Author Topic: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help  (Read 3521 times)

typicalmillenial

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Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« on: April 02, 2019, 07:05:22 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!

brute

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 07:17:20 AM »
Competitive strongman @ 6'4" 280 here.

Your calorie intake sounds low (unless you're getting a 1500 calorie cobb salad at lunch). How many calories a day do you get? Throwing in a half cup of oatmeal and 1/4 cup peanut butter for breakfast could help out a lot.

GuitarStv

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 07:37:43 AM »
What is your exercise goal?  Are you trying to gain strength?  Endurance?  Are you trying to improve at a sport?  The way that you eat helps to shape your body, and different diets work better for different types of exercise.  A body builder, power lifter, competitive cyclist, and wrestler will all eat quite differently to achieve the goals they're working towards.

typicalmillenial

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2019, 08:16:11 AM »
Competitive strongman @ 6'4" 280 here.

Your calorie intake sounds low (unless you're getting a 1500 calorie cobb salad at lunch). How many calories a day do you get? Throwing in a half cup of oatmeal and 1/4 cup peanut butter for breakfast could help out a lot.

I snack throughout the day with things like nuts, outmeal, greek yogurt, fruit, and anything else that I can get my hands on. I guess my main questions is ideas for meal prepping breakfast? I have come up short finding much that doesnt involve eggs

typicalmillenial

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2019, 08:17:15 AM »
What is your exercise goal?  Are you trying to gain strength?  Endurance?  Are you trying to improve at a sport?  The way that you eat helps to shape your body, and different diets work better for different types of exercise.  A body builder, power lifter, competitive cyclist, and wrestler will all eat quite differently to achieve the goals they're working towards.

Great questions, I am training to compete in my first half ironman triatholon in the fall. My exercise goal remains to be a well rounded athlete in terms of both strength and endurance.

mlipps

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2019, 08:56:40 AM »
Competitive strongman @ 6'4" 280 here.

Your calorie intake sounds low (unless you're getting a 1500 calorie cobb salad at lunch). How many calories a day do you get? Throwing in a half cup of oatmeal and 1/4 cup peanut butter for breakfast could help out a lot.

I snack throughout the day with things like nuts, outmeal, greek yogurt, fruit, and anything else that I can get my hands on. I guess my main questions is ideas for meal prepping breakfast? I have come up short finding much that doesnt involve eggs

I guess I'm wondering why you don't want it to involve eggs. A lot of weekends I make a big frittata with 8-10 eggs and have that every morning for breakfast. I also do baked oatmeal or fruit crisps fairly often, but you have to watch the sugar in those.

GuitarStv

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2019, 09:28:54 AM »
What is your exercise goal?  Are you trying to gain strength?  Endurance?  Are you trying to improve at a sport?  The way that you eat helps to shape your body, and different diets work better for different types of exercise.  A body builder, power lifter, competitive cyclist, and wrestler will all eat quite differently to achieve the goals they're working towards.

Great questions, I am training to compete in my first half ironman triatholon in the fall. My exercise goal remains to be a well rounded athlete in terms of both strength and endurance.

OK, cool.

I'd advise you to not worry too much about losing weight or improving your strength then.  You will lose some weight and (if you were average/above average for a guy your size) significant strength.  Doing a half ironman is well into the 'endurance' side of things.  Your body is lazy and likes to do the minimum adaptation possible to survive the conditions you put it through.  It's going to be eating away at any unnecessary muscle and fat on your frame based on your triathlon training.  You will find it extremely difficult to impossible to develop (and even maintain) significant strength while doing this, regardless of diet.

Diet wise, I'd advise a pretty high carb diet (at least 40% of your calories each day).  Going low carb will impede your performance.  Potatoes (both sweet and white), brown rice, quinoa, couscous, pasta, millet, barley, oats are all great options.  Eat lots of beets, arugula, and radishes (on a daily basis if possible) - they are high in nitrates which will reduce how hard your heart has to work during endurance activity.  In general try to eat a wide variety of fruits and nuts each day.  I'd aim for about 30% fat and 30% protein for your remaining diet.

If you're unused to eating for competition, it will take a while to get used to the quantity that is necessary.  A 70km ride going hard is likely going to cost you more than 3000 calories in addition to the 2000 calories the average guy should be eating each day.  You'll probably find that it's necessary to force food down when you're not hungry if you want to avoid losing a lot of weight/strength.

zoochadookdook

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2019, 09:51:34 AM »
Financially eggs and fruit are dirt cheap. Buy a dozen for $1/makes 2-3 omelets.

