This is a special blog series from Erin Stimac, an Iron Tribe Fitness coach in Louisville, Ky. Erin swears by prepping her meals beforehand to get the most out of her workouts. Follow Erin on Instagram to see what she’s making each week!
In part 1 and two we discussed what to fill your grocery cart with as well as the best kitchen tools that will help you keep things quick, easy, efficient and FUN in the kitchen. In the last installment, we’re going to put the lists I’ve given you to use so that you can get down to business creating delicious and healthy meals that are in line with your goals so you can feel great both inside and outside of the gym!
The 3 W’s of Meal Prep:
What do I prep?
Why, healthy food of course! But seriously, we’ve got you set up with a healthy grocery list to get you on track to reaching your goals so now we have to put together these ingredients into some healthy (and delicious!) meals that will leave you feeling satisfied, well fueled, and on your way to optimizing your body composition!
When do I prep?
When you are first getting into the habit of meal prepping it’s best to set aside some time for your to get organized and figure things out. I’d recommend half of a day at first if you are prepping multiple meals for the week ahead. When you get into a groove things will become much faster as you’ll find short cuts and have systems in place to make things more efficient. Be prepared that when you start, it may take a while-and that’s ok! You are learning something new and doing something great for your health. Your future self will thank you!
Why should I prep?
We are a culture of convenience-we expect instant gratification for so many things in life. Tired? Drink caffeine. Hungry? Drive thru. Pain? Take a pill. Stressed? Have a drink. The list goes on and on. We don’t have to work as hard for NEARLY as many things as our grandparents and great grandparents did. What has that done to us? It’s made us L-A-Z-Y. With that has come the highest obesity rates in the history of the U.S. We are eating MORE and doing LESS than ever before. It’s SO important that we get our activity and nutrition under control with fun fitness that you enjoy and healthy nutrition that gives you what you need to power you through your day and helps to support a healthy body weight.
I am going to give you a sample day of recipes for breakfast lunch and dinner to lead you on a path to improving your health. This is coupled hand-in-hand with your fitness. If you are looking for a gym, we’d love to show you what Iron Tribe has to offer!
Breakfast: Egg Muffins
- 9 Large Eggs (or the equivalent of egg whites)
- 8oz precooked lean turkey or chicken sausage
- 1 Green, Red, or Yellow Bell Pepper (Diced)
- ½ Yellow onion (Diced)
- ½ Cup Kale (Chopped)
- ¼ Cup Coconut Flour
- ½ Tsp. Baking Soda
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While oven is heating line muffin pan with baking cups.
- In large mixing bowl whisk eggs together, then add in: cooked sausage, bell pepper, onion, kale, and garlic.
- In small mixing bowl mix together: coconut flour, baking soda, salt, and pepper
- Once finished mixing both add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix.
- Fill muffin cups about ¾ full and place in oven.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are set in the middle. (Makes about 12 muffins)
Lunch: Egg Roll in a Bowl
- 1 pound lean 90% or greater lean ground meat (I usually use extra lean ground turkey)
- 1.5 Bags of coleslaw mix and/or broccoli slaw (I sometimes do half & half)
- ½ large thinly sliced onion
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- ⅓ cup soy sauce or tamari
- 5 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Sliced green onions
- Chicken Broth
- Brown the ground meat on low/medium heat in a non stick skillet and once cooked, divide into your lunch containers for the week. Depending on your portion size it will be between 3-5 meals.
- Turn the heat up to med/high and once warm, add a little broth to the skillet. Add in sliced onions and let cook until they start to brown slightly, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and ginger and let cook for another minute.
- Add a splash more broth if needed and add the cole slaw mix/broccoli slaw and soy sauce. Cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until the cabbage has just begun to wilt but is still crunchy. Remove from heat and add the toasted sesame oil and stir to incorporate.
- Divide the cooked cabbage/onion mixture into your lunch containers and stir to incorporate the meat.
- If this will be a workout day or you need more starches in your diet, you can easily add rice to this dish to increase the carbs and portion size.
- Top with sliced green onions.
Note: This is a great recipe to make ahead of time for your lunches for the week and has been a big hit among your fellow Tribers!
Dinner: Zucchini Noodles and Meat Sauce
- 1 lb 90% lean or more ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 tsp each: dried basil and dried oregano
- ¼ tsp of each: pepper, garlic powder, onion powder
- 4 medium zucchini or yellow squash
- 1 jar organic no sugar added pasta sauce
- Parmesan cheese
- Take your zucchini and spiralize them or use a hand held julienne slicer to make them into noodles.
- Place the noodles in a bowl, sprinkle with salt, and microwave twice in one minute increments. Take the noodles out of the microwave after each minute and pat them down with paper towels and toss them around to make sure you are getting the excess liquid out. (If you skip this step you will end up with a really watery noodle bowl!)
- Turn a skillet on to medium heat and add the meat to the skillet. Break it apart and stir to cook. Add in all seasonings as it’s cooking.
- When it’s done, reduce heat to low and add the jar of pasta sauce to the cooked meat. Stir to incorporate and heat up the sauce.
- Place ¼ of the zucchini from the large bowl into a serving dish and zap in the microwave if it needs to be heated/steamed a bit more. Place ¼ of the meat/sauce mixture onto the noodles and sprinkle with a bit of parmesan cheese. Enjoy a guilt free noodle bowl!