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Food Prep IS Meal Planning

I spent quite a bit of time the last two days "making" food for the upcoming week at the gym. A pork loin spent a couple of hours on the grill, with only sea salt and pepper, until it was nearly done and I hit it with some glaze. (Forgive me for a few grams of sugar spread over an entire loin). While it was cooking I added a few chicken breasts to the grill. I hate to fire up the Weber without using all the space.

Today was the vegetable / rice portion of the prep. Most of you are very familiar with my vegetable technique. Buy a bunch of vegetables. Wash 'em. Cut them up with a sharp knife. Sautee in big frying pan with lard or coconut oil. If you get stuck on the vegetables, put the word "vegetables" into the search bar on the very blog you are reading, and several articles and sets of photos will appear before you.

I took nine meal containers and added a half cup of my vegetable mixture to each one. A few also received three ounces of white rice. One larger has no vegetables, more rice, and two cans of wild-caught tuna. Some of these from today have 6 ounces of chicken, some have six ounces of pork loin. Three have no rice, but four scrambled eggs added to the vegetables. I individually heated the serving of vegetables in a pan, added the scrambled four eggs, some seasoning (Chili Lime from Trader Joe's), and voila, a meal. So, three of the egg/veggie mixture. One big one that will serve as two meals during a day (with guacamole added to each meal), that's the tuna/rice container. The remainder are all either chicken or pork, with vegetables and a little bit of rice.

Every container is marked on the lid, simply done, with masking tape and a marker. No big deal, but it's much easier to weigh and measure while I'm in the kitchen, than it is when I'm earing. This way my food log entries are simple and correct.

In addition, I have a shake prepared, containing BCAA, two scoops of protein, and a handful of strawberries and raspberries. The shake is a meal in itself, to be utilized only if my schedule makes getting a real food meal in at any one point in the day. I'd rather have the shake than miss a meal, but I'd always go for the real food first, if I can.

This is what I'll take to work (the gym) each day. In addition, I carry more protein powder, carb powder, BCAA, and creatine for my immediate post-workout shake. I also always have a sleeve of rice cakes with me, to add to the carbs in my first real meal after my shake. At that point, the vegetables aren't enough.

During the week, this is what all my meals generally consist of. The mornings I don't get up at 4:30, often I'll enjoy a half cup of oatmeal and two scoops of protein powder for my first meal. If my workout comes after that first meal, I try to always have it be oatmeal and protein.

See how meal prep and meal planning are the same thing? Often some additions take place in early evening to bring my carb-protein-fat numbers up to my target macros. Any logical food is fair game at this point, but for me it's usually almond butter if I'm behind on fat, and Progenex Cocoon for protein and a little bit of carbs. If more carbs are needed, I may enjoy a couple of rice cakes, or some sweet potato, with my Cocoon.

Meal planning is the same as meal prep. Use spices liberally, create flavors, and make your food logging as simple as possible with consistency when packaging meals.

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