When it comes to pursuing your fitness goals, nutrition plays a huge role—but eating healthy on a budget can have its challenges. In a recent video, YouTuber, trainer and kinesiologist Jeremy Ethier shares his advice on meal prep, and explains how to easily hit your macronutrient needs in four meals, for as little as $8.38 per day.
“We want to choose nutritious protein, fats and carb sources that will not only be the best option for us to build muscle with, but are also the most budget-friendly options to hit our calorie and macronutrient targets,” he says. For example, eggs, milk and canned tuna are among the most economic protein sources at most grocery stores—but protein powder, while more expensive per tub up front, can prove more cost-effective in the long run.
The meal plan Ethier recommends amounts to a daily total of 2,700 calories, consisting of 160 grams protein.
Ethier makes a breakfast smoothie with 1/3 cup of oats, 1 frozen banana, 2 cups of 2 percent milk, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, and 1 scoop of whey protein, all of which comes to a cost of $1.70.
For his stir fry, Ethier uses 3 whole eggs, 100 grams brown rice, a chicken stock cube, half a cup each of diced carrots, celery and cabbage, 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of garlic puree, totalling $1.51.
The third meal is a $2.84 fajita bowl, comprising 4 ounces of chicken breast, 100 grams brown rice, a green pepper, an onion, a cup of pinto beans and half a cup of salsa. “About a third of the price of a Chipotle bowl, but just as tasty, and packed with protein and nutrients,” he says.
The fourth and final meal on Ethier’s menu is a ground turkey and roast sweet potato dish that costs $2.34 to make, and according to the chef, “honestly tastes great without breaking the bank.”
Ethier recommends prepping three meals in advance, but making the smoothie fresh as and when you want it. He also advises against planning longer than three days ahead, unless you’re going to then freeze the meals.
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