Spring break is in the near future and the thought of wearing a bikini is just down right frightening (talking a level 8 on the Richter scale), so you finally made time in your day for a full on hour at the gym. You feel pretty awesome and like you are finally getting your life together. Then dinner time rolls around and you are just too tired to cook. I mean, what kind of overachiever goes to class, work, the gym, AND makes dinner?! Those people are not real humans and society is just expecting way too much these days. Right?
I get asked a lot how I have the time and energy to cook throughout the week. People like to assume I live some “stay at home mom” lifestyle or something. I am your average college student that is pretty busy and doesn’t have a lot of downtime. Even though I love to cook, it’s not something I really long to do after a full day of hustlin’ around. Surprised?
My secret is meal prepping. I prepare my food for the week on Sundays, so that when I am tired and lazy (everyday after 5 pm), all I have to do is throw something together in less than 5 minutes. When I tell people this, I always get the eye roll and a, “Oh, you’re one of those…” They are usually referring to fitness related Instagrams that have given meal prepping a boring/tool bag reputation of being the same meal in fifty plastic containers with some meathead advertising their 8 pack. #DoYouEvenMealPrepBro.
It gets you thinking, “Yeah, maybe if I ate chicken and broccoli for a week straight I’d have an 8 pack too.” For those of you who are sick of your chicken and broccoli, this is how I meal prep.
Instead of getting all technical and putting the same meal all measured out and perfectly precise in plastic containers, I make my protein and a few sides for the week, put it in the fridge, and mix it up everyday. It’s made and ready to go, but I eat what I am in the mood for. I don’t do well on a forced schedule, I need some freedom!
Grocery list for the week:
Animal Protein: 1/2 pound ground turkey, 1/2 pound ground pork, 4 chicken breasts, eggs
Veggies: 2 broccoli stalks, squash, 4 peppers, spinach, carrots, cauliflower, 1 onion, 2 sweet potatoes, cilantro, 4 tomatoes, asparagus
Fruit: Blueberries, strawberries, bananas, 2 avocados, 2 lemon, 2 limes
Other: Almond milk, oatmeal, maple syrup, cinnamon, brown rice, nuts
What I prepared on Sunday:
- Pan seared chicken (just plain ole salt and pepper, with a little bit seasoning of choice)
- Ground pork/ground turkey: I mix the ground pork and ground turkey together, add in some salt and pepper, seasoning of choice (I usually go with something as simple as possible and all natural), and cook.
- Brown Rice
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes (cook accordingly, then add 1 tbs maple syrup, cinnamon to acquired taste)
- Sliced/cleaned veggies and store in containers ready to be used.
Adjusting your meal plan to your workouts/daily life is crucial. I don’t eat the same thing everyday because I am constantly mixing up my workouts and daily routine, that is another reason why this way of meal prep works for me. On days I just do cardio I am not as hungry, whereas on days when I lift or workout twice I need to up my carbs or I start to feel weak. Get to know your body and adjust your meals accordingly, no one is the same.
A day in the life of Amelia:
- 1/4 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1 banana
- 2 tbs paleo grain free granola
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 3/4 cup ground turkey/ground pork mixture
- 1/4 cup brown rice
- 1 cup pan seared red/green peppers
- 1/2 cup steamed broccoli
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 apple
- Raw Revolution protein bar
- 3 oz pan seared chicken
- 1/4 mashed sweet potatoes
- 2 cups spinach (sautéed in olive oil)
- 1 cup squash and broccoli (sautéed)
- Optional. If I was still hungry, I’d snack on some trail mix (1/4 cup almonds, pecans, raisons, dark chocolate covered raisons)
Find what food you like, prepare it in advance, and don’t make life so complicated!