Thank you for checking out The Community Conversation, brought to you by Prototype Training Systems, home of CrossFit Prototype! This episode of The Community Conversation is a NUTRITION EDITION! Typically, The Community Conversation highlights a different member of the Prototype Community each week and allows them to tell their story, share their life experience, and communicate their perspective on all things fitness. For this episode, we have two of our Prototype Nutrition Coaches dropping some Nutrition knowledge bombs!

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For this nutrition edition of the Community Conversation, Prototype Nutrition Coach Jon Collette and Prototype Nutrition’s Registered Dietitian, Sam Hally will be talking about MEAL IDEAS. If you’re looking to learn more about nutrition for yourself or pick up some tips, you will want to check this out!

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Jon 0:03
Welcome to the community conversation, the nutrition edition with Sam and I, we are going to be talking today about easy meal prep and easy meal ideas. This is like a common thing that we get often. And we want to help you guys be able to make these things a little bit

simpler. So, um, we’ll start with like meal prep, and then we can branch off into how we can start making some easy meal ideas. So Sam Lee, how do you um, what would you say like when you’re meal prepping? Like what are the kind of like the things that you know, are going to help you throughout the week to have prepared.

Sam 0:41
Good point, okay, so meal prep to start is like,

not necessarily putting together the meal, but like getting yourself set up for success. So meal prepping, like, in my household, I’m gonna be honest, we do meals like every other day, but bull crap, like a big batch of rice, right, and then use it for two different kinds of meals. Now rice, I’m going to be honest, is like not the best for sitting in the refrigerator that’s like, kind of foodborne illness issue. So like you can’t let rice tip for a week. That’s not good. But like you can meal prep rice, you can meal prep Kinlaw. That’s something we do a lot meal prep chicken, and just using it a bunch of different ways.

And we’ll like cook all these things at once when we have the time, and then pull bits and pieces of them together to make a more like cohesive coherent meal. Because you don’t want to eat like a piece of plain, like unseasoned chicken for dinner. Like, you’ll have to put it with something. So it’s really easy to like steam a bag of vegetables, and then just toss it together with like a rice and a chicken. What kinds of things do you do John to meal prep.

Jon 1:44
So we’ll, we’ll, um, we’re a little different, we don’t make food every other day, we typically will make some form of protein, we’ll make some, some veggies like one or two veggies like in a large batch. And then we’ll do one or two carbs. And we’ll maybe use like So this week, we did chicken in the crock pot. So all we did was we just took a pack of chicken brass, put it in the crock pot, put it on low for like literally like six hours, just put like a basic seasoning on it. We typically will do like what we call like a neutral seasonings we just like like Italian so it’s not like overbearing or if you do like, if you like marinate in something like you’re gonna get like a very dominant flavor. If you use like something that’s a little bit more like neutral, that’s not you can potentially change the condiments is what I’m getting at to have a different type of meal. So we did in the crock pot chicken. And like the other day we did like like buffalo chicken, and we mix out with like a little bit of pasta. And then we have and then we do this the salad bag. So we don’t always necessarily have to prep veggies because we do that as well as we’ll just buy a blade that’ll be part of our prep and go to the grocery stores, like it’s already ready for us. Like we’ll just get like, like salad bags, and we’ll just do like something like that. But then we could also use that same protein. And we could do like we could change it up and use like a little bit of barbecue sauce. Or we could just do just the Italian it depends on what the what the type of type of dishes sometimes we’ll even just put it with like some marinara sauce or something like that. But simple, that’s like super, super simple when it comes to like prepping. Now if it was like an easy meal idea, like I kind of just named off a couple easy meal ideas you could use your prep for, but um, something that we might do to you that’s like really, really simple is like you could always like literally just make a wrapper sandwich. Like with that protein that you’ve already you’ve already made. Um, in the summertime, we might make things a little bit different than we do in the wintertime based off of like, if we’re using like the grill, we might do it a little bit more often. But in the winter time, like we’re not using the grill so we like boiled chicken, we’ll use a crock pot. We’ll do things like that like more often for like our like our protein. Yeah. Now what is like what like what are some of your favorite easy meal ideas?

