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GMO free vs Organic: What’s the Difference and Why Should You Care?

GMO free vs Organic

The issues behind food labels, particularly GMO-free food labels and organic food labels, are incredibly alarming and fraught with politics. Add in a dose of marketing hype and very little consensus about their dangers, and you can’t help but feel confused and overwhelmed.

Cripes! You just want to know what to feed your family!

Let’s break this down so you can make healthier food choices and avoid meaningless non-GMO claims and misleading organic labels.

 

Ok, so what exactly are GMO’s?

GMO stands for genetically modified organisms. What that means is, scientists literally alter the DNA in food so that crops are more tolerant, produce their own toxic insecticides, and/or exhibit more desirable traits.

 

Well then, what does organic mean?

To be considered organic, the USDA mandates that crops are grown without the use of chemical or synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Livestock must have outdoor access and have been given no antibiotics or growth hormones. In order to merit that label, crops must also be GMO-free. So an organic label is an umbrella that covers GMOs too.

 

How do you tell if something is truly organic or GMO-free?

The quickest way to tell is to look for the USDA organic label and the Non-GMO Project butterfly label. These are the two most trusted government and third-party regulation agencies, respectively. While the government has strict regulations about organic claims, GMOs are still largely unregulated, so it’s important to be leary. And the butterfly label is one of the only GMO-free food labels that require growers to maintain rigid standards, but there are plenty of other labels out there making the same claims. Non-GMO claims and organic food labels misleading consumers is a problem you can avoid with just a quick glance.

 

So, the big question is, should you be worried about them?

The short answer is, we don’t know yet. GMOs are a rather modern development, so no long-term studies have been done to show their effects. At this time, the government considers them “safe.” The effects to the environment, however, are much clearer. We know that GMOs have led to the development of superweeds and that they disrupt natural biospheres.

Similarly, even the amount of conventional pesticide residue left on non-organic food is considered “safe.” While that may leave you with a raised eyebrow, the positive effects of fruits and vegetables, organic or not, in your diet are unmistakable. And thankfully the presence of pesticides has declined since 1996 when the Food Quality Protection Act was passed.

Most of the data about the effects of pesticides on humans has come from studying farmers who have had first-hand chemical exposure on a regular basis. Certain pesticide chemicals are known to be carcinogenic or endocrine-disruptive.

 

Ok so, given this knowledge, what should you do?

Although your food choices are ultimately yours to make, and the jury is still out about long-term health effects, we have some tips to help you avoid GMOs and pesticides.

  1. Opt for organic whenever possible: especially the Dirty Dozen, with foods bearing the USDA government label. Since GMOs are prohibited in organic food, choosing organic should cover both.
  2. If you don’t see the organic or GMO project label, then check to make sure no derivatives of corn, soy, canola, sugar (except cane), or cottonseed oil are in the product. Those crops are the most likely to contain GMOs.
  3. Check the PLU labels: the little stickers on your fruit? They are actually code for organic, GMOs, and conventionally grown produce. If the code starts with an 8, the food contains GMOs and if it starts with a 9, it’s organic.
  4. Eat foods in their most natural state possible: avoiding packaged and processed foods is a guiding principle for any healthy diet, especially to avoid GMOs and other dangerous ingredients. I think we can all agree that real, whole foods will always offer the best nutritional value.
  5. Shop at your local farmer’s market: Many small local farms are already using the principles of organic farming without the official label, so they are great places to shop. Don’t be afraid to ask stall owners questions and look for the USDA label. Shopping at the farmer’s market will also keep the cost factor of buying organic down.
  6. Grow your own produce: gardening in the backyard can become both a meaningful family project and a way to ensure your food isn’t exposed to chemicals. Food from your own garden is the number one way to be certain about your food.
  7. Join a CSA: even if you don’t have time to tend to your own garden, you can buy from someone else’s. Just do your research beforehand to make sure they use organic gardening methods.

 

Here’s a handy little infograph reference for you to pin that gives you a quick overview of GMO-free versus organic:

GMO free vs organic

Sources:

Weekly Food and Fitness: Food Prep Video!!!

**Hey there, I thought I’d bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it’s easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio days. And for cardio, I’ve been alternating steady state and interval training.

