Preparing food for me is a chore at times and something I'd rather not do; but the eating is the fun bit.
But I'm busy as you've already guessed, with a heavily pregnant wife and busy work schedule, coupled with trying to run a small but semi-successful PT Business on the side (insert plug of facebook page Zen Fitness) along with cycling, running, fitness and trying to keep my hand in playing some rugby this winter - life is not slowing down at ALL!
So I look back to that error I made at Elwood and evaluated my preparing for the week; I generally spend a Sunday afternoon making sure I have enough Lycra washed and shirts ironed for the week ahead and would neglect the most important life force FOOD.
Food prep I always saw as a mass of containers and ingredients when all I want is a sandwich! But it doesn't have to be - simple basic meals made up on the spot on mass make a huge difference and streamline a early rising morning.
Keep it Simple!
I'm a hungry guy so a salad is not going to keep me busy, plus a salad won't last till Friday in the fridge before it becomes a little soggy. Look at some grains/ pasta/ rices/ cous cous.
Think ahead - if I'm cooking a pasta dish, I'm always cooking triple; same if it's a Chilli for Mexican night, that meat can double as burrito mix in a weeks time when I put it in the freezer. Make a big dish of Zucchini Slice so you can cut it up freeze it and serve it up later for lunch in the week.
|OK I lied a little you will need some containers for these meals|
Go big with your current meals like you're cooking for the family and a few guests, get some small sized containers and start to stock up - it's much easier to have a meal in the freezer you can grab in the morning throw in the bag and get cycling to work.
TIP: Salads are always nice, but throw in some rice/ cous cous for some slow release carbs to keep you going; also don't freeze the salad - instead make 2 batches and have them Mon- Tues in the week instead when it's freshest.
MY DAILY FOOD DIARY - most days.
5:30AM - my eyeballs have not opened yet but I can find the kettle in a firestorm; get that brew going. I feed the cat before myself and then I prepare some fruit and oats with milk or greek yogurt before I ride to work.
|That Coffee is needed more than you could imagine at 5:30AM|
10AM - A little breakfast snack bar for a couple of handfuls of nuts, this small trail mix I will generally pick at all day.
|Behave like a Squirrel, graze all day on some nuts and dried fruits|
11:30AM - Mid-Mid Morning snack a sneak a piece of fruit Apple or Banana
1:30PM - prepared meal time; today was one of the many batches of Tuna Pasta I made, as a carb machine I love this and some proteins with the tuna to boot.
4PM - 2nd piece of fruit/ chocolate milk, I need a sweet fix and I'd rather choc milk I bring with me from home than a chocolate bar. You could and I have inserted a protein shake instead here in the past as well.
8PM - It's dinner time; I have a meal plan on my fridge as to what night it is example: Monday is Stir Fry Night, this helps with both of us knowing what to cook and assists with the weekly shopping requirements.
|Fruit and Fro-gurt - YUM and great after a warm day riding or running|
Liking a little more fruit to end my day I throw some fresh chopped melon from the fridge with some frozen yogurt (fro-gurt?)
This is pretty standard daily meal plan; it's not crazy and I always try to keep my fluids up with a drink bottle on my desk along with avoiding drinking beer during the week at all, and maybe the odd extra sip on the weekend (wink wink) I'm not elite! And this meal plan might NOT make you age group champion 2015 or even a top 20 finisher. But it will make you healthier than burgers and cafe meals during the week.
It will help with being able to enjoy your free time with the other half instead of over thinking whats for dinner tonight, or having to make sandwiches the night before while all you want to do is jump into bed.
I'm not a dietitian, I read as much as you have about crazy paleo and veggie diets. I'm realistic! I need to eat, it must be tasty but I don't want to shovel rubbish in my mouth - yes some will say this is carb heavy and you'll be right. This works for me. I burn this off, my body is conditioned to a high carb intake off set with fruits.
The main take away point is meal prepping to have a stress free training time and leisure time. Do a bit extra to get a bit extra back; I'm finding you extra hours in your week. Who doesn't love time travel!