T Nation

Share Your Meal Prep Strategies


#1

Would like to see how everyone plans thier nutrition for the week? Meal prep ideas, container storage, portable protiens, quick snacks, favorite foods?
How long do you keep cooked foods refridgerated? Basically, what works for you and you couldn't do without.

thanks,


#2

I have a bunch of 2 compartment tupperware things that I put meat and whatever else in. I cook a 6 day worth of food on Sunday mornings. I make 3 bowls of steel cut oats/3 bowls of quinoa for breakfast. I portion out 6 servings of Metabolic Drive Complete in bags for my second meal. I get 6 6-8 oz. portions of meat, a portion of legumes (usually lentils of navy beans), 6 servings of mixed nuts, and 6 cups of cruciferous vegetables and put them in one of the tupperware things for lunch. I have cottage on days I'm not lifting for my fourth meal, or waxy maize/whey/creating on lifting days.

I also make 3 stir frys (this week it was 6 oz. shrimp, 1 cup broccoli, 1 tblspn sesame oil, 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, and ginger/red pepper/etc.) for dinner. I consume this over the course of the week. This works well because if I miss a meal, it will most likely be wasted and thats money down the drain.


#3

tmak,

Awesome discipline bro I will start doing the same, but I have to ask:

You say 6 servings of everything so I take it that's one serving per day...but unless you gave a sample of what you prepare and actually cook much more food...doesn't sound like enough for the week, at least not for me.

Did I read your post wrong?


#4

Thats just some of the stuff I cook. There is a of other stuff that I have time to cook fresh, or doesn't need preparing.


#5

I usually hit the grocery store every Friday night and buy my food for the week.

Saturday I spend 3-4 hours in the kitchen cooking all 36 meals for the week.

Everything is divided into tupperware bowls (the disposable type you buy from Target) then goes into the freezer until its time to eat.

Only things not frozen are fish, eggs, and cottage cheese. Eggs & cottage cheese separate when thawed and fish only takes a few minutes on the grill.

Doing it this way makes life sooooo much easier! :wink:


#6

I hit the grocery store on sundays and buy my food for the week then. Head home and start prepping everything.

I like cooking my meals the day before just cause I hate how frozen food tastes.

Usually cook my meals before I go to the gym because I like going later around 8 so it gives me something to do after I get home from work.

I use the disposable tupperware too.

With all the talk of plastic containers being bad for you because the chemicals from the plastic 'leak' into the contents of the containers is there a better alternatives for food containers then the disposable tupperware? thoughts anyone?


#7

Bulk cooking. I cook a massive pot of chili once a week, cook chicken twice a week, cook steak every other day, ground beef gets cooked in bulk every 4 days or so, lots of eggs get nuked on a daily basis, as does turkey bacon. Everything that gets cooked in bulk goes into tubberware into the fridge and I'm good to go.

Basically 1 or 2 times a week I cook the majority of my meats/main meals (takes maybe 30mins each time), then each day I prepare whatever else needs to be made, ex, eggs, bacon, stuff like that. Also always keep a good supply of almonds, jerky, tuna, deli slices etc around in a pinch. At the grocery store maybe twice a week. Yesterday chicken AND beef was on sale so i stocked up, the cashier looked disgusted at the amount of meat I bought. Pretty much got it down to a science now, saves a ton of time.


#8

How long do you guys feel comfortable leaving cooked beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, etc. in the refrigerator for? I'm planning to start cooking eggs 3x a week (on Sunday for Sunday/Monday/Tuesday, on Tuesday for Wednesday/Thursday, and on Thursday for Friday/Saturday), chicken once a week (not sure when, but for the three following days), and beef once a week (same as chicken but shifted by 3 days), among other things.


#9

I bring my lunch to work in Pyrex glassware.

http://www.pyrexware.com/index.asp?pageId=97

I need to do more Sunday cooking like a lot of you guys are doing.


#10

I think this depends on the "sell by date" on the meat. If it was a week early and cooked it it might buy you more time.

I would say dont leave anything in tupperware more than 7 days. So if you cook every sunday it should prbly be ok. i usually cook 3/4 days at a a time (2 houses to cook for)...and now at college i have time so i dont think ive ever cooked for 7 days

im also interested in this though- has anyone had any issues with cooking for an entire week?


#11

Would like to know about that too.


