Matt Lindsay is a former Team GB Speed Skater turned fitness coach, who works at ROAR Fitness, one of the premier personal training companies in the country. Staffed by a team of expert physical trainers, ROAR has some of the most famous faces in London on their books, and are responsible for some rather amazing transformations in their clients (just take a look at their transformations page). We sat down with Matt to discuss his attitude to meal prep, tips and tricks, and of course, why he chose Igluu containers as the foundation to his healthy lifestyle.
When and how did fitness and nutrition become such a huge part of your life?
Well, originally I was an athlete, I used to train at speed skating in the Olympics. That was my whole life, and has always been a huge part of what I have done. Since my retirement, I have gone into body transformations. The nutrition side comes from just being able to fuel your performance, and being able to change someone aesthetically, and giving them the body they have always wanted. Obviously, as you get older your body changes and you have to be much more conscious about what you are eating, so while it has always been a huge part of my life, it has never been more important to me than now, as I am pushing 40.
Describe your meal prep/healthy eating regime
My habits change depending on what my goals are, so when I am ‘cutting’ (trying to ‘lean’ myself out), then I try to make sure I get all the essentials, which means I have a suitable amount of fats to keep my hormones balanced, I have enough carbs in my system to be able to train and perform in the gym, and enough protein to maintain or build muscle mass. I tend to start the day on protein and fats, something like eggs and bacon or avocado, something along those lines, because I get a nice steady release of energy that keeps me from getting hunger pangs that might tempt me into eating a load of rubbish. I then tend to ‘lean’ the meals as the day goes out, so for my last meal I generally have something lighter, but it all depends on what I am doing. I try to have a good volume of food whether I’m building or cutting, I’ve got a lot of hunger, so I try to eat lots of different vegetables, and that is why prepping is so important for me. Having stuff with me and readily available makes a huge difference to how well I eat.
What challenges have you encountered with meal prepping? How did you overcome them?
My god, this is literally what I do all day long! Ok, so I get up super early, like normally before 5 AM most days, so if I’m not organized then my eating is all over the place, so prep is extremely important to myself. I usually prepare quite minimally. I prepare the protein sources for the next day, and if I can, I’ll chop up the veg, or have whatever I can prepared in my boxes and bring them into the gym. I’m a bit of a nerd like that! But I think everyone needs to have a structure with their eating, that’s where prep boxes, and prep in general comes in handy, because if you are reactively eating to your environment, it’s much harder to eat well. So I would say that organization is how I overcome all of my eating and prep challenges. Just keep things simple, and prep things that are easy, quick, and don’t take too much organization.
Any favourite recipes that you can share?
I just like to keep things really simple, to be honest. I like to mix it up. Although you will think this is boring (and so typically PT), I like chicken and vegetables, and turkey stir-frys are great too. I think it’s all about the way you season food though, not necessarily just the ingredients. It’s textures, it’s colours, it’s flavours and seasoning. That, for me is what brings food alive. You can have a really fun and exciting salad, it is just about finding the textures and flavours. Reach for that spice rack!
What made you choose Igluu for your meal prep containers?
This is a really easy question. I have tried everything! I have tried so many different containers, and I have had food leak all over my stuff, I’ve had containers that go really manky, or have melted in the dishwasher. It is really about the security of the Igluu containers that I love. Also, I like that there is a variety of shapes and sizes, where I can section food off so I don’t have certain ingredients mixing. For me, Igluu were just the best quality containers I could find, and once I started using them, I binned all the others, to be perfectly honest.
Three tips for those new to meal prepping
Following our chat with Matt, he very kindly decided to share his top three practical tips for meal prepping. His advice is here to serve as inspiration for those who look for excuses whenever it comes to food prep.
Excuse 1: “I don’t want the same boring food every day”
Add chopped vegetables to microwave rice. I love to mix in spring onion, sweetcorn, and chopped pepper or mushrooms to give my rice a bit more bite. You can mix up your choices for exciting textures and it takes seconds to create a delicious side dish.
Excuse 2: “I can’t cook”
Spice up your life. Using herbs and spice combinations instead of sauces and condiments which can supercharge your food with bright colours and exciting flavours to make bland protein sources like turkey, tofu or chicken delicious. If you can season food then, in my opinion, you can cook!
Excuse 3: “I’m too busy to prep”
Prioritise protein. Generally, veg takes little preparation time and can be found fresh in the supermarkets, so prioritise prepping your protein and having that with you. You can easily grill, pan fry or bake foods at home with minimal fuss and washing up. Keep your cooked protein fresh in prep boxes in your fridge and take them with you to ensure you always have enough good quality food whenever you need it.
In summary, preparing food can be fun, time-saving, delicious, affordable and practical. Eating reactively to your environment is much more stress than it’s worth, so open your prep boxes, and your mind, and enjoy tasty food on the go!