21- Food Prep, Food planning and shopping

Podcast #21 Show Notes
Weight Loss Tiki Podcast
Hosted By: Kary Has
Podcast Episode: 21- Food Prep
Sponsored By: The Best Life Weight Loss Plan & Interactive Journal

Short Story Featured: The wise teacher and the jar- Roger Darlington

live your life full out
Don’t dwell on the small things
take responsibility for the life you have made for yourself
if there is something you don’t like about it- change it!
everything you say, do, or don’t do is a choice you are making every day
you have the power to chose your daily actions, activities, and thoughts
your time is as busy as you decide to make it
normally our time is not as busy as our mind is
that, too, is a choice
unless you are currently incarcerated- your day, time, thoughts, and all actions are all a daily choice
you don’t have to go to work, or have a big house
or have a house at all- some people live in boxes
you could survive in a box and not die
you don’t have to have nice clothes- or any clothes… some people chose to live in a nudist colony- it is a choice
you don’t have to pay your bills, or have electricity in your home
some people live without electricity, and not too long ago everyone lived without electricity
if you currently go to work, wear clothes, or pay your bills- it is because you decided to,
you chose this not because you HAD to or had no choice, in fact you had a choice, and did not want the alternative
all decisions we make- have a consequence
good and bad- which can be objective
if we break laws- we might be gambling- we may get caught- get a ticket, or go to jail
if we eat 20 donuts- there’s no gambling- it’s inevitable. We WILL consume the calories, and gain the weight
if we aim for our calorie budget, usually hitting it pretty close, drink our water, move a little more, and keep a good attitude-
we will be happy, we will lose weight, and we will improve our health
we make choices throughout our day that either hinder or help our weight loss goals
this week is all about pre-making some of those decisions before hand to make your life a little bit easier

YES- this week is all about food prep
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve talked to that say I would food prep- but I don’t have time
Or I tried it once and it took all day and it was horrible
or I would try it but I’m not that organized, or I don’t know how
and some of you have said- what the heck is food prep?

So let’s start with the basics- WHAT is food prep
Food Prep is preparing certain meals- into single ready to eat portions
Do you have to food prep every meal?
No- prep the meals you want to prep. I for example do not food prep dinner
Dinner is something I make every night, with the help of my instat-pot
I think I would go insane if I ate the same thing for dinner every night- but I prep everything else
Why is food prep popular?
3 reasons
1- saves time- you prepare a certain amount ahead of time and do not have to prepare it that way
2- you can think ahead about healthy foods and will cut down on impulse unhealthy choices
3- saves $- pack vs buy
bonus: It looks pretty lined up in mason jars or Tupperware and could inspire a great instagram or Pinterest or FB post
How can I make Food Prep FUN:
HERE is my trick- this is nothing new guys.
I hated food prep day too.
But as many of you already know- I have a trick I use on myself to workout- I have a netflix obsession. Since I am a Couch potato at heart
I only allow myself to watch a certain binge worthy show while I’m on my treadmill…
AND while food prepping. This is one occasion I allow myself to be able to watch my show off my treadmill.
Cause I’m moving around doing good healthy things for myself and preparing the success of my week
so HECK YEAH my one exception to only watching my
certain treadmill show OFF the treadmill is when I am food prepping.
And as everything else- it gets easier the more you do it.
I know some people who wear June Cleaver type aprons, and dresses and pearls, drink wine, and watch lifetime or hallmark channel movies
I mean have fun with it however you please- dress up like a zombie and watch ghost hunting episodes or steven king movies
tease your hair wear blue eye shadow and watch 80 movies
have a new theme for every food prep if that’s what gets you excited about it
honestly I am usually in slippers and a football jersey, with my bluetooth over the head dorky blue tooth earphones watching my girly
shows as I sashay around the kitchen making my foodplan- sometimes I’ll light a candle. And my husband is
normally watching sports, doing estimates, or playing iron madien on his phone in or ajoining living room
area smiling at me every once in awhile and popping in for a peak or bite here and there
Point is- make it fun and compelling for YOU to want to be in your kitchen for 2-3 hours
you WILL get faster and more efficient at this- at the beginning it will take longer so make it enticing
And the final question: I don’t even know where to start. I don’t know how to food prep..
OK- so if this is you- this podcast will be a game changer for you because we are going to go through everything step by step
but let me first ask you- have you ever packed a picnic. I know it’s not 1953-
how about this- have you ever packed a lunch? Either for yourself or your kids?
its just like that- times 4 or 5
you are going to make 5 lunches, not one. AND it doesn’t take much more effort
you already have out the bread, turkey, chips, fruit, etc
this is efficiency and planning
this is all food prep is- preparing the food ahead of time.
for as many meals as you desire
so that you save time, save money, AND don’t have to think about it- guaranteed healthy choices

