P5 and Southwest Meatballs

I’ve been busy with my Mary Kay business recently, and it got me thinking about a certain little saying our unit has.  It’s called P5 (if I could make the 5 an exponent somehow, I would, but unfortunately I’m not that tech savvy).  Anyway, P to the Fifth stands for “proper preparation prevents poor performance.”  I think that statement is true for anything in life including health and wellness.

That’s why today I’ve decided to share my technique for “proper preparation” in my diet each week.  I plan my meals for the entire week and then grocery shop only one day of the week.  For me, that day is Wednesday.  It just fits into my schedule well to shop on that day.  For a lot of people, that day is Saturday or Sunday.  Whatever the day, plan it into your schedule every week.  Some people, namely my mom, shop for two weeks at a time (or one pay period).  This may sound a bit crazy, but I’m certain you’ll save lots of money by planning for a week or even two weeks’ worth of meals and groceries.  Plus, think of all the time you’ll save by not constantly running to the store for “just a few things.”

After you’ve selected your grocery shopping day, plan a week’s worth of meals.  Consider you busiest days and days where you might have more time to cook.  Most people have more time on the weekends to cook, so make a big pot of soup or a casserole that you can use for leftovers on another particularly busy day.  Case in point, Monday afternoons I work from home before heading out to my evening Mary Kay party, so I know I can cook something, but it must be relatively quick and easy.  (I’ll share last night’s recipe below.)  Tuesdays nights, however, I don’t get home from teaching lessons until 7 or 7:30.  By this point, my husband and I both are really, really hungry.  We want something in a hurry!  So, I typically plan on eating leftovers from the weekend on Tuesday nights.  Whatever your schedule may be, plan for it!  Your about 1000 times more likely to reach for something healthy when you’ve got a plan.

Another thing you may want to do on your grocery shopping day (besides clean out the fridge and whatever might be growing near the back!) is prep some healthy snacks for the week.  Consider chopping up some vegetables and bagging them individually so you can grab and go when you’re hungry and in a hurry.  Hard boil some eggs for a quick protein snack.  Maybe even broil or grill some chicken breasts for on top of a lunch time salad mid-week or a quick and easy weeknight dinner.

Here is another delicious and super fast recipe for you: Southwest Meatballs with Warm Corn-Black Bean Salsa.  I made this last night, and it was perfect.  In fact, we’re having it again tonight!  This recipe is taken from Clean Eating magazine (October 2011 issue).

Ingredients:

1 lb. ground turkey breast (I used ground chicken because that’s what I could find in the store when I shopped.  Either would work just fine.)
2 large egg whites (Use real eggs; I used liquid egg whites that I had on hand; probably not the best choice, as the meatballs didn’t seem to want to stick together all that well.)
1/4 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs (I had to use a little more probably to counteract the liquid egg whites.)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup frozen yellow or white corn
1 15-oz BPA-free can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 cups diced vine-ripened tomatoes (I used crushed tomatoes; it worked but was probably a little more soupy than the recipe plans for; again, it was on hand!)
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tbsp fresh lime juice (the juice of half a lime will work; don’t bother measuring!)
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions:

ONE: In a large bowl, combine turkey, egg whites, bread crumbs, salt and pepper and mix well.  Shape into 16 meatballs, each about the size of a golf ball.

TWO: In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high.  Add meatballs and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, turning frequently, until browned on all sides.  Add corn, beans, tomatoes, broth, lime juice and cumin and mix well.  Reduce heat to medium, partially cover and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until meatballs are cooked through.  Stir in cilantro and serve.

This meal would probably be great over a bed of brown rice.  If you’re looking to cut back on your grains (even complex carbohydrates in excess can make weight loss difficult), just scoop the meatballs and salsa into a bowl and enjoy!

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