A healthy week of eating begins with a few hours of prepping your food. You can greatly minimize your time in the kitchen during the week with a few hours on the weekend. I usually try to prep my vegetables, clean and cut my greens and prepare salads. I also cook and marinate meats and make a soup and stock. I will also make little snack bags. I work 12 hour shifts from 11am to 11pm three days a week and on these days I typically eat foods that I prepared prior to those days.
Prepping vegetables means that I am cleaning and cutting them for the week to come. Often by just cleaning and cutting your vegetables you are able to cut down on a lot of the work later on. It is quicker to do it as a bulk job than everyday before you cook your meal. Also, you should clean/cut your greens and dry them as soon as you get them. Drying them in a salad spinner will allow them to last longer in the refridgerator. I also put paper towels in the bottom and on the top of them to assist in keeping them dry. This allows you to easily add them to your salads with just a quick grab as well as to cook them when you want.
I also make soups on a regular basis. Once a week or so I will prepare a large soup that will become a part of multiple meals. Beyond have a great tasting soup, I use soups to increase my nutrient density. I do this by preparing a very nutrient dense soup and then eating them several times a week. In my mind this is kind of a shot of nutrition every time I eat and it doesn’t take much longer to prepare multiple days of soup instead of a single serving. It’s really easy to freeze them. When I need to I make stock. I typically make a nutrient dense stock that I reduce until it is very concentrated. Once this happens I pour it into ice cube trays and save it. This allows me to take a few ice cubes out and add them to my soups or use them to cook grains or vegetables in.
On the nights I am working I take a salad and soup. When I do this I like to add meat to those salads. Therefore while I am cooking soup I will go ahead and cook some meat. I usually cook chicken or steak. Once it’s done I let it cool off, then I slice it and wrap it up and slide it back into the refridgerator for my work days. I’ll also marinate some meat for my other meals that I will be home to cook.
One of the last things that I will do is make a few snack bags to take to work and keep close. These are typically full of nuts/seeds, dried fruits and maybe some chocolate chips. For me I love having the chocolate and a salt together so a small amount of salted nuts/seeds works really well for me. I eat these small snacks towards the end of my day to fend off some of the hunger I might have throughout the day due to the fact that I usually drink a small shake in the morning and then wait until dinner to eat a full meal. When I am at work I don’t eat until 7pm if we are slow enough for me to take a lunch break. It is very effective and it will hold you over quite well if you need it.
A few hours of work will help you have readily available food throughout the week. How do you prep for the week? Any other good suggestions?