Tuesday, May 12, 2020

My [Nearly] Zero Prep Meal Prep

It's been over a week since I've shared my pretty vulnerable post about my weight. I received so many wonderful private messages and texts about it that I felt pretty grateful that I'd done it and didn't go with my thought to take it down out of sheer embarrassment. As it turns out, there are plenty of ladies out there with the same thoughts. It was enough to get me thinking about changing the way I did things so that not only could I see myself in a better light and feel better in my clothes, but that I could inspire people to take the bull by the horns themselves. I set out to make some changes over the last week that I felt could be sustainable. As much as I love the structure of a "diet", I've never found a diet that I felt like sticking with past making it to my goals. That meant I was going to have to buckle down and develop my own structure.

I took what I knew about myself and my preferences and I put them in a meal plan that was about calorie deficit. I fully believe that people lose weight on Keto, Whole30, Paleo, and a host of other diets because they are limiting their calorie intake naturally. First I needed to know how many calories I typically burn in a day taking into account my daily workout routine. Turns out, I burn around 1800-1900 calories a day according to my fitness tracker. When I'm throwing caution to the wind, I know I'm eating far more than that. So, I thought a diet of somewhere between 1200-1300 calories would be good and healthy.

Then I had to decide what I was going to eat in the calorie range and WHEN I was going to eat. As it happens, most of my calorie intake is after the workday. During the day I eat to survive. After I walk away from my computer, though, that's when I like to snack. So my plan was to keep my calorie intake at relatively low amounts for breakfast and lunch and then eat a nice dinner with a snack or two while I'm binge-watching The Masked Singer with my husband. And, if I'm going to track my calories (I use the My Fitness Pal app), I wanted to have a pretty routine breakfast and lunch, and then the only thing I really needed to record was dinner and snacks.

That brings us to my [nearly] zero prep meal prep. I don't like meal prepping, but I know it's smart and useful for eating healthier at home. For breakfast, I made myself a little mixed berry (or regular berry) jam by cooking down a cup of frozen fruit in a saucepan and adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to thicken it. I spread it on some toast in the morning with my cup of coffee. It's super simple to make and lasts about a week in the fridge. You can throw some of your favorite sweetener in there if you don't like just plain fruit.

1 cup frozen fruit in a sauce pan over medium/high heat

Once soft, mash with a potatoes masher.

The brand of chia seeds I use that I feel like might last forever.

1 tablespoon thickens it without all the sugar.

My morning breakfast (with some coffee and heavy cream)

Then when it came to lunch I knew I wanted to do a salad; enter Dole Salad Kits! These things come with some mix-ins for the salad as well as the dressing. I eat about half of the bag each day and throw in a couple ounces of rotisserie chicken for my protein. It's good and it requires no chopping.

Caesar and Chipotle Cheddar salads this week, but they also have a few other flavor profiles!

My daily lunch. It's so taste!

Then I cut up a seedless watermelon. I store it in a big bowl and eat on that throughout the week if I need a snack. After all of that, I eat under 600 calories by dinner time. The rest of the night I eat whatever I want within 600-700 calories. A few times that's included a couple of Oreos and some milk.

Sometimes Oreos. More times fresh fruit.

Overall, I'm pleased. I've dropped about 4 lbs this first week and I'm well on my way to wearing those shorts I told you about last week. At any rate, I feel like this is really sustainable and didn't take long to put a little plan together that's pretty easy to stick with.

What about you? When do you eat most of your calories? What's one food you'd want to continue eating even if you were watching your calories?


  1. Love this. The chia idea is genius. I always hated how it thickened my smoothies, but it makes sense for healthy jam! I tend to eat in the afternoon. I don’t usually let myself eat after 7 because that’s when I would end up binging on crackers. The foods I will never abandon are crackers and pasta haha great post!

    1. Yeah...I'd bought this big thing of chia seeds thinking I'd love chia pudding. I didn't. lol. But chia-thickened jam is my jam! Ha! Crackers and pasta are in my wheelhouse too. Carbs. I could never not eat after 7, though. That's a huge weakness for me!

  2. Get it girlie! And now I want some of your breakfast! I'm going to pick up some chia seeds. YUM <3

    Green Fashionista

    1. It's really good (and healthy). My favorite so far has been just plain strawberry. I'm going to try peach next!

  3. That jam looks so good! Canned tuna is a go-to healthy snack for me, with a tad bit of light mayo and hard boiled egg mixed in and one piece of bread.

    1. Yes! I need to do the canned tuna more often because I really love it and it's quick. I'm going to keep that in mind for the days I just don't feel like salad. I do like the jam...and it's jam-packed with nutrients!!