As a writer and martial artist who often writes and exercises in the morning, I need every second I can get between the 4:30 am alarm and my 7:30 departure for work. Just think of how much more you could get done if you had an extra 20 to 30 minutes. Here’s a way you can pick up that time.
Make Sunday prep day. You’ll gain 20 – 30 minutes every morning — and you’ll eat better — if you make your weekly breakfasts, lunches, and snacks in advance. I’ve been doing this on-and-off for the past year. When something happens and wrecks my Sundays and I can’t prep, I go into a mental tailspin.
As I was doing my weekly prep on 1/6, I thought some other folks might benefit from duplicating my process. So I wrote this post and scheduled it for today so that, if you want to try it, you can go shopping today or tomorrow and get started this coming Sunday.
If you don’t work a straight Monday through Friday, modify it to suit your schedule. Just prepare enough breakfasts and lunches at a time to last 5 days, which is the maximum recommended safe time to keep this kind of stuff in the fridge before eating (assuming if you don’t use things that spoil easily).
But what do you prepare? Here are some options.
Breakfast : Low-Carb Broccoli Frittata
- 10 free-range eggs
- 2 heads of fresh organic broccoli
- 1 tbsp organic butter
- shredded cheese, salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 325°. Put 2 cups of water in a saucepan on the stove while you wash and trip your broccoli florets. When it boils, toss in the florets.
While it’s boiling, crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk. Use the butter to coat an 8 x 11 glass baking dish. Trust me, the broccoli is done now, maybe even overcooked. Drain it, put back in the saucepan, and cut it up small with a knife and a fork. Add the broccolit to the egg mixture and whisk again. If you want to zip this recipe up, add 1/4 cup of REAL bacon crumbles.
Pour the mixture into the baking dish, evenly distribute the broccoli chunks with a fork, and bake for about 30 minutes. Watch closely and remove as soon as there is no moisture on top and it’s lightly brown.
Sprinkle the top with cheese and allow to cool. Slice into six blocks (cut the pan in half in one direction and in thirds the other way) and wrap in cling wrap. When it’s breakfast time, microwave at 50% power for about 1:30.
Lunch: Low-Carb Chicken Swiss Wraps
- 1 package of Low-Carb wraps
- Chicken (see below)
- Swiss Cheese slices
- 1 bunch of fresh organic kale
- Olive oil Mayo (and mustard if desired)
- Salt & Pepper
Wash and de-vein the kale and set it aside to dry. It must be totally dry or your wraps will get mushy. Blot dry if needed. When dry, Place a leaf of kale on the wrap. Top it with a stripe of olive oil mayo, add chicken, salt, and pepper. Add a slice of Swiss and top with another leave of kale. Roll it up and wrap tightly in wax paper. The kale doesn’t wilt and is packed with fiber and healthy stuff, so don’t skip it. Don’t substitute lettuce or spinach. They don’t work. If you want to add more fiber, add some roasted chick peas or a sprinkle of flax seeds.
As for the chicken, you can use deli chicken, or you can stew 3 bone-in, free range breasts. Skin and shred with two forks. You can also substitute deli ham and add mustard. Experiment.
Buy a giant container of mixed nuts somewhere, or go to a good store like Ellwood Thompson’s and get them in bulk. Get a box of snack bags, or a set of six 1/2 cup small tupperwares (I tried the latter, but I lose them. How can somebody so organized do that? I blame Kreacher).
Add 1/2 cup of nuts per bag/container. I make up 20 of them at a time and put them in the cabinet because I know that I will eat 100% of whatever serving size I pick up. So it’s best not to take a 12-ounce can of nuts with me to the sofa.
I try to eat about 375 calories every four hours or so, twice that at dinner. Breakfast casserole at 6:45, nuts at 10:00, the wrap at 2:00 pm, dinner at 6:00 pm, and another snack at 9:00 pm. That’s about 2,250 calories per day.
I work a slightly modified 4HB program, and this is marginally compliant. Technically of course, cheese isn’t allowed, and neither are the wraps, but the carbs are so low they don’t seem to affect things much. Next week though, I’m going to experiment with leaving out the low-carb tortillas and just wrapping everything in large Kale leaves.
By my reckoning, you can pick up an extra 20 – 30 minutes every workday morning by doing this. Plus, the total time is less. You don’t have to get everything out of the fridge five times and put it back five times.