Friday, May 3, 2013

Food Prep 101!

Happy Friday!! I'm  SO excited to {finally} be home! I have a real treat for y'all today! I was extremely lucky to "meet" Cindy through Wifessionals' Cara Box challenge and we instantly clicked! If you haven't already, be sure to check out her blog and say HI! :) I'll turn it over to Cindy now!!

Hello Blissfully Miller readers. My name is Cindy Huggins and I blog over at Newlywed Nutrition. I am a registered dietitian nutritionist who is very passionate about food and nutrition. Today I'm sharing some steps to help you with your weekly food prep! I hope you enjoy!

Weekly food preparation is essential to any weight loss regimen, weight maintenance or simply trying to stick with a healthy lifestyle. Studies show that those who are better prepared for the week will be more likely to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Your goal is having ready-to-eat, nutrient-rich foods available in the home, at work, or on the go. Most of us can agree, when we have skipped meals, convenient foods look way more appealing than having to go home and slice and dice fruits and vegetables. Why set yourself up for that kind of failure? Preparing for the week does not have to seem so overwhelming. Yes, you may have to take 1-2 hours out of your day, but isn’t it worth it to have extra time during the week, not to mention the extra pounds your will keep off?

Step 1- Inventory

Sundays are my food prep days. I start with pantry and refrigerator inventory…I have an app for that =). You can easily overspend at the grocery store by buying things you already have in stock, so know what’s in your kitchen! The initial inventory may take a little while, but I promise it will save money and valuable time. I swear I probably use to spend a total of 20 minutes in the grocery store wondering if I already have something at home. Once you have compiled your inventory list now you can begin the menu planning process.

Step 2- Menu planning

I love visiting the Shrinking Kitchen for new recipe ideas and menu planning tips. Depending on how busy my days look is how I plan my menu. When I know I’m not going to have a lot of time to make dinner I find and easy dish and dress it up with more nutrition. For instance, instead of a sandwich and chips I make a Mediterranean salad wrap and pair it with sliced carrots and veggie chips. For my wrap I use all premade food items: salad, red pepper, red onion, Greek dressing, reduced-fat feta cheese, and hummus. Spread the hummus on a whole wheat tortilla then add remaining ingredients, roll up burrito style and enjoy! After I plan my weekly menu I then write up my grocery list.

Step 3- Preparing a grocery list 

A grocery list is a must!! It is your guide to better nutrition and a better budget. If you choose to only start with one step this week this is the one. There are a lot of great websites and apps that will compile a grocery list based off of your menu selections. Zip list is my favorite. I also have a select few iPhone apps I will share at the end.  Visit the Healthy Huggins Grocery List and use it to create an overall healthy kitchen.

Step 4- Shopping

You have your grocery guide-stick to it! Grocery shopping 101: 90% of your items should be from the perimeter for the store. After shopping then the real fun begins.

Step 5- Prep time

Wait! Don’t put those groceries up just yet. Pull out your knife, zip lock baggies, and Tupperware dishes because it’s time to prep, portion, and put away!!  It’s important to prep from all food groups: lean protein, fresh veggies, fresh or frozen fruits, low-fat dairy, whole wheat grains, low-fat oils and dressings. The following items are prepped every week no matter our menu. Simply because you may get caught off guard one night, but you will not have any excuses not to get in nutrient-rich foods.
  • Chopped romaine lettuce mixed with raw spinach: put majority in large Tupperware bowl and cover for salads during the week. I also portion out the salad into smaller Tupperware bowls to take for lunch during the week.
  • Chopped and dice red onion for salads or ingredient needed for a quick dish during the week.
  • Chopped and dice red pepper for salads or ingredient needed for a quick dish during the week.
  • Chopped and dice tomato for salads or ingredient needed for quick dish during the week. I place the onion, pepper, and tomatoes together in a covered dish to use during the week and also portion out the three in small baggies to add to my lunch box salads for the week.
  • Sliced cucumber portioned in large covered bowl for salads at home and portioned in baggies for daily snacks. (I like cucumbers with hummus!)
  • Sliced baby carrots portioned in baggies for snacking and side dishes.
  • Edamame  in the pod portioned out into baggies for daily snacks
  • Frozen mixed fruit portioned out in baggies or 2 ounce cups with lids for snacking and desserts.
  • Grilled chicken tenders portioned into 3 oz servings and placed in individual covered dishes or placed in your preportioned salad bowls. I will actually pull out the George Foreman and grill a pack of skinless chicken tenders. It does not take long at all!
  • Hummus portioned into small 2 ounce cups with lids.
  • Whole Wheat Pita loaf cut in half and bagged up to pair with hummus for a snack or meal.
  • Portion out 2 tablespoons of Greek dressing and strawberry balsamic dressing into individual small containers.
  • Portion out 2 tablespoons of granola into baggies (to put in low-fat yogurt).

I know this may seem a little overwhelming, so start small and set goals each week. Maybe this week’s goal will be to make up a large bowl of mixed salad! The more you do it the quicker it will get! If you have any questions please, email me at Now, go get to planning and prepping!
Happy Eating!

Cindy Huggins RDN, LD

Recourse to help you plan:


Thanks to Cindy for sharing her meal prep secrets!! I know what my Sunday's will consist of now! Tyler and I are so excited and truly ready for a healthier lifestyle!!

Have a great weekend!


1 comment:

  1. I recently tried meal preps. Would love to know what you think about what I did here