Top 10 Breakfasts for Busy Mornings

Who skips breakfast or spends hundreds a year on coffeeshop breakfasts because it’s just too hard to make breakfast at home on your way to work or getting the kids out of the house? That was me, until I found a few easy prep ahead meals that took minutes to make grab-and-go breakfasts each day. Take a look at the options below, give them a try and let me know what works and what your favorites are! Suggested recipes are linked below, but feel free to use a recipe you already have or find on your own as well!

Overnight Chia Pudding (I use this recipe by Giada DeLaurentiis) –
You can make 3-4 servings at a time, storing in airtight containers in the fridge, ready to grab and go! To keep yourself from getting bored or burned out on the same thing every day, you can:

  • Change the fruit/nut topping combinations each day
  • Use chocolate (dairy or non-dairy) milk
  • Make it more like a parfait by layering the mix-ins before eating

Instant Oatmeal (not the kind in the packet! I use this base recipe by Inquiring Chef) –
This will save you time, cash and unwanted sugar/additives. Homemade instant oatmeal gives you the chance to keep variety top of mind during weekday mornings as well as when traveling (camping, airports, road trips, hotel stays). And – the toppings/mix-ins are truly endless!

Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches/Wraps
Whether your favorite breakfast sandwich comes from a fast-food drive-thru, local coffee shop or your preferred diner….Take a look at the ideas below to make your favorites at home, freeze them up and have them ready for a quick zap in the microwave or toaster oven. The bonus will be that you can try new and different flavors depending on your mood, use the below as a starting point to create your very own breakfast creations!

Bakery-Style Muffins (These from Happy Money Saver are a great place to start!) –
Did you know you can prep muffin batter, scoop it into muffin liners in a muffin tin, and freeze them raw before baking? It’s a game-changer for weekday breakfasts, especially if you don’t enjoy a drier muffin after it’s been baked and frozen. Imagine prepping 2-3 kinds of muffins, freezing the batter in individual muffin liners and everyone being able to choose their own muffin choice as they run out the door? I recommend baking a few the night before so that they are easiest to grab-and-go the next day.

Breakfast Cookies (I use this recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking) –
Cookies for breakfast? 100% on board with this! Another great option to prep ahead, pop in the freezer and bake up the night before so that you always have fresh baked items ready to go. Whether this is for a morning rush out the door or a mid-morning snack, cookies don’t have to just be an indulgence, they can be part of your every day routine! Obviously, as with all the recommendations here, you can adjust or swap out the mix-ins to keep things interesting and try different flavors to keep everyone satisfied, and not bored.

Poptarts (I love these from Half Baked Harvest, but there are a few different options on her website that are great, take a look around!) –
I don’t know about you, but there was something about ripping open the weird aluminum foil cellophane and biting into a half crackery, half cakey sugar explosion that made the day. These days, I don’t enjoy sugar in the same amount as I used to – so I appreciate recipes like this one that can be adjusted and aren’t full of random additives and chemicals. And – you guessed it! They can be frozen once baked and defrosted quickly (or they are quite good when still a bit frozen) for an on-the-run breakfast or afternoon pick-me-up. As the theme continues down the list of options, the flavor combinations can be changed for each batch for variety, without 10 different boxes falling out of the cabinet, and you know you’re serving up something healthier for you and the whole family.

Protein Toaster Waffles (this is my favorite brand from Aldi!) –
Freezer/Toaster pancakes and waffles are a staple in many homes – why not make them at home when you’re batch prepping and freeze them yourself – saving cash, unknown ingredients, and the one and only customizable options of prepping them instead of buying them! I use a box mix for the base, and add things like vanilla, chopped fruit, chopped nuts or extracts to change them up if I need something different. I prep the pancakes in a griddle pan (1/4c measure) and I prep the waffles in a mini Dash waffle maker, let them cool on wire racks, then freeze for the week. They take moments to toast up – boost the protein with a little peanut butter or almond butter; or make a pancake roll-up adding a few berries in the middle!

