How to save time and money while still eating well

(Part Three)

In part one and two of this series we discussed ways to shop in bulk so as to save time and money. In part three we’ll learn how to get most of our food preparation for the entire week done in one day. This way we only need to grab our food for the day and take it with us. Where ever we need to go we will be sure to have healthy meals and snacks right at our finger tips.

Most people think that cooking takes too long and it may if you find yourself cooking every night. I am going to teach you how to cook as little as once or twice a week for less then and hour (including clean up) this way you will save time and still be guaranteed to eat well every day. I usually like to have my bulk cooking sessions on Sundays. This way I know I am ready for a week of good, clean, hassle free eating.

The following plan should take no more then about 45 minutes. This includes not only the prep and clean up time but also enjoying a fresh hot meal before you turn in for a good nights sleep. First turn on the stove, barbecue or grill (I love the old George Foreman). Fill a pasta pot with water, cover it and turn the flame on high. Get another pot and put three cups of dry, brown rice in it. Add 9 cups of water to this pot and place it on the stove as well (remember to turn on the burner). Finally set up one more pot filled with water and add a teaspoon of salt and one dozen eggs. Remove your meat from the fridge, unwrap it and place it in a large bowl with whatever seasonings or marinades you are using today.

By the time you have done all that (should really only take a few minutes) your pasta water and eggs should be boiling. Add the pasta to the water along with 2 Tbsp of Olive oil and stir it so that it does not stick. Reduce the heat to about 1/3 of where it was at full boil. Place the meat on the barbeque, grill, or in the oven. Wash all of your utensils used in preparation. Stir the pasta, stir the rice and check on the meat and give it a flip if it needs it. Remove the eggs from the stove after they have boiled for few minutes. Run that pot under cold water and let stand.

Remove the meat from its cooking source and let stand for a few minutes. The meat should be done unless it is on a slow barbeque. Now maybe twenty minutes have gone by since you started this whole process. Get out some storage containers for the rice, pasta, and meat. Remove the pasta from the stove and drain into a colander. Place it into containers. Get the meat from where it has been standing and place ½ the meat in one container and i/2 in another. Store the meat and pasta in the fridge (remember to set some aside for tonight’s dinner). Stir the rice.

Now, clean up everything that is left. Wash the pasta pot and colander, wash all the utensils and remember to wipe down the counters. Stir the rice one last time, remove it from the heat and place it in a storage container in the fridge.

Now each night (or even in the morning if your really efficient) you pack the days food. Place some rice and or pasta and meat along with some veggies and any seasonings you enjoy in to a small carry container*. Be sure to take along some easy snacks like apples and oranges, hard boiled eggs, string cheese and raw nuts and seeds. All you will need now is some water or green tea and you are set for a day of healthy eating. And relax; you won’t need to cook again for at least 3-5 days depending on how much food you made in advance.

So there you have it, quick and easy ways to save time while shopping and cooking. Give this style of shopping and cooking a try and in a few weeks you will have your own system all dialed in. Remember to check back at our blog and on the web-site for tons of delicious and nutritious recipes that will keep your taste buds happy and your body running at peak performance.

* For an efficient food carry and storage idea, check out the STAX system.



How to save time and money while still eating well

(Part Two)

In our first installment we talked about shopping in bulk. These days you can go to the big food Warehouse stores such as Costco and stock up on your meats, grains, etc. Most chain supermarkets have good deals on bulk meats and eggs so keep an eye out for those deals and get them when you can.

Part of your healthy eating plan should be to include lots of fresh fruits and veggies. With these types of non-freezable foods, plan to shop once a week. This will help to ensure freshness. Fruits like apples, oranges and pears will last the best. Bananas, peaches and some other fruits can go quickly so plan to eat them soon. I like to make a weekly foray to the local farmers market on Saturday, to stock up for the week ahead.  While I am there I also buy a few pounds of fresh raw nuts for healthy and nutritious snacking. If you don’t have the luxury of a farmers markets don’t worry it’s the twenty-first century, fresh fruit is everywhere all year round.

Finally if all else fails buy canned fruits and veggies. At least have some around for emergencies. When you buy these, take a moment to check the labels. For the veggies watch the salt content. The less added salt the better. Hard training athletes want to keep their sodium and potassium ratios in at least a 2:1 ratio in favor of potassium. I actually think three or four to one is even better. When you buy canned fruits look for those that come packed in their own juice. Stay away from the ones that are in some kind of syrup. If you can not find the canned fruits or veggies of your choice, you can always soak them in clean water to lower the salt and or sugar content.

