How to Meal Prep Like an Elite Athlete


After an extended day with numerous mileage and arduous efforts, the very last thing any athlete needs to do is head dwelling to cook dinner an extravagant meal. But all too usually, fast choices are unhealthy. To feed their our bodies proper, the elites depend on having elements able to go forward of time to allow them to flip round nutritious dishes in simply minutes.

Meal prepping doesn’t need to be an extended and labor-intensive course of. Stick to those tips from the professionals, and also you’ll be consuming like them very quickly.

Sara and Ryan Hall

Professional Marathon Runners

“As a professional athlete, you are expending so much energy in training that you are always in energy-conserve mode,” says Sara. Add to the combo 4 youngsters, and having an environment friendly meal-prep technique turns into much more important.

To keep away from turning to handy however much less wholesome dishes in a time crunch, the Halls at all times maintain a stocked kitchen. They purchase rice, lentils, and sophisticated grains in bulk; use prewashed and chopped greens to avoid wasting time; and at all times maintain a couple of fillets of fresh-caught and wild Alaskan salmon, cod, and halibut within the freezer. Their overarching guidelines: Keep it largely pure, and get rid of the processed stuff.

Favorite Meal Prep–Friendly Recipe: Alaskan Salmon Pasta Puttanesca


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 small yellow pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed crimson chile flakes
  • 1 jar (25 ounces) marinara with herbed pasta sauce
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped recent basil
  • 1 can (14 3/4 ounces) conventional pack Alaska salmon, or 8 to 10 ounces skinless, boneless salmon (canned or pouched), drained and chunked
  • 1 pound entire wheat penne pasta

Directions: In a big saucepan, warmth the oil over medium-high warmth. Add the onion and pepper and cook dinner, stirring usually, for 5 to seven minutes or till tender. Add the garlic and chile flakes, and cook dinner, stirring usually, for 1 minute. Add pasta sauce, capers, olives, and basil. Heat till sizzling, then fold in salmon; scale back warmth to low whereas pasta is cooking. Cook pasta in keeping with package deal instructions, then toss with 1 cup of the sauce. Top with further sauce.

Mikaela Shiffrin

2014 Olympic Gold Medalist in Slalom

She could also be a winter athlete, however Shiffrin’s almost always training. “There isn’t really a long enough period of time where I’m not either training or racing to feel like I can just let my diet slip,” says Shiffrin. “It’s important to have my meals planned out, especially if I don’t have someone who can cook for me, because it’s easy to let that slide.”

Rather than fall sufferer to the frozen microwave meal, Shiffrin takes time each week to plan out her meals. She then visits the grocery retailer to load up on energy meals akin to milk, eggs, cheese, orange juice, and fruit.

Her weekends are much less busy, in order that’s when Shiffrin preps most of the week’s meals. “I have a couple good chicken recipes that are easy, and I like them as leftovers,” she says. “Beyond that, it’s really easy to boil a box of pasta and make a salad or cook up some veggies to go with the chicken, so making some simple, healthy meals is not too difficult.”

Favorite Meal Prep–Friendly Recipe: Farfalle with Edamame, Lemon, Black Pepper, and Pecorino Cheese


  • 1 field farfalle pasta (Shiffrin makes use of Barilla ProteinPLUS)
  • 2 tablespoons further virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups edamame, frozen shelled beans
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • Grated zest of two lemons
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt and black pepper to style
  • 1/2 cup pecorino cheese, shredded
  • Coarsely floor black pepper

Directions: Cook pasta in keeping with package deal instructions. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water. In a big skillet, warmth olive oil over medium-high warmth. Add edamame and garlic to the pan and sauté for 1 minute. Add pasta water, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Season to style with salt and pepper. Serve in bowls and garnish with cheese and coarsely floor black pepper. Makes seven servings.

Juliana Buhring

Ultra-Endurance Cyclist

Living on the Italian coast means Buhring has recent fish on the prepared, making it certainly one of her dietary staples. Her fish is at all times accompanied by heaping quantities of greens (they comprise virtually 75 % of her weight loss program), most of which she grows in her personal backyard. Right now, Buhring is including homegrown zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and peppers to her lunchtime salads and omelets. Since she follows the ketogenic diet, Buhring additionally eats a good quantity of wholesome fat like these present in cheese, eggs, avocado, olive oil, and nuts.

“My diet is pretty simple, but it’s extremely healthy,” says Buhring.

Buhring isn’t 1 for cooking in bulk or making ready per week’s price of meals directly. She goes to the grocery retailer as soon as per week however cooks practically every single day. She additionally avoids recipes, preferring to spontaneously resolve what she’ll cook dinner that day and virtually at all times chooses to make her personal meals, no matter any time crunch. “If you can make it yourself, it’s always better than buying it already made, because you don’t know what kind of shit they put in it otherwise,” says Buhring. She additionally believes it’s a must to discover wholesome meals that’s fulfilling so that you can eat. If you hate what you’re consuming, you received’t keep it up for very lengthy. “You have to find the balance between what’s healthy, but also what’s enjoyable; otherwise you’re going to hate your life after a certain point.”

Favorite Meal Prep–Friendly Recipe: Caprese Salad with Avocado Slices


  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 8-ounce container mini mozzarella balls
  • Olive oil
  • 1 avocado
  • Thyme and oregano to style

Directions: Slice tomatoes and mozzarella and mix in a big bowl. Drizzle with a beneficiant quantity of olive oil. Next, slice avocado and add to the bowl. Add extra olive oil if desired and season with spices like thyme or oregano.

