Talk to any fitness guru, personal trainer or someone that lost a ton of weight, they will tell you diet is one of the biggest things that can make a difference in how you look and feel. And for those that start working out a ton, food prepping is their thing. There are tons of videos on youtube where people walk through and show you how they food prep.
These videos you see them cooking a weeks worth of food, throwing it in the freezer and refrigerator and taking it to work to have for lunch and breakfast. It sounds so easy and simple. In fact I have tried food prepping and failed miserably.
I failed at food prepping
The problem with food prepping it assumes a lot of things. One, it assumes you have a fixed schedule. When I worked in the markets I had a very fixed schedule where I was at a desk 8 hours a day, but when I left that world, I had meetings, both out of the office and within, and one day could change a lot. Strike 1.
The second problem I had was with waste. I never had to deal with this till I moved to Hawaii but I will be damned if things don’t rot here at the blink of an eye. The minute you cut things or open up a container, it is a ticking time bomb till you open a container to white fuzzy stuff growing on your food. Food prepping makes this worse because you cook and cut up food, the bacteria and molds seem to find it even faster. Strike 2.
Finally, the third problem I had was taste. I don’t care what food preppers tell you. Chicken breasts and sweet potatoes that have been cut up, roasted and then reheated do not taste good. They tend to be dry and rubbery and lack the same taste you had when you cooked it on Sunday. And reheating green veggies in the microwave turns them into mush. I enjoy good food and so it is not to much to ask for tasty food. Strike 3.
So what this means is by Wednesday, food is rotting, or sitting in the fridge waiting to get dried out even more. And that meant the rest of the week I was eating out. Complete failure. But all is not lost.
Food Prepping at work
I figured out a way to do a hybrid food prepping model that, while doesn’t fix number one, does help substantially with issues 2 and 3. And that is what I call food prepping at work.
Food prepping means doing some preparation on Sunday but then finishing the prep at work, when you are ready to eat. For example, I would cook chicken thighs or beef, but I would keep them whole and measure out larger pieces to pack away. Avocado was kept in its skin until ready and lettuce was washed and spun but not cut or torn.
So at work I keep two things. I keep a medium sized sharp knife and a flexible cutting board. The flexible board is small and gives me something to cut on, and the knife allows me to carve meat, cut veggies and even get the avocado out of its skin. I would get yourself a medium size knife you don’t care about losing compared to one of your expensive knives from home
Note: Depending on where you work, make sure it’s ok to bring a knife to work. Most times it is ok but I worked at one building where I had to go through a metal detector and had to get a note allowing the knife to be brought to the office.
By waiting to cut, things stay fresher longer and because you can cut meats after you microwaved them, they don’t dry out. A lot of times I will do salads with meats and sausages. I bring veggies, cheese and then tear and mix them in a zip lock bag. A couple table spoons of dressing and you have a fresh salad, ready to eat.
The best part about this, is its simple to clean up. If you are using paper plates, throw every thing into your zip lock bag and take it to the garbage. As for your knife and cutting board, you need these disposable wash clothes with detergent in them. Once you get them wet they foam up and you can use them to even clean the fats off your cutting board.
Mission accomplished – Diet Saved
By using this hybrid method, you are still saving money, still food prepping and counting your calories but you are getting better tasting, and better textured food that will keep you on your diet that much better. Just make sure you hide your knife and cutting board because your co-workers will be coming looking for it.
Do you have the same issue food prepping that I do? Would this help? Tweet a picture of your knife and cutting board to @spyliving on twitter.