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Meal Prep, Routine & Cannabis Improved my Productivity

Routine = The Name of the Game

As an entrepreneur there is a constant fight of maintaining control of your schedule while balancing maximum efficiency. I work primarily out of my own personal office. Occasionally meeting my clients at their offices for limited windows each day. Even having a meal with a client is often in the cards. The struggle between maintaining an adequate diet for my health & sanity as well as flexibility with security is very trying.

If you're interested in meal prep I am not the person to be getting that information from. I personally recommend the meal prep basics of Mind over Munch [x], helped to build the confidence visiting the grocer. Learning about "Struggle Chicken" & baking advice of Fit Men Cook [x] was really refreshing and inspiring. The Domestic Geek's vast library of recipe breakdowns- if you are not a cook, does an excellent job at breaking down the foundations of a multitude of recipes and provides so many variations that you could never get bored [x].

A lot of times I give myself the excuse that I will not eat the food I make ahead of time and end up wasting time & money. It's a real thing that does happen but often times I have learned to avoid over buying expensive raw materials, over cooking and portioning properly. Pairing routine with my diet helped me decide how much I actually needed to be eating versus preparing. You can find caloric intake calculators on most diet apps like My Fitness Pal or Google.

Keeping a routine in the hours I can control in my day allow for the rest of my day to fall into place.

Early Morning

When I first get up in the morning I have to drink water and wake myself up. I prefer room temperature. The first method of integrating fresh cannabis into my diet is from the get go is with my hydrosol spray by Hummingbird Medicinals [x]. I picked it up at my first Emerald Exchange after my friend Barbie of Faerie Jane [x] introduced me. They had samples mixed with water and cucumber, my favorite veggie, for an easy on the stomach palate cleanser while introducing the beneficial qualities of raw unadulterated cannabis. No exposure to heat or chemicals. I'll normally have this around 6:30 in the morning. Allows my body to decompress enough for my morning dab.

Mid Morning

After a morning dab, 8am rolls around alongside a handful of emails, my stomach is awake enough to crave something. In order to get my gut bacteria in check I enjoy an almond based yogurt. I do not consume greek yogurt, it is damaging to our waterways & ecosystems. Concerned for the amount of protein I consume is resolved with a sprinkling of granola by Pura Vida Health [x]. Mixing cannabis infused products in with non-medicated granola makes it a manageable dose and easy to dissipate any plant taste.
Pre-made granola is something we meal prep once a month. Our go-to for inexpensive ingredients in Sprouts for basics like oats, flaxseed, brown rice and more. We purchase these in bulk, be cautious and shop around first for the best deals on products you use frequently. Amazon & Whole Foods recently co-opted their products in their stores and while some things are marked as new "reduced" prices we found that many products like avocados and rice were not reduced. Thrive Market was another option but also ended up being more expensive than some options for bulk orders. As inspiration for our granola I spend a lot of time simply going through aisles & bakery sections of Sprouts & WF to see what catches my eye. I struggle with many dietary restrictions (no soy, no citrus, no citric acid) so it helps to be watchful of what is out on the market to make my own, better for myself versions.

Breakfast

By 10 am I am in full hunger mode. I am in a two person household & we both like a hot breakfast that we eat together. An effective way to have eggs in the morning we found was making pre-made english muffin sandwiches. Made in a sheet pan [ inspired by: x] we pair it with dehydrated spinach and cut with a DAISO egg mold. The mold was originally for using on a pan to make perfect fried eggs, it failed miserably but was the exact diameter of our english muffins. We total at 12 sandwiches a week from 18 eggs, no waste to the pan, and enjoy two a day. The sandwiches we freeze and microwave, paired with fresh mashed avocado and uncured, nitrate-free ham.
No pan washing, no mess of bowls- when matched with 4 minute prep from microwave to serve it's a no brainer. An apple or assortment of blueberries offers a fresh tart bite. Excellent to take on the go, in the car, and eat whenever. I take it straight to my desk, watch a half episode of shark tank or a couple of daily videos on my youtube feed.

There are a lot of interesting youtube archives for almost unlimited listening- a favorite in our office spans from The Game Developers Conference [x] discussing process, success & failures including "postmortems" retrospectives, the GOTO conference with excellent speakers ranging from all perspectives in the tech & developer sphere [x], also to mention is Google Design [x] which can something fall on the edge of too cheesy or basic. Equally so the AirBnb youtube where they occasionally post talks with Brian Chesky or developers going over the idiosyncrasies that they struggle with on a mass scale in-between the fluff. There are dozens of conferences dedicated to the latest in your respective industry and the odds are they probably have most of their talks recorded on youtube in one form or another.

