Author Topic: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help  (Read 2947 times)

typicalmillenial

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Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« on: April 02, 2019, 07:01:16 AM »
Hey everyone! I have been tracking my spending very closely, and FOOD is consistently my biggest ticket item (behind rent). A little background on me: I am 6' 6" and 220lbs. I exercise everyday of the week in the mornings at the gym in my office, and to make a long story short, I am literally always hungry and tend to lose weight very, very quickly (not my goal or intention).

I am curious if there are other athletes out there who know of meal prep ideas for breakfast and lunch that are both healthy and cheap. Right now, I eat an omlette and fruit ($5- served at my company dining room) every morning and get a salad ($5-$8) for lunch. I cook dinner just about every night and have a few cheap recipes, so feel like I am good there.

Any ideas? While the meals at work here are subsidized, $200/mo on breakfast/lunch is a lot and I know I can cut that down.

Thanks in advance!

mid-atlantic minimalist

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2019, 06:12:34 AM »
Dang, when I saw the title I got excited hoping you'd have lots of replies! Have you come up with anything good since?

Some weeks (when I am on my game) I make this without the beef and I have 8 pretty balanced breakfasts out of it for a relatively small amount of money and effort:
http://www.justjessieb.com/2018/02/beef-enchilada-breakfast-bake-paleo.html

I also do this with 2-3 lbs of chicken thighs and have enough for about 4 or 5 lunches:
https://therealfoodrds.com/slow-cooker-buffalo-chicken/

I'm also a huge fan of Ezekiel bread and almond butter sandwiches. The bread is way more expensive than regular bread, but the nutritional value is really high, and its easily packable.

Schaefer Light

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2019, 03:58:16 PM »
For breakfast, I like a bowl of oatmeal and three eggs.  I have it almost every day.  For dinner, grilled chicken with rice and vegetables is about as affordable as it gets.  Lunch is where I struggle, but a lot of folks either do sandwiches or cook extra food at dinner and eat leftovers.

Punky Bikester

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2019, 04:02:56 PM »
I've been making my own salads to bring to work. I make oil and vinegar dressing (cheap, already have ingredients), and then use broccoli, chickpeas, quinoa, home-cooked chicken breast, sometimes nuts or cheese or other veggies if I have some left over from other recipes, and greens. The price per salad is about $3, and that includes using the fancy greens in a box, boneless, skinless chicken breast (instead of cheaper cuts), and canned chickpeas. They do take some time to make, but doing it all at once for the week takes me less than an hour, plus I get to munch along the way. ;-) You could add hard-boiled eggs for more concentrated, cheap protein.

I bet you could make your own omelettes at home if you're motivated. I'm not, so I usually go for a bowl of granola or oatmeal with some almond butter, and then bring snacks to work like bananas and bulk almonds.

cats

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2019, 04:21:07 PM »
Well, I'm not as big as you (being a lady and all that) but my husband and I are fairly active and also like to eat healthy but frugal.

Some staples for us:

Breakfast is typically eggs with some veggies (we roast several trays of veg on the weekend, you could probably also find some cheap frozen options or just chop up veg and steam them), plus oatmeal or a piece of fruit if I feel the need for extra carbs.

Lunch is more roast veggies, this time with some kind of lentil curry (make in bulk on weekend) and homemade seitan (I have posted my recipe several times on the forums).  I personally really like seitan as a source of protein.  It's cheap (if you get the flour used to make it in bulk), you can make a big batch at once in the instant pot, it's got a lot of protein and not a lot of fat/carbs which is not the case for many vegetarian protein sources (we are not 100% vegetarian but do try to keep our meat consumption low for environmental reasons).  Other days I will make a salad with stuff like greens, sprouted lentils, chopped apple, more of my beloved seitan or a boiled egg.

Snacks are things like nuts, raw veggies (make your own hummus to dip them in if you need extra calories), fruit, hard boiled eggs (easy to make in instant pot also!).  I keep a bag of oatmeal at my desk also in case I suddenly get the urge for a hot snack.

use2betrix

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2019, 06:07:04 PM »
Hey everyone! I have been tracking my spending very closely, and FOOD is consistently my biggest ticket item (behind rent). A little background on me: I am 6' 6" and 220lbs. I exercise everyday of the week in the mornings at the gym in my office, and to make a long story short, I am literally always hungry and tend to lose weight very, very quickly (not my goal or intention).

