Monday, January 7, 2013

Make ahead Meals

One way that I've found to help the most on my most recent Weight loss journey, is to PLAN, PLAN, PLAN.  I've always been somewhat of a meal planner, often sitting down on a Sunday and going through my favourite recipes, making a grocery list, writing out my favourite meals for the week.  Unfortunately, as the week wore on, I'd probably only really cook 2 or 3 of those designated meals.  Once 5 o'clock hit, it often became much easier to make something simple, snack, order out, anything but cook the planned meal.  My husband is rarely home for dinner, and Limefreckle Jr. exists on a standard diet of chicken strip and smiley fries (don't's an autism thing that I haven't figured out how to change!)  so I'm often left to my own devices at meal time.

Recently, I discovered a great website called 5 dinners 1hour that takes the meal planning out of the equation.  But that wasn't my problem, planning the meals was was all the prep work that I would have to do come 5 o'clock that would derail me.  Well this plan changed all that for me.  The prepwork happens once a week, and takes only one hour. 

Over the years I've dabbled in freezer cooking, make ahead meals etc. but never been a big fan.  I don't mind eating some things that have been frozen, but prefer fresh.  And this method of cooking is just that.  Everything stays in the fridge, and is completely chopped, diced, spliced and ready to go!  Some weeks there are slow cooker meals, giving me a reason to pull out that slow cooker that I put on my wedding registry 16 years ago but never used...and hey, who knew, but I like slow cooking!

You can choose different meal plans at 5 dinners 1 hour, I've chosen the Clean Eating page, as I'm working on weight loss, and I'm not going to lie, not every meal has been a big hit for me....but on the whole, I'm enjoying it very much, and it's helping me to have 5 meals a week ready and waiting. 

If executing your planned meal has been a problem for you like it was for me, I would definitely give this plan a try.  It's very inexpensive, probably the money I've saved on last minute grocery trips or ordering out has paid for the plan and more! 

You can also just visit her blog to find tasty recipes etc. for free.  I started out just following her blog, and most of the recipes she posted seemed pretty tasty, that's what made me decide to give it a try.  I sit down once a week and make a grocery list, then I enter each of that weeks recipes in the Recipe Builder on Weight Watchers online.  It takes some time, but it helps to determine the points in each recipe.  Going forward, I probably won't continue to get new recipes each week, I'll do this for a few months, and then build a one month rotation customized to my likes and dislikes.  But this has been a fantastic tool to get me started!

Let me know if you decide to try it, and what YOUR favourite recipes are!