Hello Everybody, I've had the same conversation with Carmen, coworkers, friends, family, and so many others about preparing food for an entire week. The common questions/statements are: "I don't have time," "I cannot eat the same thing day in and day out for five days," "that sounds expensive," and "where do I begin?"
My meal prep on an average week takes me four to five hours start to finish. Yes, four to five hours! What comes out of that four to five hours is; my Post Workout Shakes, Brunch, Mid Day, Early Evening, Dinner, and my final shake of the night. Here are the meals that I had this past week:
Post Workout Shake - Chocolate Chip Mint Protein Shake (16 Dark Chocolate Chips, Handful of Mint, 6oz of Almond and 6oz of Coconut Milk, with a handful of spinach, ice, and One Serving Sun Warrior and BioTrust Protein) - 40grams of Protein
2 Eggs Sunny Side Up with 2 Portobello Mushrooms
Tilapia with Cooked Spinach (1 Whole Bag) and 2 Strips of Bacon
3 Chicken Thighs with cooked Kale and sliced Portobello Mushrooms
Ribeye Steak with cooked Collard Greens with Sweet Potatoes
Night Time Shake - Chocolate Almond Butter Protein Shake with Athletic Greens (49 grams of Protein)
Here is how I put this together. I went to the store on Friday Night and when I woke up Saturday morning, I immediately went to the kitchen and pulled out all of my ingredients, eggs, butter, tilapia, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne, chili powder, almond milk, coconut milk, bags of spinach, kale, collard greens, steak, chicken thighs, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, zip lock bags, cast iron skillet, large fry pan, small fry pan, Vitamix, shaker cups, and additional cooking utensils.
I then pre-heat the oven to 375 Degrees and I spray two pyrex dishes down with coconut spray. While my oven heated up I removed the stems from the portobello mushroom caps, wiped them off with a paper towel, set them in the pyrex dish top down, seasoned them with salt and pepper, and then sprayed them down with coconut oil spray. Beep, Beep, Beep, oven is ready, caps into the oven. I then heated a cooking pan with coconut oil and butter and added my tilapia to the pan when it was hot. While my tilapia was cooking I was also cooking two eggs at a time in my small skillet, in addition to that I was also cooking my package of bacon in a large skillet. Beep, beep, beep, fifteen minutes later my mushrooms are ready and out of the oven and into my waiting glass dishes for the week.
I don't waste that hot oven, I immediately wash and cut my sweet potatoes length wise and into the oven they go.
The mushroom caps were then married with the eggs. One meal done.
Not shortly after that, My tilapia was done and now it was time to cook my spinach and collard greens in that bacon fat from my cooked bacon. Oh yeah, I put the tilapia and bacon into waiting tupperware (after they cooled off a little bit as to not activate the chemicals in the plastic)(editors' note, at work I normally have the convenience of warming my food on paper plates). When my vegetables are done they too go to waiting glass and plastic tupperware.
While my potatoes are still cooking I season five ribeye steaks with cayenne, garlic, cumin, ground coriander, sea salt, fresh black pepper, chili powder, and then I placed them into the waiting zip lock bags. I then took the butter which had softened, divided it amongst the bags, and rubbed the meat thoroughly with that butter, released the air from the bag and placed them into the fridge for a couple of hours.
My potatoes are ready and out of the oven they come and into the oven go my chicken thighs which were placed into that second pyrex dish which was waiting.
My chicken thighs were pre-seasoned from Whole Foods (don't be afraid to let someone else get one meal or at least a part of the meal started for you. I crank the heat up to 400 Degrees and in they go.
While those chicken thighs are cooking I am making three post workout shakes and two night time shakes in my Vitamix. I place each one of them in the freezer; Yes, the freezer! The night before my workouts I take out one post workout and one night time shake. The post workout shake is almost always cold when I finish my morning workout like I just made it at home and the night time shake is still cold and ready for me. I find having the night time shake made ahead of time to be a lifesaver when life throws a monkey wrench into getting home on time.
I clean my shaker cup at the office on most days so when I come home I just make another post workout shake and you guessed it, it goes right into the freezer and out of the refrigerator comes the steak.
After I am done making my shakes I do the dishes and clean up my work area.
My chicken thighs are done, but I am not. I turn off the oven and I heat up my cast iron skillet and add a pat of butter to the pan. One at a time I cook my steaks 4 minutes each side. The steak is rare at this time. I do this because when I come home I simply add it to my hot skillet with butter and cook it for another 4 minutes per side for medium rare and I warm my collard greens and sweet potato in a warm oven. Dinner is served and Your Meal Prep for the Week is Done, Done, and Done!!!! (Brilliantly Ambitious)
I was going the entire time and standing the whole time. You can do this, and once you get your own special routine down, you will find that prep time is the best time to meditate, spend time with your loved ones while teaching them a healthy meal is not impossible to put on the table several times a day with just one days worth of work.
Keep training hard and eating great! I will see you all very soon and I cannot wait to share with you the great recipes I am discovering and creating!