If you are an athlete, you know the feeling post-workout when you are hungry and two thoughts come to mind: You think about what you should eat to refuel and nourish your body and then you think about the time it will take to prepare the meal, cook the meal and eventually eat the meal.
We all know that a bowl of cereal can be "made" in less than 5 minutes but so can leftovers - heated in the microwave.
Healthy eating takes effort but when you are an athlete, you have to be dedicated to nourishing your body. The added stress from training makes the body more vulnerable to sickness, injury and fatigue. Food is your medicine and your fuel.
Although you may feel like the extra time in your life that could be devoted to meal prep is taken up by training, sorry - your excuse is invalid... you still have to make the time to cook.
Every now and then the stars will align and you jump with joy that you have the free time to cook a home cooked meal or two. But of course, you need the energy and desire to use your time wisely for meal prep.
I recommend to spend 1-2 days a week to cook a few meals OR prep foods that may need a little more work so that when it comes to meal time, you see it not only as healthy time but a very easy process. You may find that at first you are spending 4 hours on meal prep but guess what, if you can spend 1 less hour a day during your busiest 4 days during the week, wouldn't you feel happy that you took the time (when you had the time) to devote several hours to meal prepping?
The nice thing about batch cooking is that you don't always have to be a slave to the kitchen. Use your oven, microwave, crock pot and stove top to prepare several items at once. Making food options ahead of time (like proteins, grains, chopping produce) is a life-saver.
When you are tired from working all day, after waking up at 4:30am for your morning workout and then sitting in traffic for an hour and maybe squeezing in an evening workout (or other extracurricular with friends/family), you will find it incredibly easy to whip together a meal when you have all the food options ready and all you have to do is heat or combine.
Broccoli Slaw Tahini stir fry
(You can substitute your choice of animal protein for the tempeh)
Bean and lentil dishes
Rice and whole grain dishes
Potato and veggie dishes
Quiche and egg dishes
Stew and soup
Root veggie dishes
Meat loaf or vegetarian loaf
Easy meal prep foods to have at home:
Cooked raw beans/lentils
10-minute cooking grains
Deli meat/cooked meat
Large container yogurt and cottage cheese
Hard boiled eggs