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How To Meal Prep Like You Freestyle

By on June 30, 2015

Imagine this: It’s just you, alone in the studio or your pole room at home, and you’re in the mood to dance. You blast the music, embrace the energy, grab the pole, and express yourself through your movement. Your dance might reflect exactly what you’re feeling in the moment, whether that’s a desire to work through some intense emotions, an interest in playing with some new combos and tricks, or a way to get a boost of energy through a mid-day slump. The moves you put together, the floorwork you choose, and the music you select can all convey just how in touch you are with this particular mood.

That awareness? It can transfer to your meal prep too.

Though on the surface preparing healthy food for the week might not seem especially fun or sexy, it’s all about being in touch with what you’re feeling that day. Once you’re clear on your mood and desires, you can meal prep accordingly. Knowing this can take an often unloved task and transform it into a totally different experience.

In short, you can meal prep just like you freestyle.

The Freestyle Mood: Quick & Dirty.

You don’t have much time, so you’re on a mission. Try out those new combos, dance it out to that favorite song, or just that itch to move out of your system.

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The Cooking Environment: Set yourself up to get it done. If you’re short on time or just need to get the basics out of the way, it’s essential to stay focused and clear. Make sure you’re starting with a clean kitchen so you can work without issue, and consider popping on a TV show, audiobook, or your favorite music so you have something to listen to while you power through this prep session—just make sure it’s not something that will distract you too much.

The Food: Keep it simple by prepping the basics you can use to build on later. Think bulk amounts of staple items that will give you a head start during the week without requiring you to have a complete menu planned out, and consider rounding it out with nutritious store-bought options for snacks and mini meals if you’re really in a rush. You might prepare:

  • chopped vegetables (whether you do them yourself or purchase them pre-chopped) and fresh fruit (washed and chopped if appropriate, or just some bananas/apples/oranges to grab on the go)
  • bulk protein (make a big batch of your protein of choice–like beans, chicken, ground turkey, etc.–and prepare it with minimal spices so you can use it in many forms throughout the week)
  • a quick breakfast (like a batch of healthy homemade breakfast bars or overnight oats)
  • some simple snacks (like homemade trail mix or hardboiled eggs, or store-bought items like individually packaged nuts, almond butter, hummus, or guacamole, or Larabars)

The Freestyle Mood: Slow & Sensual.

You take your time, play with movements and floorwork, and let your emotion flow through dance. You might even dress up for the occasion.

The Cooking Environment: Set the stage for an experience–not just a chore. Put on your favorite mood music, pour yourself a glass of your favorite beverage, and even adjust the lighting if you’d like (candles never hurt). Focus on making your kitchen a space in which to play, create, and engage all of your senses.

quinoasaladThe Food: Plan meals that allow you to use fresh ingredients and flavorful spices. Enjoy testing out a new recipe or creating meals that allow you to soak in the experience all day long. Instead of just assembling some plain ingredients to use later, take the time to craft a few meals that you can eat throughout the week. You might prepare:

  • slow roasted vegetables, cooked to tender perfection
  • meats in marinades/spice rubs (whip up your own and place your meats in them to absorb all that goodness until you cook them in the next few days)
  • slow cooker meals, so you can revel in the aromas all day (cook one or two on your meal prep day, or simply prepare the ingredients so they’re ready to assemble to cook the day of)
  • homemade dressings (adding a totally gourmet taste to a basic salad, especially when using fresh herbs and quality oils)

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The Freestyle Mood: Upbeat & Energized.

You could dance it out all day—and maybe you will. You might play with different styles of music, try out new floorwork and big tricks, and maybe come away with some ideas for choreography you can use later. You might even bring in a buddy for a pole jam to share the excitement.

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The Cooking Environment: If you’re in this mode, it might be time for a marathon meal prep session that sets you up for success all week long. Harness that energy and get into action! Put on a playlist that keeps your mood lifted and your body moving and even consider inviting a friend over to share in the fun. Keep some snacks on hand to keep your energy up, and know that getting this done now will make your life easier throughout the week (and possibly beyond!).

The Food: Plan out your meals so you’re fueling your body every time you eat. Commit to taking a long day in the kitchen to get as much done as you can, possibly even portioning out meals so they’re already set to go. Or take it to the next level and see if you can prep a bunch of freezer-friendly foods so that meals for the next month are ready to go. You might make:

  • mason jar salads in a variety of flavor combinations, ready to grab and go throughout the week
  • smoothie freezer kits
  • big batches of soup—some to eat and some to freeze for later
  • breakfast wraps (fill tortillas with eggs, salsa, veggies, and/or breakfast meats, then wrap individually and freeze for speedy microwaveable breakfasts)
  • individual containers of your favorite proteins and veggies, ready to be reheated throughout the week
  • double batches of your favorite freezable meals—eat some that week, freeze the second for later. (Try this site for freezer-friendly recipes for a variety of different dietary preferences)

Next time you’re thinking about how to get healthy food in your house, see if you can draw on your latest freestyle for inspiration. Whether it fits into the categories described above or takes you in a completely new direction, you’re sure to add some extra fun into your kitchen if you bring that energy into your meal prep.

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Paige Lysaght

Paige Lysaght

is a Certified Health Coach, AFAA certified fitness instructor, and parkour and aerial arts studio owner.
Paige Lysaght

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