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Protein in Bulk – Beef & Chicken Meal Prep

With all of the writing I’ve been doing for my upcoming book on meal prep and meal prep recipes, I wanted to do a deeper dive on an article I wrote a while back on cooking chicken in bulk and having variety.  Besides over cooking the protein, I often hear complaints about the lack of variety.

So, here’s a video showing how I cook protein – beef (or ground meats) and chicken (poultry) – in bulk.  Regardless of your diet, there’s a lot of key learnings in this video for everyone, even vegans.  It talks about how to do exact meal prep or calorie counting so that you better arrive at the intended calories and macronutrients for each meal.

4 Leftover Chicken Recipes

On April 22 we will celebrate Earth Day, and millions of people across the globe will engage in activities that “celebrate” and appreciate our planet.  I want to touch on a topic that is often overlooked (in many parts of the world), food waste. In the US alone, it is estimated that we throw away about 70 billion pounds of food each year.  While some of it may be necessary because the food spoils, often times it’s because we get tired of eating the food we initially purchased.

To that end, one of the foods I hear people complain about most often is – dry chicken breasts. I’m guilty of tossing it out too – there’s not enough hot sauce in the world that can help us choke it down! Lol However, with a few tweaks in the kitchen – and by chopping it up into smaller bites – I find that you can actually enjoy the chicken breasts that once tasted like tires.

Here are 4 easy leftover chicken recipes to get the wheels in your head turning so you can make your own, better versions to compliment your diet! I kept the serving sizes small because you generally only have 1 or 2 chicken breasts left at the end of the week and the recipes are pretty streamlined, requiring very little effort and using store-bought ingredients. I purchased everything from my local Kroger (Ralph’s, Fred Meyers, Fry’s, etc) so items should be easy to find.

Always adjust portions to compliment your needs.  In general per serving, average adult male consumes 5oz to 7oz cooked chicken breast and average adult female between 3oz to 5oz cooked chicken breast per serving.

3 Healthy Salad Dressing Recipes

As part of my partnership with Pronamel, they asked me to create content with the theme “Twice as Good” in mind – something that can serve two purposes.

First thing that came to mind was obviously, food!  But here’s my take/twist.

One thing I like to do is purchase produce and products from my local farmer’s market and nearby small businesses.  By doing so, I’m investing in my community and so it can flourish and provide newer, better “goods” for all of us.

Similarly, that’s how food should be.  It should nourish our bodies and push us closer to our wellness goals, all while tasting delicious!

With that in mind, I purchased some produce from my local farmer’s market to create some delicious, natural salad dressings just in time for the spring!

4 Easy, Cold Lunch Ideas

I’m following up on a FAQ –

“What are some lunch meals you can enjoy that don’t have to be reheated?”

Here are four easy lunch ideas to help inspire your next meal prep! This is a continuation of the 5 cold lunch mash-up that I did last year.

When it comes to eating food cold (or at room temperature), keep it simple! Here are some guidelines I live by:

 

World’s Tastiest Chicken, Brown Rice & Broccoli Meal Prep

Here’s my “secret” way to make one of healthy eating’s and bodybuilding’s most bland meal into a flavorful masterpiece in very little time.

Meal Prep will never be the same…And it shouldn’t be.

 

Dorm Masterchef: 7 Easy & Healthy Microwave Recipes

When all you have is a microwave, it can be a little daunting to think about being able to cook your own meals.  While it’s not ideal, the microwave can crank out some pretty awesome (and calorie-conscious) meals!

Here is a follow-up article on the 4 Dorm Room Recipe video from 2 years ago!

Remember, you should always customize recipes to complement your nutrition and fitness goals.

 

Low-Carb Chicken Tacos

As I continue to experiment with the ketogenic diet, I’m discovering the various ways I can still enjoy the foods I really love with much less carbs.

I’ve used portobello mushroom caps for burgers but it was not until recently that I discovered I could also use them as taco shells. Check it out!

 

5 Easy Cold Lunch Meals

We’ve all been there – you’re at work or school and you’re hungry so you go to reheat your meal only to find out there is no microwave.  Or your job requires you to be on the road all day and you don’t have access to a microwave. It’s a frustrating feeling! But I have good news – there are tons of meals that you can prepare that can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature.

Here are 5 of my favorite cold lunches to help get the wheels in your mind turning about what you can do…remember to make these meals your own and store them in quality containers.

For cold meals, I enjoy putting the food in stainless steel containers because I find that they keep the food cooler/colder while in the fridge or lunchbox cooler.

**As always, remember to adjust portions and servings to fit your diet and goals. Meals can fit nearly any fat loss or weight gain program, and are for both males and females – it’s all in the portions.**

Epic $75 Meal Prep 2016

Another year, another epic $75 Meal Prep video challenge!  One of the most important lessons I’ve learned on my journey is the importance of being prepared. We’ve heard it time and time again, if we “fail to plan, we plan to fail.” But the good news is there’s #mealprep whereby we prepare several meals or snacks (or food) in advance so that we always have a healthier alternative readily available to us!

This grocery challenge is all about showing how easy it is meal prep AND how we can do so on a limited/set budget.  While $75 may seem like a lot of money to many people, think about how much money you spend weekly just for lunch.  The average lunch spend is about $9; multiply that by 5 days (work week) and you’re already spending over half of the $75 and we haven’t even addressed breakfast, dinner or those frequent $2 and $3 snacks. By the end of a week, you’ve likely spent close to $100. Ask yourself – how much of that food is nourishing your body to push you closer to your goals?

