Food Prep 101

I just posted a quick fitness tip on the topic of not skipping meals (TFT#45) and it made me think about the topic of food prepping. I’m sure you’ve seen pics of that “dedicated” person standing in front of what appeared to be mountain of food filled tupperware. This only gave you anxiety because you thought to yourself “how and the heck.. I don’t have time for that!.” Well, I can’t give you anymore time than you already have, but I what I can do is give you some tips on how to food prep. This WILL require that you manage your time, but it’s not as hard as you think.

So what is Food Prep?

Food Prep is simply making (preparing and packaging) all of your meals before hand so they are ready to be eaten at a strategic time. The goal of food prepping is to maximize your nutritional efforts which will in turn support your fitness, health, and performance goals. This doesn’t just apply to what you do in the kitchen, but also how your approach eating. Being prepared mentally is just as important as having all your food sorted and ready to go.

What will you need?

  1. zip lock baggies
  2. tupperware, but glass is better
  3. maybe a carrying bag (http://www.sixpackbags.com/
  4. time
  5. food, sorry I had to 🙂

Basic Tips:

Chop veggies Only twice per week-

  • chop half of your weekly veggie purchase as soon as you get home from the store and chop the rest when done eating the first half (3 or 4 days later).
  • once everything is chopped you can sort into baggies or glass containers. Your best bet is to sort the veggies by type; green peppers in one bag, red peppers in another bag, and so on.
  • the same approach should be done for fruit as well.
  • consume 1-2 fists of veggies with every meal.

Pre-cook your protein-

  • a BBQ grill is great for this, you can prepare a big batch of chicken, turkey sausage, burgers, etc.
  • my favorite protein right now is ground turkey and chicken thighs, so I make large portions of both it and take it on the road (to work) with me. I cook the ground turkey in a pan with olive oil and the thighs get thrown in the oven.

Make big batches of stir-fry and chili-

  • these two meals can be pre-cooked fully and then re-heated has needed
  • you can even freeze and use for later

Get personal meal-sized tupperware

  • we all have that cabinet in the kitchen that’s filled with all types of mis-matched tupperware. Clean that out and get all that organized. You might need to invest in some new containers. Are tupperware parties still going on??
  • fill your containers with last-nights dinner or your choice of veggies and protein

Eat wraps instead of sandwhiches

  • sandwiches are always the “go to” food item but usually they will be too low in protein and veggies.
  • Try a wrap instead! Pack it with some of that pre-cooked protein and some veggies.

Use blenders and shaker bottles

  • pre-blend your shakes are home and store them in the fridge at work
  • get a blender for office. The magic bullet will be a lot more discreet. https://www.buythebullet.com/

The Wrap Up

The hardest part of this might be getting into the habit of doing it. If you can’t plan for the whole week, start by only prepping and packaging your leftovers and build from there. As with everything that I coach, this process needs to be something that you can do confidently, so don’t be afraid to start small.

Yours In Health and Fitness,

Coach Rob 🙂

Credit Given to Precision Nutrition for “Basic Tips”

Holiday Survival Guide

Well, we’ve made it. We are now officially in the holiday season. For the most part this is fun and exciting, but on the other hand this is where a lot of well-meaning people pack on the pounds. The average weight gain for the american adult is still somewhere between 5-7lbs and you can be sure that most of that happens between Oct- Jan 1st.

This is your Survival Guide for coming out of the holidays unscathed. Remember perfection is never the goal, but only planned progress! Here you go:

Shop Till You Drop- You wont be the only out there shopping which means you’ll be on your feet for a lot longer than usual. Filled parking lots means you’ll be walking greater distances and shopping duties means you’ll be carrying more bags. This is all great because it counts as physical activity. So get out there and shop till you drop, your body will thank you for it.

By The Numbers:

  •  Walkng at 3.5 mph could result in a calorie expenditure of 750 calories for a 150-pound person.

Where’s The Party- Sugar and booze are common staples at many holiday parties and if you’re not careful you’ll be on the fast track to adding another layer to your midsection. If you can’t abstain altogether, make a plan to limit your intake. Look at your social calendar and pick 1-2 events where you will be sugar-free and booze free. Having a plan in place will help you stay on track and avoid those bad calories. Create a plan that will put your fitness goals in the driver seat vs your social desires.