Egg Bites (I’ve used this one from Giada DeLaurentiis / Food Network for years) –
We once made these for a 100 person cocktail party, and they were a huge hit. They are the perfect size to pop in your mouth one at a time, and if you’re not careful, you can eat a whole pan before they even make it to the freezer! These can be made and stored in the refrigerator for the week, or made in larger batches and frozen, just put a few in the fridge the night before if you happen to remember. A quick warm-up in the microwave or toaster oven, and you’ll be on your way with a protein-filled breakfast that will be the envy of all your co-workers (once you’re back in the office). So many options, whether meat filled, cheese only, veggie filled, cheese and veggies, a great use for leftovers and full of flavor – definitely meant to be on the weekly rotation!

Smoothies (too many recipes/combinations to post!)
I can’t say there is a specific recipe for smoothies, and I’ve come to love mixing up whatever I have in my fridge or freezer to make a unique smoothie for the morning or a midday snack. You can prep everything but the milk in a freezer pack/bag and have it as a quick dump and blend situation if you want to prep a bunch at the beginning of the week or month. I also find that warehouse stores have the best deals on frozen fruit, if you can fit that much in your freezers! I find the ratios that tend to work best for a balanced fruit/veggie smoothie are:

  • 1c milk (dairy or non-dairy, I prefer Almond milk for smoothies)
  • 1c fresh or frozen spinach (I freeze my spinach so it doesn’t go bad in that crisper drawer!)
  • 1-1.5c frozen fruit (this would include if you choose to add a banana or avocado)
  • 1-2T agave (only if the fruit isn’t sweet)
  • 1T Chia or Flax seeds (optional)

Granola, with or without yogurt (I love this recipe, but feel free to find your favorite one!) –
This recipe works as a dry granola to eat without milk or yogurt, or mixed into yogurt and topped with fresh fruit, or eaten like cereal with milk (dairy or non-dairy) right out of the bowl. Perfect for traveling via air, car or train, and filling for those long morning meetings that don’t give you a chance to get up and stretch your legs. As with all the other recipes and ideas shared today, granola, when made at home is versatile and can remain fresh and new with different combinations of dried fruits, nuts and oats. Let me know what your favorite flavor combination is!

Please let me know what your favorites are from the list and ideas above. Keep me posted on what you make throughout the week and what works well for your family. Do you have a favorite grab and go breakfast that you want to share? Please comment below! And, if you need more ideas or different recipe guidance than I shared above, please don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here and willing to help ensure that your mornings are smooth and easy getting yourself and everyone else out the door!


Week 19 Meal Plan

Anxiously awaiting the warmer weather here in Chicago…and enjoying all of the fresh produce. Our famer’s markets are opening in the next few weeks, and I can’t wait to visit and find new items to try and to share with all of you! As usual, I’m pulling from some of my favorite chefs to use this week’s grocery haul and freezer pulls, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for my in the moment results, adjustments and ideas!

Baked Sweet Potato Skins, topped with corn, sour cream, onions and guacamole!

Chicken Enchiladas from What’s Gaby Cooking, Everyday California Food cookbook

Pink Cacio e Pepe from Eat What You Want, 125 Recipes for Real Life cookbook

Sushi Night!

Chicken Rice Bowl, hopefully on the grill!

Grilled Salmon and grilled vegetables; seasonings TBD

Family Dinner – Grilled Pizzas! A variety of crusts and toppings for the group

Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Honey
Breakfast Sandwiches

Mixed Green Salads

From One Day to Day 1

How many times do you talk about things that you want or need to do, but somehow find every way to not actually make it happen? I am an expert at putting every single thing in front of what I actually want or need to make happen for my own future and happiness.

I know I shared about birthdays last week, and my struggle to find joy in my own birthday, for many reasons. And, one of those was the element of reflection that I felt the pressure of each year, and nagging feeling of not being where I want to be as each year passes.

This time around, I’m determined to have a different story to share as I celebrate my birthday in 2022. I’m no longer stuck in a job or company that controls or dictates my future. I am creating my own company, that focuses on my and my client’s health, wellness and self-care through fitness (sharing experiences), meal planning (for healthy choices and budget) and food prep (to save time for more fun activities).

