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Meal prepping has long been a hallmark behavior of fitness gurus. Rows of perfectly assembled Tupperware filled with proteins, vegetables and healthy carbs are common images that most people conjure when they think of meal prepping. But, fitness coaches are here to say it doesn’t have to look that “perfect.” Working from home, caring for kids and keeping food on the table can be simple and seamless — and being “Instagram-worthy,” they say, isn’t a requirement.

Karen Broadwater, President of Birmingham-founded Iron Tribe Fitness, says eating healthy while under quarantine isn’t only possible, but it’s also a way to improve your overall health and wellness while the world “hits pause” for a little while.

“The key is to make it as simple and easy as possible,” Karen says. “Pick a lean protein, a healthy carbohydrate like brown rice or sweet potatoes, and tons of green, leafy vegetables.”

Map out your meals — even under quarantine. Maintaining a healthy and nutritious diet is important — perhaps now more than ever.

Good options for protein:

  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Lean turkey breast
  • Lean ground beef
  • Canned tuna
  • Pork tenderloin
  • Liquid egg whites
  • Any white fish

Good options for healthy carbs:

  • Sweet or red potatoes
  • Cooked brown or white rice
  • Rolled oats
  • Quinoa
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Apples

Good options for veggies:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Celery
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Yellow Squash
  • Asparagus
  • Turnip Greens

Forrest Walden, founder and CEO of Iron Tribe, recommends “breaking up” the meal-prep process to save time. “Rinse, slice and season your favorite vegetables so they’re ready to be cooked later,” Forrest suggests. “Or, make big batches of soups, sauces and quality grains like brown rice and quinoa. Prep your protein ahead of time so all you have to do is throw it in a salad or inside a wrap for when you need it right away.”

Mendy Walden, Forrest’s wife, showcases the staples that can make meal prep easy.

Also, Karen recommends taking advantage of appliances like slow cookers, which allow you to let your food cook in bulk while you tend to other needs around the house.

If you’re at home with children, another way to make meal-prep more enjoyable is to make it a part of the daily routine. Get the kids involved and make it a family affair. Promote your little ones to simple tasks like putting Tupperware containers in rows or scooping out each day’s food portion into its designated container. Once you have a few “go-to” recipes, the meal-prep process will become a part of the routine.

Even the kids can help with meal prep.

If you’re still wondering what you can meal prep, then check out these below recipes, which use common ingredients that be found at most grocery stores (or, maybe, they’re already in your cabinet or refrigerator right now!).

 

Crockpot Turkey Chili

Iron Tribe coach Jen Groban
This healthy turkey chili is thick and hearty, and bursting with flavor.
5 from 1 vote
Course Entrée, Main, Chili
Cuisine American
Calories 825 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 large can of crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 chili seasoning packet or you can make your own seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • Add as many veggies as you want! I sometimes add carrots and celery.
  • Add jalapenos for extra spice.

Instructions
 

  • Sautee veggies and garlic until soft and fragrant, then place in crockpot.
  • Sautee extra lean ground turkey until cooked all the way through, add to the crockpot.
  • Add can of crushed/diced tomatoes to crockpot.
  • Turn on crockpot to high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-plus hours.

Nutrition

Serving: 1potCalories: 825kcalCarbohydrates: 34gProtein: 91gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 10gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 336mgSodium: 910mgPotassium: 2143mgFiber: 8gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 1747IUVitamin C: 143mgCalcium: 268mgIron: 10mg
Keyword Chili, Crockpot
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!

 

 

Piccata (without Meat) in 10 minutes

Iron Tribe coach Eric Brown
Enjoy this simple dish inspired by an Italian favorite!
5 from 1 vote
Course Main
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients
  

  • 1 zucchini halved lengthwise then cut crosswise into ¼-inch pieces
  • 4 oz orzo pasta or any "small-sized" pasta
  • 1/2 lb cocktail tomatoes or cherry or diced Roma (if cocktail, quarter them; if cherry, half them)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp of Greek non-fat 0% yogurt
  • 1 lemon quartered

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta for 7 to 9 minutes, drain and return to pot. Add Greek yogurt, salt and pepper to
  • heated pan with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (or your preference). Add zucchini, chopped garlic and capers. Stir for 3 to 4 minutes. Combine and drizzle with the juice of one lemon wedge (or your desired amount).
  • Feel free to add your desired protein! Chicken Piccata is a traditional Italian favorite. If you do choose a protein, it will add even more dynamics to this simple dish!
Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!

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