Salad as well, chicken is cheap and salad is cheap. Can probably cut those down OT a few bucks apiece.


Fitness wise calories and macros completely depend on your goals. Want to gain? Eat more than you put out and vice-versa.

TrMama

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2019, 09:57:58 AM »
Former athlete here. I ran a half iron triathlon when I was younger and more broke.

Don't get hung up on eating breakfast things for breakfast. That meal can include any kind of food. So if chicken, brown rice and veggies are inexpensive and on hand, eat that. If you make a big pot of soup one night, have some for breakfast too.

For cheaper work lunches I used to buy a loaf of bread, some lunch meat and a selection of sandwich veggies on Monday. I'd keep all that in the work fridge and use it to make myself a couple sandwiches each day. Buy good whole wheat or spouted grain bread. You could also use hummus as a cheap filler. If I'd been as smart then as I am now, I'd have picked up a rotisserie chicken to have for dinner one night and then packed the leftover chicken to add to my sandwiches the next day.

Keep some tins of beans in your desk drawer and use them to top your lunch salad. Beans have a ton of calories and carbs that are what you'll need to keep your energy level up when doing that much endurance training.

I also used to buy canned clams to add to spaghetti sauce. Getting enough iron while training was an issue and clams are cheap, loaded with iron and don't even need to be cooked.

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2019, 10:09:26 AM »
Don't get hung up on eating breakfast things for breakfast.
This. I would add easy to carry items like burritos or sandwiches to your breakfast staples.

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2019, 11:04:48 AM »
I have a hard time gaining weight, because I just don't have the appetite or desire to eat 3000 calories/day (I'm not a foodie).  So I started doing high-calorie breakfast smoothie for breakfast a few years ago, and it's made all the difference.  It's about 1000 calories, not too expensive, pretty healthy, and since I'm rarely hungry in the mornings it tricks my stomach into getting calories first thing in the morning and gives me a head start to the day's intake.

It's evolved a little since last time I posted this, I think, but my current iteration for the past year or so, which I really like:

1/2 cup rolled oats (150 cal)  note: quick oats are also fine, but don't use steel cut, they don't blend
1 cup whole milk (150 cal)
2 heaping cups frozen berries (cheap at trader joes) (200 cal)
1 banana (100 cal)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (200 cal)
2 raw eggs (200 cal) note: i used to use 2 Tbsp olive oil instead, but like the eggs for the added protein, and you can't tell they're in the shake

With the eggs it works out to 37g protein.  It all fits, just barely, into a 1qt canning jar.

That takes care of breakfast.  The other meals I'm still working on.

Lady SA

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2019, 11:50:44 AM »
+1 to the breakfast smoothie!

DH and I are endurance athletes, and looking at your meals/snacks it really sounds like you are skimping on your lunch calories especially (unclear what type of salad you are buying).

Our typical meal prep consists of:
make a fresh big smoothie each day for breakfast with greens, fruits, nuts, etc. Very delicious, portable, and can add different ingredients based on your goals. Ours is probably 600-700 cal per serving.
Make 3 large calorie- and carb-dense dinners each week (1 on monday night, again Wednesday night, and on friday night) and eat leftovers for subsequent lunches and dinners. We will usually have 2 types of leftovers at any one time so we can change it up.

Some examples of big meals we make:
Chicken broccoli alfredo pasta (full fat white sauce!)
Stew with potatoes, veggies, and venison
Stew over mashed potatoes (using full fat dairy in the mash)
slow cooker curry with broccoli and sweet potato
capreze pasta salad (pasta, basil, mozzerella cheese, tomatoes, dressing)
pork burritos (pork, rice, greens, veggies, tortilla)
keilbasa hash over noodles
veggie pilaf with braised meat over top
sweet potato, quinoa, and black bean salad
chicken donburi (rice, veggies, chicken, and eggs)
chicken chow mein
pad thai
pesto pasta with chicken, sweet potatoes, red onions, and green beans
creamy tortellini soup (sausage, veggies, cream broth, spinach)
baked ziti with meat sauce
Moroccan chicken over couscous
homemade garbage pizza
chili and corn bread
jumbalaya (sausage, shrimp, beans, grains, veggies)
Chicken risotto
Stroganoff

You'll notice a theme of lots of carbs (potatoes, pasta, grains, rice), which has the benefit of being both necessary for training and you can pad out your meals to be cheaper, as well.
If you get good, sturdy containers with spill-proof covers, its easy to fill them up after you make the food to be set aside for lunches, and then store the rest in a big container for your upcoming dinners. Then in the morning all you have to do is grab a ready-to-go lunch on your way out the door.

edit: I may be off base, but I think that the portions/types of food served in a dining cafe at work aren't geared towards the needs of athletes. The omlete they serve may be low-fat or they take out half the yolks or something, or it might simply be not be a big enough portion for you. Eggs should be quite filling and the fact that you are hungry right away afterward sounds like the omlete isn't enough for your body. Taking your main meals into your own hands might give you better (and more filling) results. Then you can use your subsidization in the dining hall for snacks like yogurt, oats, fruit, etc.

