How To Cook A Week's Worth Of Healthy Meals In 2 Hours (Part 3: Meals)

Alright folks this is going to be the last blog in our series on how to meal prep, in the first installments we spoke about grocery shopping, and I provided a shopping list. You can find the first blog HERE.

In the second blog of the series we covered a step by process of batch cooking, including everything from the food and the utensils you’ll need all the way to how long each each food should take to cook. You can find that blog HERE.

This week we are going to cover a simple strategy for taking the pre cooked food and making quick and easy meals on the go!

As a quick refresher we’re going to cover how to measure food portions using your hand as the measuring tool.

Meal Portions Without a Scale

For our purposes the measuring tool we are going to use for portion sizes happens to be attached to your wrist and you have two of them. Your hand (thumb, palm and fist).

1.) Base each meal around 1-2 palm sized portions of protein:

  • Men aim for 2 palm sized portions of protein per meal
     

  • Women should aim for 1 palm sized portion per meal  
     

  • Precooked Protein sources: eggs, ground beef, chicken or turkey or rotisserie chicken.
     

2.) Include 2 closed fist portions of non starchy vegetables:

  • Men and women should both aim for 2 closed fist portions of  non starchy vegetables per meal.
     

  • Non Starchy Vegetables: Celery, carrots, brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, purple cabbage, asparagus, cauliflower. Really any non starchy vegetable you want to cook or eat raw works here.

 

3.) Add 1-2 thumb sized portions of fat/Oil for cooking and flavor:

  • Men should include 2  thumb sized portions of oils or fat to each meal
     

  • Women should include 1-1.5 thumb sized portion of fats or oils to meals

Fats: These fats will have usually been added during the cooking process but for salads adding olive oil, avocado oil or macadamia nut oil to a salad or having some nut butters or shredded coconut goes here.

3.5) Nuts and seeds should be eaten like a condiment, small portions when you decide to have them; ½ open cupped hand:

  • I wouldn’t go beyond one serving per meal. There are much more nutrient dense foods that should be the focus of a meal.     
     

  • The best options are organic and raw: walnuts, almonds, macadamias, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, cashews.

 

4.) When adding denser carbohydrates put 1-2 closed fist portions on your plate, or in your tupperware:

  • Centering your carbohydrates mainly in the pre and post workout window can be helpful for providing a fast acting source of fuel during workouts, and having the majority of your carbs post workout helps with recovery.
     

  • Base carbohydrate intake on how active you were for the day, and the amount of lean mass you have. Those who are leaner can tolerate carbohydrates better than those that have a lot of weight to lose.
     

  • Sources of Starch: sweet potatoes, yams, potatoes, oatmeal. Harder charging athletes who have a high volume of training could benefit from some white rice.

Pro Tip: Do yourself a favor and find Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, they are typically found at most asian food stores. They are white/grey on the outside and purple on the inside, they taste like birthday cake. Thank me later!

 

5.) If fruit is part of your meal use ½ - 1 closed palm sized portion: 

  • If you are going to have fruit I would limit it to one serving at two meals/snack out of the day.
     

  • Local in season fruit is preferred: The kind of fruit that will be available to you will vary on the region you’re living in but some good go to’s are berries, apples, bananas, cherries or pears. Plantains are great for getting some extra carbs in.

 

Putting The Food To Work:

These meals are ideas to be viewed as a template, they are not written in stone and have been developed to encourage creative thinking around food.

As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs I want to teach people to fish, not give them the fish, hence why I didn’t write out an exhaustive meal plan.

Using the rule of thumb, palm and first from above and the grocery list you could combine these foods into endless combinations that taste delicious and are nutrient dense.

If there is a food on the list you don’t like simply swap it out for another food in the same food group such as fruit for fruit or a fat for a fat or a protein source for a protein source. It’s that simple!
 