In our final part of this little series we’ll explore how to cook in bulk to save time. So be sure check back soon for part three.



How to save time and money while still eating well

(Part One)

It’s the year 2010, can you believe it? By now almost everyone has a pretty good idea of what healthy eating is all about. But, like so many things it is not the knowing but the doing that seems to hold so many of us back. Eat right, exercise, drink your water, go to work (or school) play with the kids, have a social life…How do we find the time to do it all?

Let’s look at a couple of simple strategies that we can use to both shop for food and cook more efficiently. By saving time with these two basic steps we will find that we can perhaps find a few more minutes to get in some sprints, read a book or drop by and visit and old friend. I am going to save you some time, where and how you choose to use these precious extra minutes or perhaps hours, will be completely up to you.

First you should plan to shop for two weeks worth of food at a time. This applies to all the stuff that is easy to keep such as meat and sprouted flourless breads which can be easily frozen and thawed out when needed. Buy your meat in bulk, 4-5 pounds of chicken or beef can easily be frozen and thawed out when needed. Some foods can be stored for much longer periods of time such as rice, oatmeal, dried beans as well as grains like buckwheat. For these buy enough to last 1-2 months. I buy oatmeal in 50lb bags. Not only does it last a long time it is in-expensive as well.

When you are ready to prepare your meat, plan on cooking an entire pack at one time (more on this later) Baking, barbecuing and stir frying can all be done with large quantities. Season things the way you like, cook using your method of choice and then freeze any unused portions to be eaten over the next two weeks. If you know you are going to have something more often then freezing won’t be necessary, it will keep just fine in the fridge. Pastas, grains, rice and beans can all be cooked in bulk as well. Cook up a couple of day’s worth and keep it in the fridge in re-sealable containers.

In part two we’ll explore more about shopping and then get in to the good stuff, tips to show you how to be efficient with quick bulk food preparation ideas.




Eating right is the ultimate discipline. It is a challenge for almost all of us, at least some of the time. I often have clients asking me; “How many calories are in this, or how much fat is in that”.

These days there are web-sites dedicated to helping folks track their nutrition effectively. Most of them have free, on-line applications. All you need to do is sign up, and start entering in the foods you eat on a daily basis. After doing this for a few weeks you should begin to see if your nutritional plan is an effective one, or if is something that needs some work.

Even though these on-line programs are very helpful, sometimes it would be nice to have some basic nutrition info, right at your fingertips. With this in mind I created this simple calorie counting page. Now, when my clients ask me those pesky nutrition questions, all I do is hand them the sheet below.

Hang a copy on your fridge to remind you of things when you are about to create a healthy meal or snack for the day. You could also place a copy in your training log or even take one with you to the grocery store when you are shopping.

  1. EGGS: A Larger whole egg (white and yolk together) contains about 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fat and 60 calories. The white alone has 5 grams of protein and 20 calories and the yolk has 1 gram of protein and all of the fat.
  2. Seafood: Averages 23 grams of protein and 3 grams of fat per quarter pound (4 ounces).
  3. Animal Meats: Trimmed of visible fat and skin, contain on the average 25 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 135 calories. Per quarter pound.
  4. Organ Meats: On the average, 1/3 pound or 51/3 ounces contains 20 grams of protein, 10 grams of fat and 170 calories.
  5. Dairy Products: Low-Fat cheeses have around 8 grams of protein, 1-2 grams of carbohydrate, 5 grams of fat and about 80-85 calories an ounce. Non-fat milk and yogurts are about 8 grams of protein and 12-16 grams of carbohydrate per 8 ounces.
  6. Nuts and seeds: An ounce (1 oz) of seeds, nuts or nut butter contains around 7 grams of protein, 7 grams of carbohydrate, 14 grams of fat and 182 calories.
  7. Fats and Oils: A tablespoon of oil contains almost 14 grams of fat and 126 calories. Be sure to consume Flax – Olive and Fish oil every week.
  8. Fibrous Garden Vegetables: Vegetables yield around 2-3 grams of protein, 5-6 grams of carbohydrates and around 30 calories per 4 oz.
  9. Beans (legumes): Approximately Approximately 75 calories, 4 grams of protein and 15 carbohydrates per 4 ounces.
  10. Grains: Grains and cereals generally contain 4 grams of protein, 20 carbohydrates, and 1 gram of fat per 110 calories.
  11. Potatoes: A small / medium potato (approximately 3 oz) should have around 3 grams of protein, 22 carbohydrate and 100 calories.
  12. Fruits: 4 ounces (equal to a nice Banana) has 24 grams of carbohydrates and roughly 100 calories. Medium sized apples (3-4 oz) contain roughly 80 calories.