step 1= plan your menu choices
when your first starting out
you will want to explore your options
this is the fun part!
I use good old fashioned 3×5 index cards
the 3×5 card is essentially a recipe card
I keep mine in a card box- under categories like breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks
on each 3×5 card- I write the food name at the top, and the calorie amount to the right circled
you are going to go through and make some 3×5 cards to get yourself started
what sounds good? What do you want to eat?
go ahead and make some cards for yourself and you will be adding to this as you go- every week

For example: under the snacks divider-
you may have a card that says at the top “Apple”, and 70 circled at the top right corner
then another that says “hard boiled egg” at the top, then to the right 70 is also circled
now when you are looking through your snack choices and need an option for a snack under 100 calories-
you have 2 great choices

when you get to something more complicated- such as taco salad
you would write the title- taco salad, and the calories on the upper right circled
then list all the ingrediants, with calories next to each ingredient in case you have to tweak it to fit within your calorie budget
then write in cooking instructions if there is anything you need to remember
now when you are looking for a lunch option and you get to taco salad- you can quickly scan the card to see if it is an option,
maybe its over what you were allotting for lunch that day, but by omitting the black beans and their 55 calories it
or switching the sour cream to salsa it is back in the game
and you have your shopping list right there too
I do these cards for every meal I ever food prep- big or small
don’t think something is too simple to write down
you will be glad you did someday when you are out of creativity
such as a pickle or a sugar free jello cup- each only being 5 calories
and remember to write in the ingrediants which will save you time when you go to make your grocery list each week

2= figure out what meals you want to prep
I am moving forward with the assumption you are already a weight loss tiki podcast listener
if not- go back to the beginning you have missed like 20 great episodes
or at least to podcast 5 and 6 which will teach you some of the basics you will need, including your calorie budget
and how to track- which will be important to know when your hungry throughout your day and how many meals per day you want to eat
if you have a best life journal- grab it- everything you need is in that journal
if you don’t- grab a few sheets of paper
calculating meals
so say your cal budget is 1600
and you prefer to have your largest meal for dinner
reserve 1/2 those calories for dinner- or at least start out trying that
800 for dinner
800 for other meals throughout the day
you can always tweak this # if you need to- remember this is where your food journaling is going to come into play and help you realize
how often to eat, when you are most hungry, and what is the best foods to help you stay satisfied
depending on how many other times you want to eat throughout the day, you spread around the rest of the calories
I know from my best life journal I get hungry- most days- about every 2 1/2-3 hours
So I want to do a breakfast, mid morning snack, lunch, mid afternoon snack, and dinner and if needed a lite snack even after dinner
So if I reserve about 1/2 my calories for dinner- which I usually do-
that leaves me 700-800 calories to plan into how ever many other meals I want to eat throughout the day
and because I don’t want to cook for hours and hours,
I normally plan smaller calorie, EASY snacks-with minimal prep time
like fruit, pre-packaged foods like yogurt, cheese stick, nuts, applesauce cup, etc- something to just tide me over
there are examples of food prep ideas in podcast 6 if you want inspiration
then I plan more substantial meals for my bfast and lunches- my main meals
so my calorie amounts are normally budgeted like this:

200-300 for bfast
50-150 for mid morning snack
200-300 for lunch
50-150 for mid afternoon snack
600-800 for dinner
50-150 for evening snack