I am curious if there are other athletes out there who know of meal prep ideas for breakfast and lunch that are both healthy and cheap. Right now, I eat an omlette and fruit ($5- served at my company dining room) every morning and get a salad ($5-$8) for lunch. I cook dinner just about every night and have a few cheap recipes, so feel like I am good there.

Any ideas? While the meals at work here are subsidized, $200/mo on breakfast/lunch is a lot and I know I can cut that down.

Thanks in advance!

Why not just bring eggs to make in the microwave at work, and your own fruit? Itíll probably cost 1/3 as much as youíre paying in the office.

Really, virtually any comparable thing you bring and eat will be cheaper than food you buy at a cafeteria or restaurant. If you need extra calories bring granola bars, oatmeal, grilled chicken, etc. Thereís really a million, easy options.

use2betrix

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2019, 06:11:35 PM »
FYI, if you are having omelette and fruit for breakfast and a salad for lunch, you donít have a high metabolism, you arenít eating very much at all. Those are basically zero carbs and not much for calories..

Junco

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2019, 12:31:38 PM »
I'm a distance runner doing 60-90 miles a week and spend around $150-200 a month on food depending on how luxurious I'm feeling. I do almost all my shopping at Trader Joe's, which offers high quality food at a good price. Also go to Aldi's on rare occasion.

Some tips:
-Eat a lots of grains. Carbs fuel athletes and can be found for $1-2 dollars a pound. Lot's of oats, rice, bread, cous cous, pasta, and if feeling fancy quinoa.
-Eat more vegan proteins. Beans and lentils are much cheaper and arguably healthier than meat/dairy/eggs.
-Buy more cheap vegetables (think carrots, canned tomatoes, onions, potatoes) for your bulk veggie intake and eat more expensive ones sparingly/as garnish. The one exception I make for this is greens since they are so healthy.

Also, stop buying meals at your company dining hall. Bring oatmeal or smoothies for the morning and dinner leftovers for lunch.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2019, 12:33:39 PM by Junco »

GuitarStv

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2019, 12:55:44 PM »
How committed to spending less vs eating things that taste good are you?

diapasoun

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2019, 01:40:00 PM »
typicalmillennial, what are your macro and calorie targets? We can collectively probably give you VERY specific advice based on that. :) (If you have any food restrictions, good to know about those too.)

Otherwise, I agree with other posters:

1. Bringing food from home makes everything cheaper. There are a ton of delicious things that you can bring in that will require minimal storage + heating.

2. I agree with use2betrix that you're very likely not getting enough calories. I'm a 5'2" woman and a 2-egg omelette plus a cup of fruit for breakfast, plus a few cups of salad for lunch, is what keeps *me* full and on-target for calories. You're over a foot taller, nearly 100 pounds heavier, and probably carry a much larger proportion of muscle -- you need more to support your body.

mid-atlantic minimalist

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2019, 12:53:11 PM »
typicalmillennial, what are your macro and calorie targets? We can collectively probably give you VERY specific advice based on that. :) (If you have any food restrictions, good to know about those too.)

Haha can I get in on that action???

1800-1900 calories per day, trying to lose a few lbs slowly with moderate activity.
50% of calories from carbs (900 calories or 230g)
30% of calories from fat (550 calories or 68g)
20% of calories from protein (360 calories or 90g)
Runner (moderate--25ish miles per week). Desk job. No real restrictions except I try not to rely too heavily on grains.

Thanks in advance :)

Rubes33

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2019, 03:32:44 PM »
For breakfast, I like a bowl of oatmeal and three eggs.  I have it almost every day.  For dinner, grilled chicken with rice and vegetables is about as affordable as it gets.  Lunch is where I struggle, but a lot of folks either do sandwiches or cook extra food at dinner and eat leftovers.

Eggs and oatmeal are super cheap, quick, and healthy. That has been my go-to ever since the college football days.  Oatmeal can easily be microwaved at work. Throw in some peanut butter, honey, fruit, whatever you want for some extra calories and flavor.  You have a few options for the eggs.  Get a muffin pan and crack one egg into each slot and bake it till the eggs are done.  You can even throw in some cheese, mushrooms, whatever on top of the eggs.  Or you could just hard boil a bunch and have all your eggs ready to go.