I find tracking my activity (calories burned) and my food intake helpful to know if I'm eating enough. Nothing rigorous or precisely measured, mostly I just guestimate and go based on how I feel (run down/tired, or energetic?).
« Last Edit: April 02, 2019, 12:07:58 PM by Lady SA »

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2019, 01:01:17 PM »
For the amount of exercise youíre doing, it seems like you need to be eating a shit ton more food and definitely more carbs. Have basmati rice, use stock cubes, onions and mushrooms for flavoring and use that as your staple. Then eat or mix whatever meats you want. Eat more yams/sweat potatoes. Why not google the diets of triathletes and then cobble together something that matches your likes? You also might be over exercising and not giving your body recovery days. You are definitely paying too much for food. Compare how many eggs you could buy for 1 meal at the office. Itís very easy to cook eggs in the microwave. Even easier to boil them at home and bring them to work. Have you read MMMís eating plan? Can you see him paying $13/day for an omelette and salad!?! FFS! Stop burning your money because you can. Iíd invest in finding a trainer who does triathlons and getting some good advice about your diet and exercise.

typicalmillenial

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2019, 02:24:14 PM »
Wow, awesome responses everyone! Reason I shy/am looking at options other than eggs is because 1. They do not keep very well throughout the week and 2. I am slightly worried about how high they are in cholesterol seeing as heart health has been an issue on the male side of my family for generations.

@RyanAtTanagra Great idea w/ the smoothies, I think I can get very creative here and get in a lot of calories for relatively cheap.

@Lady SA Wow! So many options there, I cannot wait to dig in deeper here. That said, with the goals I have mentioned, is a high carb intake an absolute must? People seem to be freaking out about carbs recently and I'm not sure where I stand.


TrMama

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2019, 02:37:31 PM »
That said, with the goals I have mentioned, is a high carb intake an absolute must? People seem to be freaking out about carbs recently and I'm not sure where I stand.

Sedentary people need to be careful of overeating and cutting back on carbs is one of the more painless ways of cutting calories. It's also a good way of not wearing out your pancreas/insulin system over the long term when you don't burn many calories.

However, in order to train for a full distance Ironman you're going to be burning calories like a MoFo. Your body will need a ready supply of sugar (aka carbs) coursing through your veins in order to fuel all that repetitive movement.

The most annoying part of my tri training years ago was when the low carb diets became fashionable. It meant that uneducated newbs would bonk on our long group rides. Waiting with them on the side of the road until their spouse/mom/best friend/cab could pick them up was not my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning. Don't be that guy. Eat a potato.

Grocery store eggs bought in Canada/the US and kept in your fridge should last weeks. If you want eggs, go ahead and stock up.

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2019, 03:00:05 PM »
I don't likely work out as much as you (I row 5k 3x/week and lift 3x/week), but my usual breakfast is overnight oats:

1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt (sometimes low fat, sometimes not)
~1Tbsp chia seeds
1/2 banana (sliced thin or mashed)

Mix up & refrigerate overnight.  I usually pour a little maple syrup on top in the morning.  Occasionally if I suspect I'll be more hungry than usual, I'll bump the proportions by 50% and make an extra large one.

wenchsenior

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2019, 09:40:01 PM »
Wow, awesome responses everyone! Reason I shy/am looking at options other than eggs is because 1. They do not keep very well throughout the week and 2. I am slightly worried about how high they are in cholesterol seeing as heart health has been an issue on the male side of my family for generations.

@RyanAtTanagra Great idea w/ the smoothies, I think I can get very creative here and get in a lot of calories for relatively cheap.

@Lady SA Wow! So many options there, I cannot wait to dig in deeper here. That said, with the goals I have mentioned, is a high carb intake an absolute must? People seem to be freaking out about carbs recently and I'm not sure where I stand.

Ryan's smoothie idea (slightly modified) was a godsend for me a couple years ago.  I have trouble holding weight even when I am not exercising, and as soon as I throw even modest workouts in on a regular basis,  it can get scary fast.

