Meal Prep Alexandria VA

Better Meal Prep in Alexandria VA.  On May 28th, we asked Alexandria VA how they can improve the above meal.  We offered $100 Sand & Steel Gift Certificates for the best answers.  Here’s what you said, and here’s who won.

We posted the following meal prep contest on 4 social media channels.  Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin.  Here’s what we learned.  People on linkedin write the most thoughtful comments.  People on linked Instagram write the fastest responses.  People on Facebook don’t know how to write a comment back (at least our followers).  And twitter… well who still uses that?

So if you want to learn about Meal Prep your peers … Linkedin is the way to go.  In fact, we just launched a new Linkedin Group for this purpose.

Here was the Meal Prep Contest Rules:

This meal looks hashtag#healthy enough right? 🍽️ Lots of hashtag#greens 🥕, chicken, even some squash in there.How can we make it better? Put your answer in the comments. Best answer wins a $100 gift certificate from Sand and Steel


We’ve pulled the best answers from our Social Media Channels.  Black is the comment, red is Paul’s response.

On Instagram:

  • mazegod🤔 Buy everything there, from the Farmers market instead of the grocery store. Free range eggs instead of white. Warm water or tea, After you eat.  “Nice comments on meal prepping for sourcing of ingredients, but not the best answer.”
  • lanunda Probably skip the feta cheese, add a healthy fat and some fruit.  “3rd Place and the best answer in least amount of words.  More details and this might have been the winner.  $25 Gift Certificate for Best Tips in the Fewest words.”
  • reganhoward Green grape halves 😍 “Sure, but I’m not sure how that would work.”
  • dreamofgoodies Chicken has been sitting in plastic under heat lamp, which means toxins have leached into your food, greens and butternut squash need to be organic, and loose mushroooms not ones wrapped in plastic wrap.  “I found this answer interesting.  It suggests that melting point of this particular type of plastic is low enough such that toxins in the plastic are absorbed by the food.  Here’s the thing when you start down the road of bronutrition in your meal prep — you miss your own assumptions.  Here they are: 1) The plastic might not have toxins, 2) the toxins might be absorbed by the food, 3) the heat lamp might not be able to melt the plastic, 4) melting the plastic releases the toxins.  As for the comments on greens and butternut squash needing to be organic … heirloom vegetable certainly taste better and tend to have a higher nutrition density.  I don’t agree that their lack of “organicness” is the biggest problem with the meal.  Does the fact the mushrooms are wrapped in plastic bother me for this meal prep?  No.  I haven’t read anything definitive that all plastics causing any health problems.” 
    health_wisdom_magazine We’d love to see some Avo 🥑 in that meal!  “Avocado is a meal prep pro tool.  Better as a substitute for the feta though.”

On Linkedin:

  • William Simpson I like adding broccoli, carrots, snow peas, carrots, etc. to this kind of dish for added interest, color and texture. I’d take out the onion, feta and chicken. Not a fan of those, but I’m a fan of adding some Quinoa or similar super grain like others have mentioned. Instead of water, I’d cook it in a gluten free organic soup for flavor and added nutrients and serve it as a side dish. For my version of ‘better’ I might cook it in olive oil or coconut oil, add some bacon and/or avocado, fresh herbs like basil, parsley, and rosemary (I’m growing them so…) don’t see any spices there so add some turmeric, paprika, and/or cumin… maybe fresh black pepper pink Himalayan sea salt, Alaea salt or Hawaiian Black Salt as needed. Whatever you end up with has to be tasty. Making food that’s a chore to eat is not my idea of healthy. “Does anyone think William is a badass cook?  I was looking for healthier, but William made this dish certainly taste better.  1st Place and interestingly enough, not at all the answer I was looking for.  $100 Gift Certificate for most improved taste.”
  • Mavis It could use some good quality carbohydrate like quinoa, whole grain couscous or amaranth.  “Great point about the low glycemic starch for meal prep … but not the only issue on this dish.”
  • Sam Whiteside of Motley Fool. It could use some healthy fats. “Great point about the health fat for meal prep… but not the only issue on this dish.”
  • Colleen Define ‘better’… Do you mean less fat? Do you mean fewer calories? Do you mean more fibre? I’d roast the onions and the squash to prevent too much fat absorption by frying; use just the white of the chicken or, depending on what your definition of better is, leave the chicken out altogether and add quinoa or legumes for the protein; make sure no salt was added but use chilli, lemon/lime juice and herbs to flavour; lightly steam the mushrooms; boil the eggs, mix everything together, and voila! A yummy, healthy dish!  “Colleen adds some important tips on cooking techniques.  Cooking techniques matter when it comes to calories.  2nd Place, $50 Gift Certificate.”
  • Alison What she said. Also is anything even organic? Eggs free range? Chicken? Also there’s usually a lot of weird ingredients in those store bought chickens not to mention the heated plastic. Is that Kirkland brand mushrooms? 🤦🏼‍♀️ Grassfed and finished cheese, or just none at all! How was it cooked? Extra virgin olive oil? Low heat so it doesn’t become carcinogenic….” “Alison nicely reminds us to use low heat for meal prep when cooking with EVOO.  Nice suggestions about considering your sourcing on food.”

So What are the Best Answers for Paul’s Meal Prep Puzzle:

I don’t know anyone could actually provide you the best answers.  Best requires specific knowledge of the dietary requirements of the person eating the food.  It also required knowledge about the food being consumed that cannot be garnered from the pictures alone.  However, I can tell you that following 6 suggestions will greatly improve the nutrition quality of the meal.

  1. Healthy Fat — this kind of meal can be improved through adding seeds and nuts.  Hemp seeds would be my first choice.  Avocado is also a good answer.
  2. The Store Bought Chicken — like many people mentioned, you want to choose free-range organic chicken where you can.  You can buy that frozen to save money.
  3. Healthy Fruit — fruits are optional in this meal if you pump up the veggies.  Some mirepoix (carrots, onion, and celery) and peppers is a healthy addition to this food.
  4. Chicken Skin – generally you skip that because it’s not a healthy fat. Try adding Parmesan crisps instead.
  5. More Starch? So butternut squash is a good starch.  Adding quinoa to this meal is an option if your macros require more starch calories in your meal prep.
  6. The Feta — not a good fat — one of the worst cheese for body composition.  Nutritional Yeast is a good swap with the same salinity.

We have three winners on our Meal Prep Alexandria VA Contest! William, Colleen, and Lanunda

If you are a named winner about, please respond to this blog article with a comment.  We’ll write back to you privately and send you the gift certificate. Congratulations to our winners!

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