Meal plans and food prep have been a consistent part of my life for most of my adult years, and that comes easily for me. Fitness and workouts, which I do consider something we should all be doing for our health, not because we “deserve it”, have always been inconsistent for me. For a majority of my life, I associated taking time to workout as something I had to earn, or do when I didn’t have something else to do (work is more important, family is more important, school is more important, etc.), which is a behavior I learned as part of a less active family and centering our entertainment around food and family/friends. I would go in spurts of going to the gym daily and eating healthy meals every day, but then slip when I allowed my mindset to determine my actions. I am determined to change this once and for all in the next 365 days.

My goals (in addition to maintaining meal plans and food prep) for now are:

  • Get outside >30 minutes a day (barring dangerous weather)
  • Walk >10,000 steps a day
  • Swap one snack a day with a smoothie (perfect for food prep too)

I accomplished Day 1. I had my Fitbit set-up (even had a new one since my old one broke a few weeks ago), and got it done. Took a little bit of realignment of mindset….I had errands to do, I had work to do, I had calls to make, I had normal activities to complete. But, I found my friend who doesn’t live here also planned to walk, so we coordinated; and I did it. We talked for a couple of hours, and I walked the whole time. I completed 3.5 miles and had my first 10,000 step day in months (barring any event days).

Day 1 wasn’t so bad, the weather was beautiful and I had a quieter day (despite my long list of “to-do’s” that clearly were not as urgent as I made them in my head, so I could take in the sunshine and blue skies, and catch up with my friend on hundreds of topics, the way old friends can do, and by default seemed to make better meal choices, which benefitted my fridge and budget, using ingredients before my big shop for the week, as well as used fruits and vegetables that probably would have gone bad otherwise.

I work on my mindset daily to help support my goals and to increase my chances of having more days that aren’t “Day 1” again. There’s nothing wrong with starting over again and again, but I’ve done that enough that it’s time for me to have days 2-100 and beyond, before there’s another Day 1. Will I be able to do it? I don’t know, but I hope so – and I’m invested in making this year the healthiest and happiest year yet, with some surprise (happy) changes that might come along too.

Tell me what your goals are for 2021, can I help you achieve your goals, whether with planning meals or helping show you the way to saving time in the kitchen so you can also be outside and with family/friends? Comment below or email me so we can work together to make this next 12 months different than before!


Birthdays…Love Them or Leave Them?

Birthdays are a hot debate in our family, how about yours? Some of us wish we could skip the day altogether and some of us enjoy a celebration for every day of the month we were born.

We’re taking a small tangent from the meal planning and food prep (which in my book is part of self-care), to talk birthdays. May seem like a random detour, but it’s more a reflection as I am building a life and process to help people, which changes the course of life as I’ve known it in years past, and meal planning is just one part of how we all can live more full and calm lives. Before I take some time with family and friends, I thought I’d talk about it, and learn more about how all of you think of/celebrate your birthdays every year…here it goes!

I am on the side of quiet self-care and maybe my favorite dinner, though I don’t like to bring attention to it or myself. And, I admit that sometimes I set myself up for failure to celebrate me…whether I spent the day focused on all that hadn’t gone well or changed in the previous 12 months, who forgot or choses not to reach out to wish me a good day, or worked at my desk to prepare for a huge meeting, or allowed others to put parameters on how we would spend my day.

This year, I am making sure things will be different, and hopefully be the start of celebrating life, and all that has happened to get me to this place. I am not at the job that destroyed me anymore; I’m building the life that I’ve wanted for so long, but was too scared to think I deserved it. I am not chasing something that seemed to good to be true, I’m creating what is best for me; and holding those I love and care about as close as possible, even if from a distance.

I also decided, after such a difficult season of life from the end of 2020 until I left the place that caused me so much pain, that I don’t want to build everything up and into a single day that I deserve to do what I want, be with who I want and have what I want. That is what we all should have every day, and have the support to achieve a life that is full of moments, not just a 24 hours and then it’s as if the day never happened.

So, how will you choose to celebrate your birthday this year? What will you do to change the narrative that has weighed you down before? What would you tell others if you’re one who celebrates life without reservations?

As I start this next trip around the sun, I see big changes coming up, in the form of small shifts for myself, and I can’t wait to take all of you with me as we figure it all out, one step at a time. Back to meal plans and food prep tomorrow, and talking about workouts/nutrition soon, but for now, it’s time to get ready for sushi and maybe some cake!