Chicken, basmati rice, and veggies can't really be beat either as far as price and being healthy. If you're not into grains then just do baked potatoes (or sweet) instead.  Buy them in bulk.  I always just make an extra meal when I cook dinner and eat it the next day for lunch.  Just microwave it. You could also go full meal prep and make like 3 days worth of food at once. 

If you wanna be super frugal I used to buy the cheap cans of tuna and and just dump a can of tuna into 1 cup of basmati rice.  Throw in some hot sauce or whatever flavoring you want.  Full meal of protein and carbs for like $1.

Rubes33

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2019, 03:37:35 PM »
Not sure on your work schedule, but could waking up like 30 minutes earlier and making breakfast at home be an option?

Also, like another guy said.  You're not eating enough calories.  You're 6'6 220 and you're eating as many calories as my 130 lb wife.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2019, 03:40:55 PM »

RollingGreen

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2019, 07:57:27 PM »
Coincidentally reading this thread now as I complete my diary on the MyFitnessPal app. I'll post what I had today.

Exercise at 6am
Eliptical trainer (30 minutes for 381 calories)

Breakfast
Oikos Triple Zero yogurt (110 calories)
Banana (105)
Chocolate Premier Protein Drink (160)

Lunch (all blended in a smoothie)
Dagoba Organic Cacao Powder (10)
Peanut Butter, 4tbs (380) ---damn, maybe I should cut back on peanut butter
Banana (105)
Sliced Almonds (190)
Unsweetened Silk Vanilla Almond Milk (30)

Dinner
Perdue Harvestland Ground Turkey (160)
Great Value Taco Blend Cheese (110)
Great Value Plain Greek Yogurt (45)

Dessert
1/4 cup Halo Top Vanilla Bean (70)


Maybe use this as inspiration for some ideas, but I'm also open to criticism - what would you change? I desperately need new ideas for meals, so the above suggestions are great to hear. I'm really trying to lose weight (lousy beers.)

Ponderosa

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #15 on: July 31, 2019, 06:57:14 AM »
Hey everyone! I have been tracking my spending very closely, and FOOD is consistently my biggest ticket item (behind rent). A little background on me: I am 6' 6" and 220lbs. I exercise everyday of the week in the mornings at the gym in my office, and to make a long story short, I am literally always hungry and tend to lose weight very, very quickly (not my goal or intention).

I am curious if there are other athletes out there who know of meal prep ideas for breakfast and lunch that are both healthy and cheap. Right now, I eat an omlette and fruit ($5- served at my company dining room) every morning and get a salad ($5-$8) for lunch. I cook dinner just about every night and have a few cheap recipes, so feel like I am good there.

Any ideas? While the meals at work here are subsidized, $200/mo on breakfast/lunch is a lot and I know I can cut that down.

Thanks in advance!

I'm an amateur athlete with high energy needs. I probably eat 2700-3000 calories a day. Granted I'm 175 vs. 220 so you will need more.

I have a smoothie with:

[3x cup spinach
1x banana
2x scoop protein powder (orgain is a great plant based one)
3x tablespoon PB
1.5x cup almond milk

Hard to prep in advance (it will taste like crap if sitting too long) but won't take long at all to make.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2019, 03:32:11 PM »
This was a duplicate post (from back in April), here's the original with some ideas for others:

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/calling-all-athletes-mustachian-meal-prep-help-104027

januarian

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2019, 09:16:23 AM »
I've been making my own salads to bring to work. I make oil and vinegar dressing (cheap, already have ingredients), and then use broccoli, chickpeas, quinoa, home-cooked chicken breast, sometimes nuts or cheese or other veggies if I have some left over from other recipes, and greens. The price per salad is about $3, and that includes using the fancy greens in a box, boneless, skinless chicken breast (instead of cheaper cuts), and canned chickpeas. They do take some time to make, but doing it all at once for the week takes me less than an hour, plus I get to munch along the way. ;-) You could add hard-boiled eggs for more concentrated, cheap protein.

This is basically exactly what I eat every day for lunch at work except I'm a vegetarian so I use extra beans, and it's awesome and I feel great (no afternoon crash).

