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Healthy eating: Meal Prep

Meal Prep……that’s just chicken and rice, right?

Over the years, whenever anyone mentions ‘meal prep’ in the gym, the first vision that comes to mind is chicken and rice. This is because back in the day this was the go-to, easy meal for the lean muscle machines you see in the free weights area of the local muscle gym.

Nutrition has always been an important part of any fitness regime or healthy lifestyle. Whilst this used to be an area mainly focused on by body builders and athletes, it is now on the radar of most gym goers who have a keen interest in bettering their lifestyle and fitness goals.

So what is meal prep? A simple question, with many opinions.

For me, as someone who has spent the last few weeks eating out, over-indulging, and eating too much food that quite frankly has no nutritional value to my body whatsoever, meal prep is a better way for me to improve my current nutritional intake.

It is a way of eating better this week than I did last week, making small changes that I can keep improving on week after week.

I have a busy lifestyle, four dogs, and train regularly in the gym. My diet took a turn for the worse as I got lazy, and found it quicker and easier to order in way too often, to a point where I was looking back a few weeks and couldn’t really remember the last piece of fruit or veg I ate!

On Sunday, I had a couple of hours spare, so popped to the supermarket and filled my basket with colourful foods I liked, as well as some meat and different flavour packets/sauces etc.

I then got home and started chopping, grilling, frying, boiling and crying (onions!).

Did I have any idea what was going with what flavour wise……nope, no idea at all!!

Once all was cooked, I got my little pots (which I had also bought from the supermarket) and started throwing different things in and voila!....

* Some sort of Chow Mein with pork, noodles, mushrooms, peppers etc

* Fajita flavoured chicken and pasta, again with a load of random veg

* Garlic and herb chicken with carrots and broccoli

* Ingredients left over for spag bol which I will do mid-week.

All carefully calculated and measured out so I know my macronutrient values, and calorific intake from each meal…..NOT!!

Why not? My goal this week, is to eat better than I did last week. For me, this achieves that goal.

Next week, I will build on this again, and may be more calculating, or try getting in more protein in; or look on the internet for a new recipe… who knows?

So what’s my point? My point, for those wanting to better their nutrition, and have a go at ‘meal prep’ is do exactly that, have a go!

Throw a load of stuff together you like that is better than you ate last week, and get into a good routine of eating it.

Learn as you go, make each week better than the last. You will learn a bit more each week, and can keep going to precision nutrition eventually if that is your goal.  

Rome wasn’t built in a day……and I’m sure they dropped a few bricks on the way so don’t worry about getting it right and just have a go!

Sam Myers, Cottingham Parks Health Club Manager

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