To start this off I would like to explain what Meal preparation, or meal prep for short, really is. Meal prepping is simply pre-preparing meals so that when you need them they are ready for you. This does not always involve cooking the meals.
WAYS TO USE MEAL PREPPING
Meal prepping in general should be used to make some aspect of your life easier. This can be as simple as one less thing to do in the morning before work or just having a meal already prepared to help you stick to a specific eating plan. One way to meal prep is to prep all of your meals for a certain amount of days and store them in the refrigerator. Others prefer to only prep one or some of the meals that they will eat throughout the day and cook some meals fresh before eating them. Another way to prep doesn’t involve cooking at all but only includes seasoning and portioning out ingredients for a recipe and freezing them in a freezer bag for a later date.
WHAT YOU NEED
1. food scale (if portioning food)
3. measuring cups
4. freezer bags
5. parchment paper or aluminum foil
To get started you will first need to plan out what you want to meal prep and decide a day to do your
meal prepping and/or grocery shopping on. Some simple things to start with are below.
- Proteins: chicken breast, ground turkey, ground beef, steak, eggs, fish if you dare
- Vegan options: lentils, beans, chia seeds, Hemp seeds, spirulina, seitan(gluten)
- Carbs: wild rice, quinoa, yams/sweet potato, brown rice, whole grain tortillas
- Healthy fats: Avocado, nuts, nut butters, olive oil, and coconut oil
- Vegetables: Green beans, asparagus, spinach, zucchini/squash, Greens, peppers
Once you have planned out your meals and the portions for each meal the next step is to go grocery shopping. Before you go be sure to check newspaper ads, company websites, and mobile apps for coupons and sales going on to save extra money and help plan what you want to buy from each store. Also be sure to make a grocery list including everything you need and the quantity of each item needed. This will help you stay on track and allow you to buy in bulk for things that warrant it.
Now that you have planned out your meals and have grocery shopped for everything that you need, it’s time to prep!
For this I usually start with the things that require the least effort to cook. So I will put my chicken in the oven and my rice or quinoa in the rice maker. If I make sweet potatoes, I cook them in the oven before my chicken so that they can cool down and I can peel them while the other food finishes. Lastly I make my vegetables on the stove top usually “sautéed” w/water or steamed. Once I am done cooking all of my food I portion it out using my scale and put in my Tupperware to store in the refrigerator.
1. Marinate your meat when possible
2. Buy nonperishable (rice, quinoa, oils, etc.) items in bulk for saving
3. Invest in a cooler bag if you work in an office – these range from $10 to upwards of $300 but a simple bag from target, amazon, or any department will do fine.
4. Rice cookers are awesome and will make your life easier
5. Parchment paper over foil (trust me on this)
6. Mason jar salads can be convenient when used right
7. Save money by using frozen vegetables
8. Slow cookers = saving time & less work
9. Measure your food to be honest about calories being consumed
10. Don’t stress you’ll get the hang of it
Black Women Bodybuilding Presents: TAZAMISHA (TAZ) BATTS
Tell us about yourself
- Name Tazamisha (Taz) Batts
- Age 26
- Height 5’5
- Weight 163
- Occupation: Analyst
Give us a brief backstory on how you got started on your fitness journey/lifestyle.
(TAZ) It started back in college, fall 2010. It was a few months away from the Olympia. I went a nutrition shop wanting to buy some protein powder because I was wanting to gain some muscle after having my first child. With my first pregnant I had lost some muscle. Little did I know a quick stop at a nutrition shop would be the change for my health and fitness life forever.
What struggle did you run into getting started or staying motivated to continue towards your goals?
(TAZ) My biggest struggle, like most, was the diet. I had working out down pack. I didn’t know how much a diet plays in your journey to lost weight. I just knew working out was the key to all success. What motivated me was just sticking to the plan. I want to see my results if I was to stay true to a diet. The more I kept being consistent the better my results. That was motivating enough.
What advice do you have for those struggling with motivation to reach their goals or continue with a healthy lifestyle?
(TAZ) My advice would be to take it a day at a time. Trying to achieve any goal take hard work and dedication. The moment you start to stress about it is the moment when it will become harder! Take it one workout at a time, one meal at a time, and one day at time.
What is your approach to Diet/Nutrition and the role it plays in reaching your goals?
(TAZ) Diet/nutrition is everything. It’s so hard to teach people that. It takes a good, healthy well balance diet in order to achieve any kind of fitness goal.
What is your training schedule like and how do you split your workouts?
(TAZ) Is running around with kids considered a workout? Training for me is 3 times a week. I do lower body one day, upper body the other day and my last day I try to do a full body with plyometrics.
Favorite body part to train?
(TAZ) My favorite part right now is upper body. Just trying to gain some strength back from my 3rd pregnancy. I like to see how my strength has increased over time.
Can we get a sample of your workout playlist?
(TAZ) User- No Limit is like a warm up song for me. I’m liking the Bad Boy 20th Anniversary album!
Do you take any supplements? If so what do you take?
(TAZ) I’m not supplementing as much right now. I take a vegan protein shake every now and then. The brand I like is Amazing Grass
Favorite food/Cheat meal?
(TAZ) Favorite food is oatmeal. I just love my oatmeal in the mornings. I look forward to breakfast
One interesting fact about you?
(TAZ) I love singing but can’t sing
Anything else you would like to share with us?
(TAZ) Just have a seat and enjoy the ride. We always want to plan our lives out the way we want them. God had a way at showing us that’s not his plans. It’s been 4 years since my last competition, I use to beat myself up about it. But over those 4 years I have had 2 beautiful girls (2 out of 3). Don’t beat yourself if things don’t go as you plan them. continue to ride this journey in life and keep trying!
If you would like to keep up with Fit mom Taz follow her on IG @tazbatts