Simplifying summer meals is key. As summer zooms by I look back and see all the BBQs, festivals, farmer’s markets and parties that we’ve been going to and think about all the fun we’ve been having. I also see delicious tasty treats when I picture those events which hasn’t been helping me achieve my goal of 1 lb per week until Sophie’s Birthday.
To catch you up, I wrote about how I want to lose 1 lb per week until Sophie’s Birthday October 5th (because it is an attainable amount of time) before I am comfortable to start trying to have another baby. My last pregnancy was painful because of the weight I’d put on and am trying to make it easier on myself for my next pregnancy. To lose 1 lb. per week I have been following my health coach Michael’s program through Thrive Culture. He helps me implement small goals that build throughout the year to slowly help me adjust to being healthier (correct portion sizes, eating slowly, getting good sleep etc.)
Since summer started it has been a whirlwind of fun, knowing that once August and pre-school hit, we will be back to our normal routine. As such I have been making the most out of it with fun activities which does not always result in conscious meal planning. Sitting down to figure out what meals we want, ordering it on ClickList and following through to make them after a full day of fun is exhausting. I decided to give myself a break and simplify summer meals.
Simplifying Summer Meals
To simplify our family’s summer meals I’ve chosen staples that I know the family loves and we rotate between them. I have broken my meals down into two parts: Breakfast Foods and Main Meals. We make enough food for dinner that we’re able to take the leftovers for lunch the next day (which is why I lumped both meal times into Main Meals). I wanted to choose meals that had these three criteria:
- Fast & Easy
- Something Sophie will eat (she’s picky)
- Mostly Healthy
Here is how I’ve broken them down, including recipes to the ones that need a recipe:
Breakfast (choose 1)
- Oatmeal with Chia Seeds, Nuts (almonds, pecans or walnuts), honey and berries (blueberries, strawberries or blackberries). On special occasions I’ll do honey, chia seeds and peanut butter.
- Protein Shake with fruit, (I keep a mix of frozen fruit in the freezer or use fruit that is about to go bad- strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, bananas) chia seeds, spinach, protein powder and greek yogurt. I’ll add in local honey if it’s especially tart.
- Eggs with veggies (whatever I have laying around like spinach, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms). I usually make sausage links on Sundays for the week so sometimes I’ll have that with my eggs as well as a side of berries or an apple.
- Salad with Chicken (mixed greens, sliced almonds, mandarin oranges, soy beans with a raspberry vinaigrette)
Burger with Egg and Avocado, Roasted Red Potatoes and Steamed Green Beans *no bun
Salmon with Brown Rice and Steamed Broccoli
Roasted Sausage and Veggies (peppers, red potato, green beans, onion)
I know these meals don’t sound ‘summery’ but we still get our share of grilled goods on the weekends when visiting friends and family. If we’re ever feeling like something specific we can just add that one thing and know that we’ll have a meal that we won’t be able to cook on autopilot and schedule that for a day we’ll have plenty of time.
It has worked out nicely since we’ve implemented this rotation of staple meals that we’re comfortable throwing together. It makes meal planning, ordering and prep way easier when we just choose from the list. We don’t have that feeling of ‘will everyone like it’ or ‘is it really only going to take 45 min to bake or will it end up being 1.5 hrs?’
What are some summer hacks you have for simplifying the chaos during these fun months? Pool time instead of baths? Yea, we do that too. 😉 Be sure to check out my friend Michael’s program. Right now he’s running a special where he’s giving away his Nutrition & Fitness for Busy Professionals for free (including my number one helper: the power of sleep)!