This week we’re going to be talking about the amazing wonders of meal prep. I will go into depth as to why I think people should meal prep, I will give a step by step on how to meal prep and, I will also show you what I eat throughout one of my weeks of meal prep along with the shopping list that goes with it.
Why should you meal prep?
Meal prep saves you a lot of time. Let’s be honest… life gets pretty busy, the last thing you want to do is struggle to find the time in your already busy day to prepare something to eat. Everybody loves food that is quick and easy to get, sadly many people believe that this means going to a fast food restaurant but that is not the case. Doing meal prep allows you to have those already made meals throughout the week without worry. As a student-athlete I find meal prep very beneficial, I spend a percentage of my day at school, another part at cross-training and another part on the mats practicing and having already prepped meals saves me so much time. Meal prep is very helpful when it comes to weight management. I’m in a weight-classed sport with that being said maintaining a specific weight is very important. Since you are the chef of your meals you have 100% control as to what goes into the food you make, You also have 100% control of your portion sizing. Knowing exactly what foods you're putting into your body and the amount of it are two crucial elements when it comes to weight management.
How to meal prep?
Choose a day
You want to choose a day that you are the least busy, for me its Sundays. Once you have your day, dedicate 2- 4 hours of that day for shopping, cooking and preparing your meals for the upcoming week.
Plan your meals and create a shopping list
Once you know what you want to eat for your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks you are all set and ready to create your shopping list. Having a shopping list makes the shopping process much faster, you want to base that list around the meals that you are going to be making for the upcoming week. *Be sure to include containers to package the food in.
At this point you should have a tidy cooking area, you should know what you’re going to be making and you should have all the ingredients… all that is left to do is to get cooking. I always start with the things that have to be baked such as baked sweet potato or baked chicken breast these normally take the longest and you can simply pop it in the oven set a timer and forget about it. Then you can start chopping any fruits and veggies that are going to be used in the meal or as a snack. After all that you can follow the recipe and cook whatever else has to be made keeping in mind that you are cooking 5-7 days worth of food, so make a lot.
Measure and pack
This is the final step and I find the most fun. There are three ways you could measure out your food. You could use a food scale, using a food scale gets your measurement as accurate as they come. If you don’t have a food scale you can use good old fashion measuring cups, using measuring cups will still do just as good a job as using the scale it just won’t be as accurate. Lastly, you can simply just use your eyes to estimate the measurement.
One of my meal plans
Breakfast (9:00 am)
¾ oats with peanut butter and bananas
a boiled egg
Post workout snack (11:00 pm)
Lunch (1:00 pm)
½ cup of extra lean ground beef
1 medium sweet potato baked
Cup of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots
Mid day snack (3:00 pm)
½ an RX bar
Dinner (5:30 pm)
Glory bowl salad (chicken, sweet potatoes, beets, bell peppers, zucchini, avocado, spinach and romanian lettuce topped with glory sauce.)
Post practice snack (9:00 pm)
½ an RX bar
My shopping list
I normally meal prep for 6 days out of the week with that being said I shop according to the amount of days that I will be prepping for.
Whey protein powder
Extra lean ground beef
3 large sweet potato
Broccoli, cauliflower and carrot mix
3 Bell peppers