One of the values I find as a designer & artist, is that you can never stop learning. Often employers value degrees but in reality for circles like development & design- you constantly need to be exposing yourself to the latest methods & materials. Keep pushing your curiosity and comfort levels- it'll keep you fresh.

Lunch

We tend to have late lunches, often not until 3 or 4 in the afternoon. We don't take lunch when most teams or offices do. We try to be available right when clients call us on their break times. It is most effective for us to be on call. Once our afternoon rush is over, starvation has set in and we want to eat ASAP. When you hit that pinacle hunger point- often hit with a wave of nausea a small dab before lunch helps calm the stomach and allows for you to eat after to prevent a heavy high dampening your energy.

There normally isn't any interest in thought when I am that hungry. Throwing a plate with pre-made brown rice & baked chicken in the microwave alongside a sauté of frozen mixed veggies allow for a meal in under 8 minutes is an effortless act. No need to wait for delivery. No need to go downstairs to the multitude of restaurants, food trucks with lines, heat and wait.
For brown & white rice we cook them in the rice cooker. To improve the softness & taste of the brown rice we cook it in a ratio of 2 cups water to 1 rice, normally at 3 cups of rice at a time. With the liquid portion, we add sometimes 2 cups out of six with low sodium chicken broth with a tsp of basil, cilantro, a bayleaf and a little bit of oil to prevent sticking. Giving your rice that extra bit of life to last in the freeze improves your overall willingness to eat it the third day in a row. Moisture is key.

Regroup & Reevaluate

Normally after lunch and spending a few minutes reevaluating my position in my work at that hour, often a refresh is in order. Stepping away from the computer, giving my eyes a rest. Sometimes my thumb and wrist ache (remnants of my days in school in typography or illustration class) so I go and apply some Papa & Barkley Releaf balm with my copper compression glove. I recently received it in a Culinary & Cannabis gift bag during their CannaSpa event. Even as a small sample it goes a long way. Instant relief without the need to pop a pill, rub my wrist and endure the pain for 20 minutes, allows for me to get right back to work.

Dinner

Dinner is where flexibility come into play. It will tend to occur around 8-9pm. Depends on how on track we are. If I can- I will always cook a fresh meal. Anything I want or choose. Sometimes includes meal prepped elements like precooked rice for teriyaki or stir frys. These can also be pre-made, we also have pre-washed fresh veggies for salads. Salads are a big part of our meals to ensure we get our greens. Dressing them with Pot D'Huile [x] it aids in not only breaking down the fiber making it easy to digest but also introduce an infused olive oil without the added seasonings & lemon.

But who wants to be healthy after a long day of work? Maybe I want fast food? Even then having to collect myself to go out for a drive will take the same time as popping my own fries in the oven. For the sake of ease we even make premade frozen beef patties for burgers & sweet potato fries. Our trick to ensuring the best crispy sweet potato fries is baking them on a rack to elevate them from the liquid they release from cooking. For the burgers we now buy the ground beef in 2 pounds enough to make about 1/3 lb burgers. Mix & package individually in wax paper and perfectly portioned. Easy for an individual to make one or a couple if someone comes over to sesh.

Dessert

Always have a small sweet bite to finish off your meal at the end of the day. A small taste to coat the palate is enough to satiate. I tend to want a little bite of chocolate, hacking my brain to say "the meal is done". We drink water primarily, no sweet drinks, sodas or juices so it can be difficult to rid the palate of the heavy tastes. A square of Defoncé chocolate [x] is an excellent way to round out a meal. They come in a variety of flavors to suit any meal but even just a triangle is enough. I love sweets, I really do but I always keep within the suggested servings to rid myself of any over indulgent concerns.

Take Away

At the beginning cannabis was something I took primarily as medicine. I never messed with products outside of concentrates and flower. There was a lot of intimidation. Sometimes they are not necessary for the relief and comfort topicals and edibles provide. Innovative cannabis products allowed for experimentation in biohacking our productivity through drinks, oils, & creams.

By taking cannabis and introducing it into my routine I helped regulate my consumption, integrating it into my meal prep and allowed for a better tolerance from THC and it's psychoactive effects. Meal prep is a skill I think all budding entrepreneurs need to utilize. Far gone are the days of sodium filled instant ramen cups and cardboard mini pizzas. Meal prep is a very affordable ROI when you are willing to invest even an hour a week to provide meals for days!

Make sure to check back on more recipes integrating cannabis products. You can find my review & recipes of the CannaOil Co Infused Olive Oil with Green Pesto Pizza [x] & Infused Garlic Spread [x].

Related: Hummingbird Medicinals