Preparing food for the week.

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by Eastie Boy, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Eastie Boy

    Eastie Boy White Belt

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    Sorry if this has been covered before but I did have a decent look and couldn't find any topics covering it! (I will happily be linked to another thread though)

    *to skip my life story go to the next paragraph!*
    Anyway . . . My schedule is pretty hectic from Monday-Thursday (Friday isn't too bad cos I don't have to be up for work the next day). I get up at 5am, have a shower, brekky and do some stretches/exercises before going to work at 6 (I'm pretty slow in the morning so all that literally takes 60 minutes). Finish work some time between 3 and 4 depending on where and who I'm working with (ah the life of an apprentice!) then go straight to the gym on Mondays and Wednesdays followed by my night school course which finishes at 9 (I live probably 40 minutes drive from this). Tuesdays and Thursdays I go straight to my martial arts class which runs between 5 and 8.30 (3 separate classes) which is about the same distance as school. AND on Fridays I have boxing til 6.30 then go to the gym so I get home around 8.30 (these 2 are only 10 minutes drive from where I live)

    *people smart enough to skip the last paragraph can continue reading here
    Basically my dilemma is that I'm not home from 6am til 9.30pm Mon-Thurs and 6am-8.30pm Friday and I'm struggling to find enough food that I can prepare on a Sunday to suffice for the 5/6 times I eat after breakfast in the morning for that week. Obviously I could come home and cook/prepare something every night but that eats into precious sleeping/recovering time that I can ill afford to lose. I've only been doing this a couple of weeks now (and yes it does suck somewhat!) but I'm already sick of salads and cans of baked beans for every meal or having to resort to buying dinner or whatever. I general have access to a microwave, sandwich press and fridge every day (though I can't always guarantee this). I'm more just after suggestions of food that will keep for a few days in the fridge, freezer etc etc so I can go shopping on a Sunday arvo, spend all night cooking and not have to worry about it for the rest of the week!

    Thanks in advance to anyone game enough to read all that and give me a response!
     
  2. dza76wutang

    dza76wutang Black Belt

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    My own personal experience:
    Cooking for the week (lets say you cook M-F's meals on Sunday) results in lost weekend time (I think it took me a few hours to make the food) and results in food you probably won't want to eat as the week progresses. I can recall the food being hard to eat by Wednesdays and practically inedible by Thursday. I doubt it spoiled, I think it was more due to meat getting drier, vegies gettng mushy, etc.

    What I currently do might work for you:
    Every morning I prep my food for the day which is the following:
    boiling 6 eggs for hard boiled eggs
    microwaving some frozen vegies then throw them in a strainer
    --while these 2 steps are happening I make and drink a protein shake
    I buy pre-cooked frozen chicken breasts at whole foods. They taste good, and they are only slightly more expensive than raw ones, however, when I factor in time to prepare versus my hourly rate (how I estimate the "value" of my time") frozen wins. I just throw it into a tupperware container.
    I toss a can of some fish into my bag as well (sardines usually).
    Add 1-3 pieces of fruit and I'm done.

    Total food I bring to work every day:
    6 HB Eggs
    1-3 Pieces of Fruit (snacks)
    1 Chicken Breast
    1 Can of Fish
    1 Piece of Cheese (cut off of a block)
    1 "serving" of vegetables (probably 2 traditional sized servings)

    and then the shake before work. That covers:
    Breakfast 1
    Breakfast 2
    Lunch 1
    Lunch 2
    and Snacks
    And it only takes me 20ish minutes to assemble.

    The only things looming are Dinner (PrWO) and a PWO meal (usually just a shake).

    I understand your hours are a bit longer than mine, but my food plan doesn't change much when I have night school (now my day is 6am-10pm or later) and in that case I simply throw more food in the bag (adds minimal prep time to my ~20 minutes) or stop and grab something that won't wreck my diet for the day.

