When I was first introduced to the idea of meal prep, it was from my fellow "gym rat" co worker trainers at a gym I used to work. They would always tell their clients to meal prep for the week to make sure you have enough to eat. It's an opportunity to put your brain on siesta mode without having to actually make a decision about what to eat. This is an "Easy" button we all need to have. But where I kept getting in trouble and veering off the plan was that part about making the same thing every day. EVERY DAY. Soon I started going back to my ways of "take out" and ordering food I didn't need to eat just because I needed variety in my life. My palette deserves spontaneity and variety. I didn't really give up on meal prep, but as I continued to move my journey forward, it hit me out of nowhere, an amazingly easy way to meal prep and freeze meals without eating the same thing every day, unless the entree was very tasty and an encore was needed. But preparing the meals is not a departure from how food is already prepared.
My plan starts with the use of a crockpot. In my plan here I'm not outlining the recipes, but I'm providing the idea that will walk you through the process. Once you see how easy this process is, you can use it to prep any other type of dish.
After Just three days of working this process with your favorite meals, you could have 24 servings for lunch in your freezer. And this is important. Instead of buying all these TV dinners, you now have made your own TV dinners at a fraction of the price.
Just a few things to note...
Life is too short to have to constantly think about what you are going to eat every day. Get an easy process that keeps that palette engaged... Set it and forget it!
Ever been on your way somewhere and out of nowhere you feel the urge to pull up in the nearest fast food joint and order up an ice cream sundae or a hot... apple... pie? Or you stop at the gas station and run in and grab not one but two bags of chips and a candy bar right after you pass the one tiny fruit stand near the corner of the cash register. Or, you are in the grocery store, and it's been over 4 hours since your last meal and now every time you pass those powdered donuts or the bakery section, you can't help but toss those sugary delights in the cart? And even worse, your whole attitude changes and you become irritable, like a page out of the Incredible Hulk's life.
We've all been there a time or two. Some of us has surrendered to the temptation and some of us have learned how to safeguard ourselves in that situation. Cravings are hard to control since they hit you when you least expect it. Most sugar cravings come when there is a drop in blood sugar and you need to refuel. Your energy is depleted and your brain starts to send signals to your body that you need a quick fix of sugar to get your sugar levels up.
The reason you want to avoid this situation is because those cravings slow your body's metabolism of fat and promotes fat storage. It signals the body to store fat because it does not know when the next meal will come. So for all the hard work you've been doing, this becomes a set back. I highly suggest 5 really good full proof ways to help ease or eliminate sugar cravings all together.
1. Eat Consistently And On Time
Having a consistent time to eat goes a long way when it comes to metabolism. Your body will know when to expect the next meal and it won't easily store the fat. Many successes have gone to a 6 meal a day regimen. In these plans, you will eat every 2 1/2 to 3 hours. You will alternate between a meal and a snack. The portion sizes are significantly smaller.
2. Create An Environment To Win
When most of your diet is filled with sugar and high sodium snacks, your body will continue to crave those foods. One thing that is helpful is when you replace those processed foods in your house with great tasting and nutrient dense foods. When your body has the nutrition it needs, it does not send out so many "I NEED FOOD NOW" signals. Working to change your everyday diet will dramatically reduce the need for sugar on demand. Keep your home stocked with healthy nutritious food choices so you never have to substitute with fast food.
3. Snacks On Demand
One thing for sure is you can't plan for everything. Emergencies come up and situations arise that require your immediate attention. So it will always be to your advantage to stash away snacks that will keep you satisfied until you can eat your next meal. Stash them away in your glove compartment, gym bag, purse, desk at work, and around the house if you need to. Snacks higher in protein helps to put those hunger cravings at bay. A few really good stash and grab snacks are individual serving size bags of peanuts, trail mixes, protein bars, fruit in a cup, and fruit with tough skins that can endure being thrown around in the bottom of a bag.
4. Stay Hydrated
Sometimes we misinterpret our brain's signals when it comes to hunger and thirst. Always carry water when you are away from home. Make a habit of keeping bottled water available to take with you. For those who are environmentally conscious, there are beautiful glass and BPA free bottles that you can take along with you that will add a little personal style to your daily routine.