Top 5 Freezer Items for Meal Planning

Meal planning and food prep rely on having a well-stocked kitchen. Focusing on the freezer items that you should always have on hand, and keep an eye out for in the sales flyers to restock/stock-up for upcoming weeks. Take a look, and comment on any of your favorite must-have freezer items for meal prep below!

Item #1 – Vegetables

Corn, Peas, Green Beans (I prefer the thin/french cut option), french fries, tater tots, chopped spinach, hash browns (shredded and cubed). And, any others that might be part of your weekly cooking routine.

My freezer staples shift seasonally, especially in the spring and summer when fresh vegetables are on a consistent rotation on my grill or in salads. you purchase 20 ears of summer corn for a BBQ, and 4lbs of tomatoes for a huge salad, but everything gets rescheduled?

My summer produce overflow recommendations –

  • Spinach – freeze raw to include in smoothies or sauté with some olive oil, salt and pepper to
  • Bell Peppers – Grill or roast them, perfect prep for winter tacos and fajitas or to add to soups and casseroles
  • Potatoes – roast and grill them, freeze to use as a side dish, defost and mash them for fresher mashed potatoes. Bake and scoop out centers; freeze skins to use as baked potato skins for the Sunday sports viewing parties!
  • Carrots / Root Vegetables – grill or roast them, and puree for soups, stews, casseroles or a quick side
  • Tomatoes – Roast with some of the carrots/root vegetables and onions, then blend until smooth for a quick tomato/pizza/pasta sauce throughout the winter

Item #2 – Fruit

  • Fresh berries – cut (if larger) and freeze in freezer bags or containers to use in smoothies or as a topping for ice cream, all-fruit popsicles, oatmeal and add to water for some different flavors
  • Bananas – Cut into quarters and freeze. You can make banana bread, add to smoothies, mash into overnight oats or rice pudding
  • Blend any fruit combination with a small amount (up to 1T) of agave nectar or honey and freeze in a popsicle mold for fresh fruit smoothies anytime! I recommend this popsicle mold
  • Citrus Fruits – squeeze juice into a measuring cup and divide among silicone ice cub trays to freeze and use in recipes that need citrus juice in the winter months, in water, lemonade, mixed drinks and colorful/flavorful ice cubes

Item #3 – Protein Pieces

  • Chicken and pork – bone-in and boneless, and buy in bulk when on sale, just separate into 1lb packages once you’re home! Consider preparing a few multi-purpose marinades, like this one from What’s Gaby Cooking or this one from Giada DeLaurentiis; that you can add to a couple of the freezer containers before freezing so that as the chicken defrosts on the day it will be cooked, it marinates, saving time and extra steps during the busy weekdays.
  • Fish, such as Salmon, Cod, Red Snapper, Tilapia – Freeze in individual filets. These make great pieces to grill with a simple spice rub or quick marinade, and fish such as cod is fantastic for fish tacos.
  • Seafood, such as shrimp, scallops and calamari – generally seafood comes frozen, so you can pop them right in the freezer and season/marinate it as it defrosts the day you’re cooking it.
  • Ground meats – if you’ll be making burgers or meatballs, these can be prepared during your longer prep day, and frozen, still raw, so that you can cook them on the specific day. This helps for planning for larger parties or gatherings as well, frozen meatballs just need a quick bake/saute, and tossed with pasta and tomato sauce.

Item #4 – Larger Proteins, such as pork shoulder, chuck roast, beef tenderloin and whole chickens

  • Crockpot chicken broth that will yield the broth as well as rotisserie-style / cooked chicken to freeze and use for future recipes
  • Crockpot BBQ Pork for a Sunday Night dinner and a few dinners during future weeks. Add buns and coleslaw and you’re set!
  • Crockpot or Dutch Oven Beef Chili, beans or not, for a weekend project and lunches throughout the week

Item #5 – Grated/Shredded Cheese

Cheese can be expensive! Buy frequently used hard cheeses and grate/shred them (it’s cheaper and tastes/melts better this way too!) on your larger prep day and freeze to use in the future. Don’t worry about leaving in the refrigerator where it can become soggy or moldy, and, you’ll always have the cheese you need available without having to stop at the store on the way home or start a recipe only to find the refrigerated cheese didn’t hold up over the previous week or two.

