Friday, March 05, 2010

Prepping Ahead

"If you fail to plan, plan to fail."

So, I'm planning.

I've mentioned briefly that I'm plugging away at Weight Watchers. My hubby has gained a few pounds that he'd like to get rid of and though he's not doing any sort of weight loss program, I am doing my best to set up a healthy environment for us. He just finished trade school where he was living out of town and he told me to tell you that all he could afford was MGD and chicken wings. Sheesh. :)

So to help us manage this weight loss thing better, I'm setting up our environment. Here's what I'm doing.

1. Kicking The Junk To The Curb

I purposly DON'T buy junk. Potato chips, ice-cream and candy have not passed the threshold of this house in a few months. We've opted for pretzels instead of chips. And here's something - I love dip. Heluva dip. I'm even it's fan on Facebook. I haven't purchased any in awhile because it's just one of those treats that I could literally sit and eat the whole container. So I've decided that when I do buy it - I'll forgo the chip dipping and dip my veggies in it instead. And honestly, I'm excited about it!

2. Preparing For A Chocolate Fix

A girl has to have chocolate right? So here's how we are handeling that fix. The hubby bought some Nature Valley granola bars at Walmart for $2. They are actually called Dark Chocolate Nut. Yum!! And...dark chocolate is supposed to be good for you, right? I'm also anxious to try this recipe for Black Bean Brownies. Sounds gross, right? But apparently they are amazing! I have the beans and the brownie mix - so when I hit a chocolate fix, I'll definatly be making them. I also have the ingredients for this Hungry Girl Yum Yum Brownie recipe using just a box of devil's food cake mix and solid pack pumpkin.

3. Preppin' My F & V

I wash my grapes and then spin them dry in my salad spinner.
Important to get them really dry so they don't spoil too quickly.

I prep my veggies and some fruit ahead of time. I set some time aside shortly after I go grocery shopping and wash and chop my produce.

Inevitably, it ALWAYS happens that I'm running behind in my day and never want to chop my veggies and such before lunch.

Lettuce - washed and cut in a bag (add a wet paper towel to help keep lettuce fresh),
Grapes, Cucumbers, Green Onions

I usually grab what is convenient and already made. Now I have no excuses when it comes to making healthy lunches. Everything is all ready for me! I can't even tell you how many wonderful salads and meals I've made with these already prepped ingredients.

4. Preparing Some Protein

At the top of the week, I prepped ahead this chicken. These quarter chickens were only a little over $5. Rinse chicken and cut away any visible fat.

Brush tops with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and cracked pepper. Roast in oven at 350 F for about 45 minutes. Give or take. Check your meat thermometer for doneness. I grabbed this idea from Ina Garten. She roasts up chicken and then uses the meat (minus the skin) for things like chicken salad and shredded chicken meat for whatever recipe she is making.

Leaving the skin on during cooking seals in the juices and you are left with such a nice moist chicken full of flavor. After the chicken has cooled slightly, remove the skin, shred and either eat or stock away for later. You can even put the shredded chicken in a freezer bag or container and store in the freezer for a later time. Convenient!

So there you go! A little prep ahead saves a world of time in the long run. I think our waistlines are thanking us.

Do you have any planning tips to pass along? I'd love to hear them!

I'm hooking up with Keelie and her Food Faves and Finds party!


Lucy Marie said...

Such great ideas. I like to prep my fruits and veggies right away too. Or else I get lazy. I never thought of spinning the grapes in the salad spinner to get them dry. Thanks!!

Keelie said...

These are wonderful ideas!!! I am going to do that with the chicken. If you buy it with the skin on like this it is also much cheaper!

Thanks for linking to the party! Have a great weekend.

Jennifer said...

I love the idea about the dip and veggies. I also love veggies in salsa for a little kick. I've done the chicken thing before as well and find it REALLY helpful. Giada DeLaurentiis said once she buys rotisserie chickens each week and takes the meat off for salads, sandwiches, etc.

My other prep ahead tip would be soups. They are great to pack a TON of veggies into and can usually be pretty healthy. Good luck and keep up the good work! Let me know how you are doing with WW.

Natalie Catherine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Natalie Catherine said...

great ideas!!! at one point i've tried to do all of these..but seeing you do this gets me inspired to get back on track with prepping food more! being pregnant right now having food ready to go and healthy a must! thanks for entering in ym giveaway and stopping by my blog!! :)

Erin said...

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