At work I am always wondering that only a few colleagues bring their own food from home. At lunch time, when they are getting hungry, they start to think about what in Jesus’ name they could eat now and they are jealously looking at my huge salad with chicken. Therefore they order something from the home delivery service or grab a bread roll with schnitzel from the supermarket. On the one hand they don’t enjoy the taste (which is absolutely not comparable to the amazing taste of a fresh salad at all) and on the other hand it costs a pretty penny.
Since years I am cooking all of my meals except for my breakfast once a week. There are 5 meals each day, so 35 portions overall. Because of that I am in the kitchen for a very long time on Friday or Saturday, but I am off for the rest of the week. I only have to add the fresh ingredients the night before. For the week I am winning several hours.
Meal Prep always starts with well-planned grocery shopping. I am writing my grocery list in the same order as the foods are stored in the supermarket. This is saving my time and you won’t find yourself lost in the candy department, where suddenly all the chocolate and cookies fly into the shopping cart as if by magic.
As soon as I have got all the ingredients, I plan 2 to 3 hours of cooking. The more concentrated you work the faster it will be done. The first time meal prepping will take much more time, as you aren’t used to the hand movements. In the meantime I am able to cook 5 different meals for 7 days within 1.5 hours and afterwards my kitchen is tidied up again.
Cook as much as possible in the oven: Chicken breast, fish, vegetables, potatoes etc. This is fast and is limiting the dirt. You don’t have to stand by the side and pay attention. I am preheating my oven at 200 degrees Celsius. Then I wrap my washed and cleaned sweet potatoes in aluminum foil (or the regular potatoes) an bake them for about 1.5 hours in the oven. In parallel I put in a baking tray with chicken breasts and a baking tray of tilapia fillets. When it is well done I take it out and now it is the vegetables’ turn. It is important to cook/bake the proteins (meat, fish) first so it has enough time to cool down.
On the stove top I steam the left vegetables and I am using the same pot for cooking the rice afterwards. The salmon fillet I cook in the pan simultaneously. In this pan I cook my minced meat and in the end the green beans as well.
Measuring and packing
Now everything is ready. The Tupperware has to be filled with the right amount of food and then they are stored in the fridge. I cut all foods so small that I only need a fork for eating. Especially on the go it is always very comfortable. But you have to pay attention that the vegetables, meat, fish and potatoes: Each food has to be cut on a fresh cutting board. So the life period of the foods will be much longer. As far as possible the single ingredients of the meal should be placed next to each other in the Tupperware. During summer time or when travelling, I freeze some of the boxes because the food will stay good for longer.
Salads and dressings
I cut all the uncooked vegetables and salads the night before and place them in the boxes and put the dressing on the bottom of the box. When I am ready to eat I shake the box and the dressing blends nicely with the salad. That way the salad stays crisp for a very long time and doesn’t get limp.
The leftovers of meat, chicken and fish as well as sweet potatoes I store in the freezer and use them next time. So I don’t have to waste any food.
If I am in a hurry or when I have forgotten my food at home, than I come back to substitutions. One option for stressful times are Protein Gusto Soups (tomato soup is always a good thing in my opinion!). This covers your protein requirements and is prepared within a minute. For sure this is always an alternative!
How said Benjamin Franklin?
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
IFBB Bikini Athlete