When I first started as a Personal trainer, the 'how' of getting clients to eat properly cooked, nutrient dense meals was simple; everyone had to prepare food in advance and carry it around with them in little Tupperware boxes.
We always started by working on
Kitchen set up
Bulk food prep routines
It worked, but what our clients would usually end up with was something like this:
The problem was, bulk food prep was the only viable option to achieve results.
If like most people you had a busy schedule your option for lunch-on-the-go was a McDonalds, an overpriced and depressing salad or a Boots meal deal.
If you wanted a snack on the go it was a chocolate bar or a packet of crisps.
Truly convenient, healthy options were a rarity.
I can remember going on a course in London in 2012, and buying some prepacked plain chicken, a cucumber and some almonds for lunch. That's how much of a loser you had to be then to eat healthily. Doing it as a personal trainer on a personal training course is one thing, but can you imagine sitting down with your friends and pulling that out?
Going out for dinner was no picnic either. Good quality, filling and tasty options were few and far between, it always ended up being 'just order some fish or chicken and a side of vegetables'.
To be 'into fitness' was to truly alienate yourself from the rest of the population. It was an exclusive club which most people didn't really want to belong to.
And then the revolution began
Fitness as it is today started becoming more mainstream, the likes of Instagram and Facebook started making fitness cool, and an opportunity in the market opened up.
It started with companies who had traditionally catered to the hardcore fitness market creating products like protein bars, on the go shakes and mail order food shopping.
Other companies spotted a gap in the market and began meal prep-services, where you could order your entire week's food if you wanted to. They would prepare way more interesting meals than most people would cook themselves and they were great quality.
But all this was expensive, really expensive.
Protein bars were 3/4 times the price of a standard snack, and if you wanted a full meal-prep service you'd be spending >£300 a week on food. Which is a lot to sit, eating out of a Tupperware box by yourself, looking like a headcase.
You also needed to coordinate collecting these meals every other day. Granted most people who were doing this had PA's, but it's still filling someone's schedule. The bar for entry was lowered but not by much.
The movement continued to gain momentum, and it has pushed forward steadily up to the last couple of years where the availability of fresh, healthy food is boomed.
It's never been easier to eat healthily than right now.
Now we live in a world where it's realistic to:
Walk down the road and buy a freshly prepared lunch from a variety of places
Go into a supermarket and pick any of a dozen healthy snacks
Order from a selection of genuinely healthy options at most restaurants
Have someone deliver your healthy food to you, wherever you are at short notice
Deliver all the ingredients for a fresh dinner to your door, which you can prepare yourself
Have frozen microwavable meals delivered which you can use as back up
All of these services and restaurants offer genuinely healthy and convenient options.
Preparing food at home is still a valuable skill, it will always be a great option and for most people it will be the foundation of a good diet. I'm just very grateful that now there are far more options available to us to eat healthily.