Paleo survival strategy: early morning food prep

Everyone wants a piece of you, I know:

  • The zen individuals want you to get up 20 minutes early to mediate;
  • The get-the-classical-education-you-never-had people want you to get up before that to read Beowulf;
  • The fitness freaks want you to hit the gym at 5am;
  • The de-clutter nuts want 30 minutes of your mornings before anyone else is up to swizzle the bathroom and sparkle the sink;

And now I’m saying Hey! Wouldn’t you like to get up even earlier so you can prep a pot roast and make a cauli-pilaf before you greet the pandemonium that is your day?

And you are saying Um, no.

But wait, I have edge.

The edge is this: Paleo/AIP will give you the energy you need to accomplish all the meditating, Beowulf-reading, weight-lifting and toilet-swizzling you want to do in a day, in addition to your day-job and family life.

At least, it has in mine.

So start with the food prep. Even if it means skipping the gym & leaving the toilet to marinate for now. Seriously! I highly recommend getting the extra sleep and just starting with a cauliflower.

Just you & a cauliflower in the early light of dawn…

As your energy increases, you can whip through The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, prep your food, meditate, swizzle your toilet and get in a bike ride before work.

But you need the energy first.

Here’s what I did before work this morning:

Morning food prep

My early morning food prep

  • Baked some sockeye salmon;
  • Prepped a beef stew for the slow cooker (I browned lightly-salted stewing beef in batches, added 2 whole portobellos, sliced celery, cinnamon, & bone broth to the slow cooker, put it on low & left it all day);
  • Made a batch of coconut milk lattes for breakfast;
  • Made a batch of avocado pesto;
  • Roasted some cabbage;
  • Cut up celery, cucumber & broccoli for crudités;

I got all my food prep done before I had to roust my vegetarian teenager.


Chicken with pesto & lattes for breakfast!

Then I ate my breakfast, drank 3 green tea lattes, read my evaluation textbook, did the dishes & got work-ready.

We were both out the door by 7:40am.

Why an early morning cook-up instead of a late-night food prep?

3 reasons:

  1. Procrastination is a serious hazard for me in the evening
  2. I resent the food-prep less if I don’t have to spend my day anticipating it
  3. I prefer to have my evenings free to do whatever I want

Here’s my foodstuffs for the workday that followed:

  • Breakfast: Leftover roast chicken topped with avocado pesto, several gorgeous green tea coconut milk lattes;

    Workaday lunch

    Workaday lunch

  • Snack: Celery, cucumber & broccoli crudités with purple botija olives;
  • Lunch (at my desk, after hot-hot power flow yoga): Baked sockeye salmon mashed with avocado pesto in nori handrolls & a side of roast cabbage;
  • Supper: Beef stew with portobellos, sautéed zucchini with avocado pesto;

I am not affronted by avocado pesto three times a day!