Day 1:

Breakfast:

  • 2-3 hard boiled eggs

  • ¼  avocado

  • ½ handful of berries

Lunch:

  • 2  closed fist portions of non starchy vegetables

  • 1-2 palms of rotisserie chicken, ground beef or turkey

  • 1.5- 2 thumbs of almonds

  • Add starches if lunch before your workout  ( 1 closed fist portion of potato or sweet potato)

Dinner:

  • Salad: Spinach, kale,  multi colored carrots, ¼ avocado, cherry tomatoes, celery, bell peppers, 2 thumbs worth olive oil, added vinegar

  • 1-2 pre cooked chicken sausages

  • 1-2 closed fist portions of potatoes, sweet potatoes or white rice

  •  

Day 2:

Breakfast:

  • 2-3 eggs

  • 1-2 thumbs of nuts/nut butter  or coconut chips

  • ½ handful apple slices

Lunch:

  • Salad: Purple cabbage, cucumber, 1-2 thumb of walnuts, ½ handful of strawberries sliced up, kale or spinach, cherry tomatoes, olive oils and vinegar

  • Add protein to salad: 1-2 closed fist portions of pre cooked shrimp, precooked sausage, precooked burger patty.

  • Add extra carbs if lunch before your workout  (1 full plantain or banana)

Dinner:

  • 1-2 closed fist portions of pre cooked pan roasted vegetables (brussel sprouts, carrots, asparagus, cauliflower)

  • 1-2 palm sized portions of ground beef, turkey or chicken

  • 1-2 closed fist portions of potatoes, sweet potatoes or white rice

 

Day 3:

Breakfast:

  • 1-2 precooked chicken sausage  

  • ¼ -½ avocado

  • ½ handful berries

Lunch:

  • 1-2 closed fist portion of vegetables from the crockpot recipe

  • 1-2 palms worth of roast from the crockpot recipe  

Dinner:

  • 1-2 palms worth of cooked salmon

  • 1-2 closed fist portion of pan roasted vegetables

  • 1-2 closed fist portion of potatoes, sweet potatoes or white rice.


This blog series was designed to show that meal prep and eating better doesn’t need to over the top expensive, nor do you need to spend hours in the kitchen each night of the week.

You can cook once or twice and spend the the rest of your time living your life, and doing much more fun activities.

The key is to have a plan and a method to meal prep, and making sure you’re staying consistent and enjoying the foods you’re eating this makes it more fun! 

As always I appreciate you taking the time to read today, and If you’re looking for support and guidance in the process of developing new habits around nutrition, fat loss or meal planning, I have three open spots this week for a FREE strategy call, don't miss out on this!

Fill out the form below and we’ll  get on a call to discuss how to achieve the results you desire, and start putting together a plan. I want to provide you with as much value as possible during the call.

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with the action steps necessary to get you closer to your goals.

 

Free Strategy Session Call


Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

How To Cook A Week's Worth Of Healthy Meals In 2 Hours (Part 2)

Today we're continuing on with our series of how to cook a weeks worth of healthy meals in 2 hours. Last week we covered the basics of grocery shopping and what you’ll need to buy for the actual cooking portion we’re covering today.

If you haven’t already read Part 1 of this click HERE so you know what foods to buy for the meal prep, and to make better sense of what we’re covering today.  

Meal Prepping: In The kitchen

I recommend folks have a food prep night once or twice a week depending on their schedule to ensure they have the right foods ready to eat when they need them.

The total prep and cooking process we’re covering today takes about 1.5 -2 hours depending on how efficient you are, and whether you have full reign of the kitchen or not.

Kitchen Utensils You’ll Need:

  • 1-2 spatulas

  • 1 Large cutting board

  • 1 Good quality kitchen knife  

  • 1 Medium sized pot

  • 1 medium sized pan

  • 1 Large baking pan

  • 1 Crockpot

  • Timer - Your smartphone will work

If you own a crock pot it will be worth its weight in gold for meal prep alone. You can grab one new for around $30 or scope one out at the local goodwill for $15-20.

  • Put 12- 20 ounces of water or stock in the bottom of the crock pot along with the following all chopped up: 2-3 potatoes, 2-3 celery stalks, 2 carrots, ½ onion , 3 cloves of garlic. You could even sub frozen veggies in here for a lower carb plan.
     

  • Take the roast and rub some spices all over it before tossing it on top of the vegetables, starches and stock. Put the lid on and turn the crock pot on medium or low.  8 hours later voila you have a fews days worth of meals cooked for you!
     

  • Next preheat the oven to 375.
     

  • Put the stove top burner on medium/high and boil water in the medium sized pot. Once the water is boiling put the dozen eggs in and set a time for 12 minutes.
     

  • While those eggs are boiling use a  second stove top burner and medium pan to cook ground beef, turkey or chicken.
     