again this is a guideline which you can play around with
so figure out how many meals you want to prep for
from last week we know we are only eating when we are physically hungry
Maybe you don’t get physically hungry like me every 2 1/2- 3 hours
maybe 3 meals a day is enough for you
cross off meals you don’t want- if in the mid morning you’re not hungry and don’t need a snack-
cross it off and more calories for another meal
and decide how many of those meals you want to make ahead-
one thing I worried about before I meal prepped for an entire week of the same breakfasts and lunches and snacks all week long was that I would get sick of the same food
this surprisingly happened very rarely
first of all you can swap out what order you have your prepared food in during the day
second of all you are eating what you like
which is a lot better than the last minute aisle wander thru a gas station to grab something unappetizing
or swinging thru the drive thru where everything starts tasting and smelling the same and isnt doing your bottom any favors
by meal prepping you get to decide what you want to eat
Dinners- that beind said- I don’t meal prep my dinners- I make each dinner every night- it’s my variety
MY family likes certain dinner staples like lasagna, chicken and noodles, pizza, spaghetti and meatballs
and other higher calorie foods
My trick here is my salad buffet drawer
adapted from a great ideal from the phit n phat podcast
I try to add a salad with my dinner in order to fill myself up, and this allows me to eat less of the starchy higher calorie foods
I purchased a clear acrylic drawer type container from the container store- I think it was about 12 bucks
but you can use a dollar store basket or whatever works
I get out the whole container and inside the container I have about 6 mason jars with different salad toppings, and a bag of lettuce
I get this out every night when I serve dinner- set it up on the counter and fam can go along pick what they want and make their own salad
the mason jars keep food way longer than Tupperware I have found, and hold ingrediants such as:
bacon bits
shredded cheese
cherry tomatoes
raisons or cranberries
canned foods like artichoke hearts
the options are endless and you can swap out different ingrediants every week or so for variety
I usually have 3-4 salad dressings on hand as well for variety

So now you know how many meals you want to prep, you have figured your approximate calorie budget per meal
and you may already have some options on your cards for meals this week
your goal will be to prep for a week at a time- I usually prep for 5 days, use one day to eat out and try new things, and one for leftovers
when your first starting out- try to prep for 2 or 3 days at a time until you get the hang of it- remember baby steps
now, time to put it all together
when picking which meals to make this week
you may need to take a few things into consideration
what environment will you be in?
if you will be in an office- will you have access to a fridge, microwave, stove?
will you be in your car- without fridge and microwave access but you can bring a cooler?
will you be flying and can not have a cooler?
will you be home?
the foods you choose may need to be chosen carefully depending on your environment of which you will be eating
keep limitations you may have in mind
will you be eating out or have anything planned? If so- deduct that meal on that day from your prep, you may have a brunch planned
and can deduct a day of breakfast and lunch you need to make

keeping all considerations in mind- pick your first food prep- aim for a 2 or 3 day time period for now

grocery list
so when I am making my grocery list-
add in your ingrediants from your chosen food prep meals right from your 3×5 cards
include your salad buffet ingrediants, and dinner ingrediants for the week
plus if you are making those school lunches or work lunches for other people in the house- add those in
If you have a best life journal- you have a grocery list page
I like to make my list according to where in the store I will find each ingredient
such as dairy, frozen, cans, boxed foods, fruits and veggies, etc
it helps you stay in the section of the grocery store you need to go to-
the cookie isle is usually not on my list- don’t have to wander down it
again we are streamlining this process to help you get through your food prep faster and efficiently

in todays day and age- you most likely have a store nearby that for an additional $5, you can pick your ingrediants online
and pick them up at a certain time from the store already bagged up
you will save more than $5 not going into the store and will be less likely to pick up junk food AND save time
triple great idea
My Krogers does this
or if you are like me- a bargain hunter, its worth saving 50% on my groceries to shop somewhere like ALDIS yourself
where I can get all my shopping done in under 30 minutes- sometimes less

getting your kitchen ready for your food prep gets its own category here because it is also very important
before you walk out the door to shop- you want to have your kitchen ready for you to go
make sure your kitchen is clean
dishes are done
dishwasher empty
I like an empty trash can- I pull it out of my pantry and put it in the middle of my floor
depending on how much counterspace you have- you may want to grab your card table to set up or some of those family room tv trays
you are going to have “stations” in your kitchen for your food prep
Each station I have a cutting board and nice knife if needed
and several measuring spoons and cups
This is where the real dollar store comes in beautifully- I have several measuring spoons, cups, cutting boards, large bowls to mix things
also get out your Tupperware or mason jars per section to fill
which if needed is something else you can purchase at the dollar tree
you may also want to do a quick clean out of your fridge and make sure you have an empty shelf for all your food prep for the week
and while your in the fridge- cross off any items on your grocery list that you already have
other things you may need at first is:

cooler in case you are away from the house for some of your meals
cool packs to keep your food cold in your cooler
tin foil
large bowls
measuring cups, spoons
cutting boards as we discussed
plastic silverware if your packing foods
and of course I don’t know what I would do without my instant pot and ninja blender
egg patty cooker
potato bag
copper skillet
nice spatulas