Sam 4:42
So we have pasta and meat sauce is like almost a given that’s almost every single week we’ll have some that in some capacity. Sometimes that’ll make meatballs. If we’re feeling ambitious, but literally like ground turkey or chicken or even be like whatever’s on sale for the week. We’ll buy a pack Just toss them pan brown it up with Italian seasoning, crushed tomatoes and pasta and toss together for a meal takes like 10 minutes total. So that’s like a given that’s always in our rotation. We cycled through burrito bowls a lot, we cycle through like Mediterranean style burrito bowls. So like, instead of like salsa, we use like to bully and we use like Ziqi sauce and like cucumbers and tomatoes, instead of like the beans and the vegetables. But we still put it with chicken and rice. Sometimes I’ll put chickpeas on it, we use that can check these all the time. Sometimes I’ll do case videos. If we have like leftover chicken and we need to use it up, we’ll chop it up with some sauce nuts, also, with some peppers and onions and put it together with some cheesecake ideas. Cereal, honestly, is a common thing in my house. At the end of the night, we have sandwiches more often than I can count. But the thing is, we’ll like switch up. So sometimes we’ll do like, use our leftover chicken and we’ll we’ll turn it into like a opinion or we’ll do like a regular turkey sandwich. Sometimes we’ll make tuna salad and make a tuna sandwich. Sometimes we’ll do like a crazy sandwich. And we’ll do like the mozzarella and tomato and pesto. We’re big sandwich people. But really, it’s like, if it takes more than 10 minutes to repair, I’m probably not eating it. So yeah, about as simple as possible.

Jon 6:26
When I mean when it comes to simple like you’re really just looking for like three things. You’re looking for a protein, a car, and a veggie. And then you usually want to have like, some fat, whether you’re cooking your food with it, or you might have like something like avocado cheese or like like a mayo or something like that. You want to have some type of like, some fat that’s also in your dish to try to have like some more of a balanced meal for you. Right, like sandwiches are super easy, and they’re actually like super, like nutritious like you can you can it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Um, if you ever do like casseroles or anything like that,

Sam 7:05
oh yeah, we do shepherd’s pie a lot. But we don’t do so I think like one of the things that I lucked out as a kid is like my parents make like the plainest food ever. So I like playing food. So we’ll do shepherd’s pie and it’s literally the same thing as like the meat sauce. But we do like the ground meat. We do the frozen peas and corn and carrot mix will like put like a tiny bit of sauce on top. But really it’s basically like dry. Dry me it sounds terrible, but like it’s fine. And then like may make some mashed potatoes to put on top. But no like ZD bakes or anything like that. Just because I’m a picky eater. Um, yeah, casseroles are great. They’re so easy. They’re so convenient. Are you a big casserole guy?

Jon 7:43
Well, he has a couple that I like she makes some. She makes like a it’s like a chicken pot pie. But it’s like a not as bad for you chicken pot pie. Well, you know the best quick, right? Like yeah, yeah, so you can make pancakes or biscuits or anything like that. So she’ll use that and she’ll usually get like the she usually get like the lower fat this quick. She normally normally do like, like, I don’t know, maybe a pound of chicken. She does like cream of chicken that she liked. Like out of the can to like mix a chicken with that. Peas and carrots. And then she’ll just layer the best cake on top. And then she’ll just bake it. Yeah. Crazy. Yeah, it’s like not that many ingredients. It’s just this quick chicken. The cream of cream mushroom or creamy chicken, whichever one she uses. I can’t remember. And then the frozen veggies. That sounds good. Yeah, she also do the egg noodles. Sometimes we’ll do like if we do like a pasta casserole. The egg noodles were like a little bit higher in protein. And then should make like a cheese sauce. with it. It’ll be like a chicken broccoli casserole with the egg noodles. And you just baking oven. Super good.

Sam 9:09
Easy. It’s just like, the easier the better is like really the solution to this we definitely do we do the egg noodles. We don’t do it in a casserole but we do like mat on like a stew it’s I think very similar to your yours but like it’s well put like even though like the the meat. It’s already pre cubed. I don’t even have to touch it. Just dump it into the crock pot. And then we get like a cannon mushroom. Like cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms, onions. And whatever vegetable we have. That’s about to expire and into the crock pot and cook it all day but over egg noodles. Like yeah, zero effort. And the trick is you know what the best thing we’ve done something John, we’ve gotten the crock pot liners. They’re like plastic bags like on the inside so you don’t have to like barely clean the crock pot. You just like throw it in the trash once it’s done.

Jon 10:00
Smart. Yeah. It’s always like, such a pain to clean.

Sam 10:05
Yeah. Are you big soup? guys? You guys do soups?

Jon 10:09
No, I do. I mean, I do chilies but I don’t make soups too often so I’m not really I don’t really have too many there. Um, do you?

Sam 10:20
Not too much because we’ll see that you guys are getting an insight into my personal life Matt doesn’t think soups are filling enough for a meal. So like we do, we’ll do like

Jon 10:32
a little bit I have to have like a Yeah, I have to have more stuff in the soup. Like if I was having like chicken noodle soup like I need like a decent amount of chicken in it. Or yeah, I feel like too satisfied. When I’m done.

