10 TALENT: Meal Prep
Welcome to the 10 Talent Blog/Vlog! A bit about myself… I am Sarah Matton, Founder and Director of 10 Talent Management. Over the past decade I have worked professionally in the field of musical theatre. I’m also the Co-Creator of the only temp agency for dance teachers in Canada, Quick Ball Change. I’ve been inspired to start a mini series vlog to share my knowledge as well as speak to those who work professionally in the industry. This is just meant to be an informal chat so we can hopefully all learn something and I hope you enjoy!
YOU CAN WATCH THE FULL VIDEO INTERVIEW AT THE END OF THIS BLOG POST!
Today we’re talking about meal prep and I’m so lucky because today we have Greg Pember. Greg and I have done multiple shows together and I think he’s the perfect candidate to talk about meal prep because not only does he represent health and balance in his life but he also commutes to most of his shows so that takes extra time and meal prep. So thank you so much Greg!
1 | Are you as good when you’re not on contract?
I try to keep my dietary restrictions pretty consistent whether I’m in a show or whether I’m not. It’s honestly just easier that way.
1b | How intense is your diet? Do you have a cheat day or do you feel you have to work out more…If there’s a cookie in the green room do you always eat it?
Oh, I’ll have the cookie. (laughter) Ya, I would identify as a pescatarian. So mainly I have a vegetarian diet and I’ll eat fish once in a while. And actually what I’ve been trying to do over the last couple months is this thing called intermittent fasting. And what that looks like is you limit the hours of digestion for your body throughout the day so I try to not eat before one o’clock or two pm. And then from 2pm on until to when I fall asleep, I just eat as much as I want. And the idea is that when your body is not busy digesting food, it’s able to take care of other things that it wouldn’t be able to so such as your immune system. And it’s suppose to help bring you more energy so I’m trying it out and it’s working out really well
2| Have you always been good in the kitchen and meal prep or did you have to learn as you go?
I’ve always loved cooking ever since I graduated college back in 2010. So because I’ve always liked to cook, it’s really helpful because then it’s not a chore for me to meal prep. I mean some days it is but I always try to do most of my prep on the day off, which is typically Monday. So usually Mondays consist of grocery shopping, and cooking at least one or two pretty substantial meals.
3 | You do contracts out in Calgary sometimes. Do you find it harder and are you as diligent on doing proper meal prep?
Ya, I find it takes a little bit more planning. When you’re staying at someone else’s house, it’s not your kitchen right? So you don’t really know what kind of tools they have. You know for me I use a lot of garlic in my cooking and I have to make sure I have the garlic there. So it just takes a little bit more planning, but I would say that I’m actually quite good at you know being pretty diligent about prepping my meals rather than going out and spending money every day.
(Sarah) Ya, I’m not as good when billeting out because I don’t have all my spices and I never take all my spices with me.
(Greg) Well that’s the thing right! Especially if you’re going to Calgary, you’re flying out there right, you’re not going to bring your stuff (your go to stuff). So ya, you kind of have to get a bit creative, but it’s still doable. Very doable.
4 | Speaking of your meal prep and how it takes longer, what are your go to meals?
Well I like to do stuff that is hearty and filling. But also very nutritious. So I like to do stuff like chilies. I like to do curries. I like to do fried rice. So rice dishes are definitely a go to for me because they are filling, easy to make and you can put whatever you want in them right. And so I like to do that, I like to cook…I do a lot of cooking with lentils, with chickpeas, so stews are great for that. Curries are great for that. I make this really good bolognaise sauce. But instead of meat, it’s lentils. So it still has that kind of texture to it, and really high in protein. So it’s just about finding that balance. It takes time and it takes listening to your body right? My motto is eat when you feel like eating, and what your body’s asking to eat right. So when you’re listening to that, you’ll know if you’re getting enough protein or not because you’ll feel it. Your energy will shift. But, for vegetarians, there’s tons of options. A lot with tofu. I cook a lot with chickpeas, with beans, lentils, and then I’ll have fish now and then too.