Workouts:

  • Monday: 30 min Brittne Babe arms, abs and HIIT
  • Tuesday: 30 min run
  • Wednesday: 30 min BB legs and HIIT
  • Thursday: rest
  • Friday
    • 30 BB chest, abs and HIIT
    • 30 min walk at lunch
  • Saturday: 35 interval run
  • Sunday: rest

This week I started a new 21-day program from BrittneBabe.com just to switch things up a bit. She sells her programs for just $10, so it was an easy sell. I will do a full review when I’m finished, but so far I’m enjoying it. Brittne is a youngster with a solid business sense and ambition (not to mention a killer bod), which I find really admirable. You can follow along more of my workout journey on Instagram.

On the menu:

  • Breakfast:
  • Lunch: Quinoa burrito bowl (see video description for recipe)
  • Snack: Apple and almonds
  • Dinners: Grilled chicken, burgers, subs, tuna salad, Easter feast!

I filmed a video of my food prep this week, and it only took about 1/2 hour to make. I hope this inspires you to prepare for the week! Food prepping really can be easy, cheap, super healthy and mostly clean!

What are your goals this week?

Weekly Food and Fitness–And the Easiest Pumpkin Turkey Chili Recipe Ever

Hey there, I thought I’d bring back my rundown of my weekly workouts and menus to perhaps inspire others to prepare in advance for a week of healthy eating and give you menu and training ideas. Now that I have more of an established schedule and all, it’s easier for me to organize.

I have been doing at least 30 minutes of exercise every morning, 6 days a week, alternating strength training and cardio. And for cardio, I’ve been alternating steady state and interval training.

Workout Schedule
Monday: 30 min FlashFit (workout series designed by me!)
Tuesday: 30 min interval run
Wednesday: 30 min Supreme 90 Day total body
Thursday: 30 min steady run
Friday: 30 min Tracy Anderson workout
Saturday: 35 min interval run
Sunday: Rest

On the menu this week:


  • Breakfast: My favorite Shakeology smoothie, Greek yogurt and egg whites with spinach.
  • Lunch: Pumpkin turkey chili {below} and my own version of peanut butter balls
  • Snack: cottage cheese with chickpeas (you’ve got to try this combo!!!)
  • Dinners: Mini pizzas, turkey/green bean casserole, crockpot chicken, etc.

Here’s a quick recipe for the chili I made for my lunches. It is adapted from several of my favorite chili recipes in one. I took ingredients that I loved and were super easy to assemble (mostly canned–still healthy) and came up with this:



Easiest Pumpkin Turkey Chili
1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can pumpkin
2 lbs lean ground turkey
your favorite chili seasonings (I used garlic powder, chili powder and cumin)

  1. Brown the turkey, drain the oil.
  2. Dump in the rest of the ingredients and warm through.

Yes, that simple!!! I also would’ve added one diced onion if I had remembered to pick one up. The pumpkin may sound weird, but it really makes the chili so rich and creamy without any added cheese or sour cream. I actually went with a 15-oz can of pumpkin rather than the larger can shown in the picture. You don’t really taste the pumpkin taste either, but do you know how brilliant pumpkin is for your health? You should definitely look it up!

I had my entire house clean on Saturday and my entire work week of food prepped by Sunday afternoon. I proudly read and relaxed the rest of Sunday after this was all prepared, for the first time since we moved. I haven’t done that in a loooooooong time. Ever since we’ve moved, the projects and piles have prevented me from even wanting to relax. So, this type of simple food prep really helped get me to the point where I actually felt like I could relax and read.

How about you, what does your week of food and workouts look like?

Weekly Food Prep

I didn’t get this up sooner in the week, but here is what meal planning looked like for this week! Zucchini zucchini and more zucchini. We are so grateful to have such a healthy harvest of greens between our zucchini and my brother-in-law’s cucumbers. So, we’re trying to get creative about using it and also giving lots of them away.

Meals for this week:
Breakfast: Smoothie and egg whites with salsa
Lunch: stuffed zucchini boats
Snack: Lemony chickpea cucumber salad and kale chips

Here’s how I made the boats. I fried up 2lbs of lean ground turkey with 1/2 chopped onion and one jar of spaghetti sauce.

Then, I cut up a giant zucchini into six pieces and scooped out the seeds and stuffed them with the turkey mixture. Cooked on 375 for about 45 minutes in tin foil. Sooo yummy.

