Welcome to Preppin’ Life!
My name is Andrea, and I’m a long-distance runner (half-marathons, marathons and ultras). My husband, John, and I require a lot of nutrition to maintain endurance, functionality and mentality in our long runs weekly. I meal-prep extensively to ensure good quality food is at our fingertips and reduce our stress-level of having to cook every night added with making sure we have every item needed for the recipe (let me tell ya…what a nightmare that can be!). I do this due to my long days of work (soon-to-be practicum+part-time work) and night classes added with my husband’s long days of work and needing to get runs in on his half-days that only come twice per week.
By reading my posts, you don’t have to be married in order to meal-prep. You would just have to half what I do or make at least ¾ of the recipes to ensure leftovers for the freezer after a week of the meals. I want to help anyone, single or married, in knowing you can conquer what you need in a day, so your focus can be on more important things, like success at the job or in classes, daily activities, social events, etc. Reality-check: I don’t always meal prep in one day. Sometimes, I save one of my dinners to make one of my days I don’t have class and get off early from my part-time job. It’s easier than you think it would be at fixing dinners with less ingredients on the ingredient list and being able to fix it in 30 minutes or less because you have every item on the list at arm’s length due to grocery shopping already (crockpot meals excluded with this 30-minute time-frame since those are dump in the crockpot and let cook for three to four hours on high or six to eight hours on lowßone of my favorite things to incorporate in meal prep on very busy weeks that I don’t want to have to keep adding in after halfway through the recipe).
Starting out for the first time in meal-prepping is hard. Knowing just the right things that will give you more energy and less hunger is key in helping build a healthier, balanced lifestyle. I started my journey of meal-prepping successfully two years ago, when I was single and living on my own. I worked an 8am to when I was finished sort of job and started feeling like I was losing weight and energy because of scarce eating. I was drained and less motivated once I got home. My go-to dinner was a scrambled egg, spinach and cheese sandwich with no sides…somewhat nutritious but not having time for preparing any lunch that day, it was not successfully fueling me for my 5am run the next morning. I sparked the idea of getting my dinners ready for the week by seeing that casseroles make a crazy amount of leftovers, if you make them in bulk. I loved cooking in bulk to ensure that I had a good meal ready for me when I got off work. It led me to gradually fix my breakfast in bulk due to my training runs becoming longer in distance as well as time-consuming, causing less time for me to get ready for my day.
When I got married, eating and portions became a hard learning process. John eats more times per day than I ever have and enjoys heartier meals. I struggled with trying to give him more of each meal because it led to my meals being minimal. He would tell me when he got home from work that he ended up having to snack or go to Braum’s for a little addition to his lunch. I felt awful knowing that he had to spend money due to hunger pains. I also felt as though I needed to figure out a better system. We also needed to be in a healthier mindset than snacking all day. I learned that making two different breakfasts, two different lunches and two different dinners were perfect in providing more leftovers for two people and not burning us out during the week on each meal. I incorporate snacks to help keep us not as hungry in the morning or afternoon and less likely to want to eat more in our main meals. My husband and I, both, run long-distance, and it helps to provide good quality meals for our health and endurance.
I have noticed a huge difference in my endurance in my running once I started meal-prepping and eating whole foods over processed. The length of my runs has become easier and my energy level for the rest of the day has heightened. It’s a gradual process but success does not come quickly. It takes many trials and errors before the perfect meals become staples for a cleaner, healthier and happier you. I hope to be able to give pointers on good recipes that help your decisions on what recipes can work in making a meal-prep plan for the week easier and sufficient. I’m a visual learner, and learning from what someone else has done helps wonders in knowing how to properly satisfy two people in one meal.