On Having No Time To Prep

I’m currently working a lot of overtime, and because of that I feel like I’m just not eating very well since I have no time/energy to prepare all my meals anymore. I’ve lost weight (not good) and feel like I need extra protein, and was considering buying some protein powder to put in my fruit smoothies I make every morning. Would you recommend this? Do you use protein powder? Also, if so (I’ve never used any so I don’t know how it works), how much do you put in a smoothie? Thanks for your help!!
Anonymous

I love protein powder! I use the Trader Joe’s Soy Vanilla, it’s a ton for only $14. It’s the cheapest and most protein-packed I’ve seen. There are 26 grams in two scoops, plus almost all your calcium and iron for the day. Really, it’s an awesome product.

Something that may really help you is to make soups. Like, batches and batches of soups. They’re easy—just put whatever you want in a pot, let it boil and then simmer, and the end. Or, if you want pureed soup, go ahead and blend it all together at the end. Soup freezes well so you could get a couple of them going on a Sunday, put them in mason jars and freeze or keep in the refrigerator to eat all week/month. I know not everyone has tons of room in their freezers, but we just got a stand-alone freezer for our garage and there is seriously so much batch prepped food in there that I have had way, way less stress.

Same with raw food. Pick one afternoon or morning one day a week, and make salad jars. I was skeptical of these at first, but they seriously are excellent at getting the guys to eat raw food. I but all this raw food at the farmers market and if left to their devices, they will to eat it. Set up your mason jars in a row and add the wet stuff first—olives, pepperoncinis, canned peas or corn, sautéed leeks, beans, whatever you’re doing. Next, layers of chopped vegetables, so they will stay crisp and fresh—cucumbers, peppers, onions, broccoli or cauliflower florets, tofu, you name it. On the top, put the bedding so it stays crisp and doesn’t wilt. My favorites are cabbage, raw kale, romaine, and maybe some iceberg for thats crunch. I just love the inner leaves that are yellower, and I always have for whatever reason.

Some recipes say to put the dressing in the bottom of the jar with the wetter stuff, but I like to just add mine when I’m ready to eat it. I care too much about the texture of my food to risk that. I mean it, salad jars will change your life. I made like 10 yesterday to keep in the fridge the three of us just grab them on the way to work.

Another bulk prep thing I’ve been all over lately is making sure I have pressed tofu in the fridge AND the freezer. It’s very important to me. Freezing tofu after pressing it and then pressing it again after you thaw it out is a lot of work, but it can be done days in advance and it gives the tofu a way, way better texture. If I’m in a pinch, I’ll set two blocks of tofu to press while I got to the gym and when I get home I’ll quickly cut ten into cubes and brown them in some coconut oil and salt to use in salads all week. Really, having tofu already cooked or just ready to go (pressed) has made my very busy life much easier.

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