This blog post is all about nutrition and meal prep! This is where we see people excel or fail at any program. (Weight Loss or Muscle Gain)
We all reasonably know how to exercise and eat better, but what happens?
We get into our day to day without a plan.
I have heard all the countless limiting beliefs: time, don’t like to cook, not sure what to cook, time, I have to go to the grocery store, time…you see where I am going.
I will help you with what to focus on first, then show you exactly what we do in our household that you can try too!
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 but we almost always come back to nutrition habits needing modification.
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, so I wanted 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.
- 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. In addition to eating protein we 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 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 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 optimally.
This creates your foundation; now let me 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, and I am hoping you will give this a try.
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 to cook so that we have variety through our week.
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 but I portion it out to 350-400 calories per container of food and between 20-30g of protein. 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 off the grill plates 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.
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 carbohydrate source you choose, just remember portion control.
Next up is the Cheddar Bacon Burgers! These are already prepared at Fresh Market, but I will tell you another awesome recipe is Sirloin, chopped basil and Worcestershire sauce!