Sam 10:44
We did more of as a side like we’ll make a vegetable soup. We’ll make like a Italian wedding soup. But no more chilies and we’ll like do pork tenderloin in the crock pot. We’ll do buffalo chicken in the crock pot. These are crock pot more for like cooking meats than we do. I think soups

Jon 10:59
now, like Do you ever do anything for like breakfast? Do you have any? Maybe not yourself? Personally, you I mean, I usually just do like cereal. But do you have any creative breakfast you can write for people that don’t have a ton of time in the morning that grab their stuff they eat at work?

Sam 11:17
Yeah, so I’ve had a lot of clients that have had success by making it you take eggs and crack them into like muffin tins. And so you do like one egg per muffin tin and then you pre cook them all together. Like you can do all 12 Like the whole doesn’t and there and then you can freeze it. It’s like I don’t know, it’s like going to McDonald’s like then you can in the morning just like toast up an English muffin and

Jon 11:41
use cracking rate energy beat the egg like

Sam 11:44
you can crack it right in or you can beat it. I mean I’ve seen it done both ways. Either one’s five minutes,

Jon 11:52
just the egg and then you bake it.

Sam 11:54
Even do that just the egg some people like to do it with like bacon and stuff. But you can do veggies cheese, you can add anything to it just depends on how fast so like some people eat it like that. And I tell people a lot of times just to do it and then like pop it in the microwave, toast up an English muffin and then like put it together with a piece of cheese and then like you’re good to go. You can take it on the go real fast and easy. So like for my recommendation, yeah, almost just saves the process of having to like clean things in the morning. Like you don’t have to fry up an egg you have one already made. That one people like a lot overnight oats like turn it into little oatmeal. That’s been really blown out the last couple of weeks. So

Jon 12:33
how do you do varieties there guys make them

Sam 12:37
so what is even putting in it and milk, oats, chia seeds and whatever berries are on sale at the grocery store. I don’t even know if he heats it up. Probably not. I don’t like it Miller.

Jon 12:54
It’s oats. I’ll do like blueberries. I might do like like protein powder. Maybe I’ll do depending on like what calorie range I’m looking for. Like I’ll either do like peanut butter like the peanut butter powder. So if you’re looking for like a low calorie, like use peanut butter powder, you’re fine with the peanut butter. And then like a little bit of like chocolate morsels and then you microwave it. So it’s like chocolate peanut butter blueberry. Oatmeal. Wicked good.

Sam 13:29
That sounds so good. You can also do an oatmeal make those

Jon 13:33
you stirred all in after it melts. Good. I deal with like, just regular like 2% Milk.

Sam 13:39
Have you done like an oatmeal bake before

Jon 13:43
oatmeal bake like bake it?

Sam 13:45
Yeah, so like good thing but you use milk but you bake it

Jon 13:48
because I really I made those before like little like oatmeal muffin type things that you’re saying?

Sam 13:53
Yeah, it kind of turns into like a muffin or a bar because it’s like you can cut it out of the pan.

Jon 13:59
I’ve never made it Lily’s clothes. You made them before Lily’s fully sisters made them quite a few times. Yeah, those are good. Those are easy. Um, what else trying to think like, I mean, what I personally do for breakfast is I just do I do Kashi cereal. Some of my clients will do like a yogurt like, like yogurt with like, granola or coffee or something like that is like a topping. It kind of depends on your appetite. But that’s also like a super simple, easy thing to do is you can just make yourself like a like a yogurt parfait type thing.

Sam 14:41
It’s mix Yeah, I love yogurt eggs for breakfast. Yeah.

Jon 14:45
Um, and yeah, lunch. I do teaches a lot. Which is like, easy to have several meals for. Yeah, and I mean, we made me pause this week, as well as that Chicken. So meatballs. Easy, are so good. Yeah. But yeah, I think if you’re listening, Sam and I aren’t gourmet chefs, this is like super simple, easy stuff to do. I’m mean, if you’re looking to get like creative and stuff like that, you could always like basically just simulate what you know. So if you’re looking for something like pizza, and you want the calories to be a bit lower, you want it to be more convenient, you don’t want it to take a long time to make, you could do something like English muffin, put the same ingredients on it, cut it, cut it in half, maybe you have two to four pieces, you could have two English muffins, you could put some Marondera you could put some, some chickens, some cheese, now you got yourself so many pizzas doesn’t have to be super complicated, you can get a little creative with it. But um, yeah, the point being is, you know, you basically want to have a balanced meal. And if you do a little bit of prep in advance by preparing some protein, some carbs, maybe some veggies, if you do find yourself like in a rush, often, you can easily just throw that in a container, throw that in a plate, easy to go, or easy meal to have, especially if you have kids and stuff like that you don’t have a lot of time to cook dinner, you just have something very easy. That doesn’t take a lot of time. So I will do t shirts, like almost once a week because you know, if I’m on a farm alone with Riley, I’m not going to be like cooking food necessarily. It’s kind of hard to do that. At least I’ll usually just have something like quiche already made that I can easily just pop in the microwave where I don’t. It’s already mean. Are you done?

