Meathead Meal Prep
We all know how important nutrition is to our health and fitness. If you want to look and feel better, perform better in the gym or at your sport, or just live a long and disease-free life, your nutrition should be a priority.
There are a lot of components that characterize good nutrition. Some of which include:
- Calorie balance -Eating the right amount of food
- Macronutrient balance -Eating the right proportions of protein, carbs and fat for your body type, goals, activity level, etc.
- Food quality/micronutrient content – Whole foods with more nutrients and less calories vs. processed foods with less nutritional value and higher calorie/fat/sugar content
- Nutrient timing -Eating the right type of foods at the right time, and
- Supplements – Filling any nutrient deficiencies in the diet with supplements
Each of these principles have their place in a nutrition plan to varying degrees. However, the most important principle of all is consistency. We can have all the knowledge about nutrition in the world, but if we don’t apply it consistently, we will not get the results we are looking for.
This is the part that most of us struggle with. We can be dialed in all week but when the weekend hits, we act like calories don’t exist. Or, we follow the cleanest diet imaginable for 3 weeks because that’s as long as we can go without losing our minds and eating every carb in sight. This is not the path to success.
If we are not consistent in the way we eat each day, it will become impossible to know if what we are doing is working. We have no baseline from which to gauge our progress. On the other hand, if you consistently eat similar amounts and types of food each day, you can see how your body is responding and make tweaks to your diet as you go. For instance, if you are eating a certain way and monitoring your performance in the gym and your body weight and both are improving, you are on the right track and you should continue doing what you’re doing. If you begin to gain weight and/or feel low energy and motivation to train, you may need to modify your diet.
One of the keys to maintaining consistency so that you are able to continue making this type of progress is meal preparation. Most of us become victims of our circumstances in this area rather than preparing for what the day will throw at us. For example, we may wake up late and have to skip breakfast, then go to work with the idea that we will just figure out lunch when it gets here. But, when lunchtime does arrive, we are starving and our will power is low, so we agree to get fast food with a friend. The rest of the day is crazy and by the time you get home, you are spent and don’t feel like cooking. So, maybe we order out or have cereal or something. This is not the way to eat for health and performance and it could have all been prevented if you got in some solid meal prep.
I do not particularly enjoy cooking, but I recognize the importance of meal prep and proper nutrition, so I make time for it. However, I do focus on meals that are easy to make and take very little time to prepare. Now, I want to give you guys some ideas for quick meals you can use to help you make better decisions and continue moving toward your goals. I admit that my nutrition is not perfect, but whose is?
-1 scoop Spark
-1 scoop Rehydrate
-24 oz. water
This is not a meal, but this is the first thing I consume on most mornings. It’s a good way to start rehydrating after sleeping and it’s a much better option for energy than coffee with a bunch of sugar and creamer.
-2 whole eggs
-1 cup liquid egg whites
-2 strips of bacon
-2 handfuls of frozen broccoli
I start by throwing in 2 strips of bacon into a pan on medium heat. Once the bacon is cooked on one side, I flip it over and throw in 2 handfuls of frozen broccoli. Once the broccoli is nearly thawed, I will add 2 whole eggs and 1 cup of liquid egg whites. I mix and cook everything together. I usually top it off with a little sea salt.
-1 cup Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
-1 Scoop of Protein Powder
-1 Thumb sized Portion of All Natural Peanut Butter
Add 1 cup of the yogurt into a bowl. Mix in 1 scoop of protein powder in whatever flavor you prefer. Scoop the peanut butter with a spoon (don’t overdo it) and eat the yogurt with the peanut butter spoon. Finish off the meal with an apple.
-2 Palm Sized Portions of Chicken Breast
-1 Cup Frozen Mixed Berries
I buy the salad bags that have a good mix of veggies and are big enough to make one big salad. They sometimes come with chips, seeds, or bacon bits, but I usually leave those out of the salad. I do add some dressing for taste. I will toss the salad into a bowl and then throw in 2 palm sized portions of chicken breasts. I finish off the meal with a cup of frozen mixed berries.
-1 Scoop of Protein Powder
-1 Greens/Protein Packet
This is a good post workout snack. I am getting in protein and carbs, which is very important after an intense workout along with a greens powder that will help me get in more servings of fruits and vegetables when I can’t get them from whole foods.
These protein bars taste great and they have quality ingredients. I use them when I am in a pinch and need to hold myself over until I can get a real meal in.
While all of these meals are quick and easy, I still need to make sure that I take the time to go to the grocery store and stock up on all that I need for the week. I usually do this on Sunday and then go home and cook up a big bag of chicken breasts or whatever protein source I am going with, along with any sweet potatoes, rice, vegetables, etc. that need to be prepared in advance. That way, I won’t have to worry about cooking when things get crazy during the week.
I have to pack a lot of my meals to bring with me to the gym. So, I use a mini cooler and fill it with Tupperware containing some of the meals listed above. I store it in a mini fridge in the office so I can stick to my meal plan even when I can’t get home to prepare a meal. I will also make sure I have a small stash of quest bars just in case something comes up and I need a snack.
I hope this article gave you some ideas for quick and easy meals and highlighted how important it is to prioritize meal prep in your routine. Remember, if you are not preparing for success, you are preparing for failure.
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