meal prep for a full work week
Meal prep may seem like a lot of work up front (okay, it sure can be!), but the reward of a simpler week is so worth the effort. Today, I am sharing the foods I prep for my husband to take to work each day.
I sure love my husband. He works so incredibly hard for our family, which I am so thankful for. I have the opportunity to do what I love – teach fitness classes and be home with the kids. Best job ever. Since I am not away from home all day, the meals the kids and I eat are made quickly at home as needed.
I am happy to make all the food for my husband so he has healthy meals and snacks to keep him fueled all day, and to save money so that he’s not eating out every day. Win-win!
Here is the basic outline of what I pack him: breakfast, morning snack, lunch, smoothie and a bar. He lifts weight Monday-Friday and is working on putting on muscle, which means he needs continuous fuel to keep him energized and ready for his tough workouts.
Let’s break it all down even further with the options I rotate through. Eating the same thing week in and week out would get so boring, and nobody wants to get food boredom!
Breakfast does not vary much at all and months and months later he still loves it. I roast diced yukon gold potatoes, then mix it with roasted aidelle’s pineapple and bacon sausage (sometimes aidelle’s apple and chicken sausage) and garlicky kale chips.
This week I prepped hard boiled eggs and grapes. Most often I will mix canned tuna with homemade avocado mayo, diced celery, chopped green onion, old bay seasoning, sea salt and pepper and then pair that with either rice crackers or fruit. Another option are nitrate-free ham rolls + a banana. I always include a good protein source with a carbohydrate, and that carbohydrates typically end up being a fruit.
For lunch this week I packed roasted wild caught salmon, steamed broccoli, jasmine rice and teriyaki sauce. Rice is standard for lunches. Often he will end up having this meal post workout. Here are 2 other options I like to pack:
1) shredded pork carnita, jasmine rice, cabbage slaw and pico de gallo
2) roasted chicken breast (marinated in a fish sauce/soy sauce mixture), steamed broccoli and jasmine rice with teriyaki sauce
A simple way to get more calories in + a great serving a fruit and protein. I add vital proteins collagen peptides and natural force grass-fed organic whey protein into his smoothies. We tried a different whey protein for a while and it did not settle well in either of our stomachs, but this one doesn’t have negative effect – thankfully!
In the blender (I have this ninja blender) I add 1 can of full fat coconut milk + 1.5 cans of water + tons of frozen mango (about 2-3 cups) + 2 -3 bananas + the juice of an orange + vanilla extract + 3 scoops collagen peptides + 3 scoops whey protein powder, then blend away! That makes smoothies for 5 days.
Meal prep in action
When I begin my food prep, I first get my proteins and potatoes cooking in the oven. I’ll have the oven pre-heated to 400 degrees F and bake up the lunch protein + start the breakfast potatoes in the oven. As those items are cooking, I will get the rice cooker started, steam the broccoli for lunch and hard boil eggs (or prep tuna). When the potatoes are almost done, I add the diced sausage into the same pan to finish for the last 10 minutes. Garlicky kale chips are added into the oven when I can lower the temp to 325 F.
I make smoothies as food is cooking, and get fruit into jars. If I am uninterrupted (can do it all while the kids are napping/resting) this makes about 2 hours. Some Sunday’s I may begin portions as I am doing other cooking throughout the morning/lunchtime and meal prep may take all day, however, I’m not tied to the kitchen the entire time. I just make it work and always get it done!
Packing the food
Lastly, when everything is done cooking (and cooled a bit), I load all the food into mason jars. Lunch goes into a large quart sized mason jar, breakfast into a pint sized mason jar, the morning snack is split into 2 half pint sized mason jars, and smoothies are put into pint sized mason jars. The bar is packed into his lunch bag, and if I made snack balls those would go into disposable sandwich baggies.
Each night before I go to bed I grab the jars I need from the fridge and pack them in his cooler bag so he can easily grab the bag from the fridge + a frozen ice block from the freezer and his food stays cool all day.
And that is how I’ve been doing meal prep for my hubby’s work meals for almost a year now! It’s become part of my Sunday routine and now just what I do. And I’m quite happy to do it for my love. If I worked full time away from the home I would totally do the same for myself, it really makes life easier as the week goes on.
Any meal prep questions I am happy to answer!
Do you meal prep for work meals? What are some go-to meals you like to prep ahead of time? We always love new ideas to add into the rotation.