough to go out to dinner, and I couldn’t go anywhere without bringing some sort of snack since I got hungry every 2-3 hours. Not very practical, or fun!

My goal now is to eat 3 normal sized meals and snack only if necessary. In essence I think I’ll end up eating about the same amount as before, but in a much more sustainable way. Plus, eating more calories at each meal means I get to have more fun cooking again and not just eating small portions/snack type foods!

Part of my plan entails getting back into food prep mode. When I don’t have something ready to reheat I’m much more likely to just reach for an easy snack food, so I’m going to start cooking a few meals at a time again to make sure my fridge is always stocked with some healthy options. Yesterday I felt like roasting all of the foods to use up some veggies that were at risk of going bad.
IMG_7458The brussel sprout ‘chips’ were just the outter leaves coated with a bit of olive oil and salt. I polished them off before they had a chance to cool!

2014-01-21 12.17.05The other plate of veggies had 2 tablespoons of glorious coconut oil on them. If you haven’t roasted veggies in coconut oil yet you need to get on that. I’m not a fan of the taste of coconut but putting that oil on veggies makes them taste sweet, decadent, and it’s really, really healthy fat.

I also roasted my first plantain (not impressed) and some tofu that I pressed and marinated in gluten-free soy sauce.

IMG_7459In my ‘snack all day’ days I don’t think I ever ate on anything bigger than a side/salad plate. I filled up this dinner plate to the brim!

2014-01-21 12.49.13My problem now is filling up my pinterest boards with recipes suitable for my new goals. I’d like to have a protein and at least one veggie side. Or, a ‘one pot’ meal like soup or a stew that has veggies/protein/cabs all in one. I also try to limit gluten (because of my thyroid condition) and dairy (doesn’t always sit well with me!)

See where the difficulty comes in?

What are your favorite dishes? Do you normally have a veggie side with every meal? If not, how do you fit your veggies in?

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19 Responses

  • I always make sure we have a protein, starch, and veggies in every meal. My favorite veggie (besides broccoli) is roasted cauliflower. LOVE

    • Erica House says:

      Oh man I am all up on some roasted cauliflower. I could eat a whole head at once! My biggest problem is finding natural sources of protein. I’ve been relying way to much on tofu/fake ‘meats’ lately and need to eat them a bit less. I guess I can do lentils/quinoa for protein/startch combinations, but they are just not very filling to me!

  • I have veggies with every meal. But I also have a bowl of veggies as a snack after I come home form school too. I add nuts or seeds and just munch like it is a salad :)

    • Erica House says:

      That sounds interesting! SO you eat the veggies raw? What kind do you like to snack on?

      • My daily veggie bowl is the only thing I meal prep on Sundays! I just through in a bunch of veggies in a huge pan and steam them with some spices. I usually just cut up some zucchini mushrooms, bokchoy, stuff like that and then I will add a bag of frozen veggies to that so it makes a huge batch that I can eat through out the week.

        • Erica House says:

          Sounds delicious! I think the only thing I’d be afraid of is not actually eating it after the first 2 days or so. I’ve been bad about letting veggies go bad before. If they are cooked in something (like pasta) then I always eat it, but just by themselves it’s harder for me to enjoy it for some reason – even though I love them! I’ll have to just find a way to make them delicious to me, and your way sounds like a good start!

  • I love these goals girlie. Getting better at planning and food prep is definitely part of my goals for 2014 too!

    • Erica House says:

      You and I have both been experimenting with food lately! I think we’ve concluded that our bodies are pretty damn smart and sometimes we just need to relax and listen to them ;)

  • I ALWAYS have to eat veggies with lunch and dinner (and, I guess with breakfast too since I have a green smoothie). I nearly live off of veggies and protein, but I’ve started to incorporate more grains because I’m running again and feel pretty tired if I don’t eat any grains in a day.
    I live alone and food prep saves me. I’m too tired in the morning to plan my lunch, so I need things I can just grab and go (and aren’t processed!). Lunches are usually salad with protein and dinners are proteiin with some kind of veggie (usually frozen veggies I heat up – otherwise they go bad before I eat them!)

    • Erica House says:

      I definitely notice more energy when I eat more carbs so I’m mindful to eat enough. I also used to live off of veggies and lean protein so it’s sometimes a challenge for me to get adequate whole graints/starchy vegetables in!

  • I keep SAYING I’m going to have a veggie at every meal but so far, hasn’t happened. Last week was supposed to be the start but then I got mega sick and well, it all went to hell. Hopefully this next week!

    • Erica House says:

      Breakfast is definitely the hardest for me to have veggies at, unless I’m doing eggs which is rare. I love a big warm bowl of oatmeal and veggies just don’t go well with that! I’m okay not having any at that meal since I usually get a decent amount in at lunch and dinner!

  • kristin says:

    I am excited to see what your meals are going to be. As a single person, I struggle with cooking a real dinner- it’s just not that fun for me when I’m solo. I tend to eat multiple, small meals a day instead of a traditional dinner or just do a crockpot. I would love to do real dinners daily- with a protein, veggies, etc. but lack the enthusiasm, lol. Please post lots of your meals!

    • Erica House says:

      A lot of the meals I cook regularly are on my recipes page, or on my pinterest ( I just make a normal size batch of food and that usually lasts me for 3-4 dinners! Not the most exciting way to do things, but it is time and cost effective!

  • Nicole says:

    I cook almost 100% vegan so I eat a ton of vegetables! I love coconut oil on veggies especially Brussels sprouts – I think it helps with the bitterness. My food prep usually involves a huge portion of a hearty soup (lentil, quinoa chili, veggie minestrone) that I can have every day at lunch with a salad or husband and I work out a ton so we eat a ton and we go through massive quantities of vegetables!

    • Erica House says:

      I swear coconut oil makes everything taste like a dessert. I just roasted brussel sprouts in coconut oil for the first time this week and it was divine!

  • Andree says:

    I try to have protein and fruit/veg at every meal. I usually have some sort of carb (oatmeal or toast) in the morning and maybe some quinoa or pasta with dinner. It can sometimes be a struggle to have balanced meals now that I live with my boyfriend who is a very meat and potatoes kind of guy, but usually dinner is our only shared meal.
    Last week I tried this great brussel sprouts recipe. Essentially they were marinated in an orange juice mixture, roasted and mixed with dried cranberries; delicious!

  • Kierston says:

    I love baking a big slab of salmon. I always have veggies on the side with my main meals, I love my greens :)

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