Fitness Life Hacks: How to Never Spend More than 15 Minutes at a Time Prepping Meals.
Chris Albert is an author, personal trainer, Marine Corps Veteran, and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder ofMetroflex Gym, Long Beach, owner of Warrior Soul Fitness and Apparel, and has nearly a hundred very busy clients around the world who practice his training and nutrition methods. He can be reached at i[email protected]
The fitness industry is seriously split over nutrition right now. In one corner, you have the classic fitness template of eating six clean meals everyday to get lean and get muscular. In the other corner you have the young and rowdy IIFYM/Flexible dieting crowd flipping the bird at the other side and saying you don’t need to do all that lame ass crap to be fit. Scattered around the ring are a bunch of people who don’t know what to think, and in the middle you’ve got people like me who sit back and watch the fight while we just do what works for us. However, there is one simple truth that unites all parties: we all need food!
The bottom line for me is this: I don’t have money to eat out all the time and I don’t have the time to spend two hours every week doing meal prep. Owning two businesses, I barely have the time to get up and use the bathroom while doing all the other crap I need to do everyday, like studying all the character bios for the Walking Dead and debating about whether I’d want to dress like Rick or Daryl in case of a zombie apocalypse (Do not friggen judge me).
The other problem for me is that, genetically, I am a skinny bastard with the metabolism of a hummingbird who flew through a cloud of crystal meth smoke. I need food to not look like I just survived a death march. Additionally, I’m Italian. I grew up with amazing food. My genetic makeup won’t allow me to eat dry, poorly prepared chicken breast. The ghosts of my Grandpa Carmine and Uncle Cosmo would appear before me and beat me with giant links of sopressata. I needed a solution, so I developed the following hack that keeps me well fed, happy, and on top of my zombie apocalypse fashion prep.
What You Will Need:
Two 6 Quart Slow Cooker/Crock Pots, which you can find here for a good price at amazon:http://bit.ly/1ypMJin (I bought mine from Kmart for cheaper than this so check your local stores too).
One Rice Cooker, which you can find at Amazon.com. I don’t have a good recommendation for a model, but you should get one with a brown rice setting if you want to cook quinoa or brown rice.
Meat: This is what I keep in my freezer at any given time: 3 to 6lbs of chicken breasts, 4lbs of turkey breasts, 4 lbs of ground turkey, grassfed beef briskets and roasts (at least 4 lbs for each). The point of having all of this is not to cook it all at one time. That would be expensive. Rather, the point is to have them in my freezer, ready to thaw, so I don’t have to drag my ass to the grocery store all the time.
Spices, dry salad dressings, soup mixes, sauces, canned tomatoes: I keep a large selection of this stuff on hand for variety. My favorites are onion soup, dry ranch dressing, taco spice, dry brown gravy.
Rice: A really big ass bag of rice. I like jasmine rice. It’s so fragrant. Makes me feel like an Indian Princess.
Vegetables: I keep a sack of potatoes and a bag of onions on hand along with a variety of frozen vegetables in the freezer.
The formula: This is a general formula to make anything taste good out of a slow cooker. It is not a specific recipe because this blog is not about recipes; it’s about saving motha-effin time. Nevertheless, rest assured, if you follow the formula, you will eat like a king everyday –
Step 1: Take 3 to 4lbs of meat – stick it in slow cooker 1
Step 2: Add spices and sauces
Step 3: add cut up onions and cut up potatoes (optional)
Step 4: Add frozen vegetables
Step 5: Add 1.5 cups water
Step 6: Set slow cooker for 8 to 9 hours, and go about your day doing the stuff you need to do. (Total prep time: should be under 10 minutes at the beginning, under 5 when you get good at getting into the pot quickly)
Bonus step: If you need more food or variety for the next few days, repeat process with slow cooker 2 with another meat and a different spice mixture.
Step 7: Enjoy. This should provide you with enough delicious meat for at least three days.
Remember, to really make this work, you will need to begin prepping the food the night before you need it because it takes 8 to 9 hours to cook. The benefit here is that, unlike ovens, you don’t even have to be home while it cooks. My slow cooker has a keep warm setting that allows the food to stay warm after its done cooking so I don’t have to rush in getting it out of there.
Tip: I recommend getting at least a 6-quart slow cooker so that you do not have to worry about spillovers. Make sure that you do not fill the cooker more than ¾ of the way, as liquid will build up in the apparatus and could leak out the top.
I spend 2 minutes making rice every day. Basically, I take uncooked rice, throw it into my rice maker, add 2 parts water, and in 10 to 15 minutes I have rice ready to go. My rice maker has a keep warm setting as well, so I keep it there on my kitchen counter and grab some when I need it.
Try this hack out, let me know how it works, and if you’ve got any bomb ass slow cooker recipes hook a brother up at [email protected] and I’ll throw it on this blog and give you a shout out. Just make sure its well written because I don’t have time to edit and keep up with my Walking Dead studies.