Easy Meal Prep Under 10 min and $20

Meal prep is one of the less glamorous elements of your fitness journey. Especially if you are new to taking control of your nutrition, making pounds of chicken, sautéing vegetables, while you burn rice to the bottom of the pot can seem like a kitchen destroying Sisyphean task. Instead of letting this take the spirit out of you I am going to provide some easy meal prep ideas in a series of blogs that will soon be a e-pamphlet.

First Question

“What level of coaching are you at?” Nutrition coaching is often divided into three levels of intensity and detail. Most people will never need to be at level 3, unless you plan to compete in bodybuilding or physique. Even then though most advanced athletes/dieters cannot realistically stay at level 3 without psychological and/or physical burnout. In this level everything is taken into account. You are even measuring asparagus spears, nothing is eaten that you do not measure or weigh first. Also, a level 3 trainee is most likely timing their meals around their workouts for optimized muscle growth or fat loss. An example of detail the majority of that day’s carbs would be eaten in a three hour window arounds workouts. Whey protein would be consumed following a workout because of its quick absorption rate and casein taken prior to bed because of its slow release. For most individuals you will never need to be at level 3.

Myself after about two months of  level 2  intensity and one month at  level 3.

Myself after about two months of level 2 intensity and one month at level 3.

Level 2, I will define as you are measuring calories but you are not striving for the same level of accuracy. Also, timing is not really an issue. A note on accuracy, most food labels are estimated to only be within the 20-30% accurate range to begin with. For a food item to be close to 100% accurate every item would need to be placed in a bomb calorimeter.

Level 1 is simply basic consciousness of what you are eating. At level 1 you simply use your fist to measure protein, palm for carbs & vegetables, and your thumb to estimate fat.

Three common items less than 20 dollars. Also, I recommend purchasing broccoli florets and not cuts.

Three common items less than 20 dollars. Also, I recommend purchasing broccoli florets and not cuts.

Four Meals Under Ten Minutes

For the level 3 trainee: divide the chicken into white meat and dark since you will enter them separately into your tracking app. Even if you are trying to cut I would recommend keeping the skin on at least the dark meat because of the vitamins. Next weigh four equal portions of each. Microwave the pre-packaged rice, use a spatula to divide each two serving packs into individual portions. Microwave your vegetables in a glass container and then divide those up. For the level two trainee, simply find in My Fitness Pal, or your chosen app, an entire rotisserie chicken then enter the serving as 0.25 of the whole chicken. The rice and vegetable set up is the same. If you are a level 1 trainee simply rip, shred the chicken up and use your eyeballs.

Cost Effective

This approach is not a only a great way for you to track your nutrition, but you can save considerable money. Especially if like me you live in New York City. I purchased all these items for under twenty bucks. The chicken was $7.99, two pre-cooked rice packs for $2.50 a piece, and two bags of broccoli for $2.49 a piece. I made four filling meals which in NYC would easily run $10-15 a piece. I chose not use oil on the rice and to keep the skin on the chicken for my fat calories. That being said each meal was still around 500 calories total. If you liked this article and would value more similar content please leave a comment below. Best of luck on your journey whatever your goals are. It will not happen overnight but probably will not take as long you think either. Be patient. strive to find satisfaction in the challenge and process.

Patience is not simply the ability to wait, but rather how we behave while we’re waiting.
— -Joyce Meyer

Note using the lids for each container to make it easier to measure and divide the portions, the finished product (far right).

Picking The Right Muay Thai Camp in Thailand

So you’ve saved up your money and vacation time and you’re ready to pull the trigger. If you are anything like myself and the generation of marital artist like me who grew up on Kickboxer you dreamed of training in Thailand. Well, you might not realize this but you’re not the only one. Foreigners, or farrang, training in Thailand is a huge business and you’ll be one of thousands. That’s not to say you shouldn’t, nor does it mean you won’t be on your own unique adventure, just don’t expect be going down a path that hasn’t been tread. Over the course of 5 trips spanning decade and totally over a year of time in The Kingdom I would like to give 3 tips for choosing your first Muay Thai gym to train at.

