Do you dread Sundays because it means the end of the weekend? Do you find your self increasingly depressed as you watch the last hours of “freedom” tick away?
News flash! (and also stop being so melodramatic)… Sundays are a fresh slate where you can prep and reset your entire week. I like to look at Sundays as my “mini New Year’s Eve.” You know the exciting feeling you get at the start of a New Year, where the year to come is a blank canvas waiting for you to fill it with memories, goals & resolutions? Guess, what…YOU CAN FEEL THIS WAY EVERY WEEK!
Here are 5 ways I prep and reset for the week to come:
- Meal Plan
- Set weekly goals and day plans
- Healthy Dinner
- Walk it Out
- Me time – Journal, Read, Relax
It’s no secret the energy you need to conquer your day starts with what you’re cooking in the kitchen. Every weekend, I like to sit down and plan out our meals for the coming week. I use the term “meal plan” vs “meal prep,” because I am not prepping materials for our meals, I’m literally laying out a plan for each dinner, and the ingredients we need to make it. From this plan, I am able to map out my grocery list and prepare for a week of delicious meals!
Although initially the idea of meal planning may sound time consuming and daunting, it is SO WORTH IT. Planning out your weekly menu will ultimately save you time and allow for a productive evening vs the alternative of feeling rushed to figure out a dinner plan. With a planned dinner to look forward to each day, the trips to the Drive-Thru window or local burger joint are less likely, and my waistline is thanking me.
To get started, I like to flip through my cookbooks and either pick new recipies, or brainstorm a way to improvise and make a recipe my own. Here are some of my favorite cookbooks for easy, healthy meals.
Skinnytaste Fast and Slow: Knockout Quick-Fix and Slow Cooker Recipes
Skinny Taste is one of my trusty go-tos. This summer, I cut meat out of my diet, and this book as plenty of plant based recipes as well as recipes with meat that are easy to tweak into a meat free option. There has not been a single recipe from Skinny Taste that hasn’t been a hit in our kitchen.
Cravings: Recipes for All the Food You Want to Eat
Cravings is another favorite one, because I am obsessed with anything Chrissy Teigen does, and two, she has such a fun take on some traditional favorites as well as unique recipes if you find yourself in a food rut. The Sweet Potato Gnocchi is to DIE for (adding this to my meal plan as we speak).
Cooking Light: The New Way to Cook Light
Cooking Light The New Way to Cook Light: Fresh Food & Bold Flavors for Today’s Home Cook
Cooking Light’s “The New Way to Cook Light” is the holy grail of healthy, delicious recipes. There are plenty of plant based options in this book as well. In the fall and winter months, I like to make a homemade soup every Sunday for dinner, this cookbook has a separate soup section chalk full of unique and tasty ideas.
Once I have my week of dinners planned out, I make a list of ingredients we need from the store. I like to write my grocery lists by section. For example, at our grocery, produce is the first section when you walk in. So, I list all of my produce needs first, followed by pantry items and so on. This way, we’re not aimlessly walking around the store trying to find the oregano.
Another tip that has saved me time (and money), when selecting menu items, I like to look at the ingredients needed and pick meals where I can use the same produce. This way, if i need half of a bell pepper in one recipe, and tomorrow’s meal calls for half of a bell pepper, the precious peppers don’t go to waste (say that 5x fast), AND I’m saving money in the end by not having to buy 100 different ingredients that may go to waste.
Set weekly goals and Daily Plans
Sunday evening, I like to sit down and make goals for the week as well as list any appointments I have for the week ahead. I tend to make 3 main goals, one for each priority in my life (love, self, work). Goals can be as simple as, dusting the living room, as complex as tackling a major work assignment, or as mushy-gushy as thinking of a simple way to make your S/O feel appreciated. I find if I write it out, I’m more likely to hold myself accountable.
This is a great planner, broken down into monthly views, weekly views, and day by day view. The day by day pages, have a daily schedule where you can list goals or appointments by hour. The hourly schedule has helped me stay on track…and let’s be real there’s something so gratifying about crossing items off your list.
This planner also has a space for “gratitude” on each day. Often times we get so wrapped up in all of our to-dos that we loose sight of the simple things to be thankful for. I like to fill out the gratitude box as a nice reminder throughout my day to take time and be thankful. Today, I’m thankful for my fiancé and how hard he works to make our home perfect.
Let’s be real here, weekends tend to become a time where we forget about nutrition. When the clock strikes Friday night it’s almost like those cheese fries are calorie free (we wish!). What is it about a weekend night that makes eating a whole pizza seem ok? I tend to over indulge a little bit on the weekends, whether it be eating some junk food I typically steer clear of during the week, or having an extra cocktail (or 2…). Just because I veer from my meal plan during the weekend, doesn’t mean I’ve failed or should continue those habits onto the week. This is why I like to make our Sunday dinner a healthier option.
Usually, Sunday dinners are a big salad full of chopped veggies and leafy greens. In the winter months, I like to switch it up and make a low-sodium home made soup, or loaded veggie wrap. Like I said before, Sunday should be your day to reset, and recharge for the week to come. Start that rest in kitchen!
Now Walk it out…
It may seem silly, but I make sure to take a nice walk every Sunday. This can be in the morning with my pup, or in the evening with my better half (usually headed towards our local ice cream shop). Walking has been known to improve your mood, help with circulation, and regular walking can help you maintain a healthy weight. Not to mention, as we head into fall there’s not much better than enjoying all of the changing leaves and fall air.
Sunday walks are also a good time to clear your head and get ready to conquer the week ahead. For me, it’s a special time to connect with my fiancé and talk about what we have coming up, or laugh about something that happened this weekend. Plus, after my double scoop of ice cream, the walk home is a nice way to burn off the extra calories ;).
As my Sunday winds down, I like to take a little bit of time for me, myself, and I. I usually take a nice hot shower, give myself a mini facial, and make sure all of my “to-do’s” are set for the week. This is my time to indulge in a guilty pleasure (yes, I’m talking Real Housewives of ” insert city here”), journal, or read. This year, I’ve been filling out “The 52 Lists Project.”
If you haven’t noticed already, I’m a little Type A, and a little obsessed with making lists. Alas, this guided journal has become a dear friend of mine. This guided journal has a weekly list prompt. Sometimes, the prompts seem silly, like “list some female celebrities you admire.” But when you step back and journal or reflect on why you might admire these women, you’ll start to see the qualities in them you may be aspiring towards, or appreciate those traits in yourself. It doesn’t take long to complete a weekly prompt, and it’s a nice way to have some quiet time to yourself. Some weeks, the lists are a little more complex, asking you to list ways you want to challenge yourself this week, or ways you can inspire others. Oftentimes, my weekly goals come as an after effect of filling out my journal prompt.
If you follow these 5 tips, or a “Sunday Reset” routine of your own, I would love to hear! I don’t know about you, but I am ready to conquer the week head, LIKE. A. BOSS. (mic-drop).
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