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Help with pre/post w/o food with busy schedule

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I have a conundrum and I really can't seem to figure this one out.  I have no idea how to fit all this eating in my schedule...like seriously.  


Background: I work roughly 40~45 hrs a week full time in a retail setting, plus work on my own business on top of that (I strive for about 1~2 hrs a night).  My schedule is typically 8:45 am to 6 pm M-F (with one day off either Monday/Tuesday/Thursday).  If I work Saturdays, it's 8:45-4, and Sundays is 9:30 am - 3:00 pm (my other day off for the week is usually one of those days).  My days off from my full time job are dedicated to either research for my own business, or actually creating items.


Before Whole30:

-Wake up 7:00am, take shower, get milk+cereal (around 7:30/7:45), scamper off to work around 8:30

-Work 8:45-6 (lunch occurs between 12-1pm, depending; usually a lean cuisine, or other easily microwaveable dish)

-Occasional workout right after work (no pre-meal), so around 6:15/6:30-7:15

-Get home around 7:30, usually either cereal, or whatever I could scrounge up, or most likely eating out with my brother (nobody cooked in the house for variety of reasons not needed here).

-Around 8:30-10 pm, work on own business

-Bed around 10~11 PM
(Variations may be that I wake up at 6:30am, go workout without eating breakfast or anything, then get to work early before I clock in to eat breakfast, then get home at 6:15 instead, have some sort of dinner, whether it's out or simple like cereal).


Before starting whole30, I saw the whole "gotta eat before and after workout" so I've decided to cut it out entirely because I honestly have no fricken idea how to make this work.  I don't really have time - nor the stomach, to be eating/cooking all this food.  On one of my days off (which I previously dedicated to strictly my own business), i've now dedicated to batch cooking for the week (I literally stand in the kitchen for 10 hours and make everything, having gone grocery shopping on my way home from work the day before).


I'm on day 10 of Whole30, and right now this is my current schedule:

-Wake up 7, shower, start making breakfast 7:30, eat around 7:45, get to work for 8:45

-Work 8:45-6 (lunch is reheated meal I made beforehand)

-Get home around 6:15, cook dinner, eat around 6:30~6:45 (sometimes 7 depending on if it was premade or a start-to-finish meal).

-After clean up, I can usually get some work done on my business from 8~10

-Go to bed around 10~11PM.


I am still tired a lot, so I haven't gotten to that magical point where I feel I can function on less than 9 hours and not feel dead butt tired.  One good thing, though, is that I'm finding myself quite satiated between meals (so I can definitely make it between breakfast-lunch, and then lunch-dinner) most days so I know I'm eating enough now, but I just don't know how I can fit in making meals, exercising, and then finding the time to do the eating before workout and after workout (as well as storing the extra food for the pre/post workout).  I really just can't wrap my head around this.  Any insight, or different ways to think about this would be fantastic <3

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You don't necessarily need the pre-workout meal and the post workout meal can be a couple extra bites of whatever lean meat/starchy carb you're already cooking for the week. 


If you're still feeling really tired, can you post a couple days worth of food/water intake so the mods can take a look? It's possible you're not eating enough. 

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Well I know I'm eating enough, because there are times when I get to my meal time and I don't actually want to eat because I still feel full, but I still try to eat almost a full meal (usually occurs at dinner, surprisingly).

The low energy was a persistent thing before I started whole30, plus I don't sleep well (tossing/turning, waking up probably 3+ times a night).

As far as food goes, for the first week, breakfast rotated between scrambled eggs (2) and hash browns with red pepper, and then two egg muffins (eggs, sweet potato, spinach, prosciutto, and I think mushrooms?) + fruit (banana or apple). Lunches and dinners interchanged between spaghetti squash with a spaghetti meat sauce, chicken pad Thai (sunshine sauce, plus a bunch of veggies + zoodles). Also a few entrees with chicken + veggies stir fried. Keeping to the palm sized protein, rest veggies. Also using a mix of ghee or coconut oil for cooking oils.

This week so far has been breakfast as scrambled eggs (2) with hash browns, sweet potato bites and red pepper. Lunches and dinners interchanged between Melissa's chicken hash (tried it for breakfast but just too sweet and made me nauseous- I have to be careful what I eat for breakfast which is why I've survived off of blander cereal+milk until now), meat chili over steamer veggies (like green beans or broccoli), and a sort of chicken and veggie thing last night.

My water intake is probably lacking, though. Only 40-60 oz I would say. I drink about 12 oz with breakfast and dinner for sure, but only manage one 20 oz water bottle during work. Some days I remember to drink more so it's two 20 oz bottles.

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2 eggs really isn't enough protein for a meal. This is a lot more food than you were eating though, so I'm guessing as you continue to adjust your body will start to regulate more and your hunger signals will catch up. A serving of eggs when they are your only source of protein is as many as you can hold without dropping them. At least 3-4 for most women.


10 hours is a long time for a cook up. What all are you making in a typical cook up - does this include your planning and shopping? I think the more you do this the more streamlined it will get. I find it is most important for me to keep it simple.

