You know that old saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. Well boy-oh-boy did we fail at eating healthy over those two weeks. We had pizza, Chinese, Mexican, junk food, coca cola…and the list goes on. It wasn’t a cheat meal, it was a cheat 2 weeks. When I started the second bootcamp (still in progress), I had lost the 1lb of muscle I gained in the first bootcamp and gained back 1/2lb of fat. Yikes!
I knew we needed to eat better for the next round of bootcamp but I knew we couldn’t do Team Beachbody again. The meals on that diet just take way too long to prepare. I would spend at least 30 – 45 minutes making our dinner and then it would take another 30 minutes to get our breakfast, lunch and snacks ready for the next day. I don’t get home from bootcamp workouts until around 7:30pm so I only have about 2.5hrs to shower, cook dinner, eat, cleanup, get ready for the next day, do some laundry/chores and anything else I’d like to try to accomplish. So I decided we would go on “without a plan” (mostly because I’ve been really busy) but that we would try to cook and eat in as much as possible. I’d say we did “ok” on the weeknights and pretty poorly on the weekends.
I decided it was time to make a nutrition/cooking plan that we can actually stick to. There are two different ways to go for us (we’ve already shown time and time again that grocery shopping weekly based on recipes we like and then cooking whatever we feel like doesn’t work for us):
Team Beachbody Diet: Grocery shop weekly, cook nightly or every other night using recipes from Team Beachbody website. Pro’s: meals already conform to the calories and content that we want without having to calculate it, can skip calorie counting if you use the beachbody planner. HEALTHIEST. Con’s: we don’t always have time to grocery shop every week, meals and snacks take a long time to prepare and the variety of produce required is expensive. MOST EXPENSIVE, TAKES A LONG TIME.
Freezer Cooking: grocery shop and cook monthly using recipes we already like, defrosting and reheating meals as required. Pro’s: always tasty, easiest choice on worknights, don’t have to shop often. CHEAPEST, MOST LIKELY TO STICK WITH IT. Con’s: requires me to plan ahead for cooking day and set aside one day a month for cooking, meals are not always healthy and are not portion controlled. NUTRITION CONTENT AND PORTIONS NOT CONTROLLED
I kept thinking that there had to be a way to combine the two. So finally I just went for it! Here’s how I made it work out:
I made 10 entrees (like I always do) but I did 5 beachbody meals and 5 regular freezer cooking meals.
Regular Freezer Cooking Meals:
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
Chicken Broccoli Casserole
Thai Chicken Saute
Salsa Verde Chicken
For the “regular” freezer cooking meals, it’s basically an entire meal in the pan so you don’t need to make anything else (except maybe some veggies to go with the meatloaf). For the beachbody meals, I pre-cooked the parmesan chicken and Italian chicken but for the steak, salmon & pork chops I just pre-portioned them and froze them with instructions. The steak, salmon and porkchops have VERY simple cooking instructions and I didn’t think the cooked product would freeze well. Then we will still have to steam some broccoli or green beans with each meal and (if we feel like it) we can add a small amount of couscous or rice.
I know the regular freezer cooking meals will work out well and save us time and I hope that the beachbody meals end up working out ok (help keep us from throwing out food or eating out because we have no groceries). I made a list with all the cooking instructions and put it on the fridge so that either of us can easily heat up any of the meals without having to look up the recipe or create labels for every portion.
We will still have a few small expenses every 1 – 2 weeks if we run out of green veggies and such but it should be minimal so I’d say this ended up cheaper than regular beachbody meals.
$200 / 25 dinners = $8/meal (for both of us, or $4/meal each)
Not bad eh? I also bought some supplies to make plenty of breakfast smoothies and some homemade protein bars but I didn’t factor those into the cost above. I can’t wait to try to make the homemade protein bars, I will definitely let you know how that goes!