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Gym People Alert! Here Are 10 Amazing Meal Prep Ideas For all of you to Enjoy!

Gym People Alert! Here Are 10 Amazing Meal Prep Ideas For all of you to Enjoy!

No matter if you are a regular gym goer or just an occasional pre-summer visitor like myself, you are probably aware of the fact that only 20% of your results have to do with your workout efforts, while the remaining 80% of your fitness is dependent upon your nutrition. Eating healthy is not only crucial to our physical appearance, but it makes up the majority of our overall health as well, a fact we are all very familiar with, yet, for most of us the frustration comes as a result of not always being able to follow a steady healthy eating regimen. Fortunately, there is solution to all of our troubles, and it is called meal prep. Meal prep has been around for some time allowing athletes, fitness enthusiasts, families and children to stick to their healthy meals of choice, and not to get into a downward spiral of eating out and adding unnecessary calories.

Basic principles of meal prep

Tupperware

Make sure to set out the Tupperware according to the number of days you are going to meal prep for. Be careful with meat, as it usually goes bad after 2-3 days.

Carbs

As carbs take the longest to cook, meal prep best practices show that it is best if you start cooking them first. This way, you will be able to prepare the rest of the food while it is cooked. Best choices for nutrient rich carbs include sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, and yams.

Vegetables

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Vegetables provide most nutrients to your every meal. It is best if you steam them avoiding seasoning that are rich in sodium. You can experiment with different kinds of vegetables to find you most enjoyable combination. By now, the carbs should be cooked, so make sure to leave them to cool as you continue with protein.

Protein

You can prepare your proteins in a number of ways, you can bake, barbecue, pan fry, or broil lean meats such as chicken, ground turkey, fish and lean beef in order to provide your meals with healthy protein.

Assemble

Finally, after everything is cooked and cooled it is time to put all of your ingredients together. You can measure the amount of each type of ingredient according to your nutritional needs.

10 Great meal prep recipe ideas

Time Saving Chicken Meal Prep

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    In order to add variety to your lean meat choices, try this brilliant idea of making three different flavored chicken dishes at the same time.

    Hard boiled eggs in the oven

      Time-saving idea for those of you who enjoy hard boiled eggs but lack time to prepare bigger servings. By preparing eggs in the oven, you can get a good dozen cooked in about 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the food.

      Freeze blended smoothies in muffin tins

        Another great time-saving idea for smoothie lovers – prepare your favorite smoothies and freeze them in muffin tins. This way you can get a quick tasty breakfast in minutes, just by adding it to the blender.

        Spiral veggies

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          Use spiralizer or simply chop your vegetables ahead of time, place them in Tupperware and keep in fridge for quick dinner.

          Roasted veggies and Chicken Box

            As meal prep is all about saving time and eating healthy, you can additionally cut meal prep time if you roast veggies that take the same time to prepare together. For example, put asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes in the same pan as they take about the same time to roast, whereas carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes and parsnips take longer, so you can roast them together.

            Instant oatmeal jars

               Excellent breakfast idea that will help you prepare delicious and nutritious, energizing breakfast that will keep you full until lunch. Prepare jars of oatmeal, fresh fruit and add different flavors of choice and enjoy your healthy breakfast to go.

              Muffin-cup soufflés

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                Amazing breakfast frittatas you can enjoy entire week. Prepared in advance, they can be good for an entire workweek.

                Chocolate chip cookie dough protein balls

                  Rich protein snack that is easy to prepare and can last up to six days if kept in a fridge.

                  Grilled pesto salmon kebabs

                     Mix it up with protein rich kebabs that can provide protein addition for entire work week. You can either grill or bake them in your oven. If you are using wooden sticks, make sure to soak them in water before so they don’t catch fire.

                    Chopped Asian mason jar salad

                      Jarred lunch salads are a great way to enjoy your home made salads wherever you are. Make sure to place the dressing first, then add sturdier veggies like cucumbers or peppers. Put leafy greens or grains on top. Always put a paper towel on top to soak up the moisture if you plan to store it for a couple of days.

                      Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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                      Ana Erkic

                      Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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                      1 The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight 2 Why Am I Exhausted? The Real Causes and How to Fix It Forever 3 How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success) 4 How to Stop Feeling Tired All the Time (And the Real Causes Explained) 5 Why Am I So Tired? 10 Reasons You’re Extremely Tired And How to Fix It

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                      Last Updated on October 16, 2018

                      The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                      The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

                      It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

                      If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

                      One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

                      Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

                      In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

                      Why you can’t sleep through the night

                      The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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                      Stress

                      If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

                      Exposure to blue light before sleep time

                      We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

                      While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

                      Eating close to bedtime

                      Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

                      Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

                      Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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                      Medical conditions

                      In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

                      The vicious sleep cycle

                      The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

                      Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

                      You get a bad night’s sleep
                      –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
                      –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
                      –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

                        You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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                        How to sleep better (throughout the night)

                        To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

                        1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

                        What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

                        Here are a few suggestions:

                        • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
                        • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
                        • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
                        • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
                        • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

                        2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

                        What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

                        • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
                        • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
                        • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
                        • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

                        3. Adjust your sleep temperature

                        Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

                        Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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                        Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

                        Sleep better form now on

                        Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

                        I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

                        As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

                        Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

                        Reference

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