Some meal ideas for all the shredded/grated cheese:

  • Topping for spaghetti dinners
  • Lasagna filling and toppings
  • Stuffed meatballs or hamburgers
  • Grilled cheese – and it melts more evenly than slices from the deli
  • Enchiladas and tacos
  • Risottos
  • Cheese Sauce for french fries, nachos, baked potatoes, etc.

Questions about how to stock your freezer or use what you already have to make room for new items? Reach out to me leave a comment below or email me. I look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your meal prep goals!


Week 18 Meal Plan

We’re back to sweatshirts and cozy meals in the midwest this week. Take a look at what is on the meal plan below, we’re taking a “wing-it” approach to this week’s meals, we’ll see how it goes! As usual, I’m pulling from some of my favorite chefs to use this week’s grocery haul and freezer pulls, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for my in the moment results, adjustments and ideas!

Grilled pork chops with roasted broccolini. Simple and classic dinner for the start of the week.

Turkey Burgers and Spiced Sweet Potato Fries.

Taco and Fajita bar. Mix of proteins, vegetables and all the toppings for this week’s family dinner.

Chicken Rice Bowl. We’ll be using leftovers and a variety of toppings for our bowls this week!

Spicy Bacon Fried Rice, inspired by What’s Gaby’s Cooking.

Happy Hour

Mother’s Day

Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Honey
Egg Sandwiches


10 Steps to Start Meal Planning & Prep

Step 1:

Take note of what items are nearing expiration or starting to be on their last legs before ending up in the garbage; these should be on your menu for the upcoming week.

Example: Strawberries that are starting to get soft, you can freeze them for smoothies; Broccolini that is starting to wilt, you can steam it and add to a pasta dish later in the week, etc.

Step 2:

Keep in mind you will need some containers that are freezer safe, some that can go from freezer/fridge to oven, and smaller containers for items that should be added or mixed in at the very end (nuts for a salad, chia seeds to be mixed into milk, etc.).

If you’re looking for containers, Dollar stores and sale sections of the grocery store have great deals. Foil containers are great for prepping casseroles or larger portions of items that need to be heated in the oven. Glass containers work great for holding protein that you will freeze with the marinades and for single serve lunches and salads.

Step 3:

Choose the store(s) for the week and make list of sale items you plan to purchase – make sure to include fruits, vegetables, protein and any pantry staples you may have noticed you’re low on.

This serves a few different purposes. First, it will keep you overall costs down to purchase items that are only on sale; second, each week the sale items are different, so you’ve got built in variety from week to week; third, you can plan your week ahead with a few days to spare, as sales flyers are generally released/posted midweek, ahead of a weekend shipping trip.

Not everything will always be on sale, and you can always consider getting two of a pantry or freezer item when it is on sale, as they can last longer on the shelf, and you’ll always have what you need to pull together those last minute crave-worthy meals or feed guests when your plan needs a small adjustment!

Step 4:

Don’t forget to account for any dinners our or lunch meetings that you won’t be packing or prepping food for that week.

Keep your grocery list close by and review your recipes, not only for prep instructions and times, but also for any ingredients that might need to be added if it’s not already accounted for on your shelves or your grocery list.

Consider when you’ll be doing your larger prep day and how your week might look, so that you can make sure that your plan and prep time is doable, and not overwhelming.

It always helps to have a couple of pantry/freezer staple meals ready to put together each week, for those days that things just don’t go the way we anticipated. Some examples might be:

  • Freezer meatballs (either from the store or homemade) that you can quickly toss with some jarred sauce and a box of pasta
  • A dozen eggs, frozen bacon and frozen hash browns for a quick breakfast for dinner
  • Rotisserie chicken, off the bone and shredded, then frozen in containers; add a package of flour tortillas (frozen or refrigerator), some shredded cheese (again, frozen or refrigerator) for a quick quesadilla
  • Or, another use for the rotisserie chicken could be a chicken soup with some chopped frozen vegetables (the corn/carrot/peas variety works great here!) and a box of chicken broth

Step 5:
COMPLETE YOUR MEAL PLANNING GRID (provided during consultation, or you can create a simple spreadsheet that can repeat week after week).

