I was craving a bacon burger Sunday morning, and I wasn’t going to say no. Not on a Sunday. I got a beer too. The drafts were half off, ok? #SundayFunday. You can see I subbed fries for kale salad though, because balance.
Plus, I know that if I meal prep, keep up my training, then I could easily enjoy my burger without guilt. Meal prep saves me from making lousy food choices during the week.
But I know it can be a bit of drag. So I like to entertain myself with bad puns (can you find it in this post?) and some liquid moxie, hence the beer. I want you to be part of the party.
Meal prep saves me time, money and keeps me feeling (and looking) strong.
I don’t want to go out and spend $14 dollars on organic salads every day. I don’t want to retreat to crappy food to go. It saves me from draining my willpower to make better decisions during busy days.
I got good feedback on my last meal prep Instagram story, so yesterday I decided to get ultra techy and upload my story to YouTube. #Winning
Hopefully it inspires you to make better choices. (My IG is @liftlivelead).
[Note: This is not a nutrition guideline. You may have different needs, goals and preferences. All good. Some recipes might suit you or give you a template to work in your own flavors. There are some basic concepts that work well for everyone, like avoiding added sugar, eating lean proteins and vegetables.]
Watch how my day & meal prep unfolded in my 3 minute video, and if you’re hungry for more tips and ideas, read on!
While I tend to wing it every Sunday, I do use a template. I fill in the blanks. My categories, and sub-notes to myself, are:
- Breakfast. (Girl, don’t skimp on the eggs and avocado.)
- Snacks for long days. (Protein and fats for satiety, and cut back on emergency trips to Potbelly’s.)
- Pre/post training fuel. (Remember your slow carbs, or you’ll fall asleep.)
- Find two or three recipes for lunches. (Slow carbs, protein, cooked in healthy fats)
- Do. Not. Forget. Greek Yogurt. (Aren’t you tired of waking up at 3 AM?)
I follow a few guidelines when I go shopping/meal prep (also in my How to Enjoy Happy Hour Guilt-Free post):
- Will this keep me full!? Nobody, including myself, wants to deal with hangry-ness.
- No meal gets the green light without…greens.
- Eat lean meat and become a lean, mean machine.
- Do I know the ingredients on the label? Are there more than there should be?
- Use baggies to exercise self-control.
- No (added) sugar. No processed foods. No BS.
- EGGS. Scramble eggs in olive oil (if making the night before, leave it a little undercooked so it finishes in the microwave). Be generous with my avocado.
- Alternative: Smoothies with chia seeds, spinach, avocado, coconut oil, PB, etc.
- Fill up S’well bottle with water for the commute, sometimes with honey-lemon-tumeric-black pepper-cayenne
- Coffee with cinnamon
- A banana
- Sweet potato with 1 TBSP peanut butter and 1 tsp chia seeds. Seriously, it’s utterly satisfying. I don’t get those of you who gave me “gross” reactions.
- Sometimes I do the sweet potato – PB concoction – chia seeds after the workout if I’m not hungry beforehand.
- Meal with protein, veggies and slow carbs (see below)
- Black bean protein brownies. I follow this recipe as a baseline. Double the recipe. Add 3-4 TBSPs of nut butter. Reduce the amount of honey/agave nectar to a few TBSP’s instead. Enjoy Life is the chocolate chip brand I use.
- Strawberries and blueberries
Snacks for when hunger strikes
- Pepperoni slices
- EPIC bars (Not only are they bursting with taste, they have a good mission.)
- Cashews. I go nuts for them. (Tee-hee…)
- Laughing cow cheese
- Asparagus wrapped in bacon (also can be used as a lunch side)
- Black bean brownies (if any are left…)
Lunch (usually after working out)
- Easy Cashew Chicken with Braggs amino acids (soy-free) and green peppers. I sautéed the chicken and bell peppers in olive oil, then added the sauce and cashews. I added a little cornstarch and ground ginger/salt/pepper to thicken it up and add flavor.
- Roasted broccoli and any other vegetables on sale
- Grass-fed beef (93% lean) in quinoa chili
- Chicken crust pizza. I used this crust recipe with mozzarella and BBQ as the toppings.
- Chicken taco casserole. I brought seasoned chicken (on sale!), put it in a pan, topped it with refried beans and a little cheese
Sometimes I don’t prep as much for dinner time, but it usually looks like this:
- Run into Chipotle and get a bowl with chicken, beans, rice, fajita vegetables. No rice.
- Create a meal (stir fry, baked, etc) with any lean meat and vegetables that I pick up at the store. Depending on workout intensity that day, I’ll add sweet potatoes because chances are my body will be howling.
- BBQ meat platter with baked beans from Q-BBQ. I tried this last week after high volume olympic lifting and I felt like a new woman.
- Probably the chicken crust pizza!
After dinner dessert/before bed
I have gotten up at 3 AM many times with one thing on my mind: Food. Because I don’t fuel enough to meet my needs.
I’ve known this for a while, and bad decisions have been made in the form of buttered toast.
Silky Kerry Gold Irish butter is really hard to resist at 3 AM.
I did a bad job preventing it until recently, my friend urged me to try greek yogurt before bed. My sleepy saunters into the kitchen have dramatically decreased. Even if you think you don’t need it, remember casein protein from cow’s milk is slow acting and benefits your muscle repair during the night and keeps you satisfied. Maybe give it a shot?
- I eat plain greek yogurt by Fage. Watch the sugar content when you buy yogurt. Some topping options include chia seeds, shredded unsweetened coconut, dark chocolate, or berries.
If you want to be that person who can enjoy a burger on the weekend, this trade-off seems pretty legit.