Why yes, it absolutely is! I was able to prepare 4 meals in less than 1 hour, plus dinner (which will be lunch the following day) in 18 additional minutes. Food preparation on Sunday is my key to success when it comes to my competition prep, as well as my off-season maintenance. It doesn’t have to take all day, nor does it have to be complicated. I’ve chosen a few of my favorite, simple recipes to demonstrate just how easy and stress-free food prep can be. Ready to give it a shot?
First, notice our start time on the clock, 13:20. Next notice that all the ingredients for the recipe are out so I can see that I have everything I need. This is Tip #1. Before you begin food prep, have all the ingredients readily available for all of the recipes. This saves lots of time.
While the turkey is browning and the quinoa is cooking, I’m prepping the other ingredients -garbanzo beans have been drained and rinsed, artichokes and sundried tomatoes have been chopped. This is Tip #2. Multitask! while foods are baking/boiling/browning, use that time wisely to do simple things like open cans, chop vegetables, gather ingredients for the next recipe, etc. (Time 13:35)
So the turkey, quinoa, tomatoes, artichokes and garbanzo beans have all been mixed together after cooling slightly. I will let this sit and cool a bit more before adding lemon juice, Greek seasoning and fat free feta cheese. Again, using Tip #2, I will use this time to move on to my next recipe…… (Time 13:40)
This recipe is super simple and can even double as a guilt-free dessert. The plain, fat free greek yogurt is flavored and sweetened with whatever low-carb whey protein powder you choose! I choose Muscle Pharm’s “Snickerdoodle” flavor. The addition of cereal balances out the protein/carb ratio as well as adding a little “crunch”. Chocolate, vanilla, or any other flavor is delicious as well. Get crazy and mix a couple of flavors – chocolate/strawberry, peanut butter/banana, etc. (Time 13:44)
Tip #3 – Pre-portion items such as crackers, cereal, chips, cookies. This serves two purposes. One, it saves time! Two, it prevents you from over indulging or eating more than the appropriate serving. Snack bags or children’s snack cups work terrific for this. (Time 13:49)
After the cereal is pre-measured, I divide the bowl of yogurt into 5 same-sized containers. (note: servings will be based on your caloric/macronutrient needs). Tip #4 – Use same-sized containers for dividing up recipes into equal portions. This makes it much easier to see at a glance that you have divided up the recipe in equal portions.
Now, back to our first recipe. It has cooled enough to mix in the lemon juice, Greek seasoning and feta cheese. I’ve divided it into 6 same-sized containers. (Time 13:59)
This next recipe can be used with any flavor protein powder you’d like. I’m using vanilla this week. I do recommend a casein or blended protein powder so the pancake batter is thicker. Tip #5 – Pre-measure all of the dry ingredients into small containers. Each morning simply add the wet ingredients, stir, cook and enjoy! (Time 14:01)
This piece, of course, is totally optional. I have hereditary high blood pressure, so I take medication every day. I also take a multi-vitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, branch chain amino acids (BCAA’s), glutamine & L-arginine. I spend one day a week prepping these so I don’t have 8 bottle to open and dispense every day. Refer to Tip #3 (Time 14:11)
And the finished products……
In addition to the recipes, one of my meals/snacks is a Star-Kist Tuna packet with a Quest protein bar. These are easy “grab and go” foods that are non-perishable that I can take anywhere. Tip #6 – Always have healthy, macro-balanced, non-perishable foods to keep in your car, desk, gym bag, diaper bag, purse, etc. In the event you get stuck somewhere or forget a meal, you’ll always have one handy and get rid of the “Oooops! I forgot” excuse. Suggestions: tuna packets, Quest/Balance/Zone protein bars, ready-to-drink protein shakes, pre-portioned servings of crackers such as Kashi, Wheat Thins, or Triscuit, etc. (Time 14:17)
And of course there’s DINNER! I have 4 meals prepped and dinner will yield leftovers for me to have a 5th meal and I’ll cook another dinner which will yield leftovers, and so on and so forth. So really, you simply need to prep 4 meals. This dinner is totally simple. Throw everything into the bowl and mix. Tip #7 – The use of disposable gloves makes making meatloaf, handling meat, oily items such as sundried tomatoes, etc. much easier for hand/nail cleanup. (Time 14:18)
Here’s the finished (uncooked) product. This will bake for 50 minutes after being topped with marinara and mozzarella. (Time 14:36)
Oh! and the titles of the recipes are also links….just click and try them out for yourself! I would love to hear your thoughts/comments on this blog. Let me know if you tried it out, if it was helpful and how you liked the recipes!