Welcome to back to school season, everyone! Hope you are all as jazzed as I am about learning (I'm REAL excited). For you it's probably more beneficial, as I will be learning about nutrition which means more recipes which also means more smiles.
Being that this will be my 7th year of post-secondary education (WOW I am old), I know all about that convenient life.
Fast Food Fattie.
It's easy! You manage to find $5 kicking around and next thing you know you're in the lineup at starbucks getting a grande extra whip pumpkin spice latte with skim milk. If that's not a conflicting sentence, I don't know what is.
I really don't like PSL's anyway.
After learning a few things (already, I know) about the importance of a balance diet, it made me realize that the meal prep that I was rocking before really ain't all that bad. Being that I have also started a cleanse, I know that nailing my meal prep every time needs to be a thing.
For those of you who are just starting college, and you've got your hands on a girthy student loan that allows you to justify spending a few extra bucks on all of the toppings at Menchie's, maybe think twice about what you're putting into your system first.
And by that, I mean freshman fifteen. Oh, girl, it's for real.
I think when I graduated high school I must have put on a solid 15-20 lbs. I was only taking one course at the college when I first started, but I was working at a day spa that had a hefty cafe/bistro right across the way. So I would sit at my desk every day literally staring at this cafe just dreaming of that cheesy, toasty breakfast bagel loaded with eggs, bacon, mustard, mayo and tomatoes, with a side wonton soup and a fresh doughnut. I think I ate that at least three days a week. But the thing was that it was convenient, and certainly close.
So how do you make meals that are delicious AND convenient? All you gotta do it hit up the right areas of a grocery store, find a few hours once or twice a week, a decent playlist and have at 'er.
LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT I EAT. Ok?
I haven't always been this way. Before I started getting into the gym, I used to be the girl with a grande caramel macchiato with extra caramel drizzle, plus a breakfast sandwich, plus a lemon poppyseed loaf plus a yogurt parfait... For breakfast. So... fat and carbs and a teensy bit of protein from the eggs and yogurt. Embarrassing.
Our bodies need protein in order to repair the muscles we work, and yes although carbs are by far the most important macronutrient that exists in our diets, the carbs consumed from that buttery lemon poppyseed loaf and extra caramel drizzle is no where near the same as the carbs I could have gotten from some blueberries in a protein shake, or better yet, oatmeal.
Another mistake I was making back in the day is eating whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, and not being smart about it either. My typical diet was mostly carbs and fats with very little protein, resulting in quick weight gain from not being very active, and feeling so tired to the point where falling asleep in class was becoming regular thing.
Small changes like buying your own groceries and doing your own meal portioning is one of the best things one can do when it comes to eating right with a busy schedule. What I have done with my meal prep is that I have taken the foods that I like and worked them into a well balanced diet that fits the needs of my lifestyle, so what is pictured above gives you a general idea.
What is this, a healthy Mr. Big or somethin'?!
Ah yes. We have all been there.
The natural foods (treats) section in Superstore.
The candy aisle in Nature's Fare.
The fat-free frozen yogurt from Menchie's (with all the toppings?!)
Looking up 'healthy treats' on Pinterest, and justifying them as no big deal in your diet. And trying the batter.
The thing is, these are all pretty well the same as buying the same un-natural version form Walmart, they're really no better in all honesty.
Instead of buying that 'organic, gluten-free, no sugar added, milk chocolate covered caramel peanut butter malt bar' from the health foods store, I highly recommend trying to make one of my healthy Coconut Bliss Bites for that quick sweet fix.
Things to avoid sacking on, of course, is anything containing a high amount of refined sugars. You might find yourself reading a label of a chocolate bar and thinking oh but this one has less fat! Did you read the sugar content?! The amount of sugar in dark chocolate is about 1/3 of the amount that would be kicking around in milk chocolate. Yes, the fat content is higher in dark chocolate, but the refined sugar in milk chocolate can lead to a fatty liver, causing weight gain.
And as if you're going to stop at 4 squares of milk chocolate, that stuff is a downward spiral. When you have a piece of really good, high potency dark chocolate, chances are you'll have one to two squares and you're good.
Concluding notes, staying on track while in school is so freaking hard. I get it. These are just some simple tools you can utilize towards maintaining that healthy beach bod you worked so hard for all summer, and help you stay focused.
A+ meal prep = A+ lab report, right?
Providing you with the knowledge that I encounter on a daily basis through my fitness lifestyle.