Unfortunately, I have had to reduce the amount of fat I consume recently b/c of severe silent reflux issues.  But even the lower fat smoothies are helpful to me, with my insanely slow digestion and regular lack of appetite.  So many calories can fit in a small jar! And for some reason, it's easier for me to trick myself into 'drinking' something, even when I have no interest in eating.

MDfive21

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2019, 08:07:41 AM »
keep a bottle of MCT oil on your desk.  when you get hungry sip a teaspoon or so and it will cure the hunger.  sounds like your macro balance is out of whack and you need to up your fuel with fats/oils.

my favorite meal is what i call an egg bomb.  6 yolks, 2 whites, cooked in whole butter.  a hunk of triple cream brie under the eggs and some wilted baby kale on top.

i feed the extra whites to my kid, so they don't go to waste.

GuitarStv

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2019, 08:27:28 AM »
keep a bottle of MCT oil on your desk.  when you get hungry sip a teaspoon or so and it will cure the hunger.  sounds like your macro balance is out of whack and you need to up your fuel with fats/oils.

my favorite meal is what i call an egg bomb.  6 yolks, 2 whites, cooked in whole butter.  a hunk of triple cream brie under the eggs and some wilted baby kale on top.

i feed the extra whites to my kid, so they don't go to waste.

A ketogenic diet (which, given the utter lack of carbohydrates in your recommendation I assume you're a fan of) works great for certain situations ( particularly low intensity steady state endurance efforts and short high intensity efforts for example).  It will negatively impact your performance for others though.

It's particularly evident that it doesn't work for triathlons where the ability to put out short bursts of high intensity effort (transitioning, hill climbs, passing a competitor, sprinting to catch a draft, etc.) is essential.  Carbohydrate metabolism is more efficient at handling this kind of steady state energy use interspersed with intense efforts, and reducing/removing carbs from your diet will negatively impact most people's performance.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 08:41:28 AM by GuitarStv »

JanetJackson

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2019, 08:39:45 AM »
That said, with the goals I have mentioned, is a high carb intake an absolute must? People seem to be freaking out about carbs recently and I'm not sure where I stand.

Sedentary people need to be careful of overeating and cutting back on carbs is one of the more painless ways of cutting calories. It's also a good way of not wearing out your pancreas/insulin system over the long term when you don't burn many calories.

However, in order to train for a full distance Ironman you're going to be burning calories like a MoFo. Your body will need a ready supply of sugar (aka carbs) coursing through your veins in order to fuel all that repetitive movement.

The most annoying part of my tri training years ago was when the low carb diets became fashionable. It meant that uneducated newbs would bonk on our long group rides. Waiting with them on the side of the road until their spouse/mom/best friend/cab could pick them up was not my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning. Don't be that guy. Eat a potato.

Grocery store eggs bought in Canada/the US and kept in your fridge should last weeks. If you want eggs, go ahead and stock up.

^This.
You need carbs because you are an athlete.  Don't pay attention to whatever diet people are currently "freaking out about" at all.  If you're training as an athlete, or even getting very regular high intensity exercise, you need carbs or you'll feel like crap and you'll feel hungry ALL THE TIME.
I don't have recipe ideas because I'm an egg + starch + veggie person and my go-to is quiche muffins in the morning.  I don't care about food, but I too am a constantly hungry person. 
But that smoothie recipe above could be helpful! :)

Philociraptor

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2019, 08:43:44 AM »
Don't get hung up on eating breakfast things for breakfast.
This.

Quoting a quote because this is key, nobody says you have to eat "breakfast food" for breakfast. My breakfast is protein, veggies, and carbs. I also eat the same basic meal for second breakfast, elevenses, lunch, dinner, and supper.

wenchsenior

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2019, 11:04:21 AM »
That said, with the goals I have mentioned, is a high carb intake an absolute must? People seem to be freaking out about carbs recently and I'm not sure where I stand.

Sedentary people need to be careful of overeating and cutting back on carbs is one of the more painless ways of cutting calories. It's also a good way of not wearing out your pancreas/insulin system over the long term when you don't burn many calories.

However, in order to train for a full distance Ironman you're going to be burning calories like a MoFo. Your body will need a ready supply of sugar (aka carbs) coursing through your veins in order to fuel all that repetitive movement.

The most annoying part of my tri training years ago was when the low carb diets became fashionable. It meant that uneducated newbs would bonk on our long group rides. Waiting with them on the side of the road until their spouse/mom/best friend/cab could pick them up was not my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning. Don't be that guy. Eat a potato.

Grocery store eggs bought in Canada/the US and kept in your fridge should last weeks. If you want eggs, go ahead and stock up.

