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meal prepYou glance at the clock and realize that it is almost lunchtime. “Yes!” you exclaim, as you begin to think about your lunch options, and then quickly realize that your enthusiasm might have been a bit premature. The lunch options surrounding your office building are less than ideal—a pizza joint, a greasy fast-burger restaurant, and a smoothie place where the first ingredient is an ice cream base.

As you start considering what you want to eat to power you through the rest of your work day, you realize that none of these lunch options contain the super foods that not only boost energy (without a major sugar crash), but also make you feel like your best self. Maybe you have been making it a priority to hit the gym before heading to work in the morning, and fueling with junk foods won’t allow for you to maintain your healthier lifestyle. Or maybe, you begin noticing how much money you could be saving if you didn’t eat out everyday during your lunch hour.

It may be time to start thinking about bringing lunch to work. However, the phrase ‘sack lunch’ tends to carry the connotation of a smashed peanut butter sandwich and random foods found in the cupboard. This does not have to be your meal! You can prepare fresh foods that not only taste great, but also travel well and make you feel good about what you are eating.

But does this mean that you then have to spend time doing the dreaded ‘meal prep’ to create these magical meals? The Marc Pro team has the short answer—yes. Meal prep does take some time to do, however, if you get in the habit of carving a small amount of time out of your Sunday schedule, then you can have amazing lunches for the week that can keep you on track for your own personal weight and fitness goals. Meal prep does not need to be all encompassing and overly time consuming, but it can allow for you to make smart choices about what you are eating on a regular basis.

4 Meal Prep Options

Some fast and easy lunch prep ideas can include:

  1. Chickpea Lunchbox Spread- this vegan recipe can allow you to get your protein in while delighting your taste buds.
  2. Crockpot BBQ Chicken Sandwich- looking for a savory lunch? Look no further than this crockpot chicken sandwich.
  3. Easy Lasagna Soup- on a cold winter day, nothing hits the spot more than a tasty bowl of hearty soup.
  4. Asian Chicken Salad Lettuce Wraps- tasty wraps with a flavor explosion? Yes please!

These and many more lunch recipes can be found through this link.

Meal prep can be fun for the whole family to jump into and make into a weekly tradition. You can create healthy meals to fuel your day, increase your recovery, and make you feel more energized throughout the day. Do you have a favorite ‘sack lunch’ that you make? Share with the Marc Pro team on Twitter or Instagram.

workout recoveryWith fall in full swing and Halloween candy upon us, you might find yourself gravitating more towards the candy aisle than towards the produce. However, you may change your mind when you learn more about the benefits of nature’s fall candies—from squash to pumpkin to apples – and how delicious they can taste when used in recipes that taste so good, you won’t believe they are healthy! Did someone say Pumpkin Chia Pudding? Even better, these fall foods can increase energy, help improve your recovery, and in-turn, take your workouts to the next level.

Below are 6 recovery foods specific to the fall season that are loaded with nutrients and antioxidants to make you feel good, and won’t pack on the pounds. We challenge you to try them in some recipes and you may just forget about the Halloween candy, and instead, feel energized for Sunday’s long run or WOD.

1. Pumpkin Seeds

After you carve your jack-o-lantern, save those pumpkin seeds and roast them in the oven for a crunchy treat that your kids might even be “tricked” into eating. Pumpkin seeds are jam-packed with plant-based iron, fiber, healthy fat, and protein, which can increase immune function to help you to recover faster. And you can add some exciting flavors to your pumpkin seeds including chili lime, pumpkin spice, and classic salt and pepper.

2. Pumpkin

While pumpkin seeds pack a great protein and iron punch, the rest of the pumpkin is also full of wholesome goodness. One cup of mashed pumpkin contains over 200% of your total recommended daily intake of vitamin A, which can keep your eyes healthy, especially when trying to focus in dim light.  Looking for a way to shake up your recipe book with some pumpkin additions? Try a Paleo pumpkin custard or delicious pumpkin curry to cozy up with on a brisk fall evening.

3. Squash

If you are looking for a vegetable with some serious benefits, look no further than squash. There are multiple different types of squash to choose from, all with medicinal benefits including improving immune system strength, cancer prevention, reducing insomnia, and even reducing inflammation. Try using spaghetti squash instead of pasta for a delicious, healthy dinner.

4. Apples

Head to your local farmer’s market and you can appreciate just how many varieties of apples there are available. From Granny Smith to Jonathan, apples range from tart to sweet and apple skin contains flavonoids, which are full of antioxidants, heart healthy, and full of fiber. An apple a day really just might keep the doctor away.

5. Brussels Sprouts

This leafy vegetable is not always at the top of the produce love list, but these little greens are bursting with nutrients. Not only are they a good source of protein, but Brussels sprouts are also full of potassium, iron, vitamin C, folate, and antioxidants. Try steaming Brussels sprouts and then adding olive oil and fresh garlic for a tasty side dish that will make your taste buds and body, very happy.

6. Rutabaga

Ruta-what? While rutabaga might not be an item that you typically find yourself going to the store for, this cross between cabbage and turnip might be something you start adding to your basket. Rutabaga is a good source of vitamin C and fiber, and can make a wonderful fall soup, or a delicious side, simply roasted with ginger and honey.

Once you’ve cooked up some tasty dishes with these fall ingredients, sit back and get cozy with your Marc Pro or Marc Pro Plus unit to really get your recovery going.

Do you have a fall favorite recipe? Let us know by tweeting your recipe at Marc Pro (@themarcpro)! The best fall recipe will win a Marc Pro prize!