But no worries! Got you covered. Let’s “ball on a budget!” Here are 5 meals for 5 days for $75!

Couple of things before we get started:

 

kroger logoHUGE THANKS to my friends at Kroger! They made it extremely easy to make this video so I had a very enjoyable (and affordable) shopping experience.  If there’s not a Kroger close to where you live, check for one of its affiliate stores here (at the bottom of the page).  Remember I live in Texas, so prices may vary depending on where you live around the nation (or globe).


 SHOPPING LIST:

75 meal prep kroger

 

PROTEIN / DAIRY

 

FRESH PRODUCE

 

OTHER

TOTAL SPEND: 74.36

Spicy & Light Kung Pao Chicken Meal Prep

Only thing better than one of your favorite Chinese foods, is when it’s prepared in a heart healthier way so you can enjoy it more often.

While this version is lower in fat, it definitely does not compromise on flavor!  You won’t notice the difference in taste, but you will in how you feel after eating it. With only 345 calories per serving and over 35g protein, your muscles and your tastebuds will be begging for more.

5-Day NO Sugar Challenge

Congrats on accepting the FitMenCook 5-Day No Sugar Challenge! I once read an article that suggested it was easier for people to give up sex than it was to give up sugar. And if you think about it, they may be right since added sugar is everywhere!

 

GOAL FOR THE NEXT 5 DAYS:

 

OUTCOMES

 

FOODS TO AVOID

 

 

 

Remember, check the ingredient label to determine if what you’re about to eat satisfies the requirements for this challenge. Nearly all food has sugar so focus on what sugars or sweeteners have been ADDED to the food.

 

ACCEPTABLE FORMS OF SUGAR:

.

INVITE OTHERS TO JOIN YOU

no-sugar-challenge-infographic-v5

 

QUICK TIPS TO GET STARTED:

 

A note on alcohol…

 

I will be sharing tips and hacks to reduce sugar intake throughout the 5-Day Challenge on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter so make sure you are following me!

 

ONE FINAL IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you do happen to have a weak moment, or mindlessly eat something with sugar, don’t beat yourself up! Identify how and why it happened, learn from it, then keep going strong in the challenge. We CAN do this!

Best wishes and Boom.

Kitchen Essentials – Getting Started with your Healthy Eating Plan

Below is the information I covered in the video with links to some of the products I really enjoy.
This will be a living page so that I can add new ideas and tips from all of us! So…
Be sure to register on FitMenCook.com to post comments and ideas!

Fridge

  • TIP: Clean and organize your fridge to remove clutter and any distractions to your healthy diet.
  • Airtight food canisters
    •  RectangleCanistersAll_x
  • Herbal supplements I enjoy adding to water, tea and smoothie
    • Peppermint extract
    • Passionflower extract

Cooking Utensils I Use Weekly

Snacks

TIP: always have healthy snacks available to curb cravings in between meals and to prevent making unhealthy food choices or overeating at meal time.

Favorite Cooking Oils

  • Coconut oil
  • Safflower oil – has a mild taste so you can easily incorporate it into recipes; has omega-6 fatty acids which have been known to help with the fat burning process; great for skin and hair health as well
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Seasonings & Spices

  • Sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • Pepper
  • Italian seasoning
  • smoked paprika – provides a subtle smoky, chipotle flavor to any dish. Great in chili and burgers!
  • cumin – great in making hummus, Latin-inspired dishes and on poultry & fish.
  • cayenne pepper & red pepper – remember spicy flavors can also help to curb appetite.
  • cinnamon
  • allspice

Teas & Superfoods

Portion Control Chicken Kabob Meal Prep

If you’re needing to cook chicken in bulk for the week and want to better measure your portions, try using kabobs.  Each kabob is a measured portion of your serving. Here are 3 quick ways to season your chicken breasts to keep your diet interesting!

Story of FitMenCook Sweet Potato Sliders

Here’s the story behind my sweet potato sliders! Huge thanks to American Express for allowing me to share this story.

The same energy and excitement I feel when exercising is matched every time I step into the kitchen to try a new recipe. In both places I “train” hard and look for creative ways to challenge myself. These sweet potato slider melts are a product of such training — they fuel my creativity while also feeding my body healthy, non-boring food. It’s moments like these when I truly love what I do.

Budget Sweet Potato Lasagna Meal Prep

Bodybuilding and eating healthy on a budget is possible! You just need a little creativity and a willingness to try new things. Instead of using pasta sheets, use slices of sweet potato. Not only is it delicious, but also it is heart healthy and a solid complex carbohydrate that you can integrate into your diet in a new, exciting way.

Time Saving Chicken Meal Prep

If you’re trying to prepare nearly all of your meals in advance, variety will be critical so that you do not deviate from your diet and actually eat the food you spent all that time preparing.  To help guard against “diet fatigue,” I recommend prepping 2 -3 flavors of chicken each week.  Here’s how I do it to save time!

Loaded Tex Mex Wrap

No boring sandwiches or wraps. Ever.  Instead of shoveling out $9 for a wrap at lunch, just make your own. Less than half the cost and likely twice the protein! Plus, you know exactly what you are putting in to your body.