I might as well talk about one of my favorites, Meal Prep.
Let me tell you what meal prep isn’t for me. I’m not that guy hoarding a metric ton of food in the basement. I’m also not the huge, superhero sized guy with a bunch of supplements who eats only chicken breasts and broccoli (though, nothing is wrong with that basic easy to prepare meal).
There aren’t a lot of healthy fast food options near my school. Matter of fact that term is an oxymoron, healthy fast food . I can’t eat school lunch. Therefore, I always bring my lunch. Early along in the school year I realized that I wasn’t fixing a lunch a few times a week. I was so busy at night that I would forget to make lunch. Couple that with a missed breakfast a couple of days and I was in bad shape. I’d raid my co-workers snack stashes, hit the kids up for junk food and the such.
Most of you know that I endear cooking on my Big Green Egg. One weekend, while enjoying cooking, I got this crazy idea. Why don’t I cook myself something to eat on Sunday for the week? That started my journey into meal prep. Here’s how my journey started and has grown.
- I started out meal prepping my own lunch and a few snacks. Whatever I had in the fridge/freeze would do.
- My wife wanted lunch, too. I started planning out the meals. She doesn’t like eating the same thing so I had to be very intentional.
- I started looking for sales and coupons to drive my meal prep. If it was on sale, it was going on the grill.
- This is the time that I started the transition from plastic ware to glassware.
- By preparing for the next day the night before, I find that I’m looking forward to work and getting out the door in the morning was much easier.
- I started weighing and measuring my food, but not serious. I still was overeating, just over eating good foods.
- Soon I started preparing breakfast as well. Now my favorite is an omelet bowl. Wife and kids still eat cereal for breakfast.
- I FEEL amazing. I’m not sluggish at work and I have energy to hit the gym after work. Something certainly is happening!
- Started incorporating slow cooker. It started making less and less sense to NOT prepare dinner this way.
- I notice that I’m getting pretty good at this whole thing. It’s not work as much as it’s a total release to be creative and express myself outside of the classroom. Besides, I LOVE when my co-workers comment on my lunch.
- My time spent in the kitchen during the week is cut by 1/2. More time for family and other stuff.
- It becames obvious to me that I am not eating enough. I started making bigger breakfasts, and more calorie dense snacks. I don’t weigh myself. I’m not sure how much I weigh, but my clothes do fit a little better.
- Last week I started counting macros, Fats, Carbs and Proteins. I also have started shooting for a daily calorie intake based upon the macros I want to consume. This is a step up from just counting calories. This is certainly more labor intensive, but I like it. I did some fancy math to figure out my resting calorie usage and broke down my usage into Carbs, Fats, and Protein. In order for me to get down to sub 200 lbs AND remain strong I need to take in these amounts per day, Protein 277, Fats 64 and Carbs 84. That looks like a lot, but it really is reasonable. Currently I’m taking in P 200 Fats 125 and Carbs 190.
- One meal prep rule I’ve violated from the start is that I’ve never had the same meal all week. Starting next year I’m going to keep the meals super simple. I don’t mind mixing it up, but it should make it easier for me to count and weigh if I keep the meals the same. We’ll see this works out.
So that’s how I got on the Meal Prep train. If nothing else it’s very helpful in keeping me from having to eat bad food. I will also say it’s done a great job keeping me from eating out. I don’t have the desire or get the pleasure from eating out like I used to. If I do it’s 100% because I’m giving myself a break. I’m going into 2015 ready for some great things.
What about you? How did you get started meal prepping? Do you meal prep?