No Meal Prep? No Problem.

Google “meal prep” and you’ll find oodles of information on how to spend a few hours one day a week to get all your food ready for the rest of the week.  I completely idolize those of you who can do this!  What a cool thing to be able to have everything ready to go.  This just wasn’t a solution for me.

So what is the alternative?  Fast food and vending machines?  No thanks.  I know my body needs actual nutrition to power me through my day at my office, my quality time with my kids, and my killer workouts.  I rely on grab and go breakfasts, lunches and snacks to get me through the day, then throw together something super fast for dinner.  I had to change the way I thought about food to get here though.  It didn’t come over night and I had to get out of my comfort zone and be creative.

Packing:
For starters, you don’t have to use fancy Tupperware or lunch bags.  I take a grocery store plastic bag, walk around my kitchen to collect all my food, then throw it in my big stuff-I-need-for-work-bag.

 

Always in my big bag: a can opener, a bowl, a fork, a spoon, a vegetable peeler, water bottle, salt & pepper and a small food scale.  (I wash utensils and stuff in the office break room or wash it when I get home.)

What to Pack – 1 minute:
You don’t have to portion things out into individual portions!  Just take the whole container. Stuff can be portioned out as you need it.  Example: Just take a whole cucumber.  I used to think I had to peel it, cut it, Tupperware it.  That takes time.  Time I don’t have.  Ranch dressing?  Throw the whole bottle in there.  Frozen veggies?  Take the whole bag.  Deli meat?  Take the whole package.  Things that can be purchased already in small containers is great too – individualize oatmeal pouches, yogurt, fruit cups, cheese sticks, etc.

Unpacking – 3 minutes:
When I get to work I take out my grocery bag of food, remove anything I don’t want refrigerated onto my desk.  Take the rest of the food and my water down to the break room.  Fridge the grocery bag and fill up my water.

Breakfasts (I like stuff I can eat in the car on the way to the office)
English muffin
Granola bar
Banana
Protein powder in water or milk or coffee

Lunches (protein + vegetable)
Deli meat (turkey, chicken, ham) with carrots
Can of tuna (straight out of the can) with a cucumber
Eggs (scrambled in the microwave) with broccoli

Snacks
Fruit
Greek yogurt
Instant oatmeal
Cheese

These are just a few ideas I’ve found helpful for me, but I’m sure there are more!

What are your go-to food and meal ideas to get you through the week?

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Smoothies

Yesterday I was sick as a dog.  Picture death warmed over.  I’ll spare you the details.  Let’s just say I was super sick.  Got some work done in the morning then spent the rest of the day trying to recuperate.  Yesterday was also Hubby’s birthday – I felt terrible that we couldn’t have the celebration he deserves.  (Sorry Honey, I will make it up to you!)

Despite still feeling nowhere near 100% today, after not working out at all yesterday I resolved to at least get myself back in gear today.  Got my gym bag ready, packed a healthy lunch and a bunch of Dayquil gel tabs.  As I’m at work on conference call #1, it starts sleeting.  Yuck.  As I’m on conference call #2 it starts snowing.  By the time I’m off conference call #2 it’s snowing… snowing hard.  Several projects and another conference call down and I realize it’s stopped snowing all together.  Yes!  Going to the gym on the lunch hour will be that much simpler.  I’ll get to the gym, get in that workout I should have yesterday, get a quick shower, post workout smoothie and back to work – easy peasy.  Popped another couple Dayquil, grabbed a few tissues and was out the door.

I would like to say I pranced to my car but it was more like a lumbering shuffle.  Turned on the car and started dusting off the snow only to discover a layer of ice.   A thick layer of ice (remember that sleet?).  So I started scraping, and scraping and scraping.  By the time I was done I was covered in sweat, dizzy and nauseous beyond belief.  At this point I felt like clearing the car was the workout.  But I wanted to get that workout darn it!  I didn’t come out to the parking lot just to dig out my car and go back inside!  I told myself I had to at least drive the short distance to the gym and scan my key tag to get my check-in for the day.  If I felt up to it by the time I got there, I’d do the workout.  If I was still feeling like crap I would reward my puny efforts with my smoothie anyway and go back to work.

So what happened?  I finished the work out.  I hit a PR on my bench press of 50 lbs!  (Let’s not get too excited folks, the 2.5 lb plates were about the size of my hand – and I have small hands – but they were plates none the less.)  After that I pretty much phoned in the rest of it because I wasn’t feeling great but a half assed workout is better than none at all.  A little exercise did rejuvenate me and that post workout protein smoothie tasted all the better because of it.

Got to scrape the car again before heading back to work.

After work I had to scrape the car again.  Oh joy.

Went to my 8 year old’s hockey game.  They lost but he skated hard and played well.

Then I got to scrape the car again.  Yippee.

Home now, and the car is in the garage.  No more scraping for me today.  I think I may have earned myself another smoothie. 🙂