  • Add ¼-½  chopped up onion and 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic with salt and pepper to taste. The ground meat will usually take 15-20 minutes, and should be browned when done.
     

  • When the eggs are done boiling either put them in cold water and peel right after, or wait for them to cool down and store in the fridge.  
     

  • While this is all happening on the stove top make sure you’re double dipping your time and making use of the oven.
     

  • Chop up brussel sprouts, carrots, purple cabbage, asparagus cauliflower, onions, garlic or use the frozen vegetable mix.
     

  • Put all the vegetables on the baking pan, and melt some coconut oil or use avocado oil to drizzle over the top of the vegetables. Move them around until evenly coated with the oil and top with some salt and pepper.
     

  • Toss the vegetables in the oven for 30-45 mins at 375 degrees on the top rack, cooking time  depends on the vegetables you used and desired texture.
     

  • Check on the vegetables and move them around every 10 minutes  to make sure they don’t burn.
     

  • Take your whole sweet potatoes or potatoes and and put them directly on the oven rack either long side or below the vegetables that are cooking.
     

  • The denser carbs will take longer to cook at the lower heat, but we don’t want to burn the vegetables. When the veggies are done remove them from the oven and turn up the heat.
     

  • Increase the heat up to 415 to 425 degrees and remember while these starches are cooking you’ll l need to turn them to make sure the skin doesn’t burn.
     

  • When the potatoes or sweet potatoes are are soft to the touch and you can easily indent them with your finger all around they’re done.
     

  • Use the same pot you cooked the eggs in to cook up 1-2 cups of white rice to eat after your workouts.
     

  • For people following a low carb approach or those looking to lose a significant amount of fat ditch the white rice.
     

  • While all this food is cooking use this time cut up the fresh vegetables from the shopping list such as: bell peppers, carrots, purple cabbage cucumber, celery, mushrooms, tomatoes.
     

  • Put them into containers to store in the fridge. You can use these pre cut vegetables, and combine them with avocado and olive or avocado oil to make quick and easy salads throughout the week.
     

  • You can also bring these raw cut up vegetables as snacks for that mid day hankering in between meals.
     

  • There are some foods that are helpful to have on hand as snacks such as: cut up vegetables, mixed nuts and nut butters, fresh fruit, precooked sausages, smoked salmon, hard boiled eggs or any of the canned fish.

Alright that concludes how to batch cook the foods from your grocery list, you likely have a small mountain of food in large tupperware containers ready to eat!

You have done the hardest part by shopping and cooking, and have set yourself up for  a successful week in the nutrition category!

Next week I’ll show you how to make quick and easy meals from these foods you just cooked that can be grabbed on the way out the door.

Do you have any fat loss or nutrition goals ? Are you looking for a coach to help guide you through the fat loss  process in a sustainable way that fits your lifestyle ?

Fill out the form below  to get on a FREE Strategy Call with me to discover how to achieve your health or fat loss goals, and make them yours to keep this time around. I’ll be there every step of the way to support and keep you accountable.  

Whether you decide to work with me or not I can guarantee you will leave this call with the action steps necessary to get you closer to your goals.

Free Strategy Session

Name *
Name
Phone *
Phone

How To Cook A Weeks Worth Of Healthy Meals In 2 Hours (Part 1)

How To Cook A Week's Worth Of Healthy Meals In 2 Hours (Part 1) (2).png

When someone is looking to change their nutrition being prepared is one of the best habits and markers for long term success.

With every nutrition client I’ve worked with those that were better prepared achieved better results, no matter what their goals were.

Consistency is a huge limiting factor that can get in the way of making sustainable changes and reaching your goals with nutrition.

In this week’s blog I’m going to provide you with an easy step by step guide on how meal plan and prep for the week. This is going to have some finer details so it will be broken down into two newsletter first addressing meal prep and then addressing on the fly meals.

 

Meal Prepping: What To Buy At The Store

The goal here is to make things as simple as they need to be, but no simpler. This is the exact same strategy I use on a weekly basis to meal prep myself and with my nutrition clients.

 

 

Tupperware

Take a few minutes to look over your tupperware stock and see if you have enough to house the food you’re going to be cooking up for the week. This is an important step  because many people have the tupperware, but are missing the lids!

