Meal prep for just starting a challenge… some quick tips and recipes

Fall foods are so delicious!

Fall foods are so delicious!

Some fun facts if weight loss is your goal:

Spices that promote weight loss: ginger, cayenne, turmeric, mustard, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, and coriander… when you can USE THEM!

Foods that naturally detox and cleanse the body: turnip greens, red bell pepper, citrus, mung beans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, watercress, turmeric, whole grains, artichokes, lentils, garlic, broccoli, grapefruit, cucuber

#1 tip – always start your day with a warm cup of lemon water.  If you want some extra punch put a little cayenne in it.

Breakfast ideas:

I almost always start my day with shakeology.  Luckily 5 days a week the hubs makes it for me.  It is mixed typically with a handful of spinach (getting in extra greens), ice, and low calorie almond milk unsweetened.  If needed I add a banana or some extract.  (I always add banana when suffering from muscle cramps).

Other common options I turn to:

ezekiel bread with pb or almond butter, irish oats with water and a dash of syrup, quinoa with apples, grapefruit, yogurt

Snack ideas (for am and pm):  

**remember to try to get your fruit in before noon if weight loss is a goal

apples and pb (remember to always note with hummus and pb the portion size and don’t over do it), grapefruit, melons, plums, etc.

celery, cucumber, bell peppers, radishes, carrots with hummus

string cheese and 6 crackers (I recommend multigrain with flax or rice crackers)

yogurt (nonfat or low fat Greek if you can)

Lunch Ideas:

for convenience a simple 6 lunch meat roll up option was great

**if you want to add bread you can but remember each slice counts as a yellow (I try to stick to Ezekiel bread for health and lower calories)

Salads with all the items you may choose (also grocery stores may have “just chicken” ready for salads… or you can get a rotisserie chicken and pull it yourself)

Burrito bowls with less amounts of rice and and beans that you see at restaurants… load up on those veggies!

Dinner Ideas:

**most dinners have leftovers and therefore can be used for two nights in a row for those that don’t like to cook every night

Ground turkey tacos

Spray a skillet with olive oil.  Add turkey (optional to add onion and garlic) – spices I like to add include garlic powder, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and paprika.  We typically add bell peppers as well (Trader Joes has great frozen option of already cut roasted bell peppers).  Cilantro is a great addition at the end.  Also you can add guac or avocado – just again pay attention to portion size.  Sides can be zucchini with green chili… or any veggie really.  You can use lettuce wraps or corn tortillas.  This is a quickie that whips up in about 15 minutes!

Baked Salmon and Veggies

Heat oven to 450.  Combine some cut veggies (bell peppers, onions, zucchini, tomatoes, etc.).  On a foil sheet a little over a foot long put veggies on bottom.  Add 2 tsp of broth or water.  Put salmon filet on top (try to get about 6 oz of filet with a little over an inch at the thickest point).  Seal up foil and bake on sheet for 18 minutes.

“Spaghetti” meat sauce

Cook a spaghetti squash by poking holes and putting on a baking pan in preheated 375 for one hour.  Make sauce by sautéing ground beef, onion and garlic.  After cooked add can of organic marinara.  (also note instead of spaghetti squash you can use zucchini in a spiralizer).  On occasion we use brown rice noodles instead.

Slow cooker beef.

This recipe is great for weekends and can feed up to 12 so can be great for leftovers or consider lessening recipe.  3-4 pound roast… season with salt and pepper.  Place in crockpot.  Add 14.5 oz of broth over meat.  Cook high 4 hours.  Shred with forks.  Put back in crock pot and add 1 tbsp each of cumin, chili, oregano.  Then mince up four cloves of garlic and add.  For a bonus I usually add hot sauce!  A great side can be potatoes (sweet or regular – microwave or in skillet)

Lemon basil chicken.

2-3 chicken breasts in a freezer bag.  Hit will mallet (or can of soup).  For marinade: 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp basil, 1 tsp garlic, 1/2 tsp onion, salt and pepper, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp mustard ground.  Ideally the marinade is done overnight but it is ok for a couple hours.  Make sure chicken is room temp before cookings.  Skillet on medium high heat.  First side 3-5 min, then flip for 5-7 min.  Let sit 5 min before cutting. (this is awesome as leftovers on salad for lunch the next day).  Sides can include salads or any veggies of your choice.

Fall foods are so delicious!

Fall foods are so delicious!

Hopefully the above gets you going for some staples we use in our house all the time!

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