Meal prep like a pro

Friday, August 21, 2015

What does the meal prep mean to you? Does it bring up images of some hardcore fitness person on their competition diet? Someone with OCD measuring out everything?

Well it doesn't necessarily have to be quite that extreme! ;) As I'm preparing for a six week PT plan I decided to give meal prep a go and spend a few hours of my day cooking and dividing my food into containers. It took me about two hours from start to finish, with a good 40 minutes of just chilling and doing anything else inbetween (cooking and cooling time).

I found the prep to be a little bit fiddly. The actual cooking was as simple as you'd expect but when it came to dividing everything and making sure everything is the correct amount, I nearly lost my marbles a few times. One grain of rice made all the difference a few times haha! The one thing that amazed me was how much rice actually expands when it's cooked! 60g of dry brown rice ended up being 155g when I was splitting it all up!

This PT plan is something I've been waiting for what feels like ages now. I ordered it a week before our London trip, planning on starting it the day we came back. But of course things don't go to plan and my tendonitis flared up again, so I've just been chilling and trying not to put too much stress on my poor ankles again. Thankfully it didn't get too bad and I feel like I'm ready to go back to exercising. So plan starts tomorrow, woohoo! I'm not going to go too much into it in the blog really, as it's something I've paid for and don't want to be giving it away for free. :) Obviously I'm sharing bits and pieces and how I'm feeling throughout the six weeks, sharing progress and food pics along the way. I'm really excited about this, I've kinda been drifting for absolutely forever again. I try to stick to healthy meals the best I can but sometimes when I'm in a rush at work I just grab a sandwich from Tesco and carry on working. This will definitely fix that issue!

I'm actually super happy with how it all looks! So colourful and delicious. The chicken I used is from Muscle Food, and oh my goodness how juicy it is! The entire pan was covered in the juices from the meat, mixed in with chilli powder and paprika. I was a bit naughty and drizzled it all over the rice but technically still sticking to the plan, as it's what was in the meat to begin with haha!

Why should you meal prep?

Even now you might be thinking that it's absolutely mad to go through all this effort. But there's several benefits to prepping your meals (even if it's just one of your daily meals):

1. Keeps track of your calorie consumption. When you know exactly what's in your food, you know exactly how much energy and nutrients you're consuming.

2. It saves loads of money! I've been spending roughly three pounds a day on my lunches at work, which does add up if you do it every single day! It'd mean that I'm spending 15-18 pounds extra on top of my weekly shop, eek!

3. It also saves time. If you're willing to spend a bit of extra time cooking food for the entire week, you can just take it easy later in the week and pop your food in the microwave / oven to heat up. Coming home from the gym / after a long day at work it couldn't be more convenient!

4. If you're losing weight or aiming towards a specific fitness goal (competitions, race etc), it'll really benefit you to do this. Just like with number 1, you know what you're putting in your body. You need to right kind of fuel to keep your body going and keeping you healthy. A bit of organising can mean the difference between reaching your goals and getting stuck.

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