Cook-a-thon

So my food plan these days is pretty basic. I keep waiting to get fed up and go on a binge, but actually this plan is a bit of a relief. I don’t feel the need to binge. After the crazy food smorgasbord that is the holidays, my simple fare is actually appealing. But, because of travel and house guests, I had fallen behind on the food prep. So last night, after a full day of work, and a double workout (45 min with my personal train working on abs and then a leisurely 2 mile run) I realized I needed to focus a little on food.
The beauty of my plan is that I can get a lot of the cooking done in one big batch. It comes down to shopping and packaging, mostly. First, I needed a quick run to the supermarket to pick up essentials: single serve greek yogurt, apples, single serve pineapple, kale, mushrooms, single serve hummus, sugar snap peas, etc. I had meat in my freezer, and plenty off rice, beans, and almonds – all of which I buy at the bulk store.
Next, I cook up the rice and beans for the week. 4 cups of brown rice into the steamer. Then on the stove I cook up 4 cans of black beans and mix in the cooked rice. I separate into individual serving sizes using disposable plastic containers. I get 10 days from this mixture. This is a lot of rice and beans. Mixing it properly takes some doing, but other than that, it takes the roughly the same amount of time to make one or two servings as to make 10. This way I only have to do one clean up and I’m set. I don’t season the rice and beans when I pack them, because as I go through them I like to use different seasonings: salsa, soy sauce, marinara, etc. I even mixed in some pea soup once.

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At the bulk store I buy a giant bag of raw almonds, and each week I separate out the appropriate number of ziplock bags and put a handful into each back. The first week I weighed the bags to see if they were 1 oz, but that takes a long time, and what I found is that about half my handfuls are just under 1 oz and half are just over 1 oz, so if I just grab randomly, it should work out. I like to reuse the ziplock bags as much as possible.
After all this, I had to eat, too. I knew if I ate first, I would never do the cooking or shopping. I had some home-made pea soup which gives me the protein and fat I need after my workout, and tastes so yummy on such a cold night. It was pretty late when I finally ate. I would have liked to have skipped dinner all together, but my new mantra is don’t skip meals. Plus, I think I needed the extra calories.
I have to admit I felt really good about my productivity. The fridge was filled, my belly full, and the kitchen clean. Just having everything sitting there, set to go, will keep me on track all week.
And, all this work paid off. I had to catch a 6:03 train this morning, and I was able to grab everything I needed food-wise in a matter of seconds. It all would have worked out splendidly if I hadn’t have put a bit of soy sauce in the rice and beans before I left. On the train I noticed that the soy was leaking out of my plastic container and covering everything. I was really (REALLY) tempted to dump the whole thing, but I had spent so much time last night preparing and packaging everything, that I just couldn’t do it. I scrounged up a plastic bag from a newsstand vendor and pushed through. I may not have been so resourceful if any of the soy had gotten on my clothes (just saying).
Friends and family keep asking me if I get bored eating the same things every day. Sure I do. I would totally rather be eating fun and fantastic foods. (I started to list them, but this was having a negative reaction on my stomache, so I deleted them. Use your imagination.) This is the world’s most boring food plan. But it gives me the nourishment I need, it fits into my schedule, and it is convenient and easy to stick to. I’m never hungry. I don’t obsess about food. I don’t have uncontrollable cravings. Over the holidays, with some of my “bites of this” and “bites of that” I did get food cravings. I had an upset stomach. I found myself wandering into the kitchen late at night, grazing for food. I am so much happier in “detox” mode, that I’m willing to live with a little boredom.

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One thought on “Cook-a-thon

  1. Sometimes a repetitive / bland diet is just what we need. I went through a phase of having steamed veggies every night with chilli flakes, sesame seeds and soy sauce. So much for variety! šŸ˜‰ I think I might try out your bean and rice combo for work lunches – hopefully without the soy leakage! – thanks šŸ™‚

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