    Hope this helps, I know it's not a closed form solution but maybe it'll show you some opportunities to shave time off your food prep time. My personal experience tells me that cooking for the week is going to lead to food being wasted (which means money being wasted!) but perhaps people with more expertise can show you how to do it correctly. And for disclosure purposes, under normal circumstances I workout 2-3x per day and work full time and go to grad school part time. So it's not like I have copious amounts of unstructured time :).
     
  3. curb1850

    curb1850 Green Belt

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    I am gonna try the pre cooked chicken from whole foods. Thats exactly what I've been looking for, pre cooked.
     
  4. dza76wutang

    dza76wutang Black Belt

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    There's 2 at mine:
    The one that comes in a plastic bag is 100000000000000000x better than the one that comes in the blue box. Brand names elude me at the moment though.
     
  5. Clint07

    Clint07 You like blood? Violence? Freaks of nature?

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    Stir fry of any sort freezes very well

    Most any soup/stew style recipes work well.

    You can also prep crock pot recipes where you can just dump all the ingredients in, in the morning and it is ready when you get home
     
  6. superking

    superking Poet — Traveler — Soldier of Fortune

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    I usually cook enough to last 2 or 3 days. Like the poster above said, when I cooked everything for the whole week on Sunday I found I would be disgusted by the food come Thursday. Mainly because it didn't store well.

    Another thing I like to do is to cook dinner one night, and make enough that there are leftovers for the next two meals. Like, last night we had tacos. And I cooked enough meat that today for lunch I'm having some of the meat with some black beans over salad and right after work I'll lift and then have a southwestern omelet type deal with the meat and some salsa and cheese.
     
  7. BigIsland

    BigIsland White Belt

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    i'll cook 4-5 chicken breasts and cut them up on sunday. after they cool i'll seperate them into two tupperwares or ziplocks.

    half of it will go into the fridge, the other half into the freezer.

    so mon - wed i'll eat the chicken in the fridge...i'll throw em in salad...i've even shredded em and added to omlettes...and i'll throw em in the microwave with some california blend type of veggies and some low salt seasoning and eat.

    then i'll use the remaining chicken in the freezer for the rest of the week.

    these things are super fast to make when the main thing (the chicken) is already cooked and ready to go
     
  8. steroid-doc

    steroid-doc Purple Belt

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    This is how i feel , i usualy cook everyday because i like to enjoy my food

    also watch out for the pre cooked chicken , I know someone who got klebsiella from doing that and he cant eat carbs anymore
     
  9. vincent80

    vincent80 Blue Belt

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    I usually cook for 3 days that seems to be the longest length with out the food becoming gross. Also at Sams Club there are pre cooked chicken and steak strips that you can pretty much create any kind of meal with each bag should be good for 5-7 meals.

    And thanks for the mention of Whole Foods having pre cooked chicken...Imma check that out.
     
  10. Eastie Boy

    Eastie Boy White Belt

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    Cheers for the quick replies!

    dza76wutang - that was one of my concerns (food going off or tasting like crap). I don't mind sacrificing a little bit of taste but obviously it still has to be edible :p If in the next week or so I'm still struggling to find time/food I'll go see a nutritionist (and I'll bring along the blood test I had a few weeks ago with my vitamin levels). Basically every supermarket in Australia sells pre-cooked chicken so that's definitely a goer.

    Clint07 - the stews, stir fry's, rice meals etc were probably the one thing I did think of. Just not sure if it'll hold 4 days . . .

    superking - I've snuck in leftovers from the rest of the family whenever I can/could (I'm moving out soon so I've been doing everything myself so I don't get too big of a shock) but usually I won't know til I look in the fridge that morning.