Protein

 I like to see people consume 3-5 different sources of protein throughout the week to prevent palate fatigue and make sure people are getting a wide spectrum of amino acids.

There are some sources of protein that people should buy precooked because it’s just plain worth the time to money exchange.

 

  • Outsourced Protein: Choose 1-3

  • Cooked rotisserie Chicken (most grocery stores have these available)

  • High Quality Pre cooked sausages

  • Sardines or oysters in water or olive oil ( Watch out for soybean or vegetable oil)

  • Smoked salmon

  • Kipper snacks

  • Wild caught canned salmon

  • Hard boiled eggs

  • Pre cooked shrimp

  • Pre cooked chicken breasts

  • Pre cooked burger patties ( chicken, beef or turkey)

 

  • Protein Sources To Cook:

  • 1 Dozen eggs ( If you didn’t already buy hard boiled eggs)

  • 1 lb ground meat (chicken, turkey beef)

  • 2 lb roast ( this will be cooked in a crock pot and eaten throughout the week)

  • Optional: 1 lb Wild caught fish (I go with what’s on sale)

 

Vegetables and Fruits

It should come as no big surprise that fruits and vegetables are important to your health and fat loss goals so I don’t feel like this point needs to be explained in too great of details but they provide vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber and health promoting phytonutrients.

I like to see people consume as wide a variety of fruits and vegetables as possible throughout the week with varying colors to mix up the taste, consistency and nutrients they are taking in.

 

  • Fruits and Vegetables:

  • 1 Large bag of Frozen vegetable mixes ( these are a great way to save money, and ensure that they don’t go bad before you can eat them).

  • Frozen fruits ( great for grabbing as a dessert or tossing into plain yogurt or oatmeal or blending up to make an ice cream alternative)

  • Vegetable trays: I will regularly but a vegetable tray and just keep it at my office for snacks or to add to a meal.

  • 1-2 sources of fresh fruit ( I personally love berries!)

  • 1 Bag of greens ( kale, spinach, collards, arugula etc)

  • 1-2 cucumbers

  • 1 package of cherry tomatoes  

  • 1 bundle asparagus

  • 2 avocados

  • 1 head of cauliflower ( assuming the frozen vegetable mix doesn’t have these)

  • 1 head of purple cabbage

  • 1 container of mushrooms

  • 1 package of celery

  • 1 package of multi colored carrots

  • 2 Bell peppers

  • 1 head of garlic

  • 1-2 onions

 

Denser Carbohydrates

The ever controversial carbohydrate! For anyone who is hitting the gym and stays fairly active you’ll want to have some cooked starches on hand for either lunch or dinner.

If you want some help figuring out a good range of dense carbs to be eating on a daily basis check out the podcast I did recently on finding your carbohydrate sweet spot on Itunes or Stitcher.

Keep in mind that these are the sources of starch that I’ve found to work for my clients and myself that doesn’t mean that they will be the best for you so you may need to tinker and see what sources best fit your individual context.

 

  • Starches To Buy:

  • 1 bag of potatoes or sweet potatoes ( usually these are 5lb bags and will last 1-2 weeks for a moderately active person)

  • Gluten free oatmeal ( one of my favorite sources of carbohydrates, coming from an irish coastal ancestry it makes sense)

  • White rice

  • Optional: To mix it up head to a local asian store and grab purple okinawan sweet potatoes or taro root.

 

Fats

 Good sources of healthy fat are vital to our health. Everything ranging from hormonal, cognitive and joint health is impacted by our intake of healthy fat so don’t skimp here.

For anyone who is following a lower carbohydrate diet you will need to have more fats in the diet to give the body an energy source in the absence of carbs so keep that in mind where you are out grocery shopping.

 

  • Fats To Buy :

  • Olive or Avocado oil

  • Coconut oil

  • 2-3 Avocados

  • 1 bag of mixed nuts

  • Unsweetened Shredded coconut

  • 1 jar of peanut or almond butter

Next Week we’re going to cover the actual meal prep process step by step in the kitchen and how to maximize your time. Lastly I’ll show you an easy way to combine the foods you just cooked  into easy on the go meals.

If you want to entirely remove the confusion of meal prep let's chat, and understand how to use food to reach your goals sign up for a nutrition strategy session by clicking the Get Started Today button and filling out the short form.