My name is Anna Lavonne Richardson! My health and fitness journey truly started in 2012 when I made the decision to compete in a fitness competition. Since August of 2013 I have competed three times, twice placing top 10 in my division. I have taken time to become more than just a fitness competitor, though. I believe health and wellness are so much deeper than strength and physical appearance. I strive to learn the best practices to create a healthy balance through great nutrition, physical exercise, and mental strength. I love being a fit wife and an inspiration to other women. I work hard to grow and develop personally through self teaching, trusting in great mentors, and sharing/teaching through my blog. Confidence, health, and happiness start from the inside out! My goal is to teach everyone how to reach their maximum potential through health and wellness. I want to motivate other women to push past what is considered the “average” and to think beyond genetics.
Today I am sharing with you all steps to make food prep a breeze. In order to stay on track during the week, I make every effort on Sunday to get everything prepped and ready to go. I cook my vegetables, grill or bake my protein (chicken, steak, turkey), and I cook any starches I will need during the week. I learned a while ago that taking a few hours on a Sunday was the ticket to staying on track during the week. Let me share with you a few of my tips that will make any food prep day go smoothly.
First, I make sure my kitchen is completely clean before I start. I used to think this step was backwards. Why clean first then make it a mess only to clean it again, right?! Wrong! A clean slate makes me feel less overwhelmed. I also keep one side of the sink filled with warm, soapy water for dirty dishes. The other side I feel with clean, cold water for washing my fruits and veggies. I use a non-toxic, natural cleaner to clean my counter tops before I begin. I make my own household cleaner using grapefruit peels, you can find the instructions here.
Second, I pull all of my veggies and fruits out of the fridge. If I am doing meal prep on the same day that I went grocery shopping, I keep them out. I keep everything out and ready to prep. For the longest time I would grab from the fridge during meal prep and I was leaving things behind thinking “I will do it later”. Specifically I would leave out prepping my green beans. I tell myself I am not done until everything is prepped and in the fridge. I keep an empty grocery bag on the counter where I am chopping foods. This is where I will discard all of the ends and trimmings I don’t want to keep. I keep this back on the counter so I don’t have to chance dropping anything on the floor when I go to throw it in the trash bin.
I get everything I will need out and ready to begin.
When I chop my veggies that need to be steamed or cooked, I immediately put them in the pan or dish I will be cooking them in. Once everything is chopped and in the pan, I put it on the stove right away. I allow my veggies to steam while I work on the lettuce or kale. I do this next because they don’t need a pan. I store them in a Ziploc with a paper towel. When my carrots are done and off the stove I start working on the next veggie that needs cooking. Again, I put them straight in to the pan that I will cook them in.
Consider steaming all of your vegetables and storing them in separate containers. You can even chop your carrots in to sticks and store them in a Tupperware with water. This will keep them from drying out, but you will still have a quick snack to grab when you are looking for fuel. Do you like eggs?! Hard boil your eggs while you are chopping and prepping your other food. You can have the eggs cooking in boiling water on the stove behind you. Peel them on the same day, after they have been cooked and store them in a Tupperware or Ziploc. This will save you time during the week.
I make sure I wash everything on Sundays that doesn’t need cooking (apples, cucumbers, bell peppers, etc.) or that I will cook during the week some time. I give everything a bath in cool water and dry it completely. This way when I am in a hurry to run out of the house or I need a quick snack, everything is ready to go. It saves so much time when everything is prepped and ready to eat.
Thanks Anna for the insightful post! Your tips look amazing- and you’ve got me craving fruit! Yum!