5 Tips for Easy Meal Prep

Sidney Wilson fitness article

When you’ve had a long, stressful day at work the last thing you want to worry about is cooking a healthy dinner.

In those types of situations, eating healthy can seem difficult and time consuming, but it doesn’t have to be.

With a little preparation you can have healthy food prepared ahead of time and ready to go as needed.

Not only does this reduce hassle on busy days, but it also allows you to save time cooking and cleaning throughout the week.

So, if you’re ready to make sticking to your healthy eating plan easier, keep reading for five tips for easy meal prep.

1. Plan your meals for the week.

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

This quote does a fantastic job of summing up the need to plan and prepare if you wish to be successful and stick to any type of goal.

Without taking the time to prepare and plan clean meals for the week, it can be easy to fall back on unhealthy, quick options like fast food or frozen dinners.

So instead of waiting until you’re hungry to decide what to eat, choose to be proactive.

Take a few minutes each week to plan your menu for the upcoming days.

This way you’ll be prepared with healthy options and you’ll be less tempted to go for the convenient and quick choice, which usually doesn’t fall in line with your nutrition plan.

2. Make a grocery list and go buy everything you need for the entire week.

Now that you know what you’re going to eat for the week, you can easily head to the supermarket and buy everything you need in a single trip.

It may seem convenient to swing by the grocery store a few times a week on the way home from work, but in reality it takes a lot of time to drive to the store, walk around to find the items on your list, checkout, haul your bags in the house, and unpack everything.

You can save a lot of time by planning to make just one trip to the store per week instead. You’re better off using that time to cook healthy food or work out!

3. Cook and prepare foods in advance whenever you can.

There are many foods that you can cook ahead of time such as chicken to throw on salads or sandwiches, boiled eggs for a quick snack, or sweet potatoes for a quick side dish. Many of these foods stay fresh in the fridge for a few days so you can enjoy them throughout the week.

Additionally, cooking your food in large batches can save time and make planning ahead much easier.

Cooking in bulk allows you to easily have lunches ready to pack and take on the go or to just have dinner ready after a long day.

You can even cook extras and throw them in the freezer for a later date.

There’s no need to try cooking something every time you have to eat, so instead cook in bulk. You’ll certainly make sticking to your healthy eating plan much easier.

4. Cut up veggies and fruits at the beginning of the week.

Having veggies, fruits, and add-ins ready for planned meals can be very handy.

For instance, having onions, peppers, shredded carrots, zucchini and other veggies precut to throw into eggs, stir-fry, soups, or salads is a great way to cut down on prep time during the week.

And if you love smoothies, another tip is top chop and freeze your fruit in individual size servings ahead of time.

The reduced prep time will make cooking during the week much more convenient.

5. Premeasure and package foods and snacks to have handy.

When the midday munchies hit or you’re running late for a meal, it’s always a good idea to have some snacks readily available to quench your hunger.

Otherwise it can be too easy to stop and grab some junk at the nearest vending machine or convenience store.

For instance, having small bags of premeasured nuts or trail mix is handy to throw in a bag or desk drawer so they’re available whenever you need a quick snack, such as those times when you get stuck in traffic or kept late at work. You could also have premade bags of veggies and hummus, homemade protein bars cut up, or chopped fruit ready to grab and go for whenever you need them.

So what steps are you going to start implementing to plan and prepare for upcoming meals?

Committed to Excellence,

Sidney Wilson

3 Surprising Ways to Get More Out of Your Workout

Sidney Wilson fitness article

If you’re looking to get a lean, toned physique it’s not enough to just focus on reps, sets, exercises, or the type of workout you’ll be doing.
While all these are important to achieve your fitness goals, it’s also important to take care of your body in other ways to increase performance, reduce injury, and prevent overtraining.

These include warming-up before your workouts, foam rolling, and allowing for proper rest.

 

Don’t Skimp On Your Warm Up

Warming up may not seem all that important, but skimping on a warm up can lead to injury and poor performance.

It should be a part of every workout.

Warming up heats up and loosens the body so it’s ready for your upcoming workout.

It can increase range of motion and can improve muscular performance and power.

These are all things that will kick your workout into high gear.

Now, I’m not talking about just hoping on a cardio machine for 10 minutes followed by some static stretching, but instead completing a dynamic warm-up that’ll heat up the muscles you’ll be using.

 

A dynamic warm up is one that utilizes stretches, but while moving.

These include exercises like leg swings, arm swings, shoulder rolls, bodyweight squats, walking lunges, high skips, or high kicks.

These movements should be progressive by starting single joint movements and working into more complicated multi joint movements.

So give it a try.

You’ll be surprised at how ready your body will feel for your next workout session.

 

Roll It Out

 

Like stretching, foam rolling is often one of those things you know you should do, but never quite find the time for.

However, it should not be neglected!

Maintaining flexibility and mobility of those hard-earned muscles is important to prevent injury, increase performance, and speed up recovery.

Foam rolling, which is also known as self-myofascial release, is a form of self-massage.

It can be done with a foam roller, which is a cylindrical shaped piece of foam.

Foam rolling can be used as a warm-up, post workout, or on it’s own. Sometimes, I’ll do it while watching TV so it doesn’t take up any extra time.

 

Start by lying on the foam roller and applying moderate pressure to a specific muscle.

Roll slowly until you find an area that feels tight or painful.

Hold the roller there for 15-30 seconds until you feel the muscle relax and release.

They key is to gradually loosen the area.

 

If you’re just starting out this may be very painful at first.

You can always ease up the pressure a bit if you need to.

The pain should ease up over time, especially when you stay consistent with regular foam rolling sessions.

Foam rolling works best on the lower body, especially the glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, and adductors, but can also be used on the pecs, lats, and rotator cuffs.

It can safely be done on a daily basis and is a great habit to add to your routine.

 

Make Time For Rest

Kudos to you for maintaining a regular exercise routine. But just like anything, too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing.

It’s important to take regular breaks from hard training to allow your body time to repair, recover, and to avoid overtraining.

When you rest, your body uses that time to rebuild and grow stronger.

Now this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to sit around all day on your day off.

You can if you choose, but doing some light active recovery exercises such as stretching, going for a walk, or doing some gentle yoga can be very beneficial to recovery.

The key is to keep it light.

This isn’t meant to be another strenuous workout.

 

In addition to taking rest days, it’s very important to get enough sleep on a daily basis.

Sleep is important for muscle recovery, hormone balance, and peak performance.

So on top of taking it easy at least one day a week, be sure to get your 7-9 hours of sleep each night.

 

Committed to Excellence,

Sidney Wilson