Click to see today's WOD Click to see today's WOD

Meal Prep versus Food Prep: What’s Best for You?

Meal prep and food prep may sound like the same thing, but there are slight differences between them. Depending on your environment, the busy-ness of your schedule, or the type of personality you have, one may work better for you than the other!

What’s meal prep?

meal prepMeal prep is the act of literally planning and preparing all your complete meals for the week (or whatever pre-determined amount of time) ahead of time. With meal prep, you plan out 1-3 dishes (one per meal: breakfast, lunch, dinner), and ration it for the number of days you’re preparing for. For example, if I were preparing for a work week’s worth of lunches, I’d make enough chicken thighs, broccoli and sweet potato for 5 days. I’d cook it all, then divide it evenly for each meal. Tada: my lunch is prepped for the next 5 days!

Who’s it for?

For a lot of people, this is the type of preparedness that their lives require. The work week is busy, and it’s easier to have their food portioned ahead of time, so they can just grab it and go when they leave the house. One major factor to consider: You have to be okay with eating the same thing for lunch for all 5 days, without it causing boredom or the “urge to splurge.”

What’s food prep?

food prepIf you read the above description and find yourself thinking “I can’t eat the same thing for 5 days, or I’ll end up eating all the candy in the break room,” or “I could do that, but I need some variety in my life,” enter: food prep.

Food prep is where you decide on a handful of choices: 2-3 proteins, 3-5 sides (could be vegetables, whole grains/legumes, or both) and maybe even a healthy fat or two, if needed. Once you’ve decided what those are going to be, prep them all in bulk style and store them each individually. When it comes to meal time, you can mix and match from the different foods you’ve prepared to create your meal for the day. To add in an extra boost of flavor and variety, try making your own sauces (pico de gallo, guacamole, chimichurri, etc.) and mix-and-match those as well. Rinse and repeat each day!

Food prep will take a little bit more time, since you’ll have to “make” your meals every day, but that’ll become faster as you do this more and get more comfortable with what different serving sizes look like in your containers.

Who’s it for?

Food prep is a great option for those of us (myself included) who need the illusion of variety throughout the week. This helps keep cravings at bay and allows you to be more creative with your food!

As you’re deciding which option may be better for you, maybe try them both. You’ll find out quickly which one’s going to fit best with your lifestyle. Keep in mind, too, that your needs can change from week-to-week with how busy you are; this week, meal prep may be exactly what you need, and next week food prep might be where it’s at. Be flexible with what works for you but know that being prepared one way or another is the key to success!


Want more help with your food?

Try Out Nutrition Coaching

Read More


How to Eat Lunch Out & Stay Healthy (Plus our favorite restaurants in Boulder!)

I eat lunch out a lot and from the survey, we learned that many of you do as well. In general, eating out is obviously not ideal from a health standpoint. You want to eat healthy but then find yourself with friends at The Rio eating Mexican food. Of course now you need some chips and salsa (like a whole basket of chips, maybe two because you’re starving) and then everyone else is having a margarita so shouldn’t you as well. So you’re kind of setting yourself up to either feel deprived or to make a suboptimal choice. However, if you put a little thought into choosing restaurants with some healthy options that you like, then it doesn’t have to be an unhealthy choice.


Here are some things to consider:

#1: Will they have something that I like that’s healthy? Yes you can probably get chicken with a steamed veggie at most places but do they have something healthy that you love to eat? Try to find things that you love so you don’t feel deprived and then steer you friends and family in the direction of those restaurants. You’ll be doing them and yourself a favor.

#2: Where do they source their ingredients? If most of their food is coming off of the Sysco truck, then it’s not going to be a very nutrient dense meal…even if it’s a salad with grilled chicken. The nutritional benefits you get from lettuce that you get from a local farm are very different than what you get from lettuce off an industrialized food distribution truck. We’re so lucky because I’ve never been to another city anywhere that has so many restaurants that are conscious of where their ingredients come from. Some restaurants that source local ingredients include: The Kitchen, Zeal, Fresh Thymes, Blooming Beets, Shine, Chautauqua Dining Hall, Oak, Black Cat and Salt.

#3: Do they cater to your specific needs such as: gluten free, dairy free, no crappy cooking oils, etc. If you know you feel terrible when you eat gluten or dairy or canola oil, then why not choose a restaurant that caters to those specific needs. If you go to a pancake house that doesn’t have good gluten free pancakes then aren’t you asking for a problem. For instance, Shine, Blooming Beets and Fresh Thymes are all amazing, and they have 100% gluten free menus. Zeal, Blooming Beets and Fresh Thymes only use high quality (and more expensive oils) like coconut oil for cooking and olive oil for dressings.

