Think back to the last time you were a student. For me, I immediately get flashbacks of french fries and quesadillas - quick, on-the-go food with less than ideal nutritional value. Studies have shown that when it comes to your brainpower, you are what you eat. Bootcamp students: Use this guide to pick out what you can prepare quickly at home and bring to your classroom. Bon appetit!
Your Coding Bootcamp Meal Plan
Your Coding Bootcamp Meal Plan
YOUR PREP: GROCERY & SUPPLY LIST
- 1 carton of eggs
- Fruit (I always have some seasonal fruit on hand. My favorites include bananas, strawberries, grapes, cherries, peaches, grapefruit)
- Mixed green lettuce, kale (or spinach)
- Veggies: 3 large white onions, 1 spaghetti squash, 2 bell peppers, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, avocado, fresh garlic
- Carbs: Sweet potatoes, white potatoes, or turnips work nicely
- Nuts: Cashews, peanuts, pecans, almonds
- Proteins: One 1lb pork roast, two medium-sized chicken breasts
- Chocolate (darker is better!)
- Condiments: Balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper, salsa (check the ingredients for added sugar), honey, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, olive oil (or coconut oil)
- Frying Pan
- NutriBullet or blender
Get some CrockPot action. Chop two onions and put them in the bottom of the CrockPot. Sprinkle red pepper flakes, salt, pepper & garlic powder onto the pork roast. Drizzle with half a cup of balsamic vinegar & 1 tbsp of honey. Cook in the CrockPot for 6-8 hours on low. (Perfect to throw it in before bedtime and wake up to an awesome-smelling house!)
Prep your veggies. Here's the most important part of meal prep. This will be annoying, but it'll be worth it. Cut all your veggies beforehand - that way you'll be that much closer to a great meal when you get home. Roast a spaghetti squash. (I like to throw on a podcast while I'm prepping!)
Cook some protein. Chop one (or two) of your chicken breasts and sautee them with some garlic, oil, salt and pepper. Do the same with your tofu, adding soy sauce or liquid aminos instead of oil.
Freeze your fruit. Frozen fruit is a treat with lots of sugar, but it's also a great way to get your metabolism (and energy!) up and running on early mornings.
- Breakfast: Quick smoothie with one large leaf of kale, frozen strawberries & chia seeds or protein powder
- Lunch: Crockpot pork on top a bed of lettuce or sauteed bell peppers and handful of nuts.
- Snacks: Cherries, mixed nuts, popcorn
- Dinner: Chicken breast with salsa, mushrooms and broccoli. Make 3x servings.
- Sweet tooth? Grab some dark chocolate or cacao nibs.
- Breakfast: Three scrambled eggs with avocado and salsa
- Lunch: Crockpot pork on top of some cubed sweet potatoes and broccoli.
- Snacks: Chopped up bell pepper, grapes
- Dinner: Make a hash out of tofu, white potatoes, broccoli and mushrooms. Make 3x servings.
- Sweet tooth? Here's my shameless plug for Halo Top Ice Cream. Less than 300 calories per pint. Don't eat it all at once - it's expensive and also contains artificial flavors/sweeter.
- Breakfast: Monday's chicken with an overeasy egg & avocado on top.
- Lunch: Crockpot pork with spaghetti squash, salsa and roasted garlic.
- Snacks: Handful of nuts, frozen berries, dark chocolate
- Dinner: Tuesday's hash.
- Sweet tooth? Blend together a frozen banana with some cocoa powder, almond milk and honey. You're welcome.
- Breakfast: Fruit smoothie with kale
- Lunch: Tuesday's hash with a hardboiled egg.
- Snacks: Popcorn, nuts
- Dinner: Sautee that last chicken breast with balsamic vinegar, oil and lots of garlic. Put over a bed of mixed greens & top with your favorite dressing. Make 2x servings.
- Sweet tooth? Try cotton candy grapes. They exist, and they're crazy delicious.
- Breakfast: Quick scrambled eggs, avocado and salsa. Add tofu if you want!
- Lunch: Thursday's dinner.
- Snacks: You guessed it. Nuts or fruit.
- Dinner: Treat yourself. (For me, I'm going straight to sushi & a great craft beer.)
BUDGET, BUDGET, BUDGET!
Some budgeting tips:
- Couponing is still relevant. Look online and see where the best deals are.
- If you're cooking for more than one person, buy in bulk!
- Utilize Mother Nature and buy fruit when it's seasonal. (I once paid $15 for a small container of blueberries because they weren't in season)
ENTER: SKILLS FUND
If you're looking for extra funds while you're in your bootcamp, we want to help. We've teamed up with many of our partner programs to offer cost of living financing in addition to tuition financing. You'll receive the extra funds directly - so you're free to use them on whatever grub you'd like.
If you're eating right, your mind will be more ready to absorb and store information. Bootcamps aren't for everyone - they're super accelerated and intense - but if you get all your ducks in a row outside of your education (like diet and exercise), you're bound to be more prepared for your metamorphosis into a developer.
I'm always on the lookout for meal prep plans & ideas. Students - how did you meal prep during your coding bootcamp? Let me know in the comments below!
Originally published June 21, 2017. Updated April 22, 2019.