I’d love to share my recipe for lunch on the weekdays.
My typical weekday consists of one-on-one work with clients from 7 to 11AM. At this point, I do my own workout for an hour or so and then eat. After a quick lunch, I have more clients until about 1PM, at which time I do administrative work at my gym. This lasts until 5:30PM, after which I finish the workday with a couple more clients.
I keep myself scheduled back-to-back for most of the day, meaning I don’t have time to spend 30 – 60 minutes preparing lunch. At the same time, I refuse to resort to snack bars, sugar drinks, or other meal-replacements.
Instead, my approach is to bake a few chicken breasts on the weekend and package them in microwave-safe containers. At the same time, I put a few avocados on the counter so they can ripen throughout the week.
By the time lunch rolls around, all I have to do is mash up the avocado with a little salsa or hot sauce, microwave the chicken for a couple minutes, and I have a perfectly balanced and satisfying lunch!
Below are instructions for the initial food preparation:
- Preheat oven to 400°F. While waiting, trim the chicken breast of fat if it is not locally and naturally raised. If it is from a local, humane source, the fat will be healthy and therefore, won’t need to be trimmed.
- Place chicken in oven when at temperature. No need to use any seasonings as these will go in the guacamole the day of the meal.
- Check chicken after 30 minutes. It will be done when the internal temperature reaches about 170°F.
- Remove and let cool. Separate into meal-sized portions and store in fridge.
- Pack chicken, seasonings, and avocado in the morning before leaving home. I usually use local salsa or hot sauce, but garlic, salt, honey, lemon, or herbs and spices may be used as well.
- When hungry, microwave chicken for 2 minutes. Mash avocado, with seasonings, while waiting.
- Voila – you have homemade guacamole and a healthy protein source in only a couple minutes!
I usually recommend that active individuals weighing over 150 pounds shoot for about 8 ounces of chicken and a full avocado. Smaller individuals may dial back to half an avocado and 4 to 6 ounces of chicken.
Even if you use the larger portion size (8 ounces of chicken and a full avocado) the entire meal will only come to about 600 calories while providing 50 grams of protein, 30 grams of healthy fats, and 14 grams of fiber.
The nutritional profile of this meal will fulfill the following daily requirements:
10% Vitamin A
90% Vitamin B6
16% Vitamin B12
33% Vitamin C
21% Vitamin E
53% Vitamin K
20% Iron & Copper
30% Magnesium & Zinc
Clearly this meal provides a significant amount of vitamins and minerals, but it is also very affordable. Avocados are usually $1 each (or less if you live where they grow), and chicken breast costs between $2 and $4 a pound. The maximum this meal will cost is $3!
The nutritional density of this meal, the affordable price of the ingredients, and the quick and easy preparation proves that there’s no longer an excuse to resort to meal replacement bars – frequently loaded with sugar, processed soy, and refined grains.
So, this weekend, pick up some avocados, put some chicken in the oven, and you’ll have the perfect lunch for the following week!