    Basically my ideas thus far are:
    -Bananas and other fruits that require little or no preparation
    -Cooking a mass amount of oats and just reheating them each morning
    -Making a truck load of salad and portioning it out each day
    -Cooking a bag or 2 of pasta (about a kg worth) and either having it cold or reheating it at work
    -Sunday night and then either Tuesday or Wednesday BBQing enough meat eg steak, kangaroo fillet til I get a chance to cook again
    -Tinned tuna
    -Taking containers of nuts to work and snacking on them at every opportunity I get

    Then obviously protein shakes and other supplements.

    I downloaded a diet tracker for my iPhone and I'm not consuming anywhere near as many calories as I thought I would be (I'm in the 3500-4000 range and want to be at least 4500 to bulk using that as a guide), but having more of an idea about what to eat/prepare should help with that.
    So at this stage it looks like I'll make a stir fry/stew/rice dish on Sunday night for Mon-Tues-Wed then cook some meat for Thursday and Friday!

    Once I've worked out something a lil more concrete I'll definitely post it as a diet log so you guys can see what I'm doing. Hopefully I end up returning the favour by giving you a couple of ideas!
     
  11. BigIsland

    BigIsland White Belt

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    solid plan!
     
  12. Jaedong

    Jaedong Blue Belt

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    Healthy food is great but has calories too, just ask my belly after I bulked with only healthy food and still gained more fat then muscles. Just a heads up, good luck
     
  13. Eastie Boy

    Eastie Boy White Belt

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    For the time being I'm not overly fussed on bodyfat or appearances (I've got an pretty fast metabolism anyway which will aid in avoiding that), more focused on getting strong enough that I no longer consider my self a skinny bastard!
    I'm aiming to get from 69kg (153lbs) to 74kg (163lbs) at the same, or lower BF%. Obviously the BF won't happen while I bulk so I'm aiming for a bit more weight before I starting worrying about fat levels.

    I'm a newbie to MA and don't have any intention of fighting/competing until I've had a fair bit of instruction and sparring under my belt so making weight isn't going to be an issue for a while yet
     
  14. Jaedong

    Jaedong Blue Belt

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    wow that is pretty skinny so yeah you can eat quiet a bit. You could get up to 76 kg then cut to LW for a fight, that is if you decide to have fights.
     
  15. Clint07

    Clint07 You like blood? Violence? Freaks of nature?

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    Split them into meal sized portions and freeze them. They reheat without too much trouble...I've actually got a bunch of stir fry in the freezer now
     
  16. PoundUmOut2

    PoundUmOut2 American Gangster

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    i had this delima and my best option was to split my cooking in half. do a few days sunday night and a few days wednesday. otherwise i will make food and end up not eating it all and wasting money.
     
  17. boboplata***

    boboplata*** Banned Banned

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    smoke some pork shoulder & brisket.
     
  18. BoxingFan123

    BoxingFan123 Purple Belt

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    CrockPot should be your best friend for dinners
     
  19. antipaladin

    antipaladin White Belt

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    Your freezer is your best friend. Combine that with a good selection of tupperware and you'll be set. Chili, stew, veggies, anything you can think of. Best bet to start with is to get a couple small tupperware sets, make 2 different meals on the weekend, and portion them out so you can have perfect control over what you're eating and also to give yourself a little variety. Suppliment it with fresh fruits and veggies that you take each morning.

    Once you get a little more advanced (and if you have the space) you can start bulk cooking and portioning basic ingredients for extra variety. Cook your brown rice and good pastas by the gallon and freeze, same w/ veggie mixes, sauces, and basic meats (chicken breast, beef, pork) and you can eat a different combo every meal for an entire week. This has the added benefit of giving you more for your cooking time, since you'llbe getting greater returns for nothing more than a little more packaging time.
     
  20. Eastie Boy

    Eastie Boy White Belt

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    Hey guys! Thanks for all the advice.

    Tried the week just gone and struggled somewhat. So off to the dietician on Monday with some blood test results I had a while back to test my vitamin levels.

    Also ordered some more tupperware off the interwebs which should help as well :)

    Will report back (hopefully) on Monday with an update as to what the dietician said.
     

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