My other major tip is beans for breakfast. Lots of protein, fiber, etc. and similar satiated feeling that you get from eggs. I make "refried" beans by cooking dry beans overnight in the crock pot, and then blending with an immersion blender. I keep a big pot of these in the fridge at all times and eat a mug of them every morning for breakfast, with cheese or hot sauce or avocado on top (or with a tortilla). I've never calculated how much this costs but it's pennies every day because I use bulk dry beans. Other tips if you actually do this: Soak the beans for ~8 hours before cooking, this gets rid of the fart factor. I also add 1 shredded onion, cumin, cayenne, garlic, salt, and a shredded hot pepper in the crock pot to add flavor. This thing seriously changed my life- I eat breakfast around 7:30 and sometimes I'm not even hungry for lunch until like 2:30PM.

I also am biased (vegetarian, as previously mentioned) but I second the recommendations to eat more beans in general and vegan proteins. They are definitely cheaper if you are OK with cooking a little, way more sustainable, and I very rarely have to throw away food that went bad/out of food safety concerns because slightly old beans are way less scary than slightly old meat, haha. You can get a 25lb bag of dry beans at Costco for like $15, and that would last even me several months. Daal is great, as is homemade seitan- definitely a weird one, but look into it if you're adventurous; it's cheaper than chicken but has similar protein content and mimics chicken in recipes. My carnivore fiance loves "seitan nuggets" on the grill pan with barbecue sauce.

jj1800

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2019, 10:27:14 AM »
I wish I had seen this sooner. I might have some helpful input here.

First of all, if you are 220 and 6'6" and you are just eating a few eggs for breakfast. You are NOT getting enough protein. Even with a large percentage of your body being organs and skeletal mass, you still need to be eating approximately 200grams of protein every day no matter what. The reason you are having trouble maintaining weight or increasing is because you are not eating more calories than you use, end of story. The ectomorph/endomorph thing is mostly irrelevant. If you are trying to gain muscle eat 1 gram per lb of body weight, every single day. It's very hard. I have done this for years as a powerlifter(500 squat/deads, 315 bench) and went from 178 lbs to 250lb at 6'3". To answer your question the cheapest way to get the right calories is chicken. I'm talking so much chicken that you will be sick of it for months before you get used to it. WINCO(Pacific NorthWest version of Costco) has chicken for less than $2/lb. I buy several slabs of chicken breast that last the whole week for 30-40$. 
You can also get cheap protein powder by buying exclusively clearance products. At GNC and many other supplement stores, they mark things up a lot hoping people will pay the high prices, once that product has lost it's hype, they sell it at 50% or less to clear it out for the new fancy thing. You can tell what the good deals are based on the cents per gram of protein. Good deals are anything under 5c per gram in my area. After some looking you'll be able to calculate the cents/gram and find all the good deals.
Vegetables and carbs are extremely cheap overall. Buy canned black beans for .60/can and frozen vegetables to supplement for vitamins etc. Frozen veggies statistically have the same nutrients as fresh ones because they are picked at peak ripeness.
It's not easy to eat a healthy athletes diet(as in actually getting the macro-nutrients you need) and be mustachian. It definitely won't be palatable but it will get you the ingredients you need and it's healthier than eating out every day.

imadandylion

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2019, 11:09:45 AM »
My other major tip is beans for breakfast. Lots of protein, fiber, etc. and similar satiated feeling that you get from eggs. I make "refried" beans by cooking dry beans overnight in the crock pot, and then blending with an immersion blender. I keep a big pot of these in the fridge at all times and eat a mug of them every morning for breakfast, with cheese or hot sauce or avocado on top (or with a tortilla). I've never calculated how much this costs but it's pennies every day because I use bulk dry beans. Other tips if you actually do this: Soak the beans for ~8 hours before cooking, this gets rid of the fart factor. I also add 1 shredded onion, cumin, cayenne, garlic, salt, and a shredded hot pepper in the crock pot to add flavor. This thing seriously changed my life- I eat breakfast around 7:30 and sometimes I'm not even hungry for lunch until like 2:30PM.