If you haven’t tried kale chips yet, you must! They are so good. I’ve seen them floating around the health and fitness websites for awhile now but just could never comprehend how they could actually be good. Then, I finally tried them. Oh my gosh!!! Sooo good. All I did was mix shredded kale in a bowl with about 1 tbsp olive oil, a minced garlic clove and a little salt. Spread them out on a cookie sheet. Cook at 400 for 10 minutes. Flip and cook for another 10 minutes. My 7yo thought they looked and sounded completely gross! Then, after trying them, kept eating them by the fistful!!!
And just for kicks, here’s a picture of the girl that stole my heart. I love to give her crazy hair after her bath.

The Vegan Roadie at Work

So, my workplace had the honor of hosting the Vegan Roadie for cooking demonstrations today. He was a contestant in the “Brand with 10 Grand” promotional contest that we ran, and so we invited him to make a stop here on his tour. It’s kinda cool how it turned out that way!

The presentation was short and sweet, but Dustin Harder has a great personality that kept us engaged and laughing. With him and his assistants being show people, their personalities were animated and entertaining.

His recipes du jour were Vegan Caesar Salad and Bowties in Garlic Cream Sauce. They were both very delicious! And they looked pretty easy to prepare. I’m no vegan, but I do enjoy many a meat- and dairy-less meal during the week, so I can definitely appreciate having some new recipes in my standard rotation. Dustin had a strong bent for chemical-less ingredients, i.e. clean ingredients. Real food. I’m always down with that!

Bowties in Garlic Cream Sauce

Vegan Caesar Salad

Have you ever tried nutritional yeast before? I actually do have some on-hand at home because it’s actually has a great nutrition profile (excellent source of complete protein) and a really great cheese substitute. That was the main base of the “Parmesan” dressing and it had the same consistency and cheesy taste as parm. It’s a great salad, popcorn and casserole topping. You should try it! It’s not that hard to find in the store. I got mine at a nutrition supplement store, but they sell it right by the Parmesan cheese at the regular grocery store.

Thanks for stopping in on your way through Dustin!
By the way, check out his fun video entry into our contest here!

My Favorite Easy Shakeology Recipe

In the morning, at work, you’ll typically find me triple-fisting it with my three essential beverages: water, coffee and ShakeO smoothie. Obviously, the two first ones are essential for human life, hee hee! The third one is like my protein and vitamin insurance. It covers me in case I don’t get enough essential vitamins in my food and could cover some protein and fiber deficiencies in my diet. Just reading the superfoods in the ingredient list makes me feel healthier. Haha!

Now, I have tried quite a few protein shakes, meal replacement shakes and other smoothie mix-ins. I’m not about to get all gimmicky, but right now I really love the taste of Shakeology and what’s in it most. I was skeptical of it for a loooong time (like, years!!!), but once I tried it, I loved the taste and the ingredient list! There’s nothing but superfoods and all-natural ingredients in there. There are even probiotics in there! You won’t find any weird chemicals like you do with some of the other meal replacements that are big on the market right now (check your labels, I dare you! Ha!)

The fact that it has so much protein is really good for me too. Remember my doctor’s orders about protein? Whenever I track my food intake for a day or two, I always notice that I lean heavily on carbs and not enough on protein. Have you tried this? My guess is you’re leaning the same way too. It’s something I notice with a lot of people I coach. So, getting the extra dose of protein is really important to me.

The only other powder I’ve found so far (because I have looked HARD for an alternative, believe me!) is Raw Meal, which I requested for Christmas, but the taste doesn’t even begin to compare! Raw Meal tastes like it sounds. Kind of like ground up “stuff.” I can just “tolerate” it in my smoothie, but it leaves much to be desired. So, right now, ShakeO it is!

So, my favorite way to prepare Shakeology is this:

Berry Shakeology Smoothie

1 c Frozen berries
1 splash milk
1 scoop vanilla shakeO
Water to fill the rest of the cup
I just blend all the ingredients in my Bullet, and that’s it!

It’s what I always drink on my way to work, after my workout. And let me tell you, it’s an amazing meal replacement when you’re sick because it’s yummy and filling when nothing else sounds good or goes down, it’s giving you tons of vitamins, and the frozen stuff feels really good on the throat.

Another favorite is a Banana ShakeO Milkshake. I like to freeze bananas in our house that are just past the edible stage, but aren’t quite to the rotten stage yet. Thin, I mix a frozen banana with vanilla ShakeO, milk and a sprinkle of cinnamon (and on occasion, some peanut butter). It tastes like a milkshake, no lie!

