It’s true they say abs are made in the kitchen, but how much of your day is actually spent in the kitchen? How can you keep healthy on the go without all our food going mouldy? Introducing the answer to your meal prep prayers, ‘Isobag’ the fitness bag for meal management, allowing you to create and store and up to 6 healthy meals, protein shakes and snacks in one lunch bag.
Why is meal prep important?
- Meal prep aka meal preparation, because planning and preparation prevents poor performance.
When you’re at home you can stock your cupboards with all the right foods to keep you on track, fresh greens, lean meat and sweets potatoes are easily accessed and the scales are on the side to weigh out your exact macronutrient requirements, therefore you’re not likely to fall off track as everything you need to succeed is right in front of you. However here’s the problem, what happens when you go away for the weekend? Have to go on a business trip? Visit family away? The likelihood is sometimes life gets in the way of your training and you may take a few days off, fine. Your body needs to rest and a few days won’t bring you any major setbacks, you may even be able to fit in a run on the go. When it comes to eating you can’t just take a few days off, it’s a basic human need and the problem is most meals on the road aren’t going to push you towards your goal. As much as one cheat meal can be beneficial, (see our post on cheat meals) a week of Little Chef, Burger King and KFC is sure to be detrimental to your goals and hinder your performance when you do return to a normal routine. Plus the chances are if you are used to eating clean, the thoughts of these foods churn your stomach and so taking healthy meals with you is a must. You’ll stay on track with your goals and can progress guilt free.
Benefits of meal prep:
- Save money eating out as well as on bulk buying ingredients.
- Portion Control.
- Healthy meals nourish your body and improve your mood.
- Save time - all your meals are already ready!
Q: So now your persuaded to meal prep, how are you going to take all these meals with you?
Isobag review: The bodybuilders lunch bag
As someone who has always struggled with transporting my meal prep, from protein shakers bursting all over trains to eating still frozen spinach when the staff room microwave blew up, I’ve had my fair share of food prep disasters, so for 2016 I decided it was time to invest in an Isobag and now I wouldn’t be without it. I opted for Isobag’s 6 meal management system, as it gives plenty of room to pack for two people, or last an overnight trip.
What you get:
- The Isobag: 18"x9"x8" (LxWxH)
- Weight: 4.5lbs.
- 6 - 16oz Containers
- 2 - 12oz Container
- 2 - 28oz Container
- 2 - 38oz Container
- 3 - Ice Packs
- 1 - Shoulder Strap
The bag comes with 12 containers, a detachable shoulder strap and 3 large ice blocks.
The containers are all BPA free, can be microwaved and are dishwasher and freezer friendly. There are ice block holders to either side of the main cool bag, as well as a further attachable ice pack holder which can divide the main section in two for extra cooling. I find you can either opt for less cooling and larger meals or more cooling but smaller meal containers, however even the ‘small’ containers still have plenty of room. The bag fits a maximum of 8 fresh meals at any time, 6 in the main compartment and two in the zip up top, plenty for a weekend away.
The bag itself may be large, but for what it does, it looks the part. I opted for black as I didn’t want to bring too much attention to myself and I’d say the bag looks like a gym bag, albeit a rather large one. The material is durable, standing the rigor of daily use and it even survives in our wet English weather, making sure my meals aren't soggy.The top storage compartment is perfect for supplements and cutlery (or in my case, wet wipes, allergy tablets and cutlery), as well as being isolated should it need to be used for further meals.The side pockets hold up to a 2 litre water bottle, flask or protein shaker.
The bag is very well designed, prepared for all your nutritional needs. It’s simple to setup and easy to carry. The ice blocks themselves need freezing for a few hours, but the gel keeps food cold for up to 16 hours. I’ve taken the bag away overnight and everything’s remained fresh after 24 hours, but it depends on what your food is and the temperature of your external environment also.
How long to meal prep for:
The Isobag I bought fits 6/8 containers and comes with 12. I’ve left 6 perfectly untouched so that once the 6 I use daily show signs of wear and tear, I have brand new ones ready. This means on Sunday night I meal prep 6 meals, 2 in the bag, 2 in the fridge and 2 in the freezer. I wouldn’t recommend keeping meals for longer than 3 days and be particularly careful of meat, even refrigerated, food can still go off.
I think meal prep bags such as this one get a lot of fame as being just for bodybuilders or those preparing to compete, but actually, this is a great addition for anyone who is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. My meals are prepped, cooled and best of all, don’t leak!