Im going to touch on some food prep basics pretty quick. I love fitness, but the workouts alone will not get you where you want to be. Americans have huge issues with food and I have developed some fast and easy methods to prepping and making super quick meals.
Im in contest prep mode, 10 days out from nationals and even if you do not intend to compete, you can still use some of our methods for weight loss and just a general way of eating healthier.I am no longer employed full time in an office and have the semi luxury of having time to do more prep, but Ive lived the competition life while working and taking care of children.
Tonight was prepping beef. Im not squeamish or picky about how food is cooked. Food to me is to keep me alive or drop bodyfat, it’s fuel…I do not normally eat for entertainment. I bought 2 large steaks on sale and then cut them up into five oz portions to freeze. You can do this with any kind of meat , chicken, ground turkey, etc. Now the beef I freeze raw and just toss it in the microwave for two minutes. I like my beef rare. Cooking in a microwave is fast for me, toss it in a pan if you prefer that. Cooking in the microwave also lets me avoid using oil like I would need in a pan. Now chicken or other poultry I boil in bulk and either freeze or keep in the fridge. It depends how much of it I cook. I add seasoning to the water like garlic and onions. People often believe this method makes it gross or dry, but if you put it directly into a container with a tight lid, adding a bit of the water, its just as juicy as anything. The poultry can be used in salads, with brown rice or even just mixed with a vegetable. Grab a portion of the chicken and about a ladle full of frozen veggie of choice and another of brown rice and you have a super fast meal. You can even set up acouple days worth in individual containers and skip those frozen dinners full of sodium ,carbs and preservatives (and its cheaper!). Often my protein sources are combined with small portions of brown rice which can be cooked in large amounts or you can get the minute rice cups. 1 minute in the microwave and it is perfect. Im eating approx. 1/2 cup with a couple different meals per day.
Another thing I like is shrimp, pre cooked. It can be bought pretty cheap at walmart or BJ’s, Costco , etc. You can pack it up frozen and just rinse it under some tap water and add it to salads or rice. I always have a protein source with my salads. It satisfys hunger and holds hunger off better than just the vegetables alone. I dont feel like I am eating rabbit food when I add proteins as it makes a salad more of a real meal.
Other quick and easy items are steam in the bag fish. My choice is cod . 6 minutes in the microwave, perfectly pre seasoned and one bag has enough for 4 seperete meals! I also have boiled eggs on hand, protein powder, almonds, cashews. The key to warding off hunger is having something good readily available. Do not let hunger get out of hand. I used to go into the bathroom at work to pop an egg in my mouth. I had protein powder in a shaker cup…just add water and whats faster than that? This lessens to urge to overeat when “lunchtime” comes around. When you starve yourself, you are going to overeat at the next opportunity. Everyone does it.
Im aware that the portions I eat are small. The goal is to have fist sized portions spaced every 2-3 hours. This keeps you metabolism efficient and it takes your brain 15 minutes to get the signal that your stomach is satisfied.
So what about sweet cravings? PMS for the ladies? Well, sweet cravings can be tamed a bit. I drink spearmint tea with splenda and if I do have chocolate its the dark chocolate and I pop in a square and let it melt on my tongue. Your brains craves things and that “mad craving” is often quenched with much less than we give ourselves. Yes, our bodies often crave what we need, but it doesnt know HOW MUCH to take in. This is also where “Americanized portions” comes into play. You can be satisfied on much less, trust me.
Im not a total food Nazi. But I have learned to appreciate food, the taste, the freshness and the really bad stuff leaves me feeling really bad. I now use less salt, prefer fresher, more aldente‘ types of food. When I eat pizza I want it to be real Italian pizza without sauce and the same goes for pastas. I used to eat white pasta with red sauce and now have some whole grain, with fake butter spray made from olive oil. I toss in some broccoli, chicken and garlic and seasonings. You get texture and freshness, not some overswelled noodles with red sauce full of sugar and chunks of soggy mushrooms.
I will continue to help people with their food issues as much as I can. I love to teach people what I have learned on my journey. My kids still eat mac and cheese and thats ok. They actually love the ground turkey and brown rice that I make mixed together. They eat my whole grain or blue tortilla chips I buy. You can change your habits and your familys habits too….one step at a time.I have so much to share and Im doing my best to get it all out there to you.
Thank you for reading 🙂