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I do side with the average for woman at 3-4 eggs, depending on size.  And yes this is definitely a lot more food than I'm used to, that's why I'm not adding another egg yet for breakfast quite yet.  I still do get a little nauseated toward the end of my meal for breakfast, so I've been careful to not have too much food yet - I have tried to add crushed walnuts or other healthy fats to supplement, though.


Well, first cook up took about 10 hours only because I'm pretty much inept at cooking other than super basics, so a lot of that time was for cutting, reading recipes, re-reading recipes, trying not to burn other dishes, re-read the recipe again....etc.  Luckily my mother has been pretty on board with this so she's been helping out delegate when possible.  So far, I try to do all my grocery shopping the day before with my meal plan recipes+list in hand so I can go to town on my day off (the grocery store I frequent is right on my way home from work).


So for example of a typical cook up is: I'll cook up a batch or so of Simple Healthy Hash Browns and a batch or so of Herbed Sweet Potatoes for sure (to use as breakfast staples for the week), and then I make 1-2 different entrees/protein sources/side dishes to interchange for lunches and dinners.  Last week it was spaghetti squash + spaghetti sauce, grilled chicken breast, stir-fry veggies with zoodles, Veggie Egg Muffins lined with proscuitto, and ground meat.  Ended up making a start-to-finish meal of Paleo Pad Thai (with home made sunshine sauce) to help use up some grilled chicken breast.


This week I made more hash, and sweet potatoes (after trying a few other foods last week, I've found that for my stomach, I can handle some hash, sweet potatoes, and two scrambled eggs together, or I"ll do the scrambled eggs with some fruit, and maybe cut up red pepper if I have it).  Also made chili, sloppy joes, mayo (huge success, maybe a tad bit too salty though), more spaghetti squash but plain so I can mix it with other things; and also Melissa's Chicken Hash.


Mom has been more on board this week other than main cook days, so she's helped with cooking up some chicken and veggies the day before, and then tonight she had some red peppers stuffed with left over chili when I got home from work.  (She can't fully do the whole30 program because she has a degenerative kidney disease and all the protein would be very bad for her, but she's taking some of the principles to help manage her symptoms and give her more energy).

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You'll get a lot faster as you get used to cooking, believe me... I used to be really slow too, but you get into a rhythm...

You could try frozen veg so that you're not chopping so much for your stir frys and veggie cups... Costco has a great bag of frozen asian stir fry veg... I just pick the baby corns out before cooking and they're actually really good for frozen.

How about when you're making sauces/chili etc... you make more than enough and then freeze? If you put it in 500ml mason jars with an inch at the top for expansion, they stack nicely in the freezer and that's an awesome meal or two depending on what you put with it.

You can do the same with meatballs.... make lots, freeze them raw and then pop them in the oven... works a charm!

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Some things I've seen done with batch cooking is roasting a whole chicken and using it throughout the week and browning ground beef for the week. With the beef, you can season it when you are reheating it and add some fat back to it. And if you season the chicken simply, you can use it for pretty much anything.

As for veggies, frozen is always a good idea if you don't want to spent a lot of time cutting/cooking it. You can also batch roast a whole lot and incorporate them back into meals.

Remember, your meals don't have to be gourmet or complicated as long as they are compliant. Sometimes simple is a friend :)

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Each meal I make on batch days yields about 4-5 servings that I package up and freeze. Some of it I'll store in the fridge if I know the next day that is what I'll have for lunch or dinner.

But going back to the original question: how do you fit all three meals in plus work out meals?

I guess I'm still stuck on that. Do I just need to sacrifice sleep to fit it in? For example, is this how a schedule should look?

Wake up 6am (hour earlier than normal), shower, make breakfast, eat around 6:45. Get to gym for 7:15, workout, get done by 8:15 to get to work for 8:30. Use extra 15 minutes to eat post workout meal (whatever that is going to be).

Work 8:45-6, proceed as normal.

Or, would it be better to wake up at normal time (7am) and do morning as usual, work 8:45-6 have a pre-workout meal on my way to the gym, exercise from about 6:25-7:15, get home 7:30, make dinner and eat by 8, and go to bed at 11pm? I mean, I know it says not to use your pre/post workout meals as replacement for breakfast/lunch/dinner but I don't know how I could eat breakfast, then eat -another- small thing for pre workout and yet even more food after it. Or, at night do a post workout mea and then dinner on top of it.

Is there something I'm not seeing here right?

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You don't need to eat pre-workout if you're working out first thing in the am and you can manage working out fasted.

The Post workout is really not optional but you should be able to eat it in the car on the way home from the gym and then do your regular routine.

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I think you're thinking that the post workout "meal" is actually meal sized. It's generally not. 


My post workout "meals" are typically 2-3 bites of chicken breast and 2-3 bites of cold roasted sweet potato. It's enough to get some quick fuel into your body but not enough to put off your next scheduled meal. 

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