Happy Sunday! This day of the week holds a special place in my heart. Why? I reserve this day for meal prep. Below I am going to share with you how I prep for my week on this day. I want to first want to say if you hear people talk about how much they love doing meal prep, they must actually enjoy cooking. The amount of time that it takes out of my day is inconvenient and I am still a work in progress in the kitchen, but the reward of having your fridge stocked with all your food for the week is absolutely worth it every time, and that is what keeps me coming back every Sunday. Not having the proper food on hand can lead to poor nutritional choices and can effect my workouts by having low energy and will lead to poor performance.
I start off my afternoon with a trip to Costco. I buy my protein in bulk here, as well as any other organic items I might need for the week such as apples, green beans, and eggs. I choose to eat organic and not put any added chemicals in my body. I look at it as an investment in my body and health. If there are any items that I couldn't purchase at Costco, I head to Whole Foods.
Two grocery stores and two hours later I unpack and survey how I am going to arrange my food for the week. For the most part I eat about the same thing each week, but I have become clever on how I season and cut things. This way it doesn't taste like i eat a lot of the same items.
When it comes to meal prep, staying organized is crucial. Buying matching containers was a cheap and necessary investment. I have different ones for lunch and snacks, that way I don't even have to think when I open the fridge for a snack vs. a lunch. Trying to figure out how much to prep can be tricky as well. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed that I just cooked three pounds of chicken but am amazed on Friday when I am scraping the bottom of the container for the last chicken breast. The more you prep, the better understanding you will have for how much you really eat in a week.
Everyone's meal prep is going to be different. A 35-year-old body builder's meal prep will look a lot different that mine. I strive for protein in every meal, lots of greens and complex carbs. My protein starts off in the morning with four eggs mixed in with spinach, olives and chicken. When cooking protein I usually try to bake it. This is for no other reason than pure laziness. Lunch consists of a protein (ground turkey or chicken), sweet potatoes and green veggies.
My meal prep wouldn't be done without prepping all my snacks. I am a grazer and eat about every two hours. Making sure I am fueling my body with the right snacks to give me energy is important. I go through cycles with my snacks until I get tired of eating the same thing. Lately I have been making my own trail mix of almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds. I nibble on this throughout the day. I enjoy an apple with almond butter in the afternoon, and enjoy a mid day salad. Right before I workout I eat rolled up butter lettuce with turkey slices in Havarti cheese. I always keep extra protein around (see a pattern here?) so having a tupperware with tuna is important post-work out.
Exercise and cross training is important to my running, but such a critical component is how I get my energy is coming from what I eat. Having all my food prep takes the stress off cooking each night, and leaves me with confidence knowing when I get hungry, I can always make smart decisions that wont have a negative impact on training. Its a love/hate relationship with Sundays because how much time my meal prep takes, but at least I am not setting the smoke alarm off every time.
PS: If you get bored with food, just put salsa on everything. If you want to get crazy, alternate your salsa brands for different types of food.