I believe that I mentioned that my Dear Husband and I both work full-time outside the home. We’re also both on the Nutrisystem D program. It calls for several additional servings of PowerFuels (proteins) and SmartCarbs (fruits and starches) each per day, along with 4 servings of vegetables (1 serving = 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked) and 3 Limited Extras (max. 35 calories) to be eaten alongside the Nutrisystem ® entrees.
I often don’t get home until 6:00. This means that if I want to enjoy my evenings, and spend some quality time with my DH enjoying the sunset, I need to be organized…
I’ve taken to spending an hour or two on Sunday afternoons prepping some things for the week ahead.
I like string cheese for its convenient packaging. 1 = 1 PowerFuel. These sit in the fridge until I need them, and I don’t have any prep work to do! (Bonus tip: the No Name brand, in the bright yellow bag, can usually be had for $4.99 for 16, instead of $7.00 for the name brand.)
While we’re talking about prepackaged foods, here’s another one of my favourites:
They’re really not the same as canned. I like to chop these up and throw them cold into a salad (especially with crumbled goat cheese and a sweetish dressing). They are also great for roasting. Just throw them on the sheet with the other vegetables and toss everything in the oven at 425F for 20 minutes.
You’re allowed 3 ‘Limited Extras’ a day on Nutrisystem of up to 35 calories each. Use them to add extra flavour. When I’m sauteing vegetables, I like to use garlic spread. Yes, the stuff for making garlic bread! Hey, why not – it’s extra flavour without extra work. One tsp = one limited extra.
I’ve got a fair-sized collection of small containers, ranging from about 3 tbsp to 2 cups in volume. The ones with the clear blue lids are by Ziploc®, the one with the green lid is by Rubbermaid®, the one with the dark blue lid is by Tupperware®, and I think the oval one came out of a prepackaged meal. I picked the purple one up at a random kitchen store. Except for the oval one (which is great for dips and salsa), I have multiples of each.
You know what else I have multiples of? Knives and cutting boards!
My husband likes hard-boiled eggs for one of his daytime PowerFuels. I usually cook up about half a dozen on Sunday, and put them in the fridge in individual reusable containers.
I also buy the bulk packages of chicken breasts and divide them into the amount we’ll eat in a week. (About 2 or 3 pieces, depending on size.) One portion goes into a marinade (for additional flavour), the others go into individual bags and into the freezer.
I’ll pop a week’s worth into the oven at 350F for 20 to 25 minutes. Once they’ve cooled, I cut them into thin strips and package them in individual containers in 2 oz portions. I usually do strips instead of chunks because that way DH can make a sandwich out of them with one of his SmartCarbs (a small bun or Weight Watchers ® multi-grain thin) for the day. (Sandwich = 1 PowerFuel + 1 SmartCarb). If you prefer to add them to an entree, like the chicken soup, go ahead and chunk them up!
I have a scale which can be tared (zeroed) easily, so if I am using different sized containers, it’s still quick to load multiples.
We have 4 of these amazing salad sets from Rubbermaid®. The bottom will hold up to 4 cups of lettuce, although I prefer 2, and DH gets 3. The green insert tray has a compartment for the small salad dressing container, and two separate compartments to keep wet and dry ingredients apart until you’re ready to eat.
They come with this ‘Blue Ice’ freezer block, too. I keep those in the freezer and pop them on top each morning when I pack the lunch bags.
I’ll make four salads on Sunday, for Monday and Tuesday, then DH will may two on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights for the next day’s lunches. (He gets home before me, and usually has the dishwasher emptied, table set for dinner, dinner vegetables prepped and salads made before I get home. Thank you, love!)
I try to vary the vegetable a little bit each time, and keep 2 – 4 low-fat dressings on hand, too. I’ve thrown some Chinese cabbage into the 2 on the right, and they’ll get radishes, yellow bell pepper and a gingery Asian-style dressing. The 2 on the left may get some chopped chives or green onions added to them, along with grated carrots and red bell pepper.
I also like to package up other items in single-serving containers, such as grapes and pickles. DH likes his dills ‘full sour’, and he generally gets one a day. We picked this bottle up at Costco yesterday for $4.99. I like to package them, though, and get that behemoth out of my fridge as soon as possible!