Interested in Shakeology? Check out the incredible ingredient list and benefits here. Leave a comment or contact me to give it a try.

Clean Eating: Faster than Fast Food

I recently led a 7-day clean eating group, and I was trying to come up with some ideas for clean meals that are “faster than fast food” for my participants. That eliminates a few of the top excuses for not eating healthy, no? I am always tempted to reach for convenience food when I come home starving and it’s way to easy to say that clean eating is way too involved. So, coming up with a few super easy, super fast recipes is my fall back plan so I don’t blow it. I’d like to share these with you too!

Here are a few meal-building lunch/dinner options:

#1. I saw this meal on a website where they asked top nutritionists what they eat on the run. If a nutritionist is eating it, I don’t mind if I do too!

Brown rice (or quinoa/other grain) + sugar snap peas (or any veggie) + black beans

#2. I happened to find this super healthy, organic meal mix at Walmart, right by the frozen Steamer veggies. It’s a kale, quinoa, feta mix that has an incredible amount of flavor and it’s very nutrient dense. I just added a can of black beans and a can of chickpeas for extra bulk with two bags of this, and I had lunch for the week!

3. I like toast-building options too. You can make a complete meal simply by building on top of toast. How about:

  • Bruschetta: tomato, mozzarella, avocado, basil and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Peanut butter roll-ups: pb, honey and banana on a whole wheat tortilla
  • Mini pizzas: mozzarella, tomato or tomato sauce, mushrooms, and onion on an English muffin, heated in the oven.
  • Avocado/egg on toast
  • Ricotta cheese and berries on toast
  • Grown up grilled cheese: lean cheese and a pile of sauteed veggies (onion, pepper, zucchini, etc) on toast.

Do you have any fall-back recipes for clean eating on-the-run?

Healthy Food Prep How-To and Sample Meal Plan

Setting myself up for a week of success starts on Sunday. I am much more likely to stay on track if I have my meals prepped before the week starts. So, my family typically does the grocery shopping after church on Sunday and then I prep my food straight out of the grocery bags when we get home. It has gotten a little bit trickier with an infant to care for too. She slept through a good 1/2 of my food prep this week, but then I had to stir things and nurse at the same time for the other half. A momma’s gotta do what a momma’s gotta do.

Now I’m one of those people that can eat the same thing all week. It has to be tasty though. I’ve made a few duds that I could barely swallow by week’s end (lentil meatloaf, blech!). But I have many old standbys that I make regularly and that I know I’ll look forward to all week.

Tip #1: Start by creating a list of all the breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks you enjoy that you can reference when you’re all out of ideas.

So, each week, I plot out what I’m going to eat at work for breakfast, snack and lunch every day. Every morning, I also have a Shakeology smoothie after my workout at home, so I have to remember to pick up frozen fruit. So, then, I think about all the ingredients I’ll need for these meals and write out what I need on my grocery list. Then, Hubster and I try to figure out at least 5 dinners for the week. We typically either have leftovers, go out to eat, or have dinner with family/friends the other two nights.  I try to keep our dinners pretty clean too, but Hubster likes to cook too and it’s not always “nature-made” types of meals. He’s a meat and potatoes man, and that’s ok with me.

Tip #2: Using your list of meal ideas, sketch out a plan of what you’re going to eat for each and every meal for the week. It doesn’t have to be exact, but you should have a pretty good idea of what you’ll be eating and when. This is where it’s much easier to eat the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch. (And a lot of the food we get is in cartons, like Greek yogurt, so it doesn’t make sense to eat it as a snack for only one day).

So, here’s what I’m planning to eat for the week (keep in mind I’m nursing so my intake is higher than normal):

Breakfast: Egg whites + Salsa + Turkey links
Snack 1: Plain Greek yogurt with toppings (pecans and honey)
Lunch: Quinoa with mixed veggies and feta (tomatoes, spinach, mushroom, onion)
Snack 2: Chickpea salad like this
Family dinners: 
  • Beef tips and gravy like this
  • Easiest crockpot chicken parmigiana ever (chicken + 1 can spaghetti sauce, top with mozzarella)
  • Teriyaki meatballs (ground turkey + egg + oats + teriyaki sauce, baked in oven)
  • Turkey stroganoff like this
  • Broccoli/chicken crockpot meal like this

You’ll notice that not all of our meals are completely clean, but they’re pretty darn healthy and soooo much better than packaged foods or most restaurant foods. My chickpeas and salsa come out of a can for convenience and they’re still pretty darn healthy.

