In our journey to have more energy, feel better, maintain a reasonable weight and live a healthy life, we tend to get a few things going really well. Then we almost always come back to nutrition habits needing work.
If you started with nutrition first, way to go, you are ahead of most!
Nutrition is something we talk about more frequently than anything else in our coaching and accountability at Transformation Fitness and Wellness. This prompted me today to share with you 5 things to focus on most and then how we meal prep in the Lindauer house! (You might be able to smell it through your screen, just don’t lick the screen!)
First I want to explain 5 Categories that are essential for your health:
- Energy Intake – without adequate caloric intake, your body can’t function at peak efficiency. A caloric deficit is an essential requirement for fat loss, but extreme and prolonged starvation diets decrease your metabolic rate. Caloric deprivation also makes it difficult to obtain all the other essentials. Remember Food is Fuel. (Say that out loud!)
- Essential Amino Acids – Protein is arguably the most important macronutrient when you are focusing on fat loss. Protein helps you hold on to lean tissue while you are in a caloric deficit and it even helps suppress your appetite. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and cannot be made by your body, so you have to get them from food or supplements. Personally we consume protein from our food and shakes, and then we also take a supplement called Catalyst to help with our amino acid daily consumption.
- Essential Fatty Acids – are good for cardiovascular health and numerous body functions, including burning fat. Again these cannot be synthesized in your body and must be obtained through food. Salmon and avocados are great sources and so is a supplement called OmegaPlex.
- Essential Vitamins and Minerals – these are necessary for proper body functions and your body cannot make them in adequate quantities. Fruits and veggies are the richest sources of these micronutrients but sometimes you need to supplement with a good multivitamin. We use Coreplex and during pregnancy I have been using Coreplex with Iron.
- Water – without water you would die in days. Even mild dehydration decreases physical performance. Adequate water intake is also necessary to burn fat. We recommend consuming ½ your body weight in ounces of water and more if you are in heat or have exercised.
This creates your foundation.
Next I want to show you how we set up our food for the week. This may be something that can work for you or you may be able to take a few components and add it into your week. We are all different on what will work best, so find a good routine that fits you and your family’s needs.
We go to the grocery store once per week either Saturday or Sunday. Then on Sunday (sometimes Monday) we prep all our food for our lunches and dinners for the week.
I look for 3 different entrees recipes to cook so that we have variety through our week and so that I don’t get sick of chicken by Friday!
In this example I made:
Seasoned Grilled Chicken, Asparagus and Butternut Squash Risotto
Cheddar Bacon Burgers, Brussel Sprouts and Butternut Squash Risotto
Shredded Chicken in the Crockpot for Tacos
This is not the most gourmet, lean and green meal plan, but I portion it out to 350-400 calories and between 20-30g of protein per container.
Also I cooked and prepared all this is 1.5 hours! (Except the chicken in the crockpot was 3 hours)
I started first with seasoning two whole boneless skinless chicken breasts. I really like Fresh Markets products and used their poultry seasoning.
Then we have a Cuisinart Panini Press, that I have never actually made a Panini on but it can cook a chicken breast in 7-12 minutes (depending on how thick it is). Also you can take the grill plates off and wash them in the dishwasher!
I next set the cooked Chicken Breast on a cutting board to cool and cut each breast in half. (4oz per meal)
For our veggies I definitely take the easy route and purchase either steamer bags, frozen or Fresh Market has seasoned microwavable trays. They have a variety of options.
Then, my favorite, the butternut squash risotto, alone this is a higher calorie option but spread out over 12 meals it’s a nice sweet treat! This can be any carb you choose, just remember portion.
Next up is the Cheddar Bacon Burgers! These are already prepared at Fresh Market, but I will tell you another awesome recipe is mix Sirloin, chopped basil and Worcestershire sauce, YUM!
Using the Panini Press again I grill these burgers. What I like best about this grill is it is very similar to the George Foreman grills and a lot of the fat drains off the burger.
Then I distribute all the veggies, risotto and meats and that part of the meal prep is done!
Next I set the crockpot to 3 hours on high, place my Frontera sauce, honestly any sauce you like will do. I pour a little sauce on the bottom, place my boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot and pour the rest of the sauce on top. Place the lid and let it cook for 3 hours on high.
Then I shred the chicken with two forks and dump the shredded chicken and some sauce in a storage container.
We use the shredded chicken to make tacos or taco salads. I will have corn tortillas or lettuce, shredded cheese, avocados and salsa.
With this variety it helps keep from getting bored with your prepared meals.
We also plan to eat out once during the week to break things up a bit.
Let me know if you have any questions on how we prep our food and again I hope you can adopt some strategies into your routine. I know personally we have not only saved money by prepping but we control our eating habits as well.
Everyone will have their own personal take on meal prep but I hope you can see how easy it can be and there is nothing better than having that fridge stocked and ready throughout our busy week!