WW blog: Jenna talks weekly planning and healthy meals for the whole family
Hi, I’m Jenna (you can find me on Instagram @jen_wwgoldmember) and I’m a 33-year-old working mum of three beauties!
I’ve been a member of WW since February 2009, and I hit target and became a Gold Member in May 2009, losing 28lbs. Since then I have gone onto have two more children, each time continuing WW, and never looking back.
RELATED: Gold membership guide and FAQs
WW has changed my life forever. It has taught me how to cook, bake, and educate myself on different flavours. It has also pushed me out of my comfort zone, allowing me to achieve things I could never have done before.
Meal prep is the key to success
When it comes to dinners, preparation is key in my household, due to the fact I am constantly on the go. I like to plan and prep all my meals as this helps me to stay on track, saves me a huge amount of time, and whacks a hefty sum off my food shopping bill.
My house is like a restaurant – everyone wants different things! So, every weekend I like to write out a food plan for the week ahead. I dig out all my WW recipe books, and often flick through Instagram for meal inspiration.
The WW app plays a huge part in planning my meals too, as it’s easy to use, and I can access it anywhere – for example I can look up the SmartPoints® values of different ingredients while I’m shopping.
RELATED: Your guide to the WW app
My slow cooker is a godsend – I use it for so many of my meals! I just chuck in all the ingredients before I leave for work, and by the time I’m home dinner is ready to be served.
Plus, there are so many different healthy meals you can make using a slow cooker, so I can find something everyone will love!
Here’s one of my favourite slow cooker recipes. Simply put all the ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 6 hours on a low heat. It makes loads, and I freeze it if I have spare – the perfect solution for easy packed lunches and quick dinners.
Slow cooked Quorn, chickpea and lentil chilli
Half a bag of minced Quorn
1 tin of chickpeas
1 tin kidney beans
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
4 carrots (chopped)
2 onions (chopped)
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp paprika
Sprinkle of salt & pepper
Planning helps me resist temptation
I work every weekend evening, so I like to make sure I’ve meal-prepped and batch cooked beforehand.
Whether it’s chicken and rice with some veg, or my healthy break time snacks, I track everything beforehand on the WW app.
RELATED: Brilliant batch-cooking recipes
At work, there can be so much temptation with canteen food, vending machines and cakes or biscuits in the office, but as long as I’ve planned everything and taken it with me, I’m fine! I never take money either, which means I can’t buy anything.
Getting the whole family involved
Even if I’m going out with the kids at the weekend, I’ll make sure to prepare everyone a healthy packed lunch – places can charge so much, and often offer unhealthy options like chips.
I find it easy to stay on track if we’re all eating the same thing. Nothing is off limits with WW, so I can enjoy everything the kids do too. You just can’t beat a SmartPoints-friendly picnic!
I also like to have fun with food, so the kids can join in – for example, baking and making pizzas together.
I believe in educating them about food and nutrition at a young age, and teaching them that following a healthy, balanced lifestyle is key.