I also am biased (vegetarian, as previously mentioned) but I second the recommendations to eat more beans in general and vegan proteins. They are definitely cheaper if you are OK with cooking a little, way more sustainable, and I very rarely have to throw away food that went bad/out of food safety concerns because slightly old beans are way less scary than slightly old meat, haha. You can get a 25lb bag of dry beans at Costco for like $15, and that would last even me several months. Daal is great, as is homemade seitan- definitely a weird one, but look into it if you're adventurous; it's cheaper than chicken but has similar protein content and mimics chicken in recipes. My carnivore fiance loves "seitan nuggets" on the grill pan with barbecue sauce.

Yes, this! That was my first thought, too, after reading "$200/month on breakfast/lunch." That's a lot for one person, for only 2 meals a day?!  You could really get more bang for your buck.  My fiance and I can eat for a whole month for that much, lol.  I've been plantbased for 2 years and this is markedly less inexpensive than when I was eating a meat. That's actually one big reason why I explored the idea of a plant-based diet - it's a lot cheaper while still being healthy.  You'll have to kind of experiment with what you think tastes good, but a vegetable chili is a good choice for lunch. There's 3-bean salads, if you're into that. I love a good stir fry. Lentils are great and I enjoy making a sort of casual stew/curry by adding tomato sauce/paste and spices. Legumes are a great vehicle for protein and other nutrients. You can add edamame or beans or salads. You can do 'buddha bowls,' where you add some protein of your choice to a bunch of roasted/cooked vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and broccoli. Chickpea or tofu scramble seasoned with some turmeric and salt/soy sauce/liquid aminos is a good alternative for eggs. Tempeh is also great because it's a fermented food, but I know not everyone likes this. However, I really enjoy it sliced and stirfried with a bit of garlic and soy sauce, with vegetables and rice. Just be creative and you know, use the computer as a resource for recipes... lol.

In addition to swapping out protein options, you could incorporate some grains that are higher in protein, such as quinoa, amaranth, bulgar, farro. There's a lot of options. These are all available in the bulk section in most grocery stores. You could also try soba noodles, since buckwheat has a lot of protein. Also, I recommend Banza pasta as an alternative to regular pasta, which is made from chickpeas, so it's higher in protein, if you're needing extra. However, most people overshoot their need for protein anyway, so I'd also focus on eating quality foods in general.

Ditto on the seitan - I've made that and my fiance LOVES that. This is actually a good reminder to make some, actually, since I haven't in a while. This is the recipe. It's super quick and easy. I throw it into a steamer/rice cooker after I complete the steps:
http://www.thatwasvegan.com/2012/01/30/my-favorite-chicken-style-seitan-recipe/

By the way, this isn't post isn't to say "go veg!" but just to point out that there are options you can substitute for some of your meals that will help bring the cost down. Even when I was an "omni," I still ate a lot of plant based meals because food is fuel, after all, so quality is really important at every meal. Cut down costs, but don't do it so much that you're just eating crap. I've seen way too many crappy food decisions on those reduced budget threads where all they do is stock up on carbs and processed foods.

Beach_Stache

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #20 on: August 02, 2019, 06:53:07 PM »
I do oatmeal w/frozen bluberries and a banana with some cinnamon for breakfast everyday - it's cheap and healthy
For lunch I typically meal prep 1 day/week and do Seitan meatballs (DW and I are Vegan), which is vital wheat gluten, bean flour and nutritional yeast flakes.  Again, ingredients are really cheap and each wheatball is around 9g of protein, low carbs and pretty filling.  I do about 4-5 of those w/rice and maybe throw some frozen brocili in the air frier and throw some hot sauce on it all.
Dinner is whatever, either a repeat of lunch or for example tonight I threw in half an onion, some peppers, kale and a whole can of black beans with lots of spieces and cooked it up and served on top of rice and quinoa. 

