Today’s Meal Prep 1010 blog post is written by Mary Kate who helps me stay on top of shit! She is currently training for her first Bikini contest and is a vegan. I don’t know how she does it. Enjoy.

You’ve decided to get on track and start next week off on the right foot. You’ve got your goals all planned out and you’re ready to rock. There’s just one important thing missing – meal prep! One of the most important ways you can stay on track is to make sure that your meals are prepped and ready to go for the week. By prepping everything ahead of time you throw out all excuses for unhealthy food choices because all the good, healthy stuff is right there waiting after a long day of work, a kick ass gym session, errands, etc.

For some people, meal prepping is just a habitual part of their week and it is practically second nature. However, it can be a bit overwhelming as to where to start or what to make for meal prep at first. The video above has some great easy to follow meal prep tips to start and get motivated.

meal prep dinner

If you’re a beginner to meal prepping, start simple. You don’t want to overwhelm yourself right off the bat and become discouraged. You don’t have to make elaborate meals (unless you want to!) or include a million ingredients. Start small with dinner or lunch for just 3 days. Here are my favorite simple foods to meal prep:

1. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet-Potato-Chips.JPG

I like having sweet potatoes cooked and on-hand at all times. They’re extremely versatile and a great source of complex carbs that you can add to salads, a stir fry, or just eat them with some all spice, salt and pepper! Poke the potatoes with a fork and bake on 420F for about 45-60 minutes (depending on how soft you like them). You can also chop them up into fries, long or home fry style and roast. Here is my go to recipe.

2. Roasted Grilled Veggies

Grilled-Veggies.JPG

We all know veggies are good for us but it can be a serious pain in the butt to chop, cook, season, and then wash the pans each time you want some yummy veggies to add to a meal. This is why I love making multiple servings of veggies and storing them for whenever I need them. Chop up some asparagus, cauliflower, zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers – whatever you want! I like to keep it simple with just some olive oil non-stick spray, Himalayan pink salt, and pepper but feel free to get creative! Break out spices such as turmeric, rosemary, cumin, or cayenne to jazz it up a bit! Veggies will start to get a bit soggy if you keep them in the refrigerator for too long after cooking but at least you’ll have some on-hand veggies for a few days before you have to cook more!

3. Brown rice/quinoa

Another simple and versatile staple that is always a good idea to have on hand. There are so many amazing meals you can make with a quinoa or brown rice base. Both keep very well in the refrigerator so you can make enough for the work week without worrying about it going bad. For some extra flavor cook with vegetable broth or some seasonings of your choice.

4. Muffins/Breakfast Cookies/Homemade Protein Bars

Fig Granola Bars

If you know you’re going to be running out the door most mornings, this is a great option to make ahead of time. Depending on the ingredients, some recipes may need to be kept in the refrigerator but most of the time they’re shelf stable for at least a few days. SarahFit has loads of recipe ideas for healthy grab-n-go breakfasts.

5. Overnight oats

If you’re a fan of oats in the morning but have trouble tolerating warm oats in the summer heat or you don’t have time to make it every morning, definitely give overnight oats a whirl. Not only are overnight oats incredibly easy to make but they’re portable as well. Mix together ½ cup oats, ¾ cup almond milk, ½ tbsp chia seeds, protein powder (if you’d like), any spices you want and leave in the refrigerator overnight and they’re ready to eat in the morning!

Meal Prep Containers

Now that you have some ideas for what the heck you should meal prep, you may be wondering, “OK, how do I store all of this now?” I recommend investing in some mason jars and some good Tupperware. Some people prefer glass containers in which case mason jars are a great option. Since I commute and need to carry food for the whole day, I usually take BPA-free plastic Tupperware to make it more lightweight.  I personally like getting a set of Tupperware of the same brand to make stacking easier in the fridge. If you want to get really ambitious, make a huge batch of everything you’re meal prepping and store in the freezer-safe containers for those weeks when you don’t even have time to meal prep.

