(Meal) Preparation is Key
The best offense is a good defense.
That saying applies to so many aspects of life outside of sports. Namely, a healthy diet.
With everyone all gung-ho to start the year off right, setting yourself up for eating success is so important. So, let’s talk meal preparation.
If you’re starving, and you look in your fridge and all you see is uncooked vegetables, raw meat, and leftover takeout, guess what’s going down the hatch?
I don’t care if you stocked your fridge with the healthiest foods you could find, if they’re not ready-to-go when hunger strikes, you’re not going to eat them.
This is precisely why I’m trying to get better about doing meal prep every Sunday.
I’m already good about purchasing healthy food and keeping crap out of the house. But even “healthy food” can turn into “junk food” if you eat too much of it, and don’t maintain a balanced diet, full of antioxidant-rich veggies.
If I’m not prepared, I usually end up eating breakfast for every meal of the day and noshing on peanut butter-covered bananas non-stop.
Both “healthy,” but not in excess.
This Sunday though, as part of my “New Year’s Revelations”, I changed that.
The second I got home from the grocery store, I got to work preparing my food so I could have healthy meals on hand — all week long — without a lot of work.
This is how I do my thang. If you’d like to try it out, feel free to adjust the spices and such to your taste.
Whit’s Weekly Meal Prep:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350.
2. Coat pan in cooking spray and douse chicken in balsamic vinegar, garlic, and Italian seasoning.
3. Bake for about 30 minutes.
What to use chicken with?
1. Coat a skillet with about a T. olive oil. Dump ground turkey in the pan.
2. Mash it up.
3. Add desired spices. I used a honey chipotle seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic.
4. Keep stirring and mashing till the turkey is crumbled and slightly golden.
What to use the turkey with?
1. Preheat oven to 400. Cut squash in half and remove seeds and strings.
2. Place squash face up in a baking pan and add about an inch of water.
3. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes.
4. Scrap out the “spaghetti.”
What to use spaghetti squash for….do you have to ask?!
1. Make this while you make the spaghetti squash since they both require a 400 degree oven and about 45 minutes of baking time.
2. Pop squash in the microwave for 30 seconds to loosen up if you don’t have a great peeler/knife. Peel the squash.
4. Cut it in half and remove seeds and strings.
5. Cut it into 1 inch cubes.
6. Place on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. I used coconut oil.
7. Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, flipping half way through.
8. Clean up the mess you made if you went all Charles Manson on that gourd.
What to use butternut squash for?
Bananas & Avocados:
1. Place bananas & avocados in a bowl on the counter. When avos get ripe, throw them in the fridge for use in salads, wraps, and sandwiches. When bananas get ripe (I like them a little bit brown), peel them and put them in the freezer.
Could this prep be any easier?!
What to use frozen bananas for?
This whole process took me about 30 minutes of actual work and about an hour and a half of waiting on the oven. So not bad.
Now, when I’m tired after a long day or racing to get somewhere, I won’t make unhealthy choices simply because I’m too lazy or too busy to prepare a nutritious meal.
This will be especially important this week, as I start school today!
I’ve got my schedule printed out, my Trapper Keeper in my backpack, and my lunchbox on lock. Wish me luck.