Sometimes, the hardest part of your weight loss and health adventure is the beginning.
There are many things to consider when embarking on this journey. It can often feel overwhelming. This mum-of-one says some things to think about before you start are your goals, exercise goals, time management, and how you plan to meal prep.
“I started my Healthy Mummy journey at 135kg, and now, 25 months on, I am 46kg lighter, 170cm gone from body!” Melanie says.
Melanie’s meal planning
Melanie confesses to feeling too overwhelmed in the beginning, and started by using the free Healthy Mummy recipes while beginning to prep her lunches for the week and reduce her portion sizes.
“I worked full time, and as a single mother to my then toddler, it was the easiest way I could jump on board without the stressful feeling,” she said.
Now as a 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge member, Melanie loves taking 15 minutes every Wednesday to customise her meal plan, prep and prepare for the week ahead.
“I always make sure to make a serve of 4 (2 for dinner, one for lunch, and one for a freezer stash), which helps keep my prep work down, as I like to have my dinners made fresh each night! This also helps keep my budget down, because if worse comes to worse, there’s always a freezer stash,” she says.
Melanie’s weekly budget must always be under $75, and she does a big shop for staple ingredients usually once every two months (meat and pantry), and organises her meal plans around these things.
She says, “I’ve reduced my food budget by half, which is fantastic, and also gives me so much more time to enjoy my daughter as well!”
“They are a wonderful go to when I feel like something a bit naughty,” she says.
What Melanie makes:
Lamb meatballs with spinach and sweet potato
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme leaves
- 110g lean lamb mince
- salt and pepper
- cooking oil spray
- 2 stp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Pre heat oven to 200 degrees. Line an oven tray with baking paper
- Combine garlic, thyme and lamb mince, season mix with salt and pepper. Mix well and then form into golf ball size balls, 3-4 per serve.
- Lightly spray meatballs with cooking oil and place on prepared baking tray. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
- While meatballs are cooking, boil the sweet potato in a saucepan of water until tender, around 10 minutes. Drain and add half of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Use a hand masher or stick blender to mash/process until smoothe.
- In a fry pan add remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat.
- Place sweet potato mash on a plate and top with spinach and meatballs. Squeeze over lemon juice to serve.
Spanish rice with chorizo
Need a quick and easy dinner? This Easy Spanish Rice with Chorizo will be a hit with the whole family.
You can make this super speedy meal if you prepare the rice beforehand and then reheat it so it’s steaming before you cook the rest. Why not make a double batch and freeze individual serves to use for lunches on busy days?
- 1/2 cup brown rice uncooked
- 1 chorizo sausage chopped
- 1/2 brown onion diced
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 Tomatoes diced
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup corn kernels fresh or tinned
- 1/2 red capsicum diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh parsley
- 2 wedges fresh lime
- Cook brown rice according to packet instructions or reheat already cooked rice until piping hot.
- Place a non-stick fry pan over a medium heat and cook chorizo slices on both sides for approximately 3 minutes until edges are crisp. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Add onion to the pan and cook for 2 minutes or until it starts to turn golden. Add tomatoes, vegetables and paprika. Toss to combine and cook for 3 minutes or until vegetables are lightly tender.
- Add cooked rice and return chorizo to the pan. Toss together and garnish with parsley.
- Arrange on serving plate with a wedge of lime per serve.
Pan fried beef with sweet potato
Caramelised onion dip
BLT Pita Melt
- 1 small wholemeal pita bread
- 2 tsp tomato passata
- 2 bacon rasher, lean & trimmed
- 1/2 tomato, sliced
- 1/2 cup baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat cheddar cheese, grated
- Preheat grill to high. Place bacon on a lined tray and cook under grill until crispy.
- Spread passata over pita bread. Slice cooked bacon and place over pita with tomato and baby spinach.
- Top with grated cheese and cook under grill for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and golden.
- Serve immediately.