Tip #3: Transfer all ingredients needed for meals onto your grocery list

Here’s my corresponding grocery list. Some of the ingredients we always have on-hand and some we needed to pick up.

Then, we head to the store, of course. We try to stick pretty closely to the list. We may throw one or two non-listed items in the cart, but ideally our goal is to spend $100 per week on groceries (including diapers and pet stuff). So, not only are we eating healthier, we’re also saving money by preparing meals at home and sticking to our grocery list.

Tip #4: Most of your food should come from the perimeter of the store, i.e. the produce aisles, meat section and dairy section. The closest thing to how God made it.

Once we get home from the store and unpack everything, I get to work making my work food for the week. I find that for me, it’s best if I start right away. I’m already up and about, handling all the food. If I put all the food away and get settled in, it’s harder to get motivated.

Food prep doesn’t actually take that long. Well, it could if you wanted to get fancy, but generally I spend an hour or less. That’s one TV show–and I have healthy food for the entire week!

Tip #5: Always start with the food that takes the longest to cook.

Get those things that cook longer in first, especially the ones that don’t require any attention while they’re cooking. I put my acorn squash in the oven first where it went for 1 hour and then started the quinoa on the stovetop for its 15 minutes of cook time. While those things were cooking by themselves, I was chopping and sauteeing veggies and preparing the chickpea salad.

Yummy nighttime snack for the week. 
Simply place cut-side down in a pan of water and cook 375 for 1 hour

My pile of veggies sauteeing in olive oil while the quinoa was cooking. 
(My lunches consists of just these two mixed together with feta on top)

Quick chickpea salad

Tip #6: Load all your work food for the week in a thermal grocery bag.

Next, I load all the parts of my meals into a big grocery bag and bring it to work for the week. I used to portion out the egg whites and Greek yogurt into individual containers and take one at a time to work every day, but I’ve found that it’s so much easier and so much less time consuming to just bring the whole container to work. I don’t ever forget anything this way and I don’t have to carry a lunch bag every day, just the one bag on Monday that stays in the work fridge all week. I know that the egg white (microwave scrambled eggs) and Greek yogurt containers have just enough for 5 days, so I never have to worry about portion sizes with things like that. The sausages come in 10-packs, so I have two per day–and then I don’t waste plastic baggies on each serving either.

Dinners are just prepared nightly or thrown in the crockpot in the morning, depending on what we’re in the mood for, who feels like cooking, etc. We like fast and easy meals, otherwise we’re more tempted to go out or eat junk instead. I always keep a few extra things on-hand that we can snack on when we get home from school/work like string cheese, baby carrots, popcorn and the above acorn squash. The snacks typically need to be easy and in the front of the fridge so we remember they’re there and don’t grab for something less healthy. 
Really, for one hour on a Sunday, this type of preparation is so worth it! It’s so much easier to stay on track during the week and not have to wonder what our next meal is going to be. It’s not as hard as it seems to prep healthy food for an entire family for a whole week. Give it a try!
How do you prep for the week?

Weekend Highlights: Home Shopping and Lotsa Babies

The first thing I did Saturday morning, after feeding the kidlets of course, was Kenpo X from P90X. I had the cutest little workout partner who did pretty much the whole thing with me. And by “whole thing,” I mean the whole 30 minutes that my DVD actually played. There’s a glitch in my DVD that sends it back to the beginning after 30 minutes. And here I was ready to pound out an hour! Oh darn.

This weekend, Hubster wasn’t feeling well. At. All. I’m pretty sure we’re at the point that we should see a doctor. But you know boys… Anywho, we did make a quick trip to peek at a house on Saturday. It was the perfect house, in the perfect location, with the perfect garage/workspace and everything. It was on 7 acres with a wooded area and a creek. I mean, the stuff of dreams (well, mine at least). If it sounds too good to be true…. As the realtor put it, the foundation “needed some attention” Once that TLC (read: all new foundation) was taken care of, we’d be too far over our budget. And that wasn’t even counting fixing the cracks in the walls from when the house had shifted.