Make sure you include side dishes for meals, snacks, day prior prep (i.e. defrost chicken), day of prep (i.e. rinse and drain rice), etc. so that you can use this as a guide for your week and you aren’t trying to remember every detail!

Use your grid to keep track of what recipes everyone liked and others that shouldn’t make the rotation or needs an adjustment; note which meals should be shifted to a weekend instead of a weeknight meal. This will remain an archive for future weeks, so you can repeat a recipe that was a hit or not have chicken every day for two weeks.

Step 6:

On your meal planning grid, make sure to include which items you’ll prep when. Keep in mind, your goal is to minimize the prep and work you have to do all week (anticipated 20-30 minutes prep time per day), and do a majority of the prep on your longer prep day (anticipated about 2 hours).

When your two-hour (or longer) window is on your calendar, put on your favorite show, podcast or audiobook and

Step 7:

I find it’s best to go to the stores earlier in the day, when they are quieter; with fewer lines and people to bump into while you’re trying to maintain your list tracking. And, then you aren’t spending hours in the store when you can be at the pool or meeting a friend for coffee.

Keep in mind that the store may be out of stock on a particular item, and you may either need to replace with a substitute or shift up what you’ll be making slightly. And, if you see something on store special or clearance that you weren’t initially planning to get, but it just looks so good…don’t hesitate! You likely won’t regret it, and can quickly/easily adjust – whether you remove something from your cart, or stash the frugal find for a future meal, it’ll get used!

Consider using a freezer/cold bag in the car to transport your items if you have a couple of stops to make or want to keep things frozen/cold during the warmer months. Once you get the groceries home, it helps to do a quick pass of washing anything that can quickly be washed and put away for the week and placing items for the larger prep day in similar locations so that you can easily gather them when ready to prep.

Step 8:

Get ready for all the prep. Make sure you have your cutting board and knives; containers and lids; and put on your favorite show, podcast or audiobook to enjoy while you peel, chop and divide for the week ahead.

Produce: Wash and dry anything that you didn’t get in the firsts pass on shopping day, and put the items away that don’t require chopping or slicing (think strawberries or other berries, grapes, etc.). Prepare remaining produce for the week, for example, shred all the lettuce for salads or tacos, cut and cube the watermelon or cantaloupe.

Fresh protein: If you purchased something like chicken breast or pork tenderloin that needs marinating, place it in a freezer container or ziploc bag with the marinade before freezing and defrosting later in the week. if you purchased ground meat for burgers/meatballs, prep it and flash freeze or cover and put it in the refrigerator to cook in the following day or two. Keep in mind that if you won’t be using your meats/poultry/seafood within 2 days of bringing it home, be sure to freeze it and defrost it in the refrigerator 24 hours before using it.

Pantry staples / dry ingredients: measure and stage items for use in recipes later in the week. For example, prep flour to coat and saute chicken tenders or make cookie dough and place it in the baking dish so that all you have to do it bake it the night of – fresh baked goods in 30 minutes, with just a few minutes of preparation earlier in the week, when you have more time!

Other preparation: If you’re creating overnight oatmeal cups or chia pudding, you can prepare most of these on your larger food prep day; if you’re making breakfast burritos or wraps for on-the-go breakfasts or lunches, you can get these set and either freeze or refrigerate for later in the week.

Step 9:
DAILY PREP: this shoud be about 20-30 minutes each night.

The time should be a combination of getting dinner cooked and on the table, but also preparing for the following day. For example, you’ll prep the dinner salad while the grill is heating up, and heat fries in the oven. When you’re cleaning up after dinner, you can pour the milk in your chia pudding for the following morning or defrost your breakfast burrito in the fridge, and lay your chopped salad for the following day and store it all in the fridge ready to pull and pack in the morning as you go out the door.

Do you/your familyl drink coffee each day? If it’s hot coffee, prep and set the coffee maker, set out the mugs and have it ready to go in the AM. Do you pack lunches for school each day? Get the bags and containers ready to go so that you can pack and send everyone out the door. Cereal for breakfast? Set the bowls, spoons and cereal boxes out for a quick pour and add milk situation.

Bottom line, the daily prep and maintenance is necessary, but saves so much time each morning and when you get back home before dinner.

