Packing Eat: day 1- Starting in the Middle


1424367_722353371125992_1777911840_nA big fat Welcome to Packing Eat Week here at BRK where I am going to spill my life right before your very eyes.  I have been in the food biz since the age of 14 when I was a Hostess Helper, traveling to various venues and playing waitress, barmaid, bartender, bus boy, and chef to frantic hostesses. Layer those years with my formal education in Nursing where I specialized in ICU Cardio-Thoracic medicine, curriculum design and policy development, and currently a CrossFit Coach and what do you get? A a fitness crazed, mad scientist, problem solving, real world practical cooker.  Let me start by saying “I hate cooking.” Schwew, I feel better getting that off my chest.  Let me explain… I love serving my family, creating gorgeous menu’s, spicing my dishes with freshness, and receiving gratitude for doing so. But here’s what it really looks like…

1. Kid one and two like the meal but kid three hates it.
2. Kid two has every allergy under the sun making cooking a poisonous affair.
3. Hubby called, he’s going to be late.
4. Daily “Hunger Games” and fighting over food. Arrows, tridents, and daggers would make it more interesting.
5. Grocery shopping in over crowded stores, with over crowded parking lots, with angry mean people, and over priced foods. Have you ever been in the parking lot of Trader Joes’ with honking and middle fingers, but once inside the store everyone is zen and sharing cooking advice?
6. They want to eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Daily. What’s with that?
7. Team Adult is Paleo, Team Kids is Non-Paleo.
8. The fridge and wallet are empty again. They eat me out of house and home!
9.  Menu lists, grocery lists, lists, lists, lists.
10.  I am all out of ideas, bored with recipes, and have limited time, plus all those bloody dirty dishes, day in and day out.

Not so romantic, is it?

This is how PACKING EAT has changed my life…
It is having a fridge fully loaded with whole food meals, cooked in small batches, in small bursts of time for active weeknight meals or eating on the go.

I want you to start today, Tuesday, right smack dab in the middle of your all ready active week.  Avoid the word busy- you are active, actively working, playing, resting, sleeping, creating. Got it?  Poor Tuesday is so underrated, so let’s start here. Read this post, get inspired, get energized, and go for it.


TASK 1: Before you do anything, organize and clean your refrigerator, removing expired food, and unhealthy food, and if that is all you do today, good for you! Today’s Tuesday, a new you starts today.
1.  Get a Lazy Susan for condiments. It is the best thing you will ever do.
2. Place leftovers at eye level and eat these daily to avoid waste.
3.  To make you feel human, make life a party by always having a bottle of bubbly chilling. This can be sparkling juice too. Tuesday is a good night to drink bubbly. Poor Tuesday.
4.  I don’t really care how you store your food, but find a system that works for you. I like Mason Jars and here is why.

TASK 2: Start with Small Batch Meals

When you start Packing Eat, begin with making some Small Batch Meals, this way you will have a successful beginning, you will feel as though you have accomplished something big.  Plus you will have something for dinner and a meal to pack for lunch tomorrow. Make ONE of the following three, as they are tasty, offer a variety of flavors and cuisines, and are totally NOT boring. Do NOT turn this into Big Batch Cooking or that little “a” in batch will turn to, cough, cough, “i”. Avoid temptation and keep it small, trust me.
1. Breakfast Bowls– pictured above, breakfast bowls can be portioned according to your needs, designed with ingredients to accommodate your lifestyle, and eaten at home or on the go. Consider layering leftovers in your Breakfast Bowls to avoid waste.
2. One Hour, three salads, six meals– if hearty salads is your thing, you will love these. But be careful, your workmates may steal them.
3. One Pan, Three Cuisines, Six Meals– this one is over the top and will blow your mind. I’ve put my mad scientist skills to work creating an algorithmic recipe.  Check it out to learn how to make three chicken dishes from one pan.


Note: Himself, my husband and Laird of our wee clan, and I went to marriage class (divorce murder prevention class) this Tuesday night while leaving  Team BRK Junior League home with a fridge fully loaded with Breakfast Bowls for supper. Healthy, easy to reheat, and loved by them, Momma was able to leave home with ease without last minute ordering pizza ($$), or scrambling with PBJ sandwiches.  It’s a good feeling.

LESSON ONE: Make it look good


When I posted this photo on Facebook three years ago, it went viral, and when people wanted to know more, I posted a few tutorials on making Mason Jar Meals.  Although this was seen in the media as a cutesy trend that would quickly pass, the virality of those posts told me that people are seeking order and balance in their lives. As many of us are drawn to clean lines, layers, and bright colors, I observed that people were primarily attracted to the design and packaging of these meals more so than the product inside, further proving to me that we do indeed eat first with our eyes.  But then something changed.  After the love affair with  design came a desire for it’s contents. Individuals began putting these glassy meals into practice as they understood the need of having prepared meals handy to make week nights stress-free, lunch boxes healthier, bring food budgets under control, as well as their meal portions. Keeping what I observed in mind, I intentionally designed meals that were easy to make, pack, and eat on the go or at home.

The food industry makes food look so good, enticing you to purchase it. Take the time at home to make your Packing Eat Meals look good too, then you will be more apt to eat them and less tempted to get take out on those overly active nights.  Simple garnishes, even as simple as a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese go a long way. Do it, you are SO worth it.

Go Forth and Conquer:
Packing Eat Intro: What is Packing Eat?
Task 1: Organize and clean out your refrigerator.
Task 2: Start with a Small Batch Meal, choices above.
Lesson One: Make it look good. Take time to make your meals look good by layering, garnishing, and portioning in an attractive manner. If your meals look like junk, you will not eat them- I know this from experience.
Task 3: Roast Meat
Lesson Two: Why Jars of Meat?
Task 4:Make your side dishes
Task 5: Make Bolognese Sauce and Korean Rice Bowls
Lesson Three: How to Make Small Batch Cooking go Faster

PS: The photo above is Himself and me at the 64th Annual Saint Andrew’s Tartan Ball here in DC. We left the house guilt-free as the teens were left with a fridge full of healthy meal options. I’m going to call it the BRK Vending Machine. It’s a good feeling.

Come back tomorrow for more, more, more. And later this week another Algorithmic Meal Plan to get your Nerd on. Please pass these posts to those in your life who need help.

Pack Eat and Nobody gets hungry


  1. Posted November 19, 2013 at 8:21 AM | Permalink

    These are great tips! I do tend to get into a cooking rut and nothing sounds so great during the colder months. Which is probably the best time for me to do some preparing of meals on Sunday afternoon to make it all come together easier during the week. Great post!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

      Thank you Patsy!

  2. Posted November 19, 2013 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    Great shot of you guys. I can’t even imagine a frig that organized.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 19, 2013 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Larry! The fridge is a never ending job;)

  3. Posted November 20, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

    You know I love all your tips! I need to stock up on mason jars!

    Hope you are doing great!

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