Clean Bulking Grocery List

  The off season is approaching, and it's time to build some lean mass that you may have lost during your last cutting phase. Some people don't take off seasons and sticking to a strict diet year round. I'm not one of those people. I prefer to lean out my diet around the first of the year until June or so and try to get as lean as possible while not sacrificing muscle mass. Typically after vacation I start implementing a clean, carb/protein heavy diet into my life. I have "dirty" bulked in the past, and while that may put on some mass, I gained weight in areas that I really wasn't targeting I.E. stomach, love handles. I've compiled a grocery list and will be following it up with a meal prep guide. I typically meal prep for a 5 day work week, with some extra rice and chicken cooked for my quick, post workout meals. It's a very inexpensive way to bulk and the recipes are about as simple as it gets. This grocery trip costs me roughly $70. That's if we are out of the items we buy bulk. We keep an eye our for chicken/turkey on sale, stock up and freeze it for down the road. We also buy rice in bulk so we aren't buying it every grocery trip!   

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Lean Bulk Grocery List

 I'll be throwing in some optional choices/additions that you can also implement into your list/meals.

4lbs Chicken breasts (boneless, skinless) * I prefer non frozen but its your choice *

4lbs Ground Turkey

2.5lb bag white rice

2 Dozen Eggs

2 Quarts Cottage Cheese

2 Gallons of Milk

3 Cans Low Sodium Black Beans (optional)

2 Broccoli crowns (Optional)

4 Large Sweet Potatoes

6 Cans Of Chunk Light/Flavored Packets of tuna

Jug of favorite salsa

Frank's Red Hot

4 avocadoes

Almonds (optional)

Natural Peanut/Almond Butter (Optional)

Coconut/Olive Oil


Meal Prep Made Easy

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 Uh-oh. It's (insert your off day/days here) and you need to meal prep for the next 5 days. If you've been there before then you know the feeling, it can be burdening and overwhelming. I'm going to simplify the process and hopefully help in making this less of a daunting task for you all!   
   I'm going to preface this blog with teaching the beginner stages of meal prepping and start from there. Before I get into the macros, carbs, sugars, protein, and all that fun stuff, what do you like to eat? You see the same chicken, broccoli and brown rice as a staple in a lot of bodybuilding programs and it is as boring and bland as it sounds, but it works and offers what you'll need to build or maintain muscle. Its also very easy to prepare. I'll go over that one first, but keep in mind theses are general meal prepping ideas and can be tailored to fit your daily caloric intake depending on your goals, current weight, target weight, etc.
    First things first, decide what you want to meal prep the day BEFORE you actually prep. This way you won't be racking your brain and stressing over getting to the grocery and being undecided what you want so you throw pizza slices in Tupperware for the week, as good as that may sound at the time. Another rule of thumb of mine is to never go to the grocery hungry, which you obviously can, it just helps me from buying things that I don't necessarily need. Once you have an idea of what you want for the upcoming week, make a list that you can take with you to the grocery. Let's say that you want to prep for a 5 day week, with 2 main meals per day. Lets use the chicken, broccoli and rice as an example. Side Note - When it comes to rice, dry and cooked mean two different things. One cup dry brown rice yields two cups of cooked brown rice. Dry white rice nearly triples in weight and volume, keep this in mind!


What your grocery list should look like!

32 oz. or 2 lbs chicken
60 oz of broccoli, frozen or fresh
5 Cups of Dry Brown Rice or 3 Cups of Dry White Rice
Either one will yield around 10 cups cooked (1 cup per container in meal prep)

-Make sure you have microwave safe containers, which you'll want 10 for this prep and set them to the side-

Now what am I supposed to do with it?! 

  1. First, get your rice going (rice cooker, boil)
  2. Cook your chicken however you prefer (I prefer my George Foreman!) and season to taste (You may obviously season your foods as you please, but staying away from high sodium seasonings is recommended due to the high blood pressure and water retention aspects), cook thoroughly or until internal temperature is at least 165 degrees F
  3. Eyeball your broccoli and disperse it evenly throughout all 10 meal prep containers, no need to cook, it will steam when you heat it up later :)
  4. After your rice is done, you'll want 1 cup per container
  5. Lastly after your chicken is done to your liking and at a safe internal temp, either dice or cut into slices, add 3.2 oz per container

--This entire cooking, prep process shouldn't take more than 30 minutes. After doing it a few times it should be second nature. This is obviously a very basic meal plan, but it offers simple/complex carbs (rice 40 carbs per container) antioxidants, fiber, vitamin K, vitamin C (broccoli) and protein (chicken, 23g per container)

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Colorful EASY Meal Prep for the WIN

   This is an actual picture of one of my meal preps that I make weekly. It only took me 30 minutes to make EIGHT meal preps! It doesn't contain the ingredients listed above, but I wanted to show how easy it can be to have everything together in one easily washed container.
   I have 2 different types of burgers in these meal preps. 4 turkey burgers and 4 90/10 beef burgers, fried sweet potatoes and green beans. The green beans don't have to be heated up since they are already cooked, the sweet potatoes are diced and fried in coconut oil with cinnamon and the burgers are cooked on a George Foreman ($25 steal if you ask me)!

What if I'm a picky eater, Can I substitute?

CHICKEN: Turkey Burger, Beef Burger (90/10), Pork Chops, Tuna Patty
RICE: Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Carrots, Quinoa, Corn
BROCCOLI: Green Beans, Asparagus, Zucchini, Brussel sprouts, Cauliflower

**You can cut it down to 1/2 cup rice each container if watching carbs is a part of your diet, resulting in 40g carbs per 2 meal preps a day as opposed to 80g in our original preps!**

 "But my chicken is bland and dry!"

     It doesn't have to be. There are options that you can add to your chicken to make it more enjoyable. Walden Farms has a Barbeque sauce that I've used quite extensively in my meal preps ( WFBBQ ) It is calorie free, sugar free, and has zeroes across the board on its label aside from 210g of sodium, which isn't much at all. Everything that I've had by Walden Farms has been impressive despite the lack of any calories in their products. Here's a link to their website ( Walden Farms | Calorie Free Specialties )

   Walden Farms is a good way to go especially if you're watching your calories and sugars. If you're in more of a flexible diet type of schedule, you could add some Franks Red Hot or your favorite type of BBQ or hot sauce to make your chicken more palatable. More easy meal prep ideas to come!