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Meal Prep Containers - What to Get

Meal Prep Containers – What to Get

When it comes to meal prep, and nutrition in general, it’s fair to say that your first thought will be about what you’re going to eat. An often-overlooked yet surprisingly important part of meal prep is what you’re going to store your prepared meals in and how you’re going to transport them between workouts.

In fact, picking the right containers to store and carry your food should be one of the first steps in your meal prep, as they will ultimately have an impact on every other stage. But what should you be looking for? Don’t worry, we’ve got a few tips for you to consider when buying meal prep containers:

What should you be looking for?

Whether you’re trying meal prep for the first time or are looking to add a little more efficiency to your current routine, getting the right containers first will give you a good foundation moving forward.

  1. Material

Containers come in a variety of materials, such as plastic, glass, silicone or metal. It’s down to personal preference – many people find that plastics transfer taste or chemicals to your food, but tend to be cheaper than glass or metal. But glass may not be the best choice for transport or packing, in case it breaks. Reusable silicone bags can be great for saving space, as are certain stackable containers.

If you’re looking to reheat your meals in the containers, when BPA-free plastic or glass are great choices. Some containers are a combination of both, which is a big benefit.

Choose what is going to be right for you and your schedule, if you’re on the move, you’ll want something light yet sturdy.

  1. Size

The size of your containers is important for portion control. You’ll want a container that’s big enough to store your meals, yet not too big as to give yourself a bigger portion than necessary. Alternatively it could just go to waste. Pick a container that’s going to allow for the right kind of portions for you.

  1. Separation

Using containers with built in separators will let you keep certain parts of your meal separate and fresher. Particularly useful with keeping your meats from your vegetables, dressings and salads separate, or your healthy snacks away from your main meal!

  1. Freezer Safe

If you’re planning on prepping enough meals in advance that you’ll need to keep some of them frozen, make sure you pick containers that are going to be suitable. This includes using containers that are completely sealable to avoid bacteria growth. If you’re planning on keeping the food in their containers when freezing, make sure they’re made form suitable material. The last thing you want is to ruin all of your work because of the container!

  1. Leak Proof

Meal prep is inherently ideal for a busy schedule, and a busy schedule usually means you’re on the move. This is where you definitely want to invest in containers that aren’t going to leak all over your back or important work documents! Salad dressings are particularly notorious for getting everywhere!

There’s nothing wrong with giving your containers a test run, even if it’s just with water, to ensure you’re not going to run into any problems.

What Suits You

Ultimately, how you prep and store your meals depends on your schedule, lifestyle and what it is you’ll be prepping. Get what works best for you, even if it means trying a few things out until you get it right!

 

What Are The Benefits Of Dark Chocolate?

Wouldn’t it be fantastic if one of the most popular sweet treats was also good for us, and it’s a topic that is often debated online. Unfortunately it’s not as simple to say that dark chocolate benefits your health, because there are a lot of different variables to consider. Our personal trainers have delved into the research so you don’t have to, now lets take a look at some of the nutritional facts, as well as some of the “hype” that surrounds dark chocolate and health benefits.

Is dark chocolate bad for you?

It’s safe to say that dark chocolate shouldn’t be labelled as a ‘health food’. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come without some potential benefits when enjoyed in moderation. Generally speaking, dark chocolate is made from cocoa powder, cocoa butter and more often than not, sugar. This depends, of course, of the variety that you choose.

The one thing to look at in particular here however is the cocoa. This is the key ingredient in question when looking at dark chocolate and its health benefits. Cocoa contains an antioxidant known as oligomeric procyanidins (OPCs), which is often referred to as flavanols. According to research, flavanols may help promote blood flow to the brain, reduce stress hormones and even relaxing the body’s blood vessels, resulting in lowered blood pressure. Interesting!

Phenethylamine is also contained in dark chocolate which is a compound known to help the release of endorphins, which can help lift your mood. The antioxidants in dark chocolate may also be beneficial for your skin because they help to fight damage caused by free radicals. As we already noted, flavanols can help promote blood flow which is also great for nourishing your skin’s cells. Dark chocolate also contains small amounts of magnesium, which can assist with the regulation of hormones.

Again, it’s difficult to state that dark chocolate is good for your health, because the amount of cocoa differs from product to product and cocoa bean varieties. Your best bet is to seek out 70%+ dark chocolate in order to benefit from the most flavanols. They may be more bitter and not as sweet as white or milk chocolate, but the benefits will certainly be increased.

As with most things, whilst there are benefits to eating dark chocolate, it should be enjoyed in moderation. The actual amount depends on your overall diet and activity levels, but even just a few squares should satisfy your sweet tooth. Try not to go too overboard, as more often than not your dark chocolate will contain sugar. If you are looking for other sources of antioxidants, a cup of herbal tea will also go down a treat!