Laurenne Ross and Tommy Ford

Olympic Skiers

Although these 2 take nice care to arrange wholesome and healthful meals, they don’t spend hours within the kitchen. After intense five- to six-hour coaching days, they discover that stir-frying some greens and meat, mixing a easy sauce, and pouring it throughout a mattress of grains is fast, simple, and nutritious.

Above all, Ross and Ford are adamant about utilizing recent, high-quality elements. To that finish, they’ve discovered to like the grocery retailer and farmer’s market, going as much as 3 times per week. They cook dinner every day breakfasts like gluten-free pancakes; oats with nuts, seeds, cashew butter, and goat’s milk yogurt; or eggs with candy potato, kale, and bacon. They prep the perimeters, sauces, and bases for lunches and dinner forward of time.

Ross and Ford usually throw candy potatoes, beets, or different veggies within the oven whereas cooking dinner in order that they’re able to eat the following day. They’ll make further rice to maintain a full Tupperware. “When I make sauces, I like to make a pretty big batch and have them in the fridge for the week so we can spice up any meal while still keeping it it simple to make,” says Ross.

Favorite Meal Prep–Friendly Recipe: Black Rice Protein Bowl


  • 1 to 2 cups black rice (makes sufficient for per week)
  • 1 small crimson onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons organic ghee
  • 1 teaspoon recent ginger, minced
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 candy potato (The darker orange the higher—extra nutrient wealthy.)
  • 1 orange bell pepper or 1/4 cup chopped peppers
  • 1/2 cup broccolini heads and stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup eggplant, cubed
  • 1 cup kale, minimize into small strips
  • Protein of your alternative (Ross and Ford suggest hen or fish.)
  • Black pepper to style
  • 1 egg per meal
  • Avocado oil to style
  • 1 cup arugula per meal
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

Directions: Cook the black rice in keeping with package deal instructions. While rice is cooking, sauté the onion and garlic in a single tablespoon of Ghee over medium warmth; add ginger, turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Once onion is translucent, add the candy potato and sauté for a couple of minutes whereas lined. Add pepper, broccolini, eggplant, and kale one after the other and cook dinner till they’re tender however not soggy. Add ghee as wanted. When veggies are largely cooked, add your alternative of protein and cook dinner till finished. (Cook protein individually when you’re planning to avoid wasting the surplus veggies for later.) Add salt and pepper to style. Fry egg (or 2) over simple in ghee or avocado oil. On a plate or in a bowl, pile arugula, black rice, protein, greens, and fried egg. Add avocado slices or olive oil if desired.

Tim Olson


“The way we eat is one of the biggest factors in my training and racing,” says Olson. “I use organic food to fuel my body for running, racing, working, and playing with kids. I try to put quality fuel in my body. That said, I like a good snack like anyone, so we’ll have some coconut ice cream and gluten-free beer on hand as well.”

The Olson household cooks most of their very own meals and prepares meals every single day. While he tries to fill up on needed objects on the retailer as soon as per week, Olson and his spouse each take pleasure in cooking usually, in order that they normally find yourself making an extra journey.

They make huge batches of snacks like kale chips, at all times have smoothie elements accessible like berries and kale, and infrequently bake grain-free, sugar-free muffins with hazelnut flour. They’ll virtually at all times make extras of their meals to have leftovers for the following day.

“Just the other day, we had friends over for dinner. We made grain-free/dairy-free eggplant lasagna. We slice up eggplant, whip up some cashew cheese, and make a tomato sauce with grass-fed beef. We made extra so we had plenty for the week,” says Olson.

Although Olson loves making his personal meals, he additionally acknowledges that he typically wants a bit assist. That’s the place Real Athlete Diets (RAD), a meal supply service that brings natural and native meals to athletes’ properties, comes into play. Contents of the RAD field differ by season and rely upon what native farmers have accessible every week, however all the things inside is already ready. The Olsons’ field usually incorporates fish (salmon, trout) and meat (bison, hen, turkey), and since Tim is open to experimenting with meals, the homeowners of RAD typically embrace beef tongue or oxtail in his field. Favorites embrace turkey meatballs made with chickpea flour and chia pudding with berries.

Favorite Meal Prep–Friendly Recipe: Avocado Vinaigrette over Brussel Sprout Slaw (Recipe courtesy of Kelly Newlon, Real Athlete Diets)

Avocado Vinaigrette

  • 1 tablespoon mustard (Dijon or entire grain)
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • Pinch of cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of crimson pepper flakes
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup recent herbs. (The Olsons use a mix of parsley and basil.)

Directions: Add all elements to a blender and blend on excessive to a clean consistency. Adjust seasoning to style.

Brussels Sprout Slaw

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 crimson bell pepper
  • 1/2 crimson cabbage
  • 2/3 cup frivolously packed recent herbs, like parsley and basil

Directions: Wash and trim the Brussels sprouts, carrots, pepper, and cabbage. Using the shredder blade on a meals processor, run every vegetable via one after the other, being cautious to not overcrowd the processor. Empty into a big bowl. Rough chop the herbs and add to the bowl. Add 1 cup of the avocado French dressing and blend gently but totally. Add extra dressing if desired. Either retailer in fridge or gown simply earlier than serving. Add the protein of your alternative.

(Editor references)

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