All really cheap items that are high in protein, super healthy and all together probably costs me less than $10 for the entire day (with the servings I ate).  If you're trying to save money then buying in bulk and meal prepping, especially if you are trying to bulk up or are just hungry.  I do pea protein shakes as well after the gym, it's not tasty but gets the job done and is like $47 for a 7 pound container of protein (I think like 96 servings at 24 grams/serving I believe).

januarian

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2019, 08:57:15 PM »
My other major tip is beans for breakfast. Lots of protein, fiber, etc. and similar satiated feeling that you get from eggs. I make "refried" beans by cooking dry beans overnight in the crock pot, and then blending with an immersion blender. I keep a big pot of these in the fridge at all times and eat a mug of them every morning for breakfast, with cheese or hot sauce or avocado on top (or with a tortilla). I've never calculated how much this costs but it's pennies every day because I use bulk dry beans. Other tips if you actually do this: Soak the beans for ~8 hours before cooking, this gets rid of the fart factor. I also add 1 shredded onion, cumin, cayenne, garlic, salt, and a shredded hot pepper in the crock pot to add flavor. This thing seriously changed my life- I eat breakfast around 7:30 and sometimes I'm not even hungry for lunch until like 2:30PM.

I also am biased (vegetarian, as previously mentioned) but I second the recommendations to eat more beans in general and vegan proteins. They are definitely cheaper if you are OK with cooking a little, way more sustainable, and I very rarely have to throw away food that went bad/out of food safety concerns because slightly old beans are way less scary than slightly old meat, haha. You can get a 25lb bag of dry beans at Costco for like $15, and that would last even me several months. Daal is great, as is homemade seitan- definitely a weird one, but look into it if you're adventurous; it's cheaper than chicken but has similar protein content and mimics chicken in recipes. My carnivore fiance loves "seitan nuggets" on the grill pan with barbecue sauce.

Yes, this! That was my first thought, too, after reading "$200/month on breakfast/lunch." That's a lot for one person, for only 2 meals a day?!  You could really get more bang for your buck.  My fiance and I can eat for a whole month for that much, lol.  I've been plantbased for 2 years and this is markedly less inexpensive than when I was eating a meat. That's actually one big reason why I explored the idea of a plant-based diet - it's a lot cheaper while still being healthy.  You'll have to kind of experiment with what you think tastes good, but a vegetable chili is a good choice for lunch. There's 3-bean salads, if you're into that. I love a good stir fry. Lentils are great and I enjoy making a sort of casual stew/curry by adding tomato sauce/paste and spices. Legumes are a great vehicle for protein and other nutrients. You can add edamame or beans or salads. You can do 'buddha bowls,' where you add some protein of your choice to a bunch of roasted/cooked vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and broccoli. Chickpea or tofu scramble seasoned with some turmeric and salt/soy sauce/liquid aminos is a good alternative for eggs. Tempeh is also great because it's a fermented food, but I know not everyone likes this. However, I really enjoy it sliced and stirfried with a bit of garlic and soy sauce, with vegetables and rice. Just be creative and you know, use the computer as a resource for recipes... lol.

In addition to swapping out protein options, you could incorporate some grains that are higher in protein, such as quinoa, amaranth, bulgar, farro. There's a lot of options. These are all available in the bulk section in most grocery stores. You could also try soba noodles, since buckwheat has a lot of protein. Also, I recommend Banza pasta as an alternative to regular pasta, which is made from chickpeas, so it's higher in protein, if you're needing extra. However, most people overshoot their need for protein anyway, so I'd also focus on eating quality foods in general.

Ditto on the seitan - I've made that and my fiance LOVES that. This is actually a good reminder to make some, actually, since I haven't in a while. This is the recipe. It's super quick and easy. I throw it into a steamer/rice cooker after I complete the steps:
http://www.thatwasvegan.com/2012/01/30/my-favorite-chicken-style-seitan-recipe/

By the way, this isn't post isn't to say "go veg!" but just to point out that there are options you can substitute for some of your meals that will help bring the cost down. Even when I was an "omni," I still ate a lot of plant based meals because food is fuel, after all, so quality is really important at every meal. Cut down costs, but don't do it so much that you're just eating crap. I've seen way too many crappy food decisions on those reduced budget threads where all they do is stock up on carbs and processed foods.

Man, you and I would be friends!! I literally could have written this post myself. Btw, in case you like cook books, I highly recommend "Isa Does It" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (a well-known vegan chef in NYC) and the "Love & Lemons" cookbook (from the popular veggie cooking blog)- Isa has 2 amazing homemade seitan recipes & a ton of great plant-based recipes that mimic the "real thing" and I've never made something from that book that wasn't amazing, and the L&L cookbook is really cool because it is organized by vegetable rather than by recipe.

