A common barrier to eating healthy throughout the workweek is convenience. Sure you want to eat homemade chicken salads for lunch, but that requires effort in the morning. And the last thing you want to worry about at 7am is baking chicken and getting bougie with the salad mix. Meanwhile the McDonalds downstairs from the office is always open… and cheap.
This is where meal prep comes in. “Meal Prep” is the act of making food in bulk and dividing such food into containers for upcoming days. Personally, I like to prep my lunches and dinners roughly 3 days ahead - usually on Sunday and Wednesday nights. This way, I can grab my meals and go! Health food made fast food.
Yes, eating healthy will require a little reorganizing of your daily life (most likely your Sunday as it’s a popular day to prep). But, as the old Jeffersonian saying goes, “If you want something you've never had you must be willing to do something you've never done.” Plus, once you make it a part of your weekly routine, it’ll become as familiar as breathing! And no, meal prep doesn’t have to be restricted to tilapia and brown rice (a staple of the bodybuilder diet). You can get creative with your “healthy food” too! [PINTEREST] is an incredible encyclopedia of ideas.
I’ll get to my own creative meal prep ideas in due time. Today I wanted to keep it introductory and give you some classics, stemming straight from the infamous field of “bro science.” I’m talking chicken and rice, brah.
RECIPE 1: Chicken & Jasmine Rice Bowl w/ Sweet Potato & Cooked Spinach
I usually eat my chicken bland. But I encourage you to get creative with your marinades and dry rubs! The low calorie option I chose was a simple mix of red wine vinegar and Everyday Seasoning from Trader Joe's. Let marinade in the fridge for 30 mins to a full day.
For my sweet potatoes, I like to sprinkle on some nutmeg & cinnamon before throwing them into the oven. If you're like me and prefer to precut your spuds, set your oven temp to 400 and bake for roughly 35 to 40 minutes. It's a much faster bake time than if you were heating them whole.
I love spinach, but definitely not raw. Weight out 100g of the leafy green first and cook it for five minutes on the stove.
Sometimes prepped meals can taste a little dry, especially if they've been in the fridge for a day or two. I drizzle 4ml of avocado (or olive) oil onto my meals right before I chow down. Grass fed butter is a great option too. Helps bring out some newfound flavor!
RECIPE 2: Chicken & Brown Rice Pasta w/ Bell Peppers & Broccoli
Same protocol on the chicken and avocado oil.
I always encourage people to buy fresh fruit and veggies, but sometimes produce goes bad before we ever get the chance to use it. No shame in opting for frozen foods or freezing vegetables that are on the verge of going bad. The peppers and broccoli I used here were both prepackaged frozen. A few minutes in the microwave or on a stove top are all they needed.
Rice is great, but pasta is better. And I love Trader Joe's rice pasta! This one was a mix of brown rice and quinoa - an excellent blend on carbs and protein. I've also seen a black bean and red lentil pasta in their stores.
I've outlined the macros and measurements above for both meals, but feel free to increase your portions if you're looking for more substance! And don't be afraid to personalize the flavor factor with your favorite seasonings on both the poultry and veggies.
Meal prep is a powerful (and in my opinion, essential) tool to add to your arsenal as you advance in your health and fitness goals. If anything, it’s also a great way to save money and remove the stress of finding a place to eat for every meal break. So take your physical, financial and mental health to the next level! Meal prep!!
Mad bro love,