By the numbers:

  1. White Wine- 121cals (5.2oz)
  2. Red Red- 127cals (5oz) 
  3. Whiskey- 100cals (1.5oz)
  4. Margarita- 153cals (3.3oz)
  5. Beer- 102cals (12oz)
  6. Bloody Mary- 125cals (10oz)
  7. Vodka- 123cals (1.5oz)

http://www.calorieking.com/calories-in-alcohol.html

Work It Out- More- Do you hate a crowded gym? Well, you are in luck because this time of year the gym is emptiest. These last 3 months of the year are the slowest time for the fitness industry. Use this to your advantage by increasing your training frequency. If you are a 3x/ week person, then up that to 4-5x/ week (just through the end of the year). If that doesn’t work, then make it a point to not miss any of your scheduled training sessions/ appointments. 

De-stress- With all the parties and festivities it would be easy to miss that this time of year is usually the most stressful. On top of everything else, you now have to turn it on: Kids events, work gatherings, finding that perfect gift, and family personalities. This is enough to send anyones’ cortisol levels through the roof. Try this, pick one day out of the week for quiet time. During this time, reflect on what’s going well in your life and all the things you have to be grateful for. This alone time can reduce anxiety and improve your health.

Not managing stress can lead to:

  1. Poor blood sugar management and insulin resistance
  2. Depression, sleep disruption, and carb cravings
  3. Reduced metabolism
  4. Amino acid loss from skeletal muscle. 

Stress is not good and overtime it will affect your health in the worst possible way. Take this point seriously before stress begins manage you!

So there you have it, your Holiday Survival Guide. Enjoy all the fun that this time of year brings, but do so while keeping on track with your health and fitness goals

Yours In Health and Fitness,

Coach Rob 🙂

Where Do I Start??

Okay, so you’ve decided to get fit/ healthy and maybe you even re-activated your gym membership. Your fired up and motivated, but that big question looms- WHERE DO I START??

  • Do I focus on my eating?
  • Do I go on a diet? Which Diet: Paleo, Zone, Atkins, Soup, or whatever the hottest celebrity is doing?
  • Do I workout everyday? What type of workout: boot camps, HITT, TRX, Zumba, Pilates, Personal Training, or Yoga?
  • What supplements should I take? Do I need a fat burner?
  • Do I do all the above?

This list could continue, but you get the idea. When starting a fitness program there are so many things to think about and the “starting point” can become completely overwhelming.

So Where Do You Start??

FOCUS ON ONE THING AT TIME!! Yes, you should move more (exercise) and control your intake, but what’s most important is identifying what your Limiting Factor is. A limiting factor can be summed up as that “one thing” thats greatly impeding your progress. It’s the one thing that needs to be handled first and foremost.

A few examples are:

  • Exercise more Productivily
  • Consume less alcohol
  • Manage Stress
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Eat less processed foods
  • Increase intake of key nutrients and fiber
  • Start a supplementation regimen

The goal is to identify what factor is limiting you and then work to improve it. This will be your starting point! Once you identify your Limiting Factor (LF) convert it in to an action step- something that you can actually start working on. Keep it simple and make sure you’re completely confident that you can face this head on. If you are not 100% certain that you can follow through then make it easier. Don’t focus on multiple items, just focus on ONE. Make it easy!!

You will now spend the next 14days (minimum) on this habit and tweaking things up until it’s absolutely convient for you to do. Once this is completed, you will then pick the next LF and start the process over.

Be Creative

This is a creative process! A process where you create the type of lifestyle you want one step at a time. Everytime you identify  and begin to work on your LF you are in the process of creating future success. You are setting yourself up for sustainable progress. The objective here is to have a normal lifestyle that moves you closer and closer to better health and fitness. Many crash and burn because they “swing for the fences” and go all out. They neglect the power of “baby steps”!

Summary

So, if you are at the Starting Line in your fitness/ health pursuits and not sure where to start, begin by identifying what your Limiting Factors are and tackle them one by one. Start with the biggest and go from there. Remember, when conventing these factors into habits, seek to make it as easy as possible. Your confidence in following through needs to be 90%-100% otherwise you will get frustrated and end up crashing. This does not need to be about will power! This needs to be strategic, so spend some time thinking through your biggest road blocks and make a plan (a simple one). Make this process personal by taking inventory of your lifestyle and look for “opportunities” where you can make the greatest inroads.

  1. Make a decision to start
  2. indentify the limiting factor
  3. convert into a habit and action step
  4. be 90%-100% confident that you can do this
  5. Work on it for 14 days, tweak things until the habit is “convient and doable”
  6.  Repeat process and start anew with the next Limiting Factor

Yours In Health and Fitness,

Coach Rob