#12

maybe I have issues, but I don't like the taste of chicken (or pork) after it has set cooked in the frig for a couple of days. I use one of those large flat grills and make most of my meals for the next day the night before. I make enough steel cut oats to last me two days, and boil enough eggs to last about 3 days. I rarely eat ground beef but when I do, I cook enough for 2 days.


#13

I generally cook 5 chicken breasts at a time, eat one after cooking, and 1 per day for the next 4 days. I've left chicken for 6 days but it was pretty dry. Sealed in tupperware with wing sauce is how I store it.

Ground beef alone will be eaten within 4 days.

Chili lasts about 7.

Steak I find, goes way too dry after one day in the fridge, so I cook a big piece every other day.

I used to leave hard boiled eggs for around 5-6 days, but now I just nuke them as it takes 4mins to cook 8-10 whites.

It was all trial and error for me and a bit of wasted food, but now I've got it down.


#14

I prepare lunch and dinner for my working week (5 days) on the weekend. After cooking I let the meals cool down before putting them into plastic boxes and freezing them. For consumption I microwave them on a plate and not in the plastic box.

The meals consist of a portion of meat and a portion of vegetables.

I usually use frozen vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts) except for cabbage (red, white).

The meat portion usually is:
- Meat loaf from grass-fed beef. I got tired of making burgers. The meat loaf is so much quicker to prepare. Put minced meat, salt, pepper and garlic into a bowl, knead it, make a loaf and put into the oven. Done.
- Chicken breasts (fried in an non stick pan with a bit of butter). I bought a foreman-style grill to prepare the chick breast but it is just a pain in the ass to clean. I also do no like chick breasts baked in bulk in the oven.
- Curry from cubes or strips from beef

For extra carbs I just cook some pasta or basmati rice and add them to the meals.

For snacks I prepare lentils (dahl+yoghurt, lentils with bacon).

I do not prepare breakfast in advance. I put frozen spinach with a little water into a pan before I go into the shower. When I am back the spinach is usally ready and I then add some eggs and finally cheese for flavor.

For me advance meal preparation has been crucial to keep my weight down.


#15

I shop usually around twice a week.

I cook meals that I will not be at home for in advance. I use Glad plastic containers to keep it in. Usually chicken, lean ground beef, or turkey with a green veggie. I always carry them around in a bag with a bottle of olive oil. People at my work think I'm crazy when they see me take a shot of it before I eat because I don't lke the taste of it with veggies.

I always keep a couple cans of tuna on hand for an emergency (if i didn't buy enough meat that week or something unexpected comes up)

I alwasy travel with a shaker with Grow! Whey or Metabolic Drive in it ready to go and always bring atleast 2 pieces of fruit. (you never know)

Basicly whatever situation I will be in away from home I'll bring a protein and low gi carb source with me. I have a mesh bag that came with my new gym bag that I just throw snacks in when I'm on the go (which is a lot between work and school)


Cooked meat will usually last a week in the fridge. If you aren't sure smell it. If it smells a little funky its probably gone bad.

Raw meats shouldn't have a smell. If there is an oder coming from them they have probably expired.


#16

Thanks Digity

As for as storing cooked meat. I usually only let it go for a couple days.....4 at the most.

I think there are other issues then just the meat drying out. I think the meat starts to go bad. But I don't have anything to back that up and others seem to be OK eating meat that has been stored longer.


#17

I think it was Berardi in Gourmet Nutrition (or was it Massive Eating?...damn you for being so prolific, JB!) who recommended cooking only HALF the week's worth of food, essentially cooking twice a week to take care of it all.

I need to start doing all this like you guys. Do you guys use food scales?


#18

I have one but I haven't really used it that much.


#19

Do you find that any specific meats last any longer than others? Im really looking for meal prep plans to last a week.


#20

I tend to rotate my carbs between sweet potato, brown rice, and quinoa. I have 2 different types/day so will have each type twice every 3 days.

Carbs are what take the longest to cook for me, so I shove it all on right away when I start cooking.

I cook all my food fresh every day, I do it while cooking and eating my breakfast, and all in all it takes about 1 hour.

After eating my breakfast and having already shoved on the carbs, and maybe some chicken/turkey breast in the oven, I’ll do my veg etc. If it’s ground beef I’ll fry that up in coconut oil. Sometimes I roast veg, sometimes I have it raw.

I do my best to get in 150-200g organic dark green salads a day, as directed by my nutritionist.

I have a shit load of olive oil and nuts etc.

Has anyone found a slightly less time consuming way? Look forward to when I can afford a chef…