 

  1. BE HONEST WITH YOURSELF: What type of experience are you looking for? If you really want to be secluded and do nothing but train, great. Also, if you are working a stressful job in your home country and this is your only chance to get a vacation in, as well as train, that’s great too. If you want to have access to other activities like SCUBA, snorkeling, trekking, maybe pick a gym in one of the more frequented spots like Chiang Mai or Phuket. It’s ok, Van Damme will forgive you.

 

  1. WHAT LEVEL ARE YOU AT: Another question where you will need to be honest with yourself. I’ve trained at gyms that were the perfect environment for foreigners coming who have already fought and are looking hone their skills and conditioning. The caveat with that is at times such gyms can be unprepared, or unwilling, to take the time to get you technically up to speed to where you’re getting the most out of your training. If you’re a beginner don’t necessarily look for a spot where the best fighters from the US & Europe go to prep, or a gym that boasts a roster of stadium champions, possibly seek out a “Mom & Pop” operation instead. A great example of that type of gym is Santai Muay Thai located in the outskirts of Chiang Mai. If you are already an experienced fighter it possibly doesn’t get better than Sitsongpeenong where I spent four months living.

 

  1. Do your research, and look for the most current information you can find. Plenty of forums exists and there are several Muay Thai gym review sites on the internet. Just keep in mind these gyms often shut down or change owners with little to no notice. If you read an awesome review of a place that sounds like it’s perfectly tailored to your needs, be sure to check the date. The Muay Thai community at large is welcoming and ready to help. Personally I’m more than happy to message back anyone on Instagram or Facebook who shoots me a question.

 

  1. Do you want to still cross-train? If you want to still keep up with your ground game or Western Style boxing there are options to do both and learn authentic Muay Thai. If you’re looking to particularly hone your stand up skills for MMA, you might be best served by one of the gyms that regularly sends fighters to promotions throughout Asia for MMA. A good location for the MMA focused trainees would be to get a hostel on the street of Chalong Phuket. You can take Traditional Muay Thai at Dragon Muay Thai, western Boxing & BJJ at Phuket Top Team, and then take MMA class at Tiger Muay thai all with in walking distance of each other.

Respect for the Beginner

 

It’s natural for us as humans to want to compare, rate and rank. Now, let’s say you’ve been boxing and training for about a year. You now crave a good training session. The next few days after class your body no longer feels like it was hit by a car and will revolt against you any moment. Another human tendency, and one of our less admirable ones, is to gain a feeling of superiority by comparing ourselves to those less skilled. Remember you will always be a beginner compared to someone else out there.

Thailand Lessons

In Thailand over the course of 4 months I lived in a room underneath the gym at Sitsongpeenong Muay Thai Camp. I showed up to Sitsonpeenong with a couple of decades of experience, in shape (but still fat by Thailand standards), and 20 fights under my belt. However, compared to many of the Thai 16 year olds there, who will already have close to 100 professional bouts at that age, I was a rank novice. Also, fighters in camps such as the one I was at are usually there because there is no other choice for them and their family. Despite sweating all over the place, being comparatively a beginner with motivations most likely perplexing to someone fighting for survival, I was never treated with anything but respect. I strive to, although not always successfully, to remember this lesson in humility and graciousness.  

Back to New York

So, back to New York and group boxing classes. Even though you are now finding a “groove” there will be times when your motivation begins to flag. You might know exactly what to do at this point. “Jab,” “cross,” “slip,” and “weave,” are now all part of your vocabulary. You have all the right gear, you have a gym community, your comfort level is higher, yet still sometimes you might find it difficult to make it to the gym. Take a moment and think how much more of a challenge it is for someone new. Someone who feels awkward, doesn’t know anyone, and isn’t speaking the language yet. 

It’s Takes a lot of Heart to Begin

There is a difference between knowing because you’ve experienced something and knowing because you have been told something. If you have been in shape before, or used to be an athlete, you have a tremendous advantage over a beginner. You truly know that the results can and will happen with work, fuel, rest. The true beginner is venturing into uncharted territory with their body. In many ways what they are do is the more than just difficult, it’s courageous. They deserve our respect.