Simple Health Strategy: Prep Your Week’s Menu on Weekends

Websites are filled with health strategies written by people who seem to have an unlimited budget and unlimited time. Great tips for 2% of us. For the other 98%, we need real world strategies. Here’s a imperfect-but-workable time management strategy we use in my family.

I get a lot of requests to talk about how I “prep” our meals each week. The heart of the question is more about time management than it is about recipes.  My answer is neither profound nor original.  It also won’t work for everyone, (which strategies do?).  But here’s what I do.

If you have: 1). Unlimited time, 2). Unlimited access to a variety of foods, and 2). an Unlimited budget, I’d suggest you only eat organic, wild, local, and seasonal foods, prepared fresh before you eat. If you have unlimited shelf space in the fridge, there are ideal ways of storing foods, and if your family’s tongues can adapt to absolutely anything, you ought to eat as much raw as possible.

But since I have a limited budget, limited time, and a limit to the flavors our family will tolerate, I start with the ideal, and work my way backwards. You probably will, too.

The only way to get everything in I want each week is to prep all our meat, poultry, and fish ahead of time. I usually do it on Saturdays, but I waited until Labor Day this week. I’ll sometimes have the grill and the oven going simultaneously. Today I just tried doing nothing but my George Foreman Grill. I just experiment to see which works best for each dish.

Today, (pictured), I made: 4 chicken breasts, 4 wild-caught salmon steaks, 4 ground chicken burgers, 1 pound of ground grass-fed beef, and 8-10 chicken strips. I’ll also usually do a pound or two of buffalo meat, but the store was out of it this week. Some variation of these basic items is what we stick with. Occasionally, we’ll mix in a grass-fed steak or a roast.During hunting season, we have friends who send us wild venison. But we usually stick with the basics.

I just grill ‘em or bake ‘em or poach ‘em, and then store ‘em. It takes a few hours, but it’s time well spent It’s so easy to pull something out of the fridge and eat it cold or lightly reheat it, rather than have to start from scratch every single day for each meal. And while it would probably be best to start from scratch each day, it’s not realistic for me. I’ve gotta step down from “ideal”, and live in the real world.

 

As for vegetables, I have a steamer with separate compartments, and each compartment heats at various temps and times. That’s easy enough to do fresh each time, (usually dinner only). If it’s something we can eat raw, like most garden salads, we do it. If nobody will tolerate the raw vegetable in question, we lightly steam it, and season it to taste.

This has worked better than any other plan I’ve tried. I’ll get criticism from “nutritional hall monitors” for stepping down from ideal for the sake of convenience. I’ll even get people to criticize the bags I store everything in! Many of these people either do not live this lifestyle themselves, or they’re so insulated from budget and time constraints that they’re oblivious to those of us in the real world. Getting out of the Standard American Diet week in and week out is challenging enough without these nit-pickers who magnify the things that represent only about 1% of a total health strategy.

For those who care, I’ll show you how I do breakfasts, smoothies, snacks, and a few other real world strategies very soon. Until then, do what you can, and plan ahead best as you can. A few changes in strategy can be the difference between sticking with the plan every week and feeling great, or buckling under the pressure of fast food, obesity, zero energy, and pharmaceutical drugs.

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