Sam 16:49
Yeah. What do you put in your case? What is that just eggs and cheese and veggies? You

Jon 16:53
a pie crust? We do 10 eggs we do? Broccoli and mushroom? Like half a cup of cheese. And that’s, that’s it? Yeah. Pretty simple. Pretty simple. Yeah.

Sam 17:12
Yeah, I feel like we’ve just rattled off a bunch of meal ideas, but zero recipes. And honestly, like, I don’t even use the recipe for anything I cook about you, John. Like, we just wing it.

Jon 17:22
I’ve, I’ve bought in several recipe books, and I’ve never followed a recipe, it’s just it always ends up being that I end up having to buy three ingredients that like I don’t use for anything. So then I always get like, super annoyed, like this dish looks great. But like one, like I don’t use coconut pure like flour or whatever all the time. So it’s like, I don’t feel like having to spend $20 To make this one meal. And I’ll use that ingredient for anything else. I’m like, just the ingredients. It is just, you doesn’t have to be overly complicated, like whatever you typically are using regularly. Do that. Just make it make a little bit in advance, you know, put a easy plate together. Protein carb veggie.

Sam 18:09
Yeah. And it tastes so different if you put different sauces or different balls on the plate or like different seasonings like I’ll eat chicken, veggies and rice. No chicken, veggies and rice. Yeah, all day long if it’s like in a curry, but like if it’s plain I I’m not interested in at all. So it’s like literally all you have to do is add some flavor and it totally changes the meal. So I think it’s like worth investing in some like good spices and like some nice like flavorful sauces that you can just add your meals to like elevate everything that like seems way too simple or way too boring or waging plane.

Jon 18:47
Yeah. Yeah, I agree. If you I mean, I almost season like everything like, Mexican style. Or, like everything’s like ends up turning into like a Mexican bowl. Yeah. Or it’ll be like a like a condiment that’s in like my fridge.

Sam 19:09
Yeah. Honestly, the best thing is the pre chop salsa in like the the produce section. Like I don’t even make sauce. I don’t like the canned salsa, but like it’s a it’s just like tomatoes, onions. Sometimes there’s peppers in it and like cilantro. It’s so good. adds so much flavor to a meal.

Jon 19:27
You literally put that in any meal you put then eggs put that on. You know, you put that on chicken. Yeah, you can do like a lot with that. Yeah, I mean, if you’re also looking for like meal ideas to like, message, what you’re looking for, and we could probably give you some more ideas versus what we’ve just talked about here. I know. I have like a bunch written down somewhere.

Sam 19:55
Yeah, I think we both have aisles of meals. Yeah, like With lots of simple things, and he’s mac and cheese. That’s a classic in my household.

Jon 20:06
Yeah. That with the chicken and then buffalo sauce stirred up. That’s gold. Yep.

Sam 20:13
amazing, incredible. And so at least anyone listening to this, like hopefully what you’re getting out of this is like food prep meal prep, cooking, and eating in general does not need to be complicated at all. It doesn’t need to be expensive whatsoever. Like you don’t need to be a gourmet chef. Even a little bit. You were able to manage that to get our meal in 10 minutes, then you are able to eat well. I would I would recommend though. Invest in a meat thermometer. Like $10 is a game changer when you’re meal prepping and cooking for yourself. Do you have one John?

Jon 20:48
I think we have. I don’t know. I’ve never used it.

Sam 20:53
Oh my god. Yeah, we have a magnetic one sits on the fridge right next to the stove. It like means the chicken is not disgusting and dry every single time. Smart. Yeah. It makes a difference. Memorize. Memorize the cooking temperatures and then use your meat thermometer and food will taste so much better. I mean, you’re a good cook anyway. So it’s like not necessary. But for people who are like I hate chicken because it tastes terrible. Get to meet their owner. You might like chicken.

Jon 21:23
Yeah, I normally find chicken to be wanted to reheated not always the best. So I usually like have to like read cook it on the stove. Like not in the microwave is what I’m saying. But yeah, that’s when I find it to be like really dry as if I like put it in the microwave. Like reheat it. Like yeah, I don’t want chicken anymore.

Sam 21:47
I add extra sauce.

Jon 21:50
But cool. So uh, if you guys have any questions or any ideas that you do you would like then reach out. Thank you for listening to community conversation. Neil idea episode