Meal Prep for the Busy Bee
For many of us, it's not that we don't want to make better food choices, it's that we get ourselves stuck in situations where we're forced to pick the quickest and easiest option. And too often, those options aren't the most nutritious or satiating.
Meal prep doesn't need to be an entire's day ordeal. Meal prep is all about intention and setting yourself up for smooth sailing. For many of us, meal prep sounds a bit daunting and can leave you feeling more frustrated and restricted than you intended to begin with. But with the winning combination of ideas for you, it can make your work week eating habits more manageable. Take things slowly, make a plan, and don't be too hard on yourself. It's going to take some time to find the right balance for you, and that will make it all the more sustainable.
Here's what the coaches have to share this week.
Coach Steve: The second you get home from doing the groceries, start meal prepping. Mine is real easy, I just chop veggies and cook proteins for the week. During the week, when I’d like a meal I just construct something from those items that have been prepped.
Coach Sam: For 90% of you prepping your meals on Sunday is probably the best bet. But for those of you who like to keep your weekends just that, try doing your meal prep on Monday night. This will allow you to still eat well for 80% of the week. While still keeping your weekends free!
Coach Mickey: I’m a huge advocate of packing more food than you think you will need. The worst feeling is getting through your lunch kit and realizing you don’t have enough food. I love to pack extra chopped veggies and guacamole, nuts or trail mix, and some hard boiled eggs. Lunches don’t have to be complicated, but they should be delicious.
Coach Jayme: Plan ahead! Even if you're only preparing for "tomorrow's" meals, you'll feel a lot better going to sleep and waking up the next morning. When you're too busy rushing to get out the door with a million other little things, just knowing that the food you need to keep you going is already packed! I always like to pack some protein powder too when my days are long, it fills me up and I know it's good for me!
Coach Jeff: Best advice I could give is buy food that you know you love to eat , the last thing I want is to be starving and have a meal I’m not looking forward to eating. It’s all good to cook healthy food but it’s not good if it goes to waste!
Coach Kurtis: Have fun with it and definitely buy/eat the foods that you like! Also don't be afraid of a "cheat" meal here and there, just be smart with it
Coach Evelyn: Sometimes blocking off a chunk of time to meal prep is just not convenient with our day-to-day schedules. When time is an issue, meal prep does not have to be a burden. When I know I have a hefty schedule ahead of me, I throw some meat in the crock pot one day (chicken, roast, pork loin) and portion it out when it's ready and the next day I may chop my vegetables and roast them "en masse" in the oven with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Oven baked sweet potatoes are also super easy to prep. Presto, a week's meals ready to go. A little tip: 3lbs of raw meat equals 2lbs of cooked meat which amounts to roughly 8 portions and therefore 8 meals.
Coach Sara: One of the biggest complaints I hear about eating clean is that it can be bland and tasteless. Alongside what Jeff said.. If you don’t like what you’ve made, you won’t eat it. If this is you, look into different types of spices and herbs. This can make a huge difference for a restless palate. Curry, smoked paprika, ginger, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, basil, mint, dill, keep things far from getting boring. Mix it up... no pun intended. Ha
Coach Mark: Donuts get stale within 24-48 hours. Consider making time to buy fresh ones as part of your daily routine #winthemorning (Kidding.)
I don't have much to add here: For me it's finding a few things that you like and get good at making them and making them quickly (refine the flavours and technique through trial and error). Don't think you need to have a million recipes. Just a few good one's will suffice.
Meals on the go... If you have failed to plan and need to eat out, it's worth spending the money on yourself to get 'real food' if it's an option. Your gut with thank you afterwards.
Returning from time off!
Taking time off from the gym is a natural part of every person's life, but how do you get back on track after being away? Here are some great tips from our Coaches on getting motivated and back into a routine after time away.
Coach Jayme: Sometimes falling out of a healthy routine is tough to dive right back into the way you maybe left it. It can feel deflating looking back on "what used to be" before you fell off track. This is okay! You'll get back on track if you start off by setting small goals to work your way back into your old routine! Set maybe 1 or 2 achievable goals you know you can manage (ex: attending 3 classes a week and making sure you're not having refined sugars in your diet). Once you've nailed the smaller goals, then start adding the "extra" (ex: maybe adding a 4th or 5th session into your week's workouts, staying late after class to work on weaknesses or refining even further a healthier diet that you used to be on). I find it most helpful to getting back on track when I make plans with friends! See what class a friend is taking and sign-up for the same one and tell them your goals to help keep you accountable and to regain the motivation you need to getting yourself back on track.
Coach Sam: My advice, make yourself the small, simple, achievable goal of just getting back to the gym once. That's it! Don't worry about the daunting process of "getting back into shape". Make it here once, great you've achieved your goal, now just rinse and repeat. The mind handles small goals better. Just make the goal to get back into the gym once, we can go from there.
Coach Steve: Lately, I’ve kinda been notorious for taking unwanted extended breaks. Keep it simple, come to class, recover, repeat. You’re not any less fit, you’re just not used to the discomfort that comes with exercise. Reach out to the people who you used to train with, they’ll keep you accountable. Last, just try to enjoy your self.
Coach Jeff: Taking time off to enjoy yourself is something everyone should do. As soon as you're back, get back to the routine, don’t worry about waiting for Monday or feeling like you need to get back to your regular work and eating schedule, just showing up will make you feel great and no need to worry about losing fitness... a few classes to catch up and you’ll be right back to where you left off!