One of the questions I get asked most regarding bikini contest prep is, "How do you prep your food?" And I'm not surprised. With everything we have going on in our lives, cooking healthy meals from scratch everyday can be a daunting task, and practically speaking, nearly impossible. I did a lot of that for my first bikini prep and it was such a time suck- not to mention I felt like I spent as much time cleaning the kitchen and washing dishes as I did exercising and eating!
For bikini contest prep, I eat five meals a day about 3 hours apart. I have found that I have the most success sticking to my meals when I prep them in advance and put the whole meal into one container that I can just pop into the microwave to heat up and I'm good to go. (I don't put the plastic in the microwave- I empty the contents onto a plate and heat about 2 minutes).
My meal prep is incredibly easy. Eating this way takes way less time than preparing several different meals for lunch or dinner. All you really need to do is buy a big package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and grill them at once on the grill. My husband and I both eat about two chicken breasts a day (or meatballs or some other lean protein), but for this post, I'm sharing how we make our chicken. We cook 12-16 chicken breasts at a time, and I have found they are good refrigerated for four days, sometimes five.
I typically make (for me) 12 meals at a time and they last 4 days. That's 3 of these meals daily for 4 days. My first meal is a protein pancake and my 5th meal is a cup of Muscle Egg. This kind of eating is what I call 'no brainer.' You have a meal plan for what you're going to eat and you just do it, without stopping to consider, "What do I feel like eating?" I decide every few days what meals I'm going to prep and then eat them until they're gone. When I've stuck to the plan, I see the greatest results.
The twelve meals in the first photo above were made from the few ingredients below. I usually splurge on free range, organic chicken and save on store brand veggies.
HOW TO PERFECTLY GRILL CHICKEN
On the grill (we use a gas grill, but you can use a grill pan on the stove), turn the fire to medium to medium high heat. For my "contest" chicken, no oil was used, just a sprinkle of Tony Chachere's Salt-Free seasoning. If you don't mind the calories, put a little olive oil on the chicken to keep it from sticking to the grill and to keep the chicken moist.
We have a grill with a lid and close the lid, cooking the chicken for about 10-15 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken. When it's done, remove from the heat and cover with foil. Let it rest for at least 10-15 minutes. This chicken always turns out moist and juicy. If there's one think I can't choke down, it's dry chicken!
Each meal gets five ounces of chicken. Even though I can pretty much eyeball how much 5 ounces is, I still measure with my digital scale to make sure the measurement is perfect. I love this scale because it's under $20, and you can switch the measurement from oz to grams just by pushing the "unit" button. I've been using it for two years and haven't even had to change the batteries yet. Also, it cleans up easily.
After washing the potatoes, I towel-dried them, poked them a couple times with a knife, then microwaved them all at once for 10 minutes, turning halfway through the cooking time. They shrink when cooked, so they only averaged 3.5 ounces. I eat 5 oz. of potatoes each meal, so I have to cut them to make enough ounces. At the end of my last prep, I was down to 4 oz. so these little guys were pretty close.
I use my Gladware that I found at the grocery store and then begin assembling. These containers only hold 3 cups, so if you're putting larger quantities of food, you'll need something bigger. I like them because they stack easily in the fridge (and they're cute!)
I add big handful of romaine lettuce, a few tomatoes OR a cup of frozen green beans for the veggies. The frozen veggies are fine in the fridge and 1 thawed cup cooks perfectly in 2 minutes. Now, if I'm doing the romaine salad, I'll also add a cup of small carrots to it.
Then add the pre-measured potatoes and chicken.
Even if you're not on bikini prep, as long as you have chicken already cooked in the fridge, you're good to go for so many quick, easy meals, especially salads. But, if you do want to slim down or trade a not-so-healthy meal for a quality one, adding a few of these for lunch or dinner is a great way to go!
If you'd like to read more posts like this, check out my Fitness Tab at the top of my blog or these posts:
See you on Monday for my next update- 9 Weeks Out!