^This.
You need carbs because you are an athlete.  Don't pay attention to whatever diet people are currently "freaking out about" at all.  If you're training as an athlete, or even getting very regular high intensity exercise, you need carbs or you'll feel like crap and you'll feel hungry ALL THE TIME.
I don't have recipe ideas because I'm an egg + starch + veggie person and my go-to is quiche muffins in the morning.  I don't care about food, but I too am a constantly hungry person. 
But that smoothie recipe above could be helpful! :)

Agree. As a hard gainer, the second I start doing high intensity exercise, I REALLY have to increase my normally moderate intake of carbs, or I drop weight incredibly rapidly.

ETA: I had the same problem with my athletic husband, TrMama.  Normally he eats more carbs than  I do, but he's not good about changing his diet to meet changing activity levels/types. When we used to do field work in the mountains of the Caribbean (high intensity/high heat), I would dramatically increase my carb eating and carry carbs along. He would occasionally bonk like a mofo, and when I would be digging out a powerbar for him, I'd ask what he had for breakfast 3 hours ago, and he'd say...eggs.  :sigh:
« Last Edit: April 03, 2019, 11:07:46 AM by wenchsenior »

mm1970

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2019, 11:19:18 AM »
That said, with the goals I have mentioned, is a high carb intake an absolute must? People seem to be freaking out about carbs recently and I'm not sure where I stand.

Sedentary people need to be careful of overeating and cutting back on carbs is one of the more painless ways of cutting calories. It's also a good way of not wearing out your pancreas/insulin system over the long term when you don't burn many calories.

However, in order to train for a full distance Ironman you're going to be burning calories like a MoFo. Your body will need a ready supply of sugar (aka carbs) coursing through your veins in order to fuel all that repetitive movement.

The most annoying part of my tri training years ago was when the low carb diets became fashionable. It meant that uneducated newbs would bonk on our long group rides. Waiting with them on the side of the road until their spouse/mom/best friend/cab could pick them up was not my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning. Don't be that guy. Eat a potato.

Grocery store eggs bought in Canada/the US and kept in your fridge should last weeks. If you want eggs, go ahead and stock up.

^This.
You need carbs because you are an athlete.  Don't pay attention to whatever diet people are currently "freaking out about" at all.  If you're training as an athlete, or even getting very regular high intensity exercise, you need carbs or you'll feel like crap and you'll feel hungry ALL THE TIME.
I don't have recipe ideas because I'm an egg + starch + veggie person and my go-to is quiche muffins in the morning.  I don't care about food, but I too am a constantly hungry person. 
But that smoothie recipe above could be helpful! :)

Agree. As a hard gainer, the second I start doing high intensity exercise, I REALLY have to increase my normally moderate intake of carbs, or I drop weight incredibly rapidly.

ETA: I had the same problem with my athletic husband, TrMama.  Normally he eats more carbs than  I do, but he's not good about changing his diet to meet changing activity levels/types. When we used to do field work in the mountains of the Caribbean (high intensity/high heat), I would dramatically increase my carb eating and carry carbs along. He would occasionally bonk like a mofo, and when I would be digging out a powerbar for him, I'd ask what he had for breakfast 3 hours ago, and he'd say...eggs.  :sigh:
Yup. 

In general, I tend to not eat too many carbs.  When I took off the baby weight 5 years ago, I was eating a few pieces of fruit, and maybe a cup (total) of carby foods a day.  It worked.  I hit goal and increased it to 3 carbs a day (so, a cup and a half).

Then I started training for 2-3 half marathons a year, including one that is all uphill (so, 3-4 hours long).  Had to increase my carb intake.  It wasn't until probably 1 to 1.5 years into this type of training where I realized that I was sabotaging my long training runs by only eating salad for lunch every day of the week.  I started having a sandwich, or something with rice, on the day or two before my long runs, and that helped a lot.  (I tend to need food/ sugar/ gu every 45 minutes on the nose on my long runs, and this gives me more leeway.)

Still, one of my run-mates in my training groups is older (early 60s) and trying to lose menopause weight (she looks fine, but must have been super slim when she was younger to be so upset now).  She's doing keto.  And she couldn't understand why she was having such a hard time on the long uphill runs.  As in, I'm usually the slowest one out there, but she was only able to go half the distance in the same amount of time.  Now, part of why she needs more rest is her age, but the keto thing ain't helping.  Even when the coach was telling her keto is not going to work with her training...she did it.  And here we are, months later...STILL with the keto.

