Submitted by Tenille Sonnichsen, RD
Planning and preparing some meals and snack foods once or twice a week can significantly improve our ability to eat healthy meals made at home, which can have a beneficial effect on our sport performance!
Introducing meal planning and prep!
Spending some time one day a week getting groceries, washing, chopping, batch cooking and portioning into smaller containers will allow athletes to have healthy food during the busiest times of the week, and allow you to save money and meal prep time during the week! This meal planning and prep is key for optimizing nutrition through the week!
- Pick a meal planning and prep day: choose one day each week and allocate a specific time that will be your meal planning time. Put it in your calendar, and don’t move it!
- Make sure to have storage containers of different sizes, including air-tight freezer safe containers.
- Choose recipes: use your favourite recipe books, or resources online such as soscuisine.com, cookspiration.com, or eatrightontario.ca.
- Decide which meals you need to have planned and prepared ahead of time: is it just dinner meals? Breakfasts? Lunches?
- Make a grocery list and go shopping.
- Wash and cut up fruit and vegetables. When they are ready to eat and use, you are more likely to consume more of them!
- Prepare large batches to use later in the week. Cook extra chicken breasts to throw on top of salads or in quesadillas. Boil a dozen eggs and store in the fridge for a quick and healthy protein choices. Make extra wild rice or quinoa for side dishes or to serve under stir fried veggies and meat. Cook a large batch of roasted veggies and use leftovers in frittatas or even just reheated.
A bit of meal planning and preparation can help fuel the body for optimal sport performance. So choose your meal planning time and get started!