What is meal prep? Why do I need to do it?
The short answer is that any successful body builders takes into account the long-term aspect of fitness which is not just the week’s workouts but the week’s nutrition. Meal preparation helps them reach their goals. They eat according to those goals and take an hour to prepare themselves for their success in the follow-through of their objectives.
I thus present to you some vegan meal prep ideas. They are simple recipes for lunch and breakfast that you can make in advance to guarantee your success with proper nutrition for your hard work outs at the gym.
My fitness goal right now is to get stronger and put on a healthy amount of muscle. I strength train four times a week and do some high intensity sprints three times a week. I am following a program that is targeted towards building muscle mass so my meals are in line with those goals. I have to eat more.
This week’s lunches are in the picture below. Half of the lunches contain sweet potatoes, broccoli, greens, mushrooms, red beans, and quinoa whereas the other half are the same but with the red beans replaced with red lentils. I have added a spoonful of olive oil, black pepper and salt to all of them for seasoning. They are highly nutritious meals for this week with the goal of fuelling my body.
I highly encourage you to try meal prepping, in my culture, we have an abundance of Vegan options such as hummus, eggplant-based dishes and tabbouleh. I however decided to try meal prepping last week in order to be proactive towards reaching my goals at the gym. It took nothing but one hour on the weekend that I would have otherwise spent doing something un-related to my goals. By taking that one hour, I guaranteed that I would be eating well to sustain all my hard and intense work outs at the gym.
This was last week’s meal prep, as a newly transitioned Vegan and one who wants to put on muscle, I have had a hard time figuring out just what works for me. I also had fruits and nuts to snack on. I planned these meals according to my goal which was also to eat calorie-dense food in order to facilitate a good muscle growth process. My meals consisted of broccoli, beans, quinoa, corn and vegetables. I, however, would have removed some of the fibrous vegetables and added tofu or avocado instead.
I meal-prepped my breakfasts for this week into jars. I like cooking my oatmeal with almond milk, I also added almond butter and bananas to half the jars. Another variation that you can try is oatmeal with pumpkin seeds, chopped almonds and Agave syrup. I can now simply heat them up in the morning and have my breakfast ready with a good amount of fat, carbs and protein so that I can guarantee success in reaching my muscle-building and strength goals.
As a Vegan you can put on muscle, just plan it beforehand, and invest in plant-based protein sources other than whole-foods to really maximise and fuel your body. Plant-based protein powders and even protein bars that are soy-based can give you the protein you need. Your body is strong and powerful, it is ready to grow strong regardless of whether you consume animals or not, just bare in mind protein is and will always be a big part of building muscle, regardless of whether it comes from animals or not.
Final note: If you are 100% committed to a vision of yourself, and that goal happens to be you being really fit, then plan ahead. Be smart about your choices, this goes to both your work outs and your food, Youtube and Instagram are full of potentially good information, however, do not take everything at face-value as some people may not be honest about how they have achieved their levels of fitness.
Do the investigative work yourself for yourself. If you are committed and follow a Vegan lifestyle (you do not consume meat, eggs, or dairy), I can vouch for how important nutrition is for not just building muscle, but your overall energy levels and health.