Now, as a woman in my late 40's, I don't "drop weight fast" if I increase training without increasing carbs...but I do see that my training suffers.

Lady SA

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2019, 11:20:24 AM »
@Lady SA Wow! So many options there, I cannot wait to dig in deeper here. That said, with the goals I have mentioned, is a high carb intake an absolute must? People seem to be freaking out about carbs recently and I'm not sure where I stand.

Yes, carbs are necessary for endurance athletes.
Carbohydrates (fruit, breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, etc) are the bodyís primary and preferred energy source. Once eaten, they rapidly/easily break down to blood sugar (glucose). The brain, nervous system and muscles are fueled mostly by the breakdown of glucose/sugar, which results in the manufacture of ATP (the basic unit of energy your muscles use). Any unused glucose will be converted into glycogen and stored in the muscles and liver for future use.
I personally know a few athletes who have embraced keto (no carb) diets, but by nature they must be constantly fighting their body's preferred energy delivery mechanism. Your body is built to run on glucose (and your brain runs exclusively on it!).

So basically, when we are saying "you need more carbs!" that's just because carbohydrates are the first step to build up and continually replenish the glycogen stores you need to perform. And then eating more sugars while you race (you need very simple-to-digest items because your digestive system often shuts down during very long events) keeps you from hitting the wall by continually keeping the engine running uninterrupted. Once you've depleted your glycogen stores (bonking), it is very easy to run out again quickly afterward if you don't establish a backlog plus continuous infusion of glucose energy to smooth out the energy take-up.

****nerd alert*****
The cellular respiration process that converts food energy into ATP is dependent on oxygen availability.
When sugar (glucose or glycogen) is metabolized anaerobically (without oxygen), it is only partially broken down and one of the byproducts is lactic acid. This is *not* an efficient method of deriving energy, but it is extremely fast because it only has a single step (glycolysis).
Aerobically, sugar is fully broken down, and the only byproduct is some hydrogen, which when coupled with the oxygen (hence "aerobic"), the process produces water. This is a much cleaner and efficient way to covert food energy, but it is slower on the uptake because it has a few extra steps beyond glycolysis. But this is why athletes must refuel *before* they hit the wall, because if you bonk, it is very difficult, uncomfortable, and energy intensive to "restart" the sugar engine after it has switched over to backup energy sources like fat or muscle.
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TrMama

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #24 on: April 03, 2019, 11:57:27 AM »
That said, with the goals I have mentioned, is a high carb intake an absolute must? People seem to be freaking out about carbs recently and I'm not sure where I stand.

Sedentary people need to be careful of overeating and cutting back on carbs is one of the more painless ways of cutting calories. It's also a good way of not wearing out your pancreas/insulin system over the long term when you don't burn many calories.

However, in order to train for a full distance Ironman you're going to be burning calories like a MoFo. Your body will need a ready supply of sugar (aka carbs) coursing through your veins in order to fuel all that repetitive movement.

The most annoying part of my tri training years ago was when the low carb diets became fashionable. It meant that uneducated newbs would bonk on our long group rides. Waiting with them on the side of the road until their spouse/mom/best friend/cab could pick them up was not my favorite way to spend a Saturday morning. Don't be that guy. Eat a potato.

Grocery store eggs bought in Canada/the US and kept in your fridge should last weeks. If you want eggs, go ahead and stock up.

^This.
You need carbs because you are an athlete.  Don't pay attention to whatever diet people are currently "freaking out about" at all.  If you're training as an athlete, or even getting very regular high intensity exercise, you need carbs or you'll feel like crap and you'll feel hungry ALL THE TIME.
I don't have recipe ideas because I'm an egg + starch + veggie person and my go-to is quiche muffins in the morning.  I don't care about food, but I too am a constantly hungry person. 
But that smoothie recipe above could be helpful! :)

Agree. As a hard gainer, the second I start doing high intensity exercise, I REALLY have to increase my normally moderate intake of carbs, or I drop weight incredibly rapidly.

ETA: I had the same problem with my athletic husband, TrMama.  Normally he eats more carbs than  I do, but he's not good about changing his diet to meet changing activity levels/types. When we used to do field work in the mountains of the Caribbean (high intensity/high heat), I would dramatically increase my carb eating and carry carbs along. He would occasionally bonk like a mofo, and when I would be digging out a powerbar for him, I'd ask what he had for breakfast 3 hours ago, and he'd say...eggs.  :sigh:

Yup. I quickly learned that when someone showed up for a group ride bragging about their new low carb diet that I should quietly make sure they weren't in my speed group.  I didn't want to be the one waiting on the side of the road with the newb while they waited for their ride. To top it off they always refused everyone's offers of, "Hey, do you want a pre-ride PowerBar? I've got a couple extras . . ."