While meal prepping can be a lengthy process (it usually takes me about 1-2 hours depending on the cooking time), it is so worth it. Make it a fun process! Enlist a friend, play some awesome music, try out a new recipe, make different flavor combos – whatever gets you motivated! Your week will become so much less stressful and it will give you more time to focus on your awesome workouts!

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And so it begins, the final stretch of summer packed with travel. On Friday, Roomie and I headed up to Portland, ME to visit his family. Portland is a pretty “hot” city right now that is changing every day. From the plethora of small batch breweries to the amazing foodie scene, its appeal has dramatically increased and it shows on the streets.

On Friday, I ran 7.5 miles as part of my New Balance Falmouth Road Race training program. I opt to do my long runs on Friday in the summer so I can spend more time with the boy on Saturday. It wasn’t too hot for once but with all the water stops along the Charles River, it wasn’t bad.

NewBalance Blue Outfit

I am obsessed with these NB shorts. They have a wide waist band and no chaffing thanks to the 3″ inseam.  They have a 5″ inseam running short similar that I equally love with a 4″ pair of boy shorts underneath.

Afterwards, we drove the 2 hour trip up to Portland, Maine. We arrived just in time for a little rain storm that made for a beautiful picture.

portland sky line

Saturday morning I woke up, had two slices of Cinnamon Raisin Ezekial bread with peanut butter and went for a recovery walk/run around Peaks Island. I was bummed to see that there was actually a 5 mile road race taking place at 10:30am on the island! I would have totally signed up (and not run on Friday so hard) had I known in advance.

We spent the rest of the day in Portland eating and drinking. Lunch first was at Boone’s where I had a delicious lobster salad on a bed of greens followed by some fun shopping. If you love anchors, you need to visit Portland. They have everything you could think of with an anchor on it.

nautical clock

Most importantly, I never leave Portland without buying myself some blueberry jam and mustard from Stonewall Kitchen. You can buy it at most grocery stores in Boston but I just like to buy it in the actual store because they have tons of samples that I love to try and feel guilty leaving empty-handed.

We stopped by a couple of breweries along the way after we were shopped out. The brewery scene is relatively new to Portland. The beer is cheaper than it is in the bars and you get to try smaller glasses giving you the chance to sample multiple brews while supporting small local companies.

portland brewery

portland brewery 2

A bunch of the breweries however are a drive apart and not exactly a walk so there are plenty of tour companies that will shuttle you around for a safer afternoon. We saw plenty of bachelorette and bachelor parties taking advantage.Book these in advance.

The only ask I had for the trip was to do dinner at Eventide, which is a seafood restaurant that is very popular and does not take reservations.

oysters eventide portland

We arrived around 5:30 and were sat around 6:30pm. Two of the stand out items we ordered were the lobster roll which was warm and buttered in an Asian style-bun and these broiled oysters with BBQ sauce and coleslaw. I thought we ordered a ton of food but was still hungry at the end. Portions are very small and most dishes are meant to be ordered family style. The lobster roll is $14 but it’s small. I finished my half in three bites.

lobster roll portland

It was really good but don’t go starving unless you’re ready for an expensive dinner.

oyster eventide

I took the bus home to Boston early on Sunday so that I would have enough time to pack for my next adventure. After the Saturday I had, Sunday night was dedicated to a dairy and gluten free custom salad from Sweetgreen. I know it’s not the most appetizing picture but it was made with beets, sweet potatoes, chicken, broccoli and avocado plus balsamic vinaigrette.It was delicious.

Sweetgreen custom

This morning I woke up early for a flight to LA. I’m here on the west coast for 10 days for work and play. First up in work, then a wedding in Santa Barbara before I head to Puerto Vallarta for another Fit In Paradise visit. Follow me on Instagram to keep up with my adventures.

Have you ever been to Portland?

 

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