Eat healthy and save time!

Ryan ODonnellhealth, nutritionLeave a Comment

Many of you have probably already heard that Joey and I are currently working on our Precision Nutrition certification and I can say so far I have learned a lot. The guys behind the Precision Nutrition program have a lot of free information available online as well, it’s all very informative. I shared this infographic (http://www.precisionnutrition.com/workout-nutrition-infographic) a while ago in the members facebook group, It helps making your eating choices very easy. I try to base my diet (most of the time) on this infographic and it works great. Check it out before you continue reading this post.

OK. We know what to eat and when to eat it. Now comes the hard part, actually doing it. Let’s face it, if we really want to eat clean, more than likely we have to cook for ourselves. There’s not exactly a large number of restaurants out there offering a wide selection of balanced and healthy meals. The problem with cooking is that it’s time consuming, and finding the time to prepare food for yourself can be difficult. I’m here to offer some hacks that I use to help me eat healthy and save myself some time.

Number one: Stock up on some quality Tupperware. If you’re going to be cooking for yourself, you need to be prepared to bring your lunch with you to work, this makes it much easier. I just walked downstairs at my parents’ house and snapped this photo. Every time I’m back here I go to the dollar store and buy some. In Prague I know you can find some stuff upstairs in TESCO at Andel.

Number two: Figure out what you’re going to eat and make a list. Write down what you’re going to need before you go to the store. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of cooking something and realizing you’re out of dried oregano. Also, I find when I’m shopping with a list I’m less likely to make impulse buys, so I save some cash.

Number three: Pick a time (or times) to prepare your food. For me I usually do this on Sunday afternoon or Tuesday evening. I block out about two hours, throw on some music or a podcast and cook.

Number four: Keep it simple. It’s nice to take a lot of time and cook a nice three or four course meal for yourself and your family, but we can’t do that for three or four meals a day. It’s possible to keep your meals simple and delicious and I’m going to give you a few example of my favorite things to eat.
I eat almost the same thing every day for breakfast. Here’s what you will need:
– Eggs
– Frozen leaf spinach
– Breakfast meat (optional obviously, I usually use bacon or sausage from The Real Meat Society or I buy bacon from Erik in the café)

First you need to defrost the spinach, I usually just keep it in the fridge instead of the freezer so it gets soft. I start by slicing and then frying up the meat in a pan, leave the fat in there! I crack the eggs in a bowl and then add the spinach and the meat and whip it all together. Dump the mix back in the pan on top of that fat and cook it up. I usually cover it with siracha as well. For some carbs I just eat some fruit on the side.

For lunch and dinner I eat chicken salads most of the time. Now, these can be pretty bland, so I usually marinate the chicken. Here’s a couple recipes for chicken marinades I use.
This one is from my mom and I’ve been using it for years, it’s delicious.

CHICKEN FAJITA MARINADE
– 6 tablespoons or lemon juice
– 6 tablespoons of olive oil
– 1 tablespoon of cumin, chili powder and minced garlic.
– 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and salt.

This one I adapted from several different recipes I found on the internet, basically I was looking to put together a balsamic marinade so I just took pieces from difference recipes and put them together.

BALSAMIC CHICKEN MARINADE
– ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
– ¼ cup olive oil
– ½ tablespoon of basil
– 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning
– 1 teaspoon salt
– Pepper and red pepper to taste
– 3 cloves of minced garlic
– 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

You can find tons of recipes online for different marinades or you can experiment and make your own! Now, you’ve got your chicken and your marinade, it’s time to put them together. I always chop the chicken up into small pieces and then combine the chicken and marinade in a large freezer bag or in a seal-able plastic dish. Stick it in the fridge for about 12 hours. Cook the chicken in a large pan and make sure when you store it you keep the marinade (just make sure you cook the marinade as well, raw chicken can make you sick). I’ll take a Tupperware dish with the cooked chicken to the gym and then when I want to eat lunch I just walk to Albert and buy a bag of the pre-made salads there. I toss the chicken in the microwave and then put it on top of the salad. Simple, tasty, healthy. Typically I’ll eat some fruit or a baked sweet potato for carbs.

I hope you found these suggestions helpful. I have several other simple recipes and easy to make balanced meal suggestions, so feel free to ask me about them at the gym. Thanks for reading.

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