How to Food Prep. The details and more!

So I've been asked how do you food prep? How much time does it take? What do you make? How do you plan for it?
Let me break it all down for you:-)

First things first, I started food prepping on Sundays for the week because Ryan and I have completely different work schedules that sometimes allows me to cook dinner at night at sometimes we get home at 8:30pm and have nothing prepared leading us to snacking or even worse being too tired and going straight to bed without dinner.  I also have the luxury of eating all of my meals at home and Ryan brings his lunch to work so that's where preparation comes into play to provide us to complete meals that don't require any time or much clean up during the busy work days.
I start by collecting recipes and on Friday or Saturday I sit down and make a list of the meals for the week and the grocery list that goes with that.  Sunday morning I hit the grocery store bright and early to avoid the lines, I get my exercise in (usually run or yoga) and then it's to the kitchen to start cooking and I try to get this all done before noon so that we still can have a day together.

Here is an example of what a week of food prep for 1 looks like (I actually made this for a client):

Breakfast: 5 smoothie packs containing 1 large handful of fresh spinach, 1 cup frozen chopped pineapple, 1 cup frozen sliced strawberries, and half of a banana. Place bags in the freezer and each morning add your choice of liquid, blend, and enjoy.

Morning snack: 5 days worth of Chobani Greek Yogurt, Sliced strawberries and chopped honeydew.

Lunch:  4 salads (2 different types)
Salad 1: Spinach, craisins, shelled pistachios, crumbled goat cheese, 1/2 an avocado, roasted balsamic chicken breast
Salad 2: Southwest inspired salad containing spinach, red peppers, cilantro, 1/2 an avocado, black beans, white shoepeg corn, chicken chili lime burger 

Afternoon Snack: Hummus with carrot and celery sticks, Green apples

Dinner: 4 Dinners (2 different proteins)
Dinner 1: Chicken Chlili LIme Burgers with sweet potato coins, broccolini and quinoa
Dinner 2: Balsamic Chicken Breast with sweet potato coins, broccolini and quinoa

Dessert: Raw Cashew and Oat Cookie Dough BItes (so delish)

Time: 1 hour trip to the grocery store roundtrip
        3.5 hours prep/cooking time

This might sound like a lot of time and work but it is the best to come home to a prepared meal and know that you are going to eat healthy, eat wholesome, and be satisfied. Being prepared keeps you on track and helps avoid making bad food decisions.

Completely worth every minute!  Plan, Prep, Cook, Package Up and Eat healthy for a Whole week!

Workout Plan for the Week:
Monday: 1 Hour Cardio/Strength Interval Training
Tuesday: Teach Bootcamp and Hot Vinyasa Yoga
Wednesday: Long Run
Thursday: 45 min Cardio/Strength Interval Training, Teach Bootcamp
Friday: 1 hour Partner Workout 
Saturday: Pilates
Sunday: OFF

Perfect Form. How to perfect the Double Leg Lower. Exercise 4.

Exercise 4.  The Double Leg Lower, part of the Pilates matwork abdominal series.  The double leg lower is a super challenging low belly exercise.  But like every exercise it is only beneficial and effective when performed correctly. 

Important elements:
 Move slowly with control and precision.  If you have tight hamstrings or a tight low back and cannot achieve 90 degrees with your legs straight, work the exercise from tabletop (90/90).  

Perfect Form. How to perfect the lunge. Exercise 3.

Exercise 3 in the series of 6. The lunge.  Lunges are a fantastic exercise, they challenge your balance, coordination, improve flexibility and strength.  Lunges target all of the major muscle groups in the lower half of your body; quadriceps (top of the thigh), glutes, hamstrings (back of the thigh), calves, and they engage the core (when done properly). They are a very functional exercise, meaning they that they directly improve the performance of natural, everyday movements.   Remember, an exercise is only as good as the form it is performed with!

Perfect Form. How to Perform the Bicylce. Exercise 2.

Exercise 2 in the series of 6.  The bicycle or as we call it in Pilates, the criss cross.
If I had to choose one exercise that I see performed most incorrectly almost every time I go to the gym, this is it!  The criss cross is a great exercise for the core, working the rectus abdominis (the 8 pack) and the obliques (side belly muscles).  It is only a great exercise when performed CORRECTLY.  I see people doing 100s of repetitions at the gym and turning their head from side to side and never rotating their torso.  To work your obliques the body must rotate from the waist and to work the rectus abdominis you must contract forward from the torso, not your neck.  Read below and try it out!