Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Meal Prep with Lacey

ALWAYS extra rice around!
Many competitors I know have done blog posts regarding their meal prep. And while my meal prep isn't new or fun or exciting, I believe that sharing my meal prep may help many of you, as I do face challenges in regards to diet and making it work for me and my schedule.

*First off, I will warn you: I am the type of person who can eat the same thing day in and day out. If I find something I like, I stick to it. Portions change at times, but for the most part its the same. Also, I prep meals for the whole week at one time. I spend 2-3 hours in the kitchen for this, but mind you I am cooking for more than myself.

One challenge I face is being a good cook. No seriously! Patrick loves my cooking. Since we have been together, over a year, he has made me approximately 3 meals: 2 were for holidays and 1 because I was sick... and that was only once because he tends to get sick when I am and vice versa, which means I still cook even when sick. Patrick loves a reasonably healthy diet: high in protein, high carb, low in fat to help him get through 10 hour days and working out on top of it.

Welcome to my kitchen!

I accomplish this chaos of making both our lunches through LARGE batches of rice and chicken.
I start with rice. You can see my batches of rice in the far counter, and his batches of rice in the near counter. As well as dinner in the bowls :) I differentiate our lunches by putting them in different containers so as to not confuse. Also, I'm boiling eggs for Patrick's lunch.
That's 3 lbs of chicken in that container there. I portion to feed both of us.
Another challenge we face, is we are that couple. The couple that is always going. When I wasn't on contest prep, I would face challenging days. You know the ones. The ones where you come home, completely depleted and have NO CLUE what to make for dinner. The only places within 20 mins of us are Subway (not a bad choice, but you can expend a lot of calories and carbs there) and a grocery store (better, but doesn't have healthy prepared meals). The all too familiar phone call to Patrick "Babyyyyy, will you stop by Subway on your way home...??? Pretty pleaseeee?!" cannot be heard for at least the next 15 weeks.

As many of you may know, being on contest prep virtually magnifies ANY feelings you have about anything. So, when you feel great, you feel intensely amazing. But, when you're tired, depleted, and hungry those feelings can make you feel desperate. Knowing myself, I had to consider a way around this. And like many of you, you have to FIND a way to make it work for you.

Since I am so busy, and often come home thinking "Uuughhhhh, I have to make dinner still?!" This is what I do... I buy bags of frozen lean chicken breast in the 5 lbs variety. I like ground turkey as well as fish but get sick of both of them quick (although I know I will likely need to incorporate them into my diet). And I do this:
I start with 3 containers, all with different spices: (left to right) asian spice mix (cumin, red pepper, garlic, olive oil, and soy sauce), hispanic spice mix (cumin, garlic, onion powder, hot sauce, salt and olive oil), and lastly what I call fresh mix (just garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary and salt).

When I prep the chicken for lunches, I cut ALL 10 lbs of chicken at one time so it ends up like the cooking chicken picture above and the mixed prepped chicken looks like:
Blurry, but you get the picture. But then, once the larger batches are cooked when I cook on a Monday or Tuesday, then I only have to reheat those chicken items!

I will also pre-cut veggies for quick steaming:
Container FULL of pre-cut green beans. That's a LOT of chicken in the back, and hoisin sauce for Patrick's lunches.
The end result is a fridge full of options for quick pull. I can pull it out and throw it in a pan with very little olive oil per poundage of chicken. Another bonus is it has been marinating for days! I tend to throw everything in its pan, put on low, and jump in a bath. Sigh, it makes my life easier just knowing that dinner is easier! I have no option for eating bad when all my meals are ready to cook.
I always leave a large space for our lunch bags as I always prep those the night before.
Bottom drawer is reserved for MY lunches, so Patrick KNOWS not to touch:
My rice & chicken lunches, pre-cut cucumbers and greek yogurts.
Lastly, my dry goods cupboard:
Full of pre-measured protein powders, vanilla up top for Patrick, chocolate on bottom for me.
Pre-measured cereal for Patrick and don't even ask how I can manage prep with Nutella in the house. :)
Bonus Round: Another challenge many face is the issue of eating healthy at work, step into my health food aisle:
Complete with extra measuring cups, supplements, bananas, stevia, rice cakes, peanut butter, flax oil, mugs, tea, gum, almonds, bananas, protein powder, and Jack3D in case I forget it! AND some Mio for the days I can't resist a sweet craving.
It is just a little cubby above my desk, but it makes ALL the difference in the world. Maybe someday I'll show you my drawer in which I keep an extra toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, tampons, floss, makeup and earrings. But that has nothing to do with prep. :) Just for when I'm running late!

The moral of the story is if you have an issue, a challenge, or a problem... you can break it down and find a way to succeed. I would rather fail others than fail myself, so for me there are no excuses. Don't focus on what you can't do, focus on what you CAN do!
There IS a way around each and every challenge we face!


  1. Our frige looks pretty similar. We also leave a big spot open for our lunch boxes (no time in the morning for packing them when you gotta be up at 4am). Planning and preparation really is the best way to stay on target. You got this! :)

  2. ^^Sorry...still having trouble commenting.

    Kristin (Size Matters).

  3. Yeah I hear that Kristin! We get up about the same time and my thought process is much more coherent the night before!

  4. You are so intense but I LOVE it!! I need to follow your example badly!

  5. I've heard of cooking ahead and freezing (don't like it myself) but never thought of preparing ahead. Duh! What a good idea! I'm gonna check out what I can do on Sunday. Nice post!

  6. Just found your blog- I'm not a fitness competitor and not really striving to be, but I try to workout and eat like one. I had a trainer a few years ago who competed and she rubbed off her ways onto me.

    I love seeing your meal preparing and fridge :) Looks like mine. It's so much easier to make on a Sunday (for me) and have meals ready to grab and go throughout the week. Makes me less lazy to grab something "bad" and keeps me stress free at that!

  7. Right on Ladies! Its all about identifying your weaknesses and finding a way around it. :)

    Jenny-That's awesome! I wasn't a competitor for a long time and this blog is more geared towards fitness of all kinds. :)