Stop #8 Meal Planning and Prep...a Crucial Step
Each Thursday and Sunday, your ALLTRAIN training app suggests that you “Live Recreationally, Restore, and Meal Prep!” Why? Because at ALLTRAIN, we believe that these measures are essential elements in helping you become leaner, healthier, and higher-performing.
“Living Recreationally” (e.g., tossing a baseball with your kids, hiking park trails, strolling your neighborhood, gardening, etc.) and “Restoration” (e.g., getting a good night’s sleep, 10-minutes of meditation, a nap, massage, etc.) are important and will likely be the focus of future Whistle Stops. But today, let’s drill down deeper on “Meal Planning and Preparation.” Spending an hour or so a couple times per week to shop for (or grab from a garden) and prepare nutrient rich foods has proven to help so many of our clients stay on track for the entire week of healthy eating.
TIP: Our most innovative “meal preppers” tell us they prepare extra lean proteins, vegetables, and complex carbs, and then use glass or plastic storage containers to create quick grab-and-go lunches for the whole family for the days ahead.
Below are some of ALLTRAIN’s favorite picks (and some preparation tips). Of course, these foods are just examples: you can swap out proteins (particularly if you are pescatarian or a vegetarian), vegetables, complex carbs, fruits, and fats, all based on your family’s size, calorie needs, food preferences, and dietary restrictions as well as more seasonal, budget friendly alternatives (we never tire of disproving the myth that eating healthy costs more).
Shop for and prepare:
Chicken Breasts, 5 lb. economy bag – grill 4-5 pieces in advance
Eggs, 18 pack– hard boil (and dye year round, it’s fun)
Edamame, large bag of frozen and shelled - boil 1-2 cups in advance
Carrots, 3 lb. bag of whole carrots – cut into snack-size pieces
Celery, whole stock – cut into snack-size pieces
Raisins, Peanuts, Coconut shavings, Pistachio - mix together for large container of trail mix
Quinoa, economy size bag – cook 1-2 cups in advance
Rice (brown, basmati, jasmine, etc), economy size bag - cook 1-2 cups of each in advance
Avocado – be sure to buy them in season and in bulk, but beware they have a bit of a shorter shelf life
In addition to the above items, consider shopping for and/or having the following nutrient rich, more cost effective (again we’re always considering budgets), and longer shelf life foods on hand:
Frozen Cod and Salmon Filets
Flank Steak (freeze a couple if you find them at a great price)
Canned Tuna (great option when you find your fridge and freezer are empty)
Greek Yogurt, plain and low fat
Tofu, (a block or two preserve well in the fridge)
Spinach or Mixed Leaf Greens, bulk
Butternut or Spaghetti Squash
Frozen Vegetable Medley
Apples, 3lb bag
Oranges, 3lb bag
Frozen Berry Medley
Lemons & Limes
Potatoes, 5lb bag
Sweet Potatoes, 5lb bag (light and dark flesh varieties)
Oats, 2lb plus bag
Chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), 1 lb. bag
Black beans, 1 lb. bag
Whole Wheat Flour (make your own bread and save, save, save!!!)
Nuts, such as Macadamia, Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts
Herbs, Spices, Dressings
Vinegar, balsamic and red wine
Mustard, brown and yellow
Seasonings, such as black pepper, cajun, and rubs for chicken, steak and seafood
Salts, such as Himalayan, sea, garlic and table
Low Fat Milk
Plain Low Fat Yogurt
Like this List? Download and Print it!
Click the link below for a downloadable version that you can print, put on your refrigerator, or take with you to the market.