Every Sunday, I cook. Why? Because it makes life just a bit simpler and at least 1 part of my week will be a success.
2 years ago, meal prep was not even on my radar, at least not to the point it is today. 2 years ago, I made every excuse not to meal prep, some being the following:
- It’s too expensive
- It’s time consuming
- The food will be wasted
- I don’t have time
- I don’t know what to make
- I can’t eat the same thing every single day
My excuse 2 years ago: I was an incredibly busy college student, working 20+ hours a week on top of having 3-5 hours of clinical Monday through Friday and had no money.
Since starting as a personal trainer, always being on the go, and making the decision to compete, meal prepping has become a large part of my life and has proven that the above points are not quite true.
People who I’ve talked to as clients, friends, family and many others out there have the same complaints about meal prepping and typically don’t know where to begin.
Get over the Myths:
- It’s too expensive – so is buying junk food and food that isn’t actually needed at the time. Go into the store with a plan – only buy what is needed and nothing else. Yes, buying “healthy” can be expensive at times, but not as expensive as always eating out — average cost of eating lunch out is $12.75…imagine spending that 5 times a week, that’s almost $64/week on food that only covers one meal.
I used to spend over $100 weekly on groceries and would grab food on the go a lot, so probably about $150-200/week on food…now my weekly bill is under $80 and I rarely have to grab food on the go.
- Meal prepping is time consuming/I don’t have time – It takes 2-3 hours, ONE day a week. That’s it! And that’s prepping for 3-4 different meals/day.
- The food will be wasted – may be true if you buy stuff you don’t need. If you buy too much, and prep it all, throw it in the freezer and save for another time.
- I don’t know what to make – it doesn’t have to be complicated. There should be a protein, carbohydrate, fat, and veggie source on your plate. Pull a list of whole foods off of internet, pick a few off that list and get after it. It can be as simple as the meals that I have listed below or hop onto Pinterest – there is an unlimited number of recipes on there.
- I can’t eat the same thing every day – Then prep food 2 different days a week, Sunday and Wednesday/Thursday to mix things up. Make some meals with chicken or ground beef and potatoes or rice. Choose different seasonings or marinades. There are so many ways to prevent the prepped food from becoming bland!
Looking back on the last year, it would take me forever to decide what I wanted to cook and then the majority of my Sunday to complete it all. I don’t know what I did with myself before meal prep entered my life…scary thought and I’m sure I’m not the only one that was in that boat.
Since then, I have learned to keep it simple.
Being in prep doesn’t really allow for the freedom of having whatever I want, so keeping it simple I have the same thing week to week. Sounds super boring, right? It definitely can be, but I try to mix it up with different veggies, carbs, and seasonings each week. And I try to change it all every 3-4 weeks, mostly because of my macro/calories are changing on that schedule.
Currently I am eating ⬇⬇ (and have been eating this for the last 2 weeks)
- Meal 1: 1 egg, 1/2c egg whites, 2 slice turkey bacon, low fat cheese, 40g oats w/ cinnamon + 1tbsp sugar free syrup (currently using Sinister Labs)
- Meal 2: 170g nonfat Greek yogurt, 50g blueberries, 16g PbFit OR 16g almond butter
- Meal 3: 4oz ground turkey, 120g basmati/jasmine rice, 80g broccoli
- Meal 4: 4oz turkey burger, 4oz potato // 3oz ground beef, 5oz sweet potato
- Meal 5: 4oz chicken, 2oz lettuce, 2tbsp dressing, 1oz dried cranberries // 4oz chicken, veggie mix
- Post Workout: 1 scoop protein powder, 1 banana
Food is food. Keep it simple with having your protein, carbohydrates, and veggies/fruit. Add in whatever else you want, but maintain the core structure of your meals.
Meal planning and prepping doesn’t have to be complicated. It doesn’t have to be time consuming. Complex isn’t always the best, stick with simple things…