Sunday Food Prep

Here’s a blog post I just wrote for my members only site and decided to share here with you.

It talks about preparing your meals in advance, so you always have nutritious and balanced meals ready to eat and you save time during the week.

Enjoy.

Prepping your meals or fueling opportunities in advance is one of the best ways to make sure you eat balanced meals, you never miss a meal and that healthful food is always at your fingertips.

Here’s my strategy for success. Read it, adopt it and modify it to fit your schedule.

Sunday Morning, after sleeping in, I jump out of bed, make a meal replacement shake and head to the grocery store. The shelves are full and the isles empty. The big rush of people hasn’t arrived yet. I hit the produce section first, then the fish, meats, dairy and any miscellaneous items I need (cooking spray, oils, legumes, peanut butter, paper, etc…) and check out.

I head home and set up for my big food prep for the week. I take out the cutting boards and place them on the counter. I set up all of my tupperware, containers on top of covers, get my pots out, measuring cups, frying pans, cooking sheets, aluminum foil, etc…

First I start with my breakfast meals. I cook my oatmeal and eggs at the same time (separate pans of course) and make enough for 5 days (1 meal for each item). Measure the milk, pour it into the pot. Measure the water, pour it into the pot. Turn the heat on high. Get it to boil, add the oats, return to boil and then simmer on low heat until liquid is pretty much absorbed. While this is going on I’ve pre-heated the oven to cook my chicken, started my eggs and started my veggie prep for lunch & dinner (i.e. washing the veggies and chopping them).

Eggs. Spray the pan with olive oil cooking spray, turn the heat on medium-high, put in my veggies, this week it was garlic (minced garlic in bottle, found in produce section), frozen spinach, frozen chopped onions and frozen chopped peppers. Pushed it around with my wooden spoon until everything was thawed and then I added the eggs. 1 whole omega 3-egg for each day and a measured amount of egg whites from a carton for each day. Push this around like you would any scrambled egg concoction.

While this is going on, I prepped the chicken. Placed the chicken breast on the aluminum foil & cooking spray covered, cooking sheet about 1 inch apart from each other. Squeezed lemon juice on top and sprinkled salt and pepper on each breast. Placed in oven on 425 for 20-25minutes.

While this is going on and in between managing the oatmeal and stirring the eggs, I started my veggie prep. First was putting 1 cup of fruit in each of the 5 tupperware containers for my oatmeal. This week was frozen mangoes, last week was fresh apples. 1 cup = 2 servings of veggies or fruits, so you’ll hit your veggie/fruit quota for this meal if you can do a cup, though be the judge for yourself. Next I would add my mixed nuts to the oatmeal (the fat for the meal), but I chose to have ground flax seeds or flax meal instead. I tried it sprinkled on top the previous week, but it didn’t taste too good (too dry), so I stirred it into the oatmeal, once done cooking.

I also cut up tomatoes to add to each of the scramble eggs. A trick I like is 1 plum tomato for each day. Chop it into cubes and keep it on the cutting board for now.

Back to the oatmeal & eggs.

They’re both done now, so I turn off the heat and get my flax meal and stir it into the oatmeal pot. Then because every meal should have a lean, complete protein, a veggie/fruit and a fat, I add egg whites (from a carton). The egg whites provide a complete protein source without the extra calories or fat from a whole egg. Currently I use the egg whites because I needed an alternative protein source besides protein powder for clients that didn’t have protein powders yet. It tastes good and gives a “vanilla” flavor (weird, I know). One key is to only add the egg whites after cooking the oatmeal. If you add it while cooking, you’ll have to clean up a volcano explosion. It makes a huge mess, so just add it after you turn off the heat.

Stir it up and divvy it out into the 5 tupperware containers.

Eggs.

Chop these up, so they’re scrambled and not clumped. Divvy them up into the 5 containers, put the chopped plum tomatoes on top and you’ve just made 10 meals.

Next its time for the remainder of the veggies. First, wash the oatmeal pot, put broccoli and cauliflower into it and then put green beans into a second pot. I fill them both with 1/4″ to 1/2″ of water squeeze some lemon on top for flavor and vitamin c, cover and turn the heat on high until the water boils. Then reduce heat to low and
simmer/steam until veggies can be easily poked with a fork.

The chicken is close to being done, so I start to clean up my mess. Wash, rinse, dry, wipe, etc…

Now the chicken is done, so I take it out and let sit for 10-15 minutes to cool.

Now’s a good time to make a bunch of shakes for later. You can make post workout shakes (protein & carbs only) or meal replacement shakes (protein, fat & carb).

If you have protein powder already its pretty easy. Take a cup of frozen, mixed berries, dump into blender, add frozen banana, 2 cups of water or 2 cups of milk or 1 of each (its a calorie decision for you to choose), your protein powder and then blend. Makes about 24-26 ounces. Divvy this up into 3, 8ounce portions or 2, 12 ounce portions. I weigh about 180 and am looking to add muscle and weight so I’d drink it all. If I was looking to maintain or lose as a 180lb male, I drink the 12oz. If you weigh less, start with the 8oz. Test the amounts you consume. The main outcome you want is to replenish your energy quickly. This is not a meal replacement, your starchy meal is coming soon.

Now the chicken is cooled, so I place 1 breast at a time on a cutting board, cut it into 1″ slices and place in tupperware. When all the chicken has been cut and placed, I add the broccoli, cauliflower and green beans to the tupperware. I now have lunch and dinner for the next couple of days as well as breakfast for the week and protein shakes for however many days I made.

With the grocery shopping, the lugging the food, the chopping, cooking, washing veggies and dishes and making everything nice it takes about 4 hours. Maybe its a lot to you, maybe it isn’t, but, you save sooooooo much time during the week (grab, heat & go or like I do, grab & go) and this Sunday prep is actually quite fun. Plus, your body is going to look better sooner.