5. Eat Before You Leave The House
As simple as this sounds, it can be so hardest thing to do. But this will save your diet and your budget. How many times have you taken a trip to the grocery store, while hungry, and noticed how you go to the deli and order a meal or two, then buy a few snacks at the check out counter, then grab some candy and a soda to wash it all down with. It's like being a kid in the candy store. Your body is sending so many signals that you can't focus on what you went in there for. Other times you may find yourself close to home but stop in at a drive thru to order a greasy meal and sugary drink only to get home and look at all that good FREE food sitting in the fridge about to spoil because you're running around town turning up at fast food drive thru windows spending unnecessary cash.
KRaven Photography| Atlanta, GA
I call this look "Urban Lightning Flash". We took a trip to the bridge on Boulevard Street in downtown Atlanta, near Edgewood. It was a cool spring day. The temperature was probably about 60-65 degrees. I believe this was a Sunday morning so the area was not congested as it normally is.
This hoodie is from PUMA. It was very comfortable. I've never seen it on any fashion magazine. It either came from Burlington or Ross. I paid about $16 for it. The white tee beneath it is a necessary. If you feel extra confident, you might be able to rock a sports bra underneath.
These came from Eastbay. I've only ordered 2 pairs of Eastbay leggings in my life. They are comfortable to walk around in. Every now and then I'll have to pull them up to keep them on. That part...
These are PUMA Fierce Core Training Shoes. These shoes are very comfortable. I can go walking or I can do my circuit training. They've always given me the balance and support that I've needed.
I just thought they were cute to add. Makes me feel like dancing. I'm cold natured so the little extra layer does make feel a little warmer.
My brand has been with me since the end of my Entertainment Business Master's program in 2010. I can't believe it has been a decade since the name came to me. I started this brand at a time when my weight was about the highest it has even been. I remember looking at a picture of myself getting ready for graduation and feeling disgusted at how I had let myself go. But my time as a choreographer for liturgical dance inside the church was not helping to pay the bills. So I said hey, I need to lose weight, I love choreography, so let me blend the two.
But my journey was not easy. And I have to admit, I could care less for being a fitness instructor. I was certified in 2011 right before I came to Atlanta. I struggled through my time in Atlanta trying to bring the concept as America's First Plus Size Fitness Instructor to life. I taught classes, I made videos, I endorsed the Cordless Jumprope as our favorite jump rope, I had a special on People TV here in Atlanta, but at the end of the day... It just did not work. I was trying to wear a title that did not fit who I was. So in 2017 I allowed my certification to lapse. I stopped making videos. I ended up getting pregnant. But at the end of the day, I did not give up fitness. As a matter of fact it became easier.
I recently strolled through my gym pics over the years and I realize that I just love strutting my stuff in the mirror. I love to look good and feel good. Going to the gym made me feel great! Stretching in the aerobics room and doing circuit training routines with my Cordless Jump Rope gave me such a high while the responsibility of certifications became my burden. So I decided while I was pregnant, I'm no longer throwing energy to those things that I have to struggle with. If it does not fit, I must QUIT! Life is too short to be stuck in a place that does not work for you. What flows it where you want to go... Muah! Do more of what you love!
KRaven Photography| Atlanta, GA
This shoot was my first shoot with a professional photographer. I took this a few years ago but never really did anything with the pictures until now.
I'm rocking my Puma Jitsu Wedge Sneakers. I got them in Black and White too. I don't wear them much because they are just that special.
These fingerless workout gloves are from Reebok. They have breathable mesh material that keeps my hands from sweating too much during a workout. I got them before I sold out to the Puma brand. I don't make it a habit to mix sports brands anymore. I feel like I'm clashing when I do.
It has been so many years ago that I don't remember where I got these tights from. I don't have them anymore because the crotch sagged in the front. This was not cute when I went to workout. And my purpose is to look cute when I workout. So soon after the shoot I tossed them. I had to figure out what works. And when you are 5 feet 2 inches, you are not usually guaranteed the best fit when it comes to exercise tights. I've got 2 strikes- I'm shorter than the average woman, and my booty is out of this world! So the journey to having a cute fitness booty has been a challenge.
A few years ago I purchased my first exercise ball. I loved exercising in the aerobics room with the balls there. I figured if I wanted to work on a few exercises outside of the gym I should get one. And they were not as expensive as I thought. If I can remember, this ball was probably at a discount price. I cannot remember where I got it from.
I've been a lot of places,