So go ahead, print out a copy (or two) and you to will have the nutritional breakdown of most of your basic food groups right at your fingertips.

Let me  know if it comes in handy.



Six Weeks to Soccer Fitness

Like most of the planet, I am spending my time glued to the T.V. with a bad case of World Cup fever*. It is hard to believe it will all be over in another week.

With any sport that requires running, playing and practicing hard will help take you a long way to being ready for action on game day. However I am still a firm believer that one should get in shape to play their sport, not play their sport to get in shape. The better conditioned you are, the easier it will be for you to focus on the tactics and techniques of your sport.

With this in mind, I will lay out a supplemental six week plan to get fit for soccer (or any other open field sport).

Sample Program

Week #1:

• Repetition Distances – 440 yards

• Reps – 6

• Relief:work ratio – 2:1

• Work time – prescribed 440 work times are calculated in the following manner: The athlete’s one mile run time needs to be determined first, then that number is divided by 4 (to provide an average of the four laps – or each 440 – run). Four seconds then are subtracted from this quotient.

Example for an athlete who runs a 6 minute mile:

6 minutes divided by 4 = 90 seconds minus 4 seconds = 86 seconds. This athlete’s prescribed time for each 440 is 86 seconds or less.

• Total distance – 1.5 miles

Week #2:

• Increase the reps to 8 – everything else remains the same as week one.

• Total distance – 2 miles

 Week #3:

• Repetition distances – 440’s and 220’s

• Reps – 6 x 440’s, 4 x 220’s

• Relief:work ratios – 2:1 for the 440s, 3:1 for the 220s

• Work times – Remain the same for the 440s. For the 220s, you must first time the athletes in a ‘running start’ 220 (give them a five-yard running head start), then add 5 seconds to that time. Example: If an athlete’s time in a running start 220 is 25 seconds, his assigned time for the interval 220’s is 30 seconds.

• Rest between the 440 and 220 sets = 3-4 minutes

• Total distance – 2 miles

 Week #4:

• Repetition distances – 440’s, 220’s and 110’s

• Reps – 4 x 440’s, 4 x 220’s, and 4 x 110’s

• Relief:work ratios – 2:1 for the 440’s, 3:1 for the 220’s and 110’s

• Work time – Same for the 440’s and 220’s. Use the same ‘running start’ procedure for the 110’s and add 3 seconds for an assigned interval time.

• Rest between 440, 220, and 110 sets = 3 minutes

• Total distance – 1.5 miles

 Week #5:

• Repetition distances – 440’s, 220’s, 110’s

• Reps – 2 x 440’s, 6 x 220’s, 6 x 110’s

• Relief:work ratios – Same as week # 4

• Work time — Same as week # 4

• Rest between sets – Same as week # 4

• Total distance – 2,860 yards

 Week #6:

• Repetition distances 220’s, 110’s, and 50’s

• Reps – 6 x 220’s, 8 x 110’s, and 8 x 50’s

• Relief:work ratios – 3:1 for all runs

• Work time – Same for 220’s and 110’s. Using the same ‘running start’ procedure, add 1.5 to the result for the 50-yard interval assigned time.

• Rest between sets – 3 minutes between the 220’s and 110’s, 2 minutes between the 110’s and 50’s.

• Total distance – 2, 600 yards

 I recommend that you train four days per week with two strength days and two conditioning days. Your training week should look something like this:

Days 1 & 4 = Conditioning.
Days 2 & 5 = Strength.
Days 3-6 & 7 are rest days.

When training tactics and or technique, the ideal arrangement would be to perform the strength and conditioning sessions afterwords.

Now, get to it!



*Congratulations to Germany for crushing Argentina 4 – 0