4- shop
come home and put away- keep out things you need now into stations
set up stations
I normally have a bfast section, lunch section, kiddo and hubbys lunch section and a snack section if any prep is required
this is where easy snacks are a blessing- mozz cheese stick, fruit, pre-packaged snack or yogurt- goes in fridge first
put soapy water in sink- wash as you go
or rinse and put in dishwasher- makes clean up easier

5- cook If I’m cooking anything in the instant pot I start here
meat, rice, hard boiled eggs
phit n phat podcast also recommends buying = rotisserie chicken- great idea so you don’t have to cook a whole
chicken if you are using chicken meat in any food meals
canned meat= tuna, chicken
ground chicken or turkey or beef- cook all at once on copper skillet or wok- taco meat
if your making anything in the oven- I do this prep next
then put together cold items, salads, sandwiches, bowls, and I
always make my son’s and hubby lunches last
The meal prep is then complete once the dishes are done and kitchen is clean

make sure to record all meals prepped on your 3×5 card for next time prep-
or meal ideas and ingredient list to help save time in the future

make observations throughout the week also
if something sounds good or you think of other meal prep ideas, or want to tweak a recipe you already made- jot them down
A couple tips I have found-
if you are buying mason jars- buy the wide mouth ones- easier to clean and also fit the small tupperwares for dressing or salsa
don’t pre-make burritos for the week- burrito or flat bread will get mushy. Put the ingrediants in a tupperware
and dump it in the tortilla that day
don’t add in a lot of fiber at once
if you prep ahead and freeze instant pot dinner meals- put the ingrediants in a gallon sized ziplock
then inside a large circular tupperware- also found at the dollar tree- this way you wont have to thaw the
meal and it will plop right into your instant pot
write on the back of your 3×5 cards notes about the recipe- did you family rate it a 10/10- was it bland?
Would It have been just as good with half the cheese, etc
if you are looking for meal inspiration- Pinterest is a great place
also podcast #6 is full of great brainstorming meal plan inspiration
myfitnesspal also has recipes with calories
also Aldi’s website has recipes with calories
most importantly- eat what you like. Tweak things is you need to in order to stay within your calorie range
and have fun!!!

Shop, Chop and Roll Meal Plan:
Breakfast: egg white omlete- with green pepper, tomato, american cheese, salt and pepper
Snack: vitality cereal with blueberries and almond milk- wide mouth mason jar- 1/4 cup
Lunch: salad with spinach, 0 cal raspberry dressing, bacon bits and cherry tomatoes
flatbread with spinach, roasted red bell pepper, green pepper, onion, american cheese, dijon mustard, mushrooms and banana peppers (emulate subway)
Snack: apple and mozzerela cheese stick
Dinner: instant pot beef stroganoff with noodles- recipe on Wlmotivation.com, mashed potatoes, and salad with reduced fat mozzerela, croutons, bacon bits, and poppyseed dressing
Snack: pumpkin cherrios 3/4 cup and 1/2 c almond milk
Calorie Content for the Day: 1567


Question to consider until next week…

What is you theme song? If there was a 30 minute sitcom about your life- what would the theme song be at the beginning of your show? Click To Tweet

Don’t miss next week when we will discuss:
dieting on a budget
how to lose weight AND save money
Show Notes Bonus Features…


Beef Stroganoff
(freeze ahead)
– 1 pound ground beef chuck, browned and drained
– 1 can cream of mushroom soup
– 1 can beef broth
– 1 pkt beef gravy mix
– 12 oz bag frozen Parisian veggies

Dump all ingrediants into gallon size zip lock and freeze.
Freeze in a large circular shaped tupperware in order to dump it right into your instant pot without thawing later

To Make:
Place in fridge overnight to thaw
cook in instant pot 20-25 min
Serve over egg noodles

Shopping made super easy- Below are products mentioned on the podcast
Click on the photo for more info or to buy immediately from Amazon 😉

Instant pot picture/ link

Cutting boards


100 calorie nut packs

lunch cooler

popcorn 100 cal bags



Fiber One Chocolate Bar

wide mouth mason jars

raspberry calorie-free dressing

potato cooker bag

dressing tupperware


Ninja Blender


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