What is it about meal prepping that is so great? I say that in a sarcastic way because food was never much of an issue for me. Don’t get me wrong -- I am not a poor eater, but I didn’t really gain or lose weight based on what I ate. If I wanted a hamburger, I got one with fries and a soda. So, what led me to write a blog about healthy eating and a lifestyle change?
I hear many people talk about being on a “diet,” which could be anything from Paleo, to the Atkins diet, to any other yo-yo dieting scheme. You can lose weight on any diet if you really put your mind to it and follow a program. I am not big on the word “diet” because for me, it’s about a change in eating habits for a lifetime.
I finally made a decision to eat in a more healthy and clean manner, but how was I going to accomplish this? I wake up at 5:20 a.m., snooze until about 5:30 a.m., and then jump out of bed to coach the first Crossfit Portside class at 6 a.m. Then, I call my aunt to see if she is coming to the 7:30 a.m. If she comes to class, I always asked her to run through McDonald's and grab me two breakfast burritos because I would be starving. Bad habits are easy to break, but you just need the right steps. So, for all the busy, on-the-go people out there, I am going to take you on my meal prepping adventure and hope that you will jump on board with me.
1. First, make a plan
Write down two nights before your shopping day what proteins (meats, poultry, and fish) that you want to eat that week, carbohydrates (vegetables are the most beneficial carbs but that isn’t limiting), and what fats (oils and nuts but again not limiting).
2. Second, start simple
No, it is not easy eating the same thing over and over but you have to start with a base and then you can get creative from there. Start with chicken and fish for proteins, rice and broccoli for carbs, and use butter or bacon for the fat. Once you get the hang of things, then really adjust seasonings and food choices.
3. Third, Write a grocery list and stick to it
It is so easy to wander around a grocery store and see something and just put it in your buggy whether you need it or not. Find deals and know where to go. I like Sam’s for my meats, fish, some veggies, and fruits. I go to Rouses for most anything else.
4. Fourth, Pick a day to meal prep and spend the time doing it (JUST DO IT)
I usually meal prep on Sunday. That seems to be the best time for me. You could split it up and do some Sunday and some on Wednesday, but that’s a preference. If you have a crockpot, pull it out because it can and will be your best friend. While you cook a bunch of chicken in the crockpot, you can be preparing other things as well.
5. Fifth, Invest in some meal prep containers (easy to freeze and heat in the microwave)
I bought some containers on amazon that were cheap but are really good. Once you have all of your containers ready, then you can just plate them and freeze what you want.
Last weekend, I spent $137.84 on groceries. I prepped 44 meals for one person. 12 days for breakfast, 16 days for lunch and dinner. My average total per meal was $3.14. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? Oh wait, it gets even better! If shared between 2 people, it was 22 meals. Six days of breakfast and eight days of lunch and dinner. Average total for two people per meal was $1.57. HOLY COW, so do you see where this is going? Not only do you have healthy meals and snacks at your disposal, you are saving plenty of money on groceries.
You can make it as simple as you want. It has made life so much simpler and allowed me to relax more and enjoy my time at home. It can take a lot out of you cooking every night and constantly going to the grocery store. Make a decision and DO IT! You will see benefits health wise, financially, and perform better at anything that you do. So, don’t wait, START MEAL PREPPING!
If you want to get more in depth about counting macros, Robby D’Angelo with the Struggle is Real is your guy. Contact me at crossfitportside.com and I can give you more info about Robby and what he does as a transformation coach.