Switching Up My Meal Prep Because I’m So Sick of Salads

Let’s get things started with a few updates. This Wednesday will mark 12 weeks of constant headache (residual pain from my shingles outbreak in the fall). The good news is that it’s been extremely mild, and I’m used to it, so I barely notice it anymore. It’s been weeks since it’s flared up to the point where it’s caused any significant inconvenience in my life. Hopefully this means it will go away soon – I feel like I’m 97% of the way there!

In other news, I’m hitting the stairmaster with a renewed vigor. My current plan is to use it twice a week (Mondays and Fridays), and while I’m only starting my second week of that plan, I’m excited by it.

Working out with a mask on is a bit of a pain, since I breathe pretty heavily while climbing stairs, but I just see it as an added obstacle that will make me stronger. Heck, I once trained on stairs for months wearing an elevation training mask that restricted my oxygen, so this isn’t all that different.

I set a goal for the month of September to work out on stairs five times, and I hit that goal – mainly by training at a local high school’s football stadium. Since then, I don’t think I’ve trained on stairs at all, and I miss it. It’s too icy to hit those stadium stairs right now, so the stairmaster will have to do until spring comes.

Mostly, though, I want to use this post to share some meal prepping highlights. I bring my lunch to work nearly every day, and for months and months, I would bring a salad. They’re easy, and very healthy. But I’m over salads. Sick of them. So I recently have been focused on preparing, in advance, other healthy lunches. I’ll spend a couple hours on Sunday making a week’s worth of lunches.

Even though I’ve never been a Sandra Lee fan, I’m going to borrow her phrase and call my recent lunches a semi-homemade affair. I take lots of shortcuts, wherever I can get ’em! I used all these store-bought conveniences for my lunches last week:

Trader Joe’s Chicken Asada, which I had in my freezer; root vegetables (sweet potato, carrot, rutabaga, etc.) in a microwavable bag; a microwavable bag of beans; and riced vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, green onion) from the produce section.

I sautéed the riced vegetables and nuked everything else, and divided it into containers. I also poached some salmon I had in my freezer. The end result was five delicious meals with root veggies, riced veggies, and a protein:

Plus, I cut up some watermelon and prepped some strawberries, so I had fruit ready to go as well. I filled up my fridge with grab-and-go containers!

Earlier today I did my meal prep for this week. I steamed fresh broccoli and green beans, and then made two packages of frozen garlic cauliflower mash (a healthier alternative to mashed potatoes).

I had thawed a couple pork cutlets that were in my freezer, and I dredged them in Mrs. Dash and Parmesan cheese before searing them in a skillet, and I also sautéed some shrimp in lemon pepper seasoning.

Then, I assembled all the ingredients in my lunch containers, mixing and matching the veggies and proteins.

The little radish-looking garnishes are actually marinated roasted peppers, stuffed with garlic and herb goat cheese. I found them at the olive bar at my local store.

With the lunches out of the way, it was time to clean and chop some fruit, so my breakfast and my lunches. Today I chopped up a pineapple, and paired the chunks with blueberries to put in my lunches…

…and for my breakfasts, I skinned and quartered kiwis, and also bought a fruit I haven’t had in probably close to a decade… a starfruit.

Starfruit are long and skinny, and slice into perfect star-shaped pieces. You can eat the skin, but you should pop out the little seeds you encounter.

Also called carambola, starfruit are tropical, and originate in southeast Asia, although they are also grown in Florida nowadays, too. (I forgot to check on the sticker where mine were from.) They’re crisp and juicy, and taste a bit like an apple crossed with a pineapple.

The starfruit and kiwi went into containers that I’ll enjoy as part of my breakfasts.

I usually like a little more fruit than that in the mornings, so I may add in a clementine, too.

The last thing I do every week is clean and chop vegetables. I take a bag of raw veggies every morning to eat in the car on the drive to work, so a lot of these veggies get consumed that way, but I also steam or saute them for my dinners. I keep them all in vented Tupperware containers that keep produce fresh for a very long time.

The veggies in the blue container on the right are the ones I’ll be eating first, because they’re the ones I’ve had the longest!

With all my breakfasts and lunches taken care of (I also drink a protein shake as part of my breakfast), that only leaves dinner, and I’ll usually do something simple, like make a few eggs, or nuke a frozen dinner and augment it with more vegetables. I went to my parents’ house tonight and we got take out Chinese food, and I took some leftovers, so tomorrow I’ll be enjoying some cashew chicken (without rice).

The two hours I spent on Sundays prepping all this stuff is so worth it. It feels good to get ready in the morning and have things prepared and in the fridge that ensure I’ll be eating healthy for most of the day!

Keep it up, David!

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4 Responses to Switching Up My Meal Prep Because I’m So Sick of Salads

  1. Maryam Zakariya says:

    Meal prepping is so important and you are doing awesome! You inspired me to meal prep! thanks.

  2. Jeff Dinkin says:

    Fantastic! Healthy and delicious!

  3. Jizzemlyn says:

    Hey, nice Tunnel to Towers T-shirt! Also, I am buying a starfruit next time I see one. Just try to stop me.

  4. Shannon says:

    You are such an inspiration to me! I definitely need to get better with meal prep.

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