Meal Prep Sundays

Meal preparation, sometimes referred to as “meal prep”, is the preparation of meals for a period of time.

Along with my training and running schedule has come a few necessary additions to my routine: strength training, Pilates, and of course, meal prep.

Every Sunday I set aside a few hours to prepare food for the coming week. Honestly, my new schedule is too hectic not to. It’s either that or eat junk, and I’m not going through all this exercise and training to blow it all in the kitchen.

So what is meal prep? Meal prep is blocking out time each week to prepare meals for the upcoming week (at least in my case). Everyone’s version or approach is different I’m sure, but mine consists of preparing a few basics every week, plus a few “specialty” items for variety. My goal is to have the fridge stocked with enough items or dishes that I don’t even have to give what I eat a second thought.

For starters, I try to follow the advice ‘eat a rainbow’. I chop and cook a variety of fruits and vegetables: raw in the form of veggie sticks or salads, and cooked in the form of grilled veggies, fruit compote, salads, etc. These are my go-to basics. They end up as side dishes, or as toppings on salads, in a breakfast hash, on top of scrambled eggs or oatmeal, whatever.

Second, I cook batches of quinoa and rice and keep these on hand. These are the beginnings of hot breakfasts, lunch bowls, and dinners.

Tuna Cakes, Chef at Heart
Gluten-Free Tuna Cakes, Chef at Heart

Thirdly, protein. My favourites are grilled chicken or flank steak, turkey sausage, and tuna cakes. Another good option is hard-boiled eggs.

And lastly, I prepare items for my kids school lunches: soups, scones, muffins…even frozen pancakes and French toast. And I try to squeeze fruits and veggies into whatever I can (but don’t tell them that).

Many of these items will be kept fresh in my fridge, but some are frozen so there’s always something to grab, prepare quickly, and eat. I don’t think I could stay on track diet-wise if I didn’t take the time to meal prep. I know I suffer for it if I don’t take the time out: mentally and physically.

Does anyone else do meal prep? I’d love to know how often you do it, and what your favourite items are. Please share. And happy (and healthy) eating!

My First 10k is Looming on the Horizon

Two years ago, my hubby surprised me with a trip to Walt Disney World to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary.

Our 15th Wedding Anniversary at the Magic Kingdom.

We’re not there today, but I’m excited and nervous to say we’re just one month away from going ‘home’ and enjoying the Magic Kingdom all decked out for fall once again.

Excited because we are taking our girls on this trip and will get to watch them trick-or-treat at their very first Mickey’s Not-So Scary Hallowe’en Party on Hallowe’en night. You can read all about the party here.

Nervous because that means my first 10k is all too close, and while everyone else here is busy putting together Hallowe’en costumes, I’m trying to find training time and am focusing on a running costume.

Now it’s not the distance of the 10k that has me worked up, it’s the conditions. Heat. I hate heat. I’m one of those Canadians that revels in the long cold months of winter and dreads the heat and humidity that comes with summer. I’ve put in time strength training, doing Pilates, and of course the cardio and the running shoe miles, but the heat gets me every time.

Oasis Zoo Run at Toronto Zoo 2019

This past weekend, our family ran the Oasis Zoo Run 5k at the Toronto Zoo and IT WAS HOT! Like REALLY HOT! It was perfect though to test out some of my costume pieces and some new socks, and I had no choice but to run, hot or not. So glad I did! Yeah, socks didn’t work and my feet suffered in the heat (I now have my first black toenail to prove it), and I was nowhere near hydrated enough.

BUT, I did learn a lot. I now know Nuun is a great option for me for hydration. The fabulous volunteers were handing out both water and Nuun at the one and only hydration station along the route (ummm, which we felt came a little too far into the run, but whatever..) so we got to sample. Sadly, I’m one of those people who cannot stomach Gatorade and generally avoid it at all costs, but having started the run on the weekend already thirsty (please stop yelling at me – I know, I know), I eagerly accepted the Nuun solution. Loved it! No horrible taste and no stomach churning. Even my big kid commented after the run that she loved it too.

I also learned that my shoe/sock combination will not work when my feet get overheated, and I’ve learned to make sure my toenails are all well trimmed. Thankfully, I have time to test out new socks and will switch to my other alternate running shoes (am I the only one with more than 1 pair of running shoes?) for the remainder of my training and for the run which are slightly bigger and still my preferred shoes for longer runs.

Now, all this being said…it could pour rain and be cold for the run. I’d prefer the cold but not the rain. Still, I’ve read up on that and will have plenty of newspaper handy to stuff my shoes should they end up soaked, and I’ve got layers ready, including a light warm-up sweater to wear while in my corral before the run begins. I picked it up at a second hand shop and am prepared to toss it aside should I want to ditch it once the run starts. I’m happy to say that Disney collects any discarded clothing along the route and donates it to families in need. Knowing this, countless runners actually purchase clothes to wear and toss aside on the runs. It’s a total win/win!

So, with fall and cooler temps now settling in in Ontario, and the days to the 10k growing short, my runs grow longer and hopefully I’m better prepared for what lies ahead.

Edible Options Gluten-Free Bakery

Every year my husband participates in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer here in Ontario and joins about 4500 other cyclists in riding from Toronto to Niagara Falls in the name of raising funds for cancer research.

While he cycles in whatever weather Mother Nature throws his way, I travel with our daughters and my sister to Niagara Falls so we can camp out at the finish line and cheer for the riders as they cross the line.


Planning a Solo Walt Disney World Trip

After years of dreaming about it, I’m finally doing it: I’ve booked my first solo trip to Walt Disney World.

I love my family and our crazy busy Disney vacations, but this one I’m doing just for me. No FastPasses, no hectic dining schedule, no racing through the parks at breakneck speed not really seeing it all or taking it all in… This trip will all be about enjoying the gluten-free side of Disney parks and resorts, taking time to enjoy all the sites and sounds, and of course running.