As both a personal chef and trainer, I understand the importance that staying on top of your nutrition. One thing I work with clients on a lot is how to make healthy eating habits sustainable. Making it as easy as possible can help ensure that you’re able to stick to your plan and get the results you’re looking for. I’m sharing a few of my meal prep tips that can hopefully help you too!
Have a Plan
For many of you, this may seem obvious, but I’ve had plenty of clients that think they can wing it. Usually, Sunday morning my fiancé and I will make a list of our meals for the week. Then we hit the grocery store knowing exactly what we need to stick to our plan. Having that plan can keep you from saying “screw it” and ordering take-out because you can’t figure out what to make for dinner (I’ve been there too many times).
Pick a Base
When it comes to prepping your lunches, simplicity can be key. I don’t like to eat the same thing every day, but prepping a totally different meal for each day would be way too much work. That’s why each week I usually pick one base for all of my meals then build on that. Find something that’s versatile and can take on whatever flavor profile you want to put with it. Some of my favorites are rice, mashed sweet potatoes, or chickpea pasta. For anyone trying to keep it low carb try mixed greens or riced cauliflower.
Cut Your Veggies Correctly
This one is a chef trick that we use when cooking a bunch of different vegetables together. Cut each according to how long it takes to cook. Vegetables that take longer to cook should be cut smaller than the ones that cook quickly. It’s not something most people think about, but if you’re baking a lot of veggies on the same sheet pan it can keep you from burning some and undercooking others. So something like carrots should be cut a lot smaller than cauliflower or broccoli. That way you can throw it all in together and each one comes out perfectly cooked!
Undercook Your Fish and Meat (but not poultry)
Do you ever heat up your lunch just to pull it out and get dry, overcooked salmon? That’s because you may have cooked it perfectly the first time when you prepped it, but then you threw it in the microwave and cooked it even more. If I’m prepping any kind of fish or red meat I usually undercook it slightly during my Sunday prep. That way when I go to heat it up, I end up with it cooked just as done as I’d like it. Just don’t try this with chicken, turkey, or other poultry. That needs to be cooked fully before you let it touch any other foods and store it. I don’t want any of you getting sick!
I love having smoothies for when I’m on the go or have a craving for something sweet! To make it easier on yourself, try freezing the ingredients you wanted so that you can just toss it in a blender and add liquid. If you track macros it also makes that much easier because you can weigh and portion a bunch of baggies at once. Some of my favorite combos are strawberry mango or banana blueberry.
Now get after it and start prepping!
Zach is an LA-based celebrity trainer and personal chef, mostly known for working with the guys from Queer Eye. Specializing in powerlifting and CrossFit, he loves to help people push their bodies to it's greatest potential. His background as both a trainer and former chef allows him to help my clients build a well rounded healthy lifestyle to feel better, move better, and look better. To see more training and workout inspiration from Zach, follow him on Instagram: @feldman.fit