Top Tips -Food Prep
Make a list. Split your food groups into 3 categories. Protein, carbs and fats. Combine these food groups with one or two potions of vegetables and construct your meals around this.
Protein – Chicken, Prawns, Steak, Tuna, Tofu
Carbs – Sweet Potato, Rice, Butternut squash, Root veg
Fats – Avocado, Nuts, Olives, Nut butters
Vegetables – Spinach, Broccoli, Aubergine, Kale
From here you can now start to put some simple meal ideas together using your food groups. What you eat in the morning dictates your hormonal response for the rest of your day, a high protein breakfast with vegetables is a great start. For example – scrambled eggs with spinach, mushrooms and avocado. The aim is to then make sure your other meals have a balance of all three categories + veg. Eating enough protein can be a struggle for some, as general rule of thumb try to include a lean protein source with every meal. This will help you maintain and build lean muscle tissue. A protein shake post work out is helpful and a easy way to top up your protein intake.
TOP TIP ALERT!
*Make a list when you go shopping! In a world of convenience foods it’s all too easy to run into a supermarket and do a ‘smash and grab’. Making a list saves money and any risk of temptation.
* Tupperware is your best pal! Invest in some! Tupperware makes life a lot easier when taking food to work etc. It’s all about being organised, once you realise that this is a lifestyle change, things will come easier to you. Remember that old saying – “ Fail to prepare = Prepare to fail?”
*How many meals you have per day is entirely up to you, this has to work around your lifestyle. If you struggle to have breakfast don’t force feed yourself, just make sure by the time you are hungry have your first meal of the day ready.
*Herbs and Spices! Get to know em! They’ll keep your grub interesting and prevent boredom. Healthy shouldn’t be boring, its all about educating ourselves!
*For simplicity make all meal sizes similar in the size Tupperware. Remember calories do count. Simple math plays a part here. You need to be burning more calories than you are taking on. So a relationship is needed between exercise and food. This still counts when eating “clean”, a balance between carbs, fats and protein is needed and you will need to plan your meals around these three aspects.
*Getting the balance right will take time.Because we are not robots – each person is entirely different, your nutrition is personal to you. Especially in terms of how carbohydrate tolerant you are. There are many formulas for RMR (resting metabolic rate) or BMR (basal metabolic rate) online. This is a great place to start when looking to be in a slight calorie deficit if you do not have access to a high quality fitness professional. Assess each week and make adjustments based on rate of progress.
*Utilize your time by bulk cooking. Sunday evenings are our ‘prep time’ for the week. We prep most our food then, we also cook as a family, Alfie really enjoys this, sometimes we ‘theme’ our days or weeks to keep things interesting for all of us e.g –
‘Italian week’ or ‘Indian week’ . This is a great way of discovering new foods and altering traditional recipes to make things healthier. We cook lots in bulk to save time and money, things such as curry, chilli, casseroles, , tagines etc , these things are ideal for freezing too (Lots of our recipes are available for free on our Instagram) By preparing in this way you’ll save time, money and any temptation throughout the week- winner! Slow cookers are a god send in terms of food prep, we got one for £20 and use it every week. Here’s one of our fave ‘Slow Cooker’ recipes to get you started! (You can easily adapt this recipe to make it veggie/vegan too, using tofu or lentils and vegetable stock)
One pot lean mean chilli
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 450g minced beef
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- ½-1tsp hot chilli powder
- ½1 tsp ground cumin
- 3tbsp tomato purée
- 150 ml (¼ pint) hot beef stock
- 400 g tin chopped tomatoes with garlic
- 400 g tin red kidney beans, drained and rinse
Place all ingredients in slow cooker mix well and cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours. Enjoy your one pot chili with a homemade guacamole and a small portion of brown rice.