Here are some examples of healthy lunch and breakfast options around town:

Shine

Shine is 100% gluten free and has a great selection of amazing dishes that have very high quality sourced ingredients. This is the chicken with kale salad and it was delicious. Shine is located in the same mall as the gym now and they have a beautiful cookbook that you can check out at Sanitas. We also offer the option of calling in your order for you and you can pick it up to go after your workout.

Motomaki

This is a staple for me. It’s fast and relatively cheap and I can a well-balanced meal. I choose chicken or fish and add in 5 veggies. It’s located right by the gym over by Home Depot.

Zeal

I love this place and the new location overlooking the Boulder Creek by Alfalfa’s is so nice. The owner here really cares about the quality of his ingredients and you can tell. This is the wild caught salmon with vegetable curry and rice.

Modmarket

You can’t go wrong here for lunch but I also wanted to point out that this is a great option for breakfast. It opens at 8a and it’s right by the gym. I get the sausage, kale scramble with no cheese and gluten free toast. It’s always good, fast and inexpensive and it’s saved me several times when I didn’t have time to go home and cook. Eating a balanced breakfast everyday has been key for me to lose excess body fat and you can read more about that here.

 

A few other options are Blooming Beets (they have an amazing salmon or chicken salad and always use the best ingredients), Fresh Thymes (fast and easy because they have counter service and they also source great ingredients), Arabesque (the chicken shawarma plate is to die for), and Tangerine for breakfast. Other fast food options are Wahoos (salmon salad), the Whole Foods prepared foods section (chicken curry with turmeric rice and add extra veggies), Yellowbelly (kale salad with roasted chicken), and Chipotle (bowl but skip the chips). If you have a favorite, let me know and I’ll add it to the list for next time.

Read More


Help Out a Sanitas Member — Harvest of Hope Pantry Needs Donations

A note from Sanitas member, Riley Bright, Executive Director of Harvest of Hope Pantry in Boulder. The CrossFit community knows how important food and nutrition are to health, so what if you were in a situation where you couldn’t access good nutritious food? A 2016 study by Feeding America found that 1 out of 8 […]

Read More


How to Lose Excess Body Fat & Keep it Off

We recently sent out a survey asking questions about members’ eating habits and nutrition goals. More than 100 people responded (thank you!) and there were a few things that stood out. The most important goal was losing body fat (65%) Consistency is the biggest impediment to achieving your goals The two things that work best […]

Read More


The Weekly Preview

Weekly Notes: ***Weightlifting Seminar this weekend, so classes will be held at Centennial Middle School at 8:30 and 9:30am on both Saturday and Sunday! ***Our Member Appreciation Picnic is this Sunday from 11am-1pm at North Boulder Park!  ***Be on the lookout for our Member of the Month Spotlight: Chelsea Shettler for the month of August!  Monday: […]

Read More


Outdoor WODs and Upcoming Schedule Adjustments

Thursday, Aug. 16 5:30pm Mobility Cancelled Saturday & Sunday, Aug. 18-19 Gym closed for Outdoor WODs! 8:30am & 9:30am ONLY All Classes at Centennial Middle School Track We’re bringing kettlebells and other equipment to the track for a super fun outdoor workout! Then don’t forget the Member Appreciation Picnic! Sunday, Aug 19 @ 11am-1pm at North […]

Read More


Welcome New Kids Coach, Jaala! CrossFit Kids Begins Aug. 21

We are incredibly excited to welcome Jaala (pronounced Jah-lah) to the community and coaching staff at Sanitas! And the most exciting thing? She’s taking on the CrossFit Kids program here so that we can continue to run more kids classes, and have them more often throughout the year. Not only is she a pre-school teacher […]

Read More


Counting Macros and Why You Should Try It!

counting macros

If you’re not familiar with “counting your macros,” it’s the process of monitoring and managing your daily intake of the three macronutrients: fat, carbohydrates and protein. Everyone has a different amount they should aim to eat based on goals, body composition, age, gender, level of training, and more. For a few weeks now, I’ve been […]

Read More


Staying Present: Setting Intentions for Daily Success

We all struggle with the ability to live in the moment — surrounded with countless distractions by our phones, tablets, computers, television, radio, or you name it and most of us have it. These external devices draw us out of what is going on in our environment and distract us from engaging in what is […]

Read More


New Strength Class Cycle *Starting Monday August 6th

Programming Overview This will be a 6 week cycle with the 7th week being our de-load week and week 8 being our testing week! Over the course of this cycle we will be modulating intensity and volume to allow for adequate rest while still emphasizing hypertrophy gains! ***This program is for those that already know […]

Read More