Hope you enjoy the article and I welcome your comments and please share your food prep tips and success strategies.

Cheers!

Your personal coach,

Mike Alves

personal training, semi-private training, boot camp classes and online coaching available in Boston (Newton), MA

Earn and Burn Baby!

Thanksgiving is upon us and boy am I ready for some cheesecake. Yup, I said it. I heart cheesecake. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is on the “bad” list, its a splurge meal, its part of the 10% cheat meal, etc…, but I know a secret that I’ve shared with my clients and I’ll share with you. It’s called earn and burn. Catchy isn’t it. 🙂

Earn & Burn

Earn and Burn simply means to earn your calories by burning your calories. Create a caloric deficit before, enjoy your meals and expend additional calories after. Get it? It’s simple right? Most people either have never thought about this or if they did, weren’t really sure how to do it.

Enter…the Mastuh Trainuh! 🙂

Here’s what you do. Call your friends, family or loved ones you’ll be spending Turkey day with and ask them if they’d like to join you in an “earn & burn”. Decide what you want to do. It could be a long, looping walk around town, a 5k (3mile) Turkey Trot or a 30-45minute Fat Loss Workout. It can be something else too, just remember it should either be of long duration or highly exertional. If you choose the walk, shoot for an hour looping walk. If you choose the run, have fun and make sure to warm up & cool down. The more calories burnt the better. If you choose a fat loss workout, intensity with minimal rest is key.

What’s a fat loss workout? Great question.

A fat loss workout is a high intensity interval training workout. It can be done anywhere, anytime with most any object.

Wanna see a fat loss workout in action? Click play to watch the video.

Did you see people just like you in the video? Most anyone can do this workout. Use more weight if you’re in better shape, use less weight or none if you’re out of shape. Rest if you need to. Not too intimidating and maybe it even looked interesting or dare I say, “fun”. 🙂

Back to earn & burn.

Next comes the holiday meal we’ve all been waiting for. Mmmmm, mmmm, look at all the good food. Go and enjoy your dinner and your company, savor each forkful and leave room for dessert, if that’s your thing, just don’t eat the cheesecake, I heard it was gross. (wink)

The final burn

After the big meal, go for a “Last Name” family Walk. We do an “Alves Family Walk” and because its New England we’re all bundled up. Doesn’t stop us though. It’s tradition. Sometimes we even do it before dessert, o.k. we maybe did that once, but we tried it. Not every one joins us, but the majority do. We go for a big walk, everyone together, little circles form talking about who knows what. Then we come back and fight over seats on the sofa. 🙂 Sound familiar?

So do you think you can do an earn & burn this year?

Would you like a fat loss workout to do and share Thanksgiving morning?

If you said yes, you’re in luck.

Fat Loss Workout

The Freaky Fat Loss PUMP-kin Workout is finally done and ready to be shared. It was supposed to be a copy and grew to a mini e-book, but its ready and I’m excited to share it with you, free of charge. To receive it, just comment below “More PUMP-kin Workout Please” with your e-mail address written like this: username(at)domain(dot)com. I’ll e-mail it to you asap.

That’s it. No strings, just my way of giving back and fighting fat.

(I’m still hoping to post it for easy download, but all of the pictures, descriptions and content has made it too large to host on my website. E-mail works fine as I’ve already sent it to myself).

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

Your personal coach,

Mike Alves

www.mikealves.com

PS if you take the leftovers, keep earning & burning through the weekend.

PPS this is my first e-book, so feedback is very welcome.

PPPS Change Your Body Boot Camps begins Monday, December 1st. To learn more visit, http://www.mikealves.com/cybbc.html

Freaky Fat Loss PUMP-kin Workout

Halloween is right around the corner and seeing that its on a Friday this year means its going to be a big night. Well as we Americans know the “eve” of a holiday is just as exciting. New Year’s Eve, Christmas Eve, Thanksgiving Eve (the day everyone commutes home for the big day and meets up with friends the night before), Columbus Day Eve,…o.k. I’m stretching it a bit, but the idea is often times people like to start early and Halloween is no different.

This year on October 30, Halloween Eve, at 7pm sharp, Change Your Body Boot Camps (a new offering from Athletes by Alves) will be holding a FREAKY FAT LOSS PUMP-kin WORKOUT to benefit the boys & girls club of Newton. This workout will use only a pumpkin and your body weight to give you an awesome workout that you can do anywhere, anytime with most any object. It will be fun, colorful and you’ll learn something new.

The reason I chose the boys & girls club was because I grew up attending their after school programs and participating in their recreation leagues. It has given me many friends and memories. A donation (optional) can be made out to the John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club.

Here’s the details:

When: Thursday, October 30, 2008 @ 7pm sharp (plan to arrive at 6:45pm)

Where: John M. Barry Boys & Girls Club of Newton, 675 Watertown Street, Newton, MA

Why: Because you’re gonna sneak some candy and some of you too much, so you mine as well burn and learn how to keep it off the extra pounds.

Who: Anyone who is looking to get in better shape (stronger, more conditioned, move better, change their body), likes to try new things, likes value, likes charity and wants to see how you use a PUMP-kin to workout with.

What: Please rsvp to mike(at)mikealves(dot)com and bring a pumpkin (8-10lbs for women, 15-20lbs for men), a water bottle and a hand towel.

Bonus: Not only is this a free workout, but you’ll also get an e-copy of this Pumpkin workout so you can remember and do it anywhere, anytime, with most anything and you get a complimentary week to Change Your Body Boot Camps, which runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays @ 6am and starts November 3rd.

What do you think? Is this something you’d be interested in? Please comment below.