Step 10:

As you run out of staples and pantry items add them to a list on the fridge, or a go-to spot so that you can use this as the start for your following week’s shopping list. Use the last lemon? Add it to the list! Running low on garlic powder? Put it on the list. Making a run to a warehouse store for bulk items? Check out the list and add anything that you noted was running low, especially if you only go to specific stores at certain intervals.

This also helps when making your weekly list for things that are on sale, you may not be out; but, you can stock up and save on your stock-up costs.

Questions about meal planning, food prep and implementing these processes? Reach out to me leave a comment below or email me. I look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your meal prep goals!



5/3/2021 – Learn more about Plan Prep Pack Plate; and me, Alexis

Let’s talk about resetting and restarting life. It’s scary and invigorating. It’s fulfilling and unsteady. It forces us to face our truth, and tests us to find our authentic self.

A few months ago, I left a place that I thought was comforting and secure, after experiencing a betrayal that rocked my already lacking ability to trust and made me question my self-worth. I took the time to start the work (because let’s be honest, the work is never done) to find my way back to the person I want to be and lost along the way, hopefully a bit more aware than before.

I created Plan Prep Pack Plate as a vehicle to help others, because I find my purest joy and calm when making others lives easier in some way, shape or form. Meal planning and food prep is one of the tangible ways I helped myself and can now help someone or a family save time and money cooking at home, and creating memories around the table, whether a quiet Tuesday night at home or a weekend BBQ with friends and family.

I began meal planning and food prep because I needed structure to stick to my budget and make consistent healthy food choices after a few years of working crazy hours, and eating too much restaurant take out at my desk. My journey and commitment to meal planning helped me create weekly menus, shopping lists and kept me accountable to make the appropriate and long-lasting changes.

Shockingly, it worked! Five years later, what I used to consider big and unattainable changes are now just how I live my life. That includes: preparing and cooking all meals and snacks; eating a restaurant meal no more than two times a month; no longer drinking soda more than five to six times a year vs. daily soda intake, being active 60-90 minutes a day and increasing my hydration.

My journey has been a roller coaster of success and road blocks; of loyalty and disappointment; balance and extremes. I don’t expect that will change. But, how I approach each situation and challenge or goal and my desired outcome is shifting. I am in control of what I do, and I have the tools to help me get back on track when I fall off the path. I now understand and embrace that I love harder than most, that I care more than I should in many situations, and that sometimes you have to embrace the fear and find a way to overcome it, so that you can face your next test.

Let me help you focus on your life and goals by helping you meal plan and food prep (see options below, or in your first email when you sign up for my email list), join me in weekly workout plans and results as I reintroduce larger fitness goals into my daily routine, learn more about the products and services that I rely on for meal prep, fitness and bringing people together.

Reach out to me to learn more about the meal planning and food prep services I offer. All new clients will receive the first PLAN session free (60 minutes, $50 value), and 25% off the first service/package over $200. Let me know what you think about the recipes posted, products shared and your goals. There’s something to be said for working on our goals together.

I leave you with what gets me through each day:
If you’re ok, then I’m ok. And if you need help to be OK again, let’s figure it out together.


Week 17 Meal Plan

This week we have warmer temperatures here in the Chicagoland area. Can’t wait to get grilling and less dishes in the kitchen. As usual, I’m pulling from some of my favorite chefs to use this week’s grocery haul and freezer pulls, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and Facebook for my in the moment results, adjustments and ideas!

Salmon Shawarma Salad/Bowl, from What’s Gaby Cooking. Grilled Salmon, fresh vegetables and unique toppings.

Chicken Tzatziki Pita, this one from What’s Gaby Cooking again, but from her 2nd cookbook, What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food.

Ginger-Soy-Garlic Chicken Thighs, from Katie Lee Biegel’s new cookbook, It’s Not Complicated.

Pulled Pork Pizza, inspired by the Pizza section in What’s Gaby Cooking’s 2nd cookbook, What’s Gaby Cooking: Everyday California Food. (same as above!).

Happy Hours and Family get togethers, check out my Instagram and Facebook pages for what we decide to serve.

Greek Yogurt with Fruit and Honey
Egg Sandwiches

Chicken Wraps

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