Happy New Year! I started the year off not feeling the best – I didn’t make it to the gym on the first day of the year because I was feeling under the weather. But I didn’t let that keep me down. I made it a point to get to the gym on January 2 with a strong shoulder day and cardio session, and also started a cut. To be honest, I wasn’t planning to start my cut until February or March, but after considering my long term goal I decided to start the year off right and get into my dieting phase. I’m planning to cut through at least February, reverse diet for a few weeks in March before cutting again in April and May. That’s the plan at least. I’m sure I’ll post updates along the way if anything changes.
For the first meal prep of 2017, I wanted to keep things simple so I could more accruatly count calories and macros throughout the week. I also prepped enough meals to partially get me through the second week. I tend to prep all of my lunches and maybe a few dinners, but during the week I don’t mind taking the time to cook my dinner so it’s fresh.
You’ll notice that a lot of these recipes are lower in calories and macros, and I do that on purpose. First, my cutting calories are around 1500 – that’s quite a bit lower than your average person, but I’m also quite a bit shorter and smaller than your average person. Second, I work in an office job and I simply do not need a lot of calories in during the day. Since I prep most of my meals for lunches, I keep the calories and macros lower to have more snacking flexibility during the day. During a cut, I stack most of my calories and carbs before and after a workout, which during the week are my afternoon and dinner meals. So just keep that in mind as you read through these and feel free to make adjustments for your needs – everyone’s nutritional needs are different.
Shredded Chicken, Broccoli, Mashed Sweet Potato
After having added chicken to my diet back in fall, I decided that my favorite way to cook it is in a Crock Pot and shred it. It’s full proof and a no brainer. Usually I like adding some taco seasoning to the chicken for some added flavor, but for my cut I kept it simple. I added some lemon juice to the slow cooker along with some garlic and herb seasoning, let cook on low for 6 hours, and shred. Add back into the cooker for another hour and enjoy! Honestly, I think I enjoy these seasonings better than the taco season, and this makes the chicken more versatile for the week. I can add this onto salad, into wraps, tacos, or eat it on its own.
For my actual lunch meal preps, I used 4 ounces of the shredded chicken, mashed sweet potatoes with zero calorie butter spray and added them as a side along with frozen broccoli. For my vegetable side, I usually like them sprinkled with a bit of lemon pepper seasoning or garlic salt. Each of these meals totals out to 176kcal/13C/28p/1F.
Chicken, Asparagus, Sweet Potato Skillet
I found this recipe on Pinterst and it’s rightful owner is Primavera Kitchen. I love this recipe for meal prepping and I’ve made it quite a few times now. It’s so easy and clean, and it has everything your body needs. Love this recipe and I can’t recommend it enough. Side note: don’t be afraid to take recipes you find and make them macro-friendly for your needs. This recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of olive oil, but I find that 1/2 tablespoon works just fine to cook the chicken and I cook the potatoes and asparagus separately to omit the broth. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s the small changes that you make in your diet that add up. Be careful when you’re prepping this meal to not overcook the potatoes and asparagus. You still want them to be fresh and have a good bight to them.
Each meal is 151kcal/10C/23P/2F. To accurately track these meals, I create a recipe in MyFitnessPal, measure each ingredient before inputting into the recipe, then I weight each meal equally and that’s your number of servings. Enjoy throughout the week and easily track your meal!
I got a Spiralizer for Christmas and I’m so excited about it! 100 grams of zucchini is only 21 calories, and it’s a lot of volume. So far I’ve only used it to make zucchini noodles – or “zoodles” – but I can also see myself topping salads with it or using it in sandwich wraps. The zucchini noodles have lasted a bit over a week in the fridge stored in air-tight container, so I prep about three zucchinis on Sunday and eat the zoodles throughout the week.
For this recipe I tossed some vegetarian crumbles into a pan with some non-stick spray and red pepper flakes. Add in the zoodles and marinara sauce, and stir together until the zoodles are done to your liking – be careful not to overcook the zucchini. Top with some cheese and pepper! I only made two of these servings in advance, each being 153kcal/12C/20P/2F. If you’re looking to lower the carbs and up the protein even more, feel free to substitute the protein here with lean turkey or chicken. I’d even add the shredded chicken into this recipe!
I loved this meal prep and all of the recipes turned out great! I hope this helps if you’re just starting your fitness journey and you’re looking for some easy meal preps.
Thanks for reading!