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Meal Prep: Solved By… Sous Vide?

To help with healthy and varied meal planning, athlete David Richman shares how he prepares yummy meals in a day that will last him all week and up to 6 months.

One of the problems that we have with meal prepping is that if you prepare 5 of the same meals for Monday – Friday, you’re going to get bored of that meal very quickly. And after 3-4 days in the fridge, the meal is just not going to taste the same. David Richman seems to have solved this problem. 

When we spoke with David on the SuperAge podcast in June of 2021, he shared with us his inspiring health journey and how he became an athlete with more Ironmans than you can count on one hand. With his active lifestyle, we were curious to know how he fuels himself. It turns out, he has mastered the art of meal prepping and has completely taken the guesswork and anxiety out of deciding what to eat every meal. Plus, he doesn’t have to eat the same meal each day. Here’s how he does it. 

He uses a method called a “sous vide.” Translated from French, sous vide means “under vacuum” and involves vacuum sealing ingredients in a container — in his case, usually a plastic bag that can be heated — placing the container in water set to a specific temperature, and cooking the contents inside the bag. While he does cook some things in his sous vide, like the perfect, juicy corn on the cob, he also uses a slightly different approach that makes meal prepping a breeze. 

When David prepares a meal he quadruples the recipe. He uses a variety of cooking methods in addition to sous vide like roasting veggies or searing homemade turkey patties. Then, he vacuum seals portioned out meals and freezes them. The next day, the next week, or even 6 months later, he will grab that vacuum-sealed meal from the freezer, place it in the sous vide, and heat it up for about 30 minutes at around 165 degrees F. Then, he has a perfectly cooked, healthy meal. 

David preparing food to vacuum seal and freeze.

Because he is an athlete who expends a lot of energy throughout the day, he likes to have smaller, more frequent meals, usually every 2 hours. That makes it difficult to figure out what to eat. And the easy option would be to grab something processed to give a quick boost of energy. But that’s also the unhealthier option. With this method of meal prepping, he always has something healthy to eat whether it’s a side of veggies, prepared protein options, jasmine rice, or fully portioned meals. 

Portioned out meals vacuum sealed and ready to freeze.

He has also solved the problem of leftovers. He likes to host and, when there are leftovers, he vacuum seals and freezes them then reheats in the sous vide when ready to eat. 

He likes to reheat his food in the sous vide because it doesn’t dry out or overcook the meal, but you don’t need one to use this meal prep method. Simply cook extra the next time you prepare a meal and vacuum seal the extra portions. Then, freeze them and you can microwave or reheat them in the oven when you’re ready to enjoy. 

The equipment that David uses:
Sous vide

Vacuum sealer Vacuum seal safe bags

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Taylor Marks
Taylor Marks is a certified holistic health coach and current student at The Institute of Culinary Education studying health supportive culinary arts. Her passions include making nourishing food taste and look delicious and guiding others towards feeling their best.

 

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