Tonight’s blog post comes from Coach Kim!!!!!
Meal prep. Oh what a topic. I often get a lot of questions about what I eat, how I prepare and just generally how I get through the week. If you talk to anyone who has been doing paleo for a length of time you will hear one constant variable; it is all in the prep. I learned this lesson a long before I ate paleo (thank you Bethenny Frankel and your reality empire) but it seriously makes all the difference. It is the difference between going out to lunch at work, or grabbing something quick at the market because you are starving, because the thought of getting dishes dirty at 8:30 pm makes you want to vomit……hmm am I alone in that?
So what does it look like? How do I do it? And what about the infamous ‘ but I have no time’ comment?
I’ll start with this, I generally leave my house by 6:45am and am not returning until 7, 8 or 9 at night. I also RARELY ever buy food on the go or grab dinner out that wasn’t pre-planned. So how do I do it? I plan and plan. I have gotten my meal plan, shopping, cooking and cleaning down to about a 3 -4 hour time period. Hmm sound like a lot? Not really considering I rarely step foot in the kitchen during the week because everything is pre-cooked, measured and in tupperware for the week. I also ALWAYS have at least 1-2 meals in the freezer for the weekends I am away, super busy or just don’t feel like cooking. So what does it look like? Here is a sample of my up coming week.
Meal plan –
Breakfast – Eggcups with bacon, apples or banana and nuts (sometimes add avocado and salsa for different flavor profile)
Snack- Deli meat, nuts and apple/banana/grapes
Lunch- Chicken with salsa, broccoli, sweet potatoes, plantains
Snack- If needed – Lara bar/chicken sausage
Dinner- Chicken sausage/homemade hamburger/salmon burger/eggs, leftover veggies, avocado
First I decide what I will make, then compile my list based on what I currently do not have. Yes, I am cooking for 1 and yes I HATE throwing food out that was uneaten
5 Sweet potatoes (good for 2 weeks)
4 heads of fresh broccoli
3/4lb boars head low sodium ham
Canadian Bacon (not challenge friendly)
2 dozen eggs
Here is my haul for the week. Not too bad!
Next it is all about the method to the madness. I like turning on the oven and not shutting it off until everything is cooked. By now I know how long everything takes and the order that works best for me. So first thing……..
Pre-heat oven to 400. Then sweet potatoes -peel and chop 2-3 sweets depending on whatever other veggies I am having that week. I put those bad boys in a Ziploc with EVOO, salt, pepper, cinnamon and a dash of chili powder, shake it and then on a pan covered with aluminum foil (hello less dishes to do!). The sweet potatoes need to go in first since they take a bit of time and I like mine really crunchy.
Next clean the board, then peel and thinly slice plantains. Then same thing, in a new Ziploc with EVOO, salt/pepper and then on a pre-greased pan with aluminum foil and into the oven.
Next up- broccoli. Sometimes I do broccoli and cauliflower or during the summer zucchini/squash but it always falls at this point in my prep. Wash and chop up, then into same Ziploc as plantains add more EVOO, salt/pepper and some Italian seasoning. Then you guessed it-onto a pan covered in aluminum foil.
So at this point my oven is pretty full and I really cant add more in there. I start to clean up the mess I made and start to work on my snack prep. I measure (hello, I am slightly anal) my deli meat, count out my almonds and baggy them up for the upcoming week.
Next up is chicken. This is my favorite chicken recipe as it takes ZERO time and is packed with flavor. Clean chicken and add to a Pyrex, then grab your favorite (I LOVE trader joes) salsa, poor the entire jar on top, mush it around and voila you are done. Into the oven it goes (at this point at least one of the veggies are done) and you can forget about it for about 20 minutes. Again, a quick clean up of whatever I used on the chicken and then it is onto my breakfast prep.
I was a huge fan of hard-boiled eggs, but somewhere along the line I lost my ability to peel them. The frustration is too much for me to handle, so I have switched it up to eggcups. I get a large mixing bowl, crack 12 eggs, a little almond milk, salt and pepper and whisk away! Sometimes I add spinach, sometimes bacon but this week Canadian bacon was the winner. I then grease a muffin tin with coconut oil (take a paper towel, dip it in your jar and rub that greasy goodness all over the tin) then pour equal amounts of egg into each cup. By this point more veggies came out of the oven so I have some space to add the eggcups. I will typically turn the oven down at this point 375.
Now I breathe a sigh of relief, pour a glass of wine and sit on the couch for a few minutes before tackling the rest. Yes, I add this into my 3-4 hour time frame! I sit then find the energy to refill that glass of wine and clean up. This includes pre-packaging my meals into tupperware for the week, washing dishes and finishing any last minute things I may have forgotten about.
Well there you go! That is a look at what a typical meal prep day for me looks like. My dinners are pre-planned as well. As you can see above, I always have a few extra things around for easy meals (salmon/turkey burgers in the freezer, frozen sweet potato tots, frozen veggies).
Hope this helps and gives you an idea that it really can get done! Let me know if you have any questions.