“A goal without a plan is just a wish”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The thing with food is, we really need it. We need it every day and multiple times throughout the day. We could argue the specific breakdown at certain meals, but for now let’s focus on some basic tenets. We need protein, fats, and carbs (starches and veggies) at every meal.
At this point in the game you should have a good idea of how many meals a day you eat. For example, you may eat breakfast, two small lunches, dinner, and a snack. And we know at each meal you’re getting a healthy dose of protein, veggies, carbs, and a smaller amount of fat.
One of the biggest mistakes we make is we don’t think ahead. We get home after a long practice, workout, or run tired and famished. With no food in the fridge we throw whatever we can down our mouth holes. Chips? Yep. Popcorn? Yep again. Ice Cream? OH YEAH!!
When we wait until it’s too late the food we crave is often the food we need in moderation. Very little nutritional content beyond carbohydrates and not necessarily the healthy fats we need.
“Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
So let’s start there. What do you want to eat for the week? From there you can start to look ahead and make a plan. Pick two nights to prep food, Sunday and Wednesday are pretty stellar.
Sunday should be your big shopping day. Buy all your meats, fats, and fruits/veggies to get you to Wednesday. That way on Wednesday all you need to stop for is fresh fruit and vegetables, because let’s face it, sometimes vegetables are hard enough to eat when they’re fresh so don’t let them sit out for days or a week before consumption.
Cook up your protein, the leaner the better. Chicken, Fish, Steak, whatever your heart fancies. Make sure you’re using some healthy oils to cook for fat content or grab a handful of almonds to even things out. You should already have your fruits and veggies so cut them up and portion them out for a few meals.
Don’t fancy yourself a chef? Us either. Take advantage of a crockpot to cook some of those meats and veggies for you. Use a rice cooker to cook wild rice, quinoa, and other grains. It doesn’t have to always be fresh.
Grab and Go
If you’re someone who is often on the go, make sure to have some snack options on the ready. You should already have nuts and fruit on hand, so find a great preservable protein source. Ostrim, Tanka, Kratos, Epic, Exo, and Omnibar all make some great tasting meat sticks. If you’re in a pinch grab a piece of fruit, handful of nuts, a meat bar and call it a day.
If you take away anything…
Prepare as much as you can ahead of time. Cook enough meat and veggies for 3-4 meals, portion them out in smaller containers and grab them for each meal. If you’re in a rush, have some healthy alternatives in the cupboards.
The best thing about being human is that we’re imperfect. Eat like above 80-90% of the time and don’t sweat when you indulge.