By Emily Kobel, BA
We all are often running around between work, extra curriculars, workouts, and, for some of us, kids! With all of this going on, we sometimes forget to properly fuel our bodies to keep us going. I know from experience what a long day feels like. Sometimes I am away from home for two meals, or even all three. So the question is, how do we eat well on the go? The best thing to do is meal preparation! I recommend taking one day out of the week to grocery shop and meal prep. This cuts down on grocery costs and saves time.
What should you meal prep, you may ask? You want to make sure you have a balanced meal that will also last you the whole week. MyFitness Pal has a lot of great recipes and you can check your macros and nutrition on here also. We have a lot of great recipes in the Facebook Client Headquarters and IronWire as well! Be sure to double check all the meals you make to ensure that they are actually healthy. Look at ingredient lists if you’re buying prepackaged items and make sure you understand everything in it, or simply stick with whole foods!
When we are busy, it is also easy to forget breakfast. Breakfast is key in getting your day started! I recommend starting your day off right with a protein packed breakfast to get you going. It’s not healthy to consume most of your protein at once, which a lot of us do at dinner time. Your body cannot process more than about 20-30 grams of protein at once. Try to space out your protein intake throughout the day to ensure, “the body has access to optimal amino acids needed to achieve fitness and performance goals such as weight loss, muscle building and exercise recovery, as well as keep your body optimally fueled and satisfied throughout the day as your blood sugar and hunger changes.”
Do you know how much protein you need per day? Find out below, and then calculate to determine your recommended daily intake:
Healthy adults/sedentary individuals: 0.8g/kg of body weight
Pregnant women: 1.1g/kg
Lactating women: 1.3g/kg
Endurance athletes: 1.2–1.4g/kg
High-intensity interval training/Stop-and-go sports: 1.4–1.7g/kg
Strength athletes (to gain muscle mass): 1.6–1.7g/kg
Strength training (to maintain): 1.2–1.4 g/kg
Weight loss, calorie-restricted diets: 1.4–1.5g/kg
The formula in pounds converts to: (body weight in pounds x 0.454) x recommended protein value in grams. So a 150lb person who is doing strength training would calculate:
150 x 0.454 = 68.1
68.1 x 1.2-1.4 = 81.72-95.34 grams of protein per day.
Here are a few examples foods high in protein:
3 ounces tuna, salmon, haddock, or trout... 21g
3 ounces cooked turkey or chicken... 19g
6 ounces plain Greek yogurt... 17g
½ cup cottage cheese... 14g
½ cup cooked beans... 8g
1 cup of milk... 8g
1 cup cooked pasta... 8g
¼ cup or 1 ounce of nuts (all types)... 7g
1 egg... 6g
I often will make my breakfast the night before and take it on the go the next morning. If you have never eaten breakfast, though, try finding another way to add protein, such as a protein coffee (just add protein powder to your coffee).
To make your meal preparation successful, it is best to make a plan. You will want different meals for each time throughout the day. Try to find recipes that use similar ingredients to cut down on the amount of things you need to buy. I also recommend buying meal preparation containers. I always fill mine up ahead of time, that way in the morning I am able to grab my containers right out of the fridge, put them in my lunch box and out the door I go.
Because we all lead such busy lives we want to keep our bodies full and healthy. Meal preparation is the simple and guaranteed way to that! One of my favorite (and simple!) meal prep recipes is chicken in the airfryer (with your preferred seasoning) and adding some rice and veggies to go with it. Now it is your turn to try out some meal prepping to make your healthier life easier!