Let me be the first to report that I am no professional photographer (in a small dark galley of a kitchen no less), though I was so tickled by what I got accomplished today I had to share.
In this 26th week of pregnancy I do this thing called Forgetting to Eat. Prior to my dairy/fruit/grain eating days when my cravings ran high, Forgetting to Eat was a chapter in life I had yet to stumble upon. I haven’t been “hangry” (hungry/angry) now for a whole year and it really feels like something to celebrate. Prior to getting pregnant in November I would eat three times a day, and I had to remember to eat…that’s how awesome life is without cravings (chocolate, to be exact).
What I should be doing is getting 100 grams of protein per day…as a Birth Doula and former Bradley Method instructor, I know the importance of this, yet it’s the first thing to go when I’m not actually hungry. Here’s what happens…if I’m at home, I’ll eat throughout the first half of the day until around 2 or 3, then I stop until dinner, eat dinner and that’s it. When I’m at the clinic I’m so busy I don’t even think about eating. Thankfully my Client Advocate, Shanna is like my personal on-site doula who reminds me to eat and sit down and put my feet up. I’d be all swollen ankled and miserable without her!
The weather cooperated today in that it was gloomy and misty, making for the perfect day in the kitchen.
Why I meal prep
Because I spend about 30 hours a week at my office seeing clients between Monday and Thursday, I don’t have food prep time during those days. It’s much easier to have breakfast, dinner, snack and lunch items prepped so we can grab and go. In the least, having dinner items chopped, prepped and set aside makes for a super quick evening, a full belly and a mama who doesn’t fret.
In about a four hour time frame I get accomplished what would take me much more time during the week when the girls need my attention, my day at the clinic runs late, or I don’t feel like making more than scrambled eggs! What’s so great is that by doing all this prep ahead of time, it creates the possibility and space for me to find more time during the week. For example, while I’m warming what I pulled out of the freezer or fridge for dinner, I find that I can quickly mix up a batch of grain free muffins and toss them into the already warm oven while we eat and have them cooled and in the fridge by bedtime…and there would have been no time or space for that without preparing over the weekend.
What I prepared today
The photo above doesn’t capture the full effect of todays’ prep so I’ll first share what IS NOT in the photo:
- A large glass snap lock container of tuna salad for lunches and snacking throughout the week.
- A double batch of these waffles for the week, AND, a double batch of the dry mix in the pantry for baby time. Then all Chad or the girls have to do is stir in the wet ingredients and they’ve got a batch of fresh waffles for their morning AND an extra batch for freezing…all while prepping a batch anyway.
- These grain free granola bars.
- Slow cooker chicken for tacos later in the week (not yet prepped at time of photo).
Goodies in the photo:
- Barbecue beef short ribs were in the oven for dinner from here.
- Wild rice cooking in the red pot for a wild rice/chicken salad ingredients in the glass bowl with a citrus dressing.
- Your new favorite bread, sliced and ready to go for the week.
- Almonds soaking and waiting to be roasted.
- Egg bake with chopped roasted veggies from the end of last week and with leftover ham.
To top that off we also made raspberry coconut ice cream and macadamia nut fudge ( both to die for and full of healthy fats with only raw honey to sweeten). This mama is NOT going through a summer pregnant and dairy free without ice cream!
I also printed off our favorite recipes that I use all the time from online, such as the waffle recipe above, and tucked them into a 3 ring binder as I organize my kitchen for my girls and Chad to take over for a bit after baby arrives. In this I also included my favorite smoothie recipes so they can recreate their favorites time and again without my help.
It’s so fun having kids old enough to be in the kitchen. They are willing, capable and love to try things on their own and bring out tried and true favorites as well. There’s nothing like those days when Sunny calls me at the office to say, “mama I finished my schoolwork early so I baked a batch of grain free brownies for you, I hope that’s ok.”
Why, yes, it’s ok….and please bake a second batch while you’re at it!
Now that I’ve shared with you why I meal prep, share with me how doing some meal prep will save you time during the week ahead.