A quick guide to making meal prep really quick and simple!


"It's alright for you, it's your job!"

I genuinely hear this all of the time. Believe it or not, I may be just as busy, if not busier than those who make this comment. Yes, I also struggle to fit in the odd training session and prep my food for the following day.

My day usually starts at 0545 when I am up, getting ready for my first coaching session with one of my youth squads at the Widnes Vikings, starting at 0645. From here, I head over to Cheshire Barbell where I'll be coaching clients till 2100, typically. If I have the odd 30 minutes free during the day then I'll be replying to my Online Clients check-ins, catching up on lectures or writing assigments for my Masters Degree.

This is no exaggeration!

I always give myself the Sunday off, and ensure that I finish work at 1700 on a Wednesday so that I can see my girlfriend for more than one hour, however, every other day is typically how I described above.

So yes, as said, I also struggle to train and prepare my food.

But there is a solution!

First of all, it's important to remember that you need to keep your meal plan simple! There's a huge amount of people in the fitness industry who post wonderful gourmet looking meals on facebook. Either that or they're bragging about the copius amounts of junk food that they're able to account for in their plans - those IIFYM followers will know exactly what I mean here!

I've been there. I used to publish all sorts of wierd and wonderful recipes on my old website; crocodile pizza, kangaroo casarole, wild boar and poached pear salads... the list goes on.

I'll admit, I did this to look cool. I even bought an expensive Nikon camera to take images of the food so that I could advertise my work!

However, I quickly realised that wierd, wonderful and gourmet is extremely time consuming, and therefore unsustainable.

THE PERFECT MEAL PLAN IS ONE THAT CAN BE FOLLOWED CONSISTENTLY

Although your typical 'bro-food' may not be that appealing, there is a time and a place for eating endless quantities of chicken and broccoli. Ok so maybe you can - and should - be more adventurous, but you get the point. I would put my money on the fact that those who have great physiques yet post photo's of their ben & jerry's ice cream still have to eat bland and boring foods MOST OF THE TIME.

Why?

Because eating this way not only makes meal prep that little bit quicker, but it also allows for consistency, regularity, and also helps cut out the crap that got you the fat gut and thighs in the first place!

It goes beyond the scope of this article to explain the ins and outs of a good meal plan - you can sign up with me online for that ;) - however I want to give you an example of how I like to prep my food, in the hope that it'll make you realise that following a meal plan doesn't have to be as arduous as first thought.

So how do I do it?

First of all, I switch on the oven and set it to 180ºC. Whilst the oven is warming up, I begin to weigh a day's quantity of chicken breast, tuna steak, ostrich, white potato and sweet potato. I will do this for 3 days and spread each portion across a number of baking trays or ceramic bowls. I tend to cover the meat with a little almond milk to prevent it from drying out, and then season it with turmeric, mixed herbs and perhaps a blend of herbs. This will all be placed in the oven and I'll set a timer for 45-50 minutes.

Once the meat and potatoes are in the oven, I'll turn to the stove and part boil some vegetables such as sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, carrots etc as well as boil a number of eggs. These are typically done in less than 5 minutes, unless i decide to fry off the veg a little in coconut oil.

...That's it! I just sit and wait.

In fact, I switch on my laptop, and begin going through my online clients emails. The remaining 45 minutes gives me some valuable time to edit my client's training and nutrition programmes, grab a quick shower, and even have the time to write articles similar to this one. All whilst my food for the next 3 days is cooking away right in front of me!

All there is left to do, once the timer rings, is to place all of my food in tupperware tubs and I'm good to go!

1 hour of my time, and I don't have to cook anything else for at least 3 days.... winner!

I always opt for 3 days as a catering client once told me that the Foods Standards Agency require cafes and restaurants to throw away any food that has been opened for more than 4 days. That information was good enough for me! I would cook 5 days worth of food if I could but my oven is not big enough, especially when I'm nailing 5,500 Kcals per day!

Once in tubs, I'll make my food a little more interesting by adding hymalayan salt, herbs, spices, and low calorie sauces. My favourite are Frank's Red Hot sauce varieties.

On the odd occasion, I will eat more glamorous meals. I may even eat out once a week. However, sticking to a plan is made easy by prepping how I've explained in this post. It enables you to get/stay lean, fuel and recovery from workouts effectively and ultimately reach your goals! I also appreciate eating a lot more ;)

Listed below, is the bulk of my current meal plan:

Meal 1

• 125g Ostrich

• 2 whole eggs

• 10g coconut oil

• 10ml eskimo brainsharp Omega 3 & Co-Q10

• Anabolic Designs Grazed Greens drink

Meal 2

• 200g chicken breast

• 50g avocado

• Salad

• Apple cidar vinegar

Meal 3

• 200g chicken breast

• Greens

• Digestive Enzyme

Meal 4

• 200g chicken breast

• 200g white potato

• Greens

• Digestive Enzyme

Intra-workout

• 60g Prime Nutrition Intra MD

• 10g creatine monohydrate

• 10g L-Glutamine

Post-workout

• 40g Genetic Supplements Grass Fed Bio Whey

Meal 5

• 250g Tuna steak

• 200g sweet potato

• Greens

• Digestive Enzyme

Meal 6

• Extra lean mince

• Mixed fried vegetables

• Digestive Enzyme

Other supplements include:

• ZMA

• Vitamin C

• BCAAs

• DIM

• Vitamin D3

And for those wondering, this is my current condition as of today:

To summarise:

1. Eating a less adventurous, fairly bland diet is key for sustainability and the logging of your dietary intake.

2. Prepparing food for a number of days at once allows for more time spent with family, friends and squats!

3. Opting for simple foods such as meat, potatoes and vegetables allows you to weigh and cook in bulk, using the oven which will give you some valuable time to catch up on those house hold chores.

4. Add herbs, spices, hymalayan salt and low calorie sauces to your meals to make them more enjoyable.

If you'd like help with your training and nutrition, then head over to our ONLINE COACHING INFO PAGE

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Cheshire Barbell 

Unit 17

Arkwright Court

Arkwright Road

Runcorn

Cheshire

WA7 1NX

+44 7714 232 915

karl@cheshirebarbell.co.uk