OP, if you need to try this experiment for yourself, remember to bring your cell phone ;-)

MDfive21

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2019, 07:52:35 AM »
keep a bottle of MCT oil on your desk.  when you get hungry sip a teaspoon or so and it will cure the hunger.  sounds like your macro balance is out of whack and you need to up your fuel with fats/oils.

my favorite meal is what i call an egg bomb.  6 yolks, 2 whites, cooked in whole butter.  a hunk of triple cream brie under the eggs and some wilted baby kale on top.

i feed the extra whites to my kid, so they don't go to waste.

A ketogenic diet (which, given the utter lack of carbohydrates in your recommendation I assume you're a fan of) works great for certain situations ( particularly low intensity steady state endurance efforts and short high intensity efforts for example).  It will negatively impact your performance for others though.

It's particularly evident that it doesn't work for triathlons where the ability to put out short bursts of high intensity effort (transitioning, hill climbs, passing a competitor, sprinting to catch a draft, etc.) is essential.  Carbohydrate metabolism is more efficient at handling this kind of steady state energy use interspersed with intense efforts, and reducing/removing carbs from your diet will negatively impact most people's performance.

in this case, no i'm not recommending full keto but if the guy is always hungry it sounds like he could add some oil to his diet to quell the hunger.  i agree with everything you said about carbs.  if you're on the edge of maximal performance, carbs are necessary to fuel the bursts.  nothing controversial there.

the main thing i enjoy about low carb is the lack of hunger and lack of energy swings throughout the day.  fwiw i'm not even keto any more.  i did 6 months pretty strict to drop the extra fat i was carrying, and for the last year or so i've slowly added some carb to the rotation. 

Askel

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #26 on: April 04, 2019, 08:50:15 AM »
My workouts tend to vary a lot throughout the week, so I take the grazing approach to dining at work. 

I usually stock my office with seasonal fruits and vegetables, bagels, peanut butter, almonds, granola, and yogurt.

I tend to vary the quantity and timing of my meals based on when and how I'm exercising that day. 

It ends up being about $30-$35 a week for me and I have the added bonus of a supply of reasonably healthy food to avoid any temptation to hit the cafeterias or vending machines.   

Junco

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2019, 07:19:23 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!

Hi typicalmillenial. No need to spend $200/mo on breakfast/lunch at work! This will be very easy for you to cut down. I am a competitive amateur runner, I run 6-7 days a week, maybe 8-10 hours a week total. I also have a high metabolism so I'm always hungry. Us Mustachian athletes need to eat more, so it's important to dial in our food spending to keep it under control.

M-F at work I usually bring some variation of oatmeal into work. You can buy oatmeal for about $1 a pound. Fill a mason jar with 1 cup oatmeal and add some variation of frozen fruit, nuts, hemp/chia seeds/coconut flakes, bananas, cocoa powder. Soak it in water the night before and it'll be ready to eat in the morning (no need to cook), but you can heat it up in the microwave at work if you want it hot. There is enough variations possible to not get bored doing this and it'll fill you up until lunch.

For lunch I usually bring leftovers from the night before. Try not to buy prepared food at work, it's a waste of money. Consider keeping a 'stash of cheap food you like at work in case you don't have leftovers to bring one day. I personally have a grocery store I can walk to at lunch in case I need something.

At night, I usually prepare a meal from scratch. I like cooking so it's fun for me. I base my meals around cheap staple grains, beans, pastas, and add more expensive items (vegetables, etc) to spice it up. I eat a mostly whole food diet but try to find the best prices for the ingredients I buy.

I spend around $125-175 total for food each month for myself using these techniques. I have some room to dial it further, but think I'm at a decent spot right now.

Good luck!

waltworks

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2019, 08:33:20 AM »
If you're training for a triathalon, losing weight is great within reason. Eat when you're hungry and basically whatever you're hungry for. Train hard. Your body will take care of the rest.

For the record, I am a former professional endurance athlete. I saw all kinds of crazy diets (this was the late 90s/early 2000s) and even tried some myself. The bottom line is that it mostly doesn't matter what you eat unless you have some preexisting health condition. Often people think it does matter because they "get serious" about their sport and start eating some new/"better" diet - and improve! But it's because they got serious and started training harder, usually. The diet changes just coincided.

-W

honeybbq

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2019, 03:27:15 PM »
Doing my ironman in 5 weeks. Similar to you, I tend to lose more than I gain.