But the realtor also had another listing for us to peek at, so it was good that we went. We were in full-on house hunting mode earlier in my pregnancy, and now that Rayna is past the crazy newborn stage, we’re back at looking again. On our way home, we swung in to visit some family that lived close by so they could see Rayna, you know, before she heads off to college.

Sunday, I volunteered in the nursery at my church. I was wondering how it would go with taking care of other babies AND my own. Let’s just say I actually broke a sweat. I was serving with a 14-ish year old girl and at one point, there were 7 babies in the room, 3 of which can’t even sit up yet. AND it was during the Packer playoff game, so I was very surprised! I finally tried Rayna out in an exersaucer. She’s still a wee bit small, but it was adorable. She needed a pillow under her feet. But at one point, all the babies surrounded her and they were all playing with the toys on it.

Check out this adorable upcycled outfit from our neighbor friends.
I love ruffle butts!

After church, we picked up Hubster and hit up the Chinese buffet. As if I needed this temptation after a whole week of hardcore training and eating clean. Well, at least they had some tasty healthy options so I didn’t completely blow my progress. But I did have a little bit of the peanut butter chicken and some stuffed mushrooms.

Sunday prep day also happened. I’m currently working my way through P90X in this amazing Challenge Group that me and 4 other coaches are leading. I’ve already noticed some changes in my body after only 6 days and can’t wait to see what happens by month’s end. Anyway, I will be doing a post mid-week about how I meal prep, so you can see exactly what I’m eating to keep me on track. And I’ll also be doing a review of how P90X and our Challenge Group is going soon.

Later in the evening, my parents came over to soak up some of that delicious baby love. It was nice to just have a laid-back weekend with visits with family and time together.

What did you do this weekend?

Weekly Food Prep

 photo 7a0e3606-0646-4e33-9c1c-ec30739425c2_zps0cc1fc6b.jpg

Upon entering Phase 2 of the South Beach Diet, I’d like to share what a typical menu looks like on this plan. No, I do not eat salads for every meal (hardly eat them at all!). And yes, I do cheat just a little bit. This week, I’m finally allowed to have a few carbs including one fruit and one starch, which will be quinoa.

Left to right: salsa meatballs over a bed of quinoa,
egg scramble and turkey sausage, broccoli/cauliflower, apples

Breakfast, 265 calories:

  • 5 egg whites + shredded zucchini, mushrooms, onions and a sprinkle of cheese
  • 3 breakfast turkey sausage links

Snack, 210 calories: 

  • Apple with cinnamon
  • 20 almonds

Lunch, 299 calories:

  • Quinoa + salsa meatballs with sauce (similar to this recipe, but with ground turkey)

Snack, 177 calories:

  • Raw broccoli and cauliflower with hummus
  • 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese

Dinners: 

  • Turkey chili dogs (minus the bun)
  • White bean chicken chili
  • Taco salad
  • Something with turkey bacon
  • Etc.

I’m really loving the variety I’ve found with the South Beach and low-carb recipes out there. I brought a stack of cookbooks home from the library, flagged pages like crazy, and saved all the recipes I knew I would actually use to a Google document. Then, when I sit down to plan my menu for the week, I just scroll through to see what looks good. I’ve been sticking with eggs and sausage in the morning and just change up the veggies in the eggs because I don’t see myself getting sick of this breakfast. I try to keep the snacks easy too, usually along the lines of plain Greek yogurt with nuts, cottage cheese or veggies and dip. That way, most of the planning goes into lunches and dinners and prep time is still manageable. I also eat the same thing for breakfast and lunch every day to keep things simple.

Dinners, we typically plan like normal for the family, but I just switch things up a little bit for my diet. For example, this past week we had spaghetti on the menu. Instead of having noodles like Hubster and Peanut did, I used shredded zucchini that I roasted on the stove for a bit. I still eat hot dogs and burgers too, just without the bun or wrapped in lettuce instead. They still taste great! Really, you have to try it to dig it. We had pizza mozzarella burgers on the grill and it tasted so delicious wrapped in lettuce, I didn’t miss the bun. All the great taste is in the burger itself, not the bun!

Every night before bed, I pack all the various pieces of my lunch in my big lunch bag and stash it in the fridge. The next morning, I literally only need to grab the bag and go. This food prep plan keeps me on time for work, fully prepared and allows me to fully adhere to my meal plan.

What are you eating this week? What are your best tips for meal planning?