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Why yes, Karen, you finally learned.
I’ve been meal prepping my work lunches for almost a year now. I used to read all about it on sites I follow like Organize Yourself Skinny but never made an attempt. I don’t really like to cook and the idea of making several days worth of food in one sitting never interested me. When I started tackling my weight issue, I was working twelve-hour night shifts three times a week. It was on an understaffed and very busy hospital unit where real breaks were a rarity. Most of the time, it was you watching your monitors while you ate at the desk. I learned to bring lots of smaller items I could eat quickly. Then, last fall, I took a M-F 8-5 daytime job. I go to the gym before work, then shower and drive straight there, so I now eat breakfast and lunch at work. I’m up at an ungodly hour and that requires me to put my gym clothes in the bathroom, and even the water in my coffee mug the night before, so I don’t have the time or the functioning brain cells at that hour to think about what I’m going to have for lunch. It’s also an office where you can’t eat outside the breakroom, so I was going to have to think about real meals, not a lot of grab and go foods that I could eat every two to three hours like before.
I did my research and bought some meal prep containers. I like the two compartment ones, but there are many kinds to choose from.
I decided on chicken and a veggie, easy enough, even for me and chicken is something I can eat every day. So now my routine is to take the frozen chicken out of the freezer Friday nights, put it in the refrigerator. Then it goes into the slow cooker on Saturday night. On Sunday, I prep it into containers along with whatever veggies I can steam and add to the other compartment. I also hard boil a dozen eggs, peel and pack them into two egg portions. My breakfast consists of the eggs and the Elli Quark cheese that looks and tastes like Greek yogurt. I also add a Chobani Flip for a “dessert.” I’m a huge fan of Chocolate Haze Craze, which gives me some chocolate but also lots of protein. All of the above are easy enough to throw into my lunch bag while my Keurig is making my coffee. Multi-tasking is good.
I’ve embraced the meal prep idea. I watch the coworkers go out and bring back takeout every day, it’s not a good habit, for the body and the wallet. There are some temptations around the office and so far I’ve managed to avoid them – except for that one time the new pizza place was giving away free food on their opening day, and since I think pizza is it’s own food group, I had to try it. It’s good, but didn’t make me want to go back (fussy NYer here).
I’ve seen where people do all three meals, or for longer than five days and fill up the refrigerator. What I’m doing works for me and my current schedule.
It takes a bit of planning but meal prepping is a great way to save time, money and stress.