Actually that one is probably useful for lots of people trying to eat fresh vegetables consciously and cheaply- since it's organized in alphabetical order by vegetable, you can just buy what's in season/what's on sale, and have a bunch of delicious creative recipes and multiple ideas on how to use the same food.

imadandylion

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #22 on: August 08, 2019, 06:47:06 PM »
Man, you and I would be friends!! I literally could have written this post myself. Btw, in case you like cook books, I highly recommend "Isa Does It" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (a well-known vegan chef in NYC) and the "Love & Lemons" cookbook (from the popular veggie cooking blog)- Isa has 2 amazing homemade seitan recipes & a ton of great plant-based recipes that mimic the "real thing" and I've never made something from that book that wasn't amazing, and the L&L cookbook is really cool because it is organized by vegetable rather than by recipe.

Actually that one is probably useful for lots of people trying to eat fresh vegetables consciously and cheaply- since it's organized in alphabetical order by vegetable, you can just buy what's in season/what's on sale, and have a bunch of delicious creative recipes and multiple ideas on how to use the same food.

Haha yes!! I need more veg friends. I see we're both in California. If you ever wanted to say hi, I'm in Sacramento. :)

I do love cookbooks! One of the saddest tasks ever was giving away my Joy of Cooking book, ha.  I will definitely check out the Isa M. book. I think I may have come across some of her books before, and I've looked at the L&L book also, and it's good inspiration. The books I have at home are Bowl by Lukas Volger & Bowls of Goodness by Nina Olsson, which have a some nice variety as well. I also enjoy Oh She Glows (any of them), although I just check them out from the library from time to time. For foodie-food, I've been interested in getting Wicked Healthy, but haven't been able to see one in person to flip through yet.

Case

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #23 on: August 12, 2019, 09:35:11 AM »
Hey everyone! I have been tracking my spending very closely, and FOOD is consistently my biggest ticket item (behind rent). A little background on me: I am 6' 6" and 220lbs. I exercise everyday of the week in the mornings at the gym in my office, and to make a long story short, I am literally always hungry and tend to lose weight very, very quickly (not my goal or intention).

I am curious if there are other athletes out there who know of meal prep ideas for breakfast and lunch that are both healthy and cheap. Right now, I eat an omlette and fruit ($5- served at my company dining room) every morning and get a salad ($5-$8) for lunch. I cook dinner just about every night and have a few cheap recipes, so feel like I am good there.

Any ideas? While the meals at work here are subsidized, $200/mo on breakfast/lunch is a lot and I know I can cut that down.

Thanks in advance!

Here is what I do every weekday:
I brought in a blender to work.  With it, I make a smoothie that contains a ton of peanut butter (~0.5 lb), almond milk (enough so to get the consistency you desire), frozen chopped banana (~1-1.5 depending on size), a couple ice cubes, a few tbps of flax seed, a scoop or so of protein powdered (unflavored and unsweetened), and a touch of cocoa powder).

The taste is decent and I get well over 1000 calories.  It keeps me full for quite a while, and has enough calories that with a decent sized dinner I don't lose weight (I am an ectomorph similar to what I assume you are). 

It does get old sometimes, but it's easy and I don't have to think. 

Cost-wise, it is pretty inexpensive overall.

coffeefueled

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2019, 12:48:35 PM »
Ditto on all the bring your own eggs suggestions - try making eggcups (like a muffin but eggs) or freeze your own breakfast burritos. You can make a couple weeks worth at a time. I have trouble with beans and legumes, so I do a lot of dairy protein. Good cottage cheese is 19gs of protein a serving.

Try sardines. They're healthier than tuna because they have less mercury. You can get a 6 pack at Costco on sale for $6, that's about 22gs of protein a can. I usually mix them with mustard or some parmesan cheese and parsley and eat them with pretzels or blue corn chips.

A meal plan and prepping on the weekend is where you're going to save the most. Bring instead of buy.

HerselftheElf

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2019, 08:54:51 AM »
I like to bring a container to work with the ingredients for egg white oatmeal already mixed up!  Nuke it, add a nice dollop of peanut butter and enjoy...lots of protein, very filling due to the fiber and YUM

https://www.pbfingers.com/three-minute-egg-white-oatmeal/