I try to eat a lot of protein. Also consider taking an iron supplement. (I'm female and I need it)

Breakfast:
Hardboiled eggs
yogurt with a sprinkle of granola
Costco has these "lean" breakfast sandwiches with eggs, cheese, and sausage. They are 250 calories each. I think a giant box is 10 bucks at costco. Awesome for after a swim!
Spinach/yogurt/banana/++?? smoothies. I like to get the power greens blend at Costco.

Other food and snacks:
I do normal food for lunch but I snack often and try to 'replenish' after every >1 hr workout, even if I'm not "hungry"
Nuts
Fig granola bars (fruit and carbs)
goldfish (for salt and carbs)
Gatorade - normally I dislike 'exercise' drinks but depending on your sweat rate you may really need some
If you're eat salad, make sure it has protein with meat, cheese, nuts, beans, etc.
Beef jerky (again from Costco)
applesauce pouches (100 cals)

GuitarStv

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2019, 06:24:37 PM »
Gatorade - normally I dislike 'exercise' drinks but depending on your sweat rate you may really need some

You can make your own gatorade equivalent if you don't want to go with gatorade, and there are a variety of recipes online.  Both of these work great:

1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 cups water
2 tbsp honey/sugar
1/8 tsp salt

or

4 cups filtered water
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup raw honey/sugar

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #31 on: April 06, 2019, 05:51:15 AM »
Assuming you have access to a microwave at work. 

Big batch of frozen breakfast burritos made every couple of weeks.  You can also change the middle and make them a lunch burrito.

I often make a large batch of burritos.  Mix up the inside, eggs, veggies, beans some salsa and whatever you prefer put them together than load them into the freezer.  When you want to eat them pull it out of the freezer, microwave one minute each side (so 2 minutes total) and eat.

Which reminds me, I haven't done this in a while, I need to get some tortillas.





MsPeacock

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #32 on: April 08, 2019, 01:02:57 PM »
I am training up for my first 1/2 ironman - and I do sprint/oly tris and long-distance aquabike (basically 1/2 irons w/o the running), plus run various distances. Often have to hit the gym before and after work. I'm small - 5'8" and light (120 pounds).  When my training schedule is heavy I struggle to keep weight on. I have to eat a lot more than I might otherwise eat because there are days when I burn ~2500 calories or so from exercise.

I tend to eat some sort of breakfast bar thing in the morning when I first get up (rushed) and then eat oatmeal + raisins + brown sugar + flax seed + peanut butter in the morning at work after the gym. Flax seed and peanut butter are both calorie dense. All of these food items are shelf stable and can live in my desk drawer.

Salads are great but I don't find they have enough calories unless I beef them up with: sliced ham, cheese, nuts, high calorie dressing, some crackers, etc. I mostly bring dinner leftovers for my lunch. I will also through cooked ground beef, frozen stir-fry veggies, teriyaki sauce, and ramen (baked, not fried type) together for a fast lunch (again, all either can be frozen or are shelf-stable).

I personally don't track carbs and protein and such - just try to make sure that I am eating enough to keep my weight good and have adequate energy.

11ducks

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #33 on: April 08, 2019, 11:27:40 PM »

Beans are great for a cheap, filling lunch with a decent protein/carb intake. I make a bean salad with mixed or black beans, corn, tomato/capsicum/cucumber. To up the calories/nutrients, you could add in cooked rice, chopped chicken or tuna, and avocado.

GuitarStv

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2019, 07:36:44 AM »
Another beneficial side effect is that the naturally enhanced jet propulsion effect that large quantity bean consumption provides will also aid in setting new personal bests on difficult splits, as well as gently encouraging others not to draft too closely.

brute

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2019, 07:44:07 AM »
Another beneficial side effect is that the naturally enhanced jet propulsion effect that large quantity bean consumption provides will also aid in setting new personal bests on difficult splits, as well as gently encouraging others not to draft too closely.

You're telling me. I'm fairly certain beans have added 10 pounds to my squat max. After being Keto for 8 years and now returning to carbs for performance reasons, the propulsion is real.

TrMama

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Re: Calling all Athletes - Mustachian Meal Prep Help
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2019, 05:19:37 PM »
Another beneficial side effect is that the naturally enhanced jet propulsion effect that large quantity bean consumption provides will also aid in setting new personal bests on difficult splits, as well as gently encouraging others not to draft too closely.

You're telling me. I'm fairly certain beans have added 10 pounds to my squat max. After being Keto for 8 years and now returning to carbs for performance reasons, the propulsion is real.

Plus all the fun bubbles you can make in the pool!