5 | Where do you get your recipes?
Well, a lot of them were kind of handed down to me from family members and then from my boyfriend Scott, he’s a fantastic cook too so we kind of share recipes. But I’ve gotten recipes from friends, I’ve recipes from you! (laughter) I have recipes from other people. Because I like to be pretty creative in the kitchen, I’ll usually look up a recipe and then just kind of do it in my own way. Modify.
(Sarah) Depending on what you have in your kitchen?
(Greg) Exactly and depending on what I like you know?
(Sarah) If I have three ingredients in my fridge, I will put those three ingredients into pinterest and see what meals come up.
(Greg) You look at the fridge and think “oh I can’t make anything,” but then you actually can because you just need to get a little creative.
6 | What are your go to snacks in rehearsal? We have a long day 10-6, what are your snacks?
I like to eat hard-boiled eggs. They’re really easy to make, and you can make a ton of them at once. You just keep them in the fridge. They’re high in protein, high in calories so they give you lots of energy. Easy to transport. So that’s one of my go tos. Nuts are great too. I like to make smoothies. I like to do anything with hummus. Veggies and hummus, crackers and hummus. Ya I would say Costco is a great place to get a ton of groceries for a good amount of money. You know?
7 | Speaking of, because I always like to talk about money, how much do you think you spend on groceries a week to eat healthy and properly?
Well I would say that between my partner Scott and I, we probably spend anywhere between $100 and $140 together a week. At most we’ll be spending $70 each a week.
(Sarah) That’s actually not too bad because I probably do $100 by myself if I’m being honest.
(Greg) Yup. And where very lucky because we eat the exact same kinds of foods. So we just get a lot of what we love. Like, we’ll walk away with 5 flats of eggs. (Laughter) because we know we go through them. Right?
We definitely treat ourselves too. We usually go out for dinner maybe like once every two weeks. And I’ll usually go out for lunch when I’m in a show, I’ll go out for lunch once a week as a treat.
8 | If somebody wants to start eating healthy or prepping for rehearsals or shows, what are your recommendations for something that’s easy/not too difficult for someone who doesn’t know their way around the kitchen?
I really love making fried rice. Because you get to make the sauce however you want. It’s rice base, so you just cook the rice on it’s own and then you fry whatever veggies you want all in a pan. Mix it together, add whatever sauce you want. I do a really simple sauce that’s delicious and easy. It’s just peanut butter, soy sauce and hot sauce. You just mix it pup and pour it in, so you’re getting lots of protein as well. I think that fried rice is my favourite go to because you can make a ton of it at once, and fill it with whatever veggies. I put tofu in it, I put nuts in it so it’s hearty, healthy and it gives me lots of energy.
9 | any advice you’d give to someone who wants to eat healthy or someone who wants to start thinking of taking care of themselves to maintain being in a show?
Greg: Ya for sure. Well I think first and for most, hydration is huge. I think it’s really really important. I think that we forget as performers how much we’re sweating, and I think that any way we can replenish our electrolytes, replenish our hydration its so important for our energy levels and to stay health . Especially in the cold months, like today it’s minus fifteen outside.
My advice for someone who is just starting to cook on their own and prep meals is I would say to find that one or two recipes that you really love to make, like food that you really love to eat and that’s easy for you to make so those are your go to so that after maybe doing them for maybe a couple weeks you don’t have to look at a recipe any more so it’s second nature its not as much planning its just second nature and you can just do it. You have to make sure that you love it too. You love the food and you love the taste of it.
(Sarah) I used to do lunch competitions with Judy Kovacs, we would see who brought the best lunch, it would inspire us
(Greg) I remember that
(Sarah) And also you inspire the other person, you’re like oh, that’s really good I’m going to try that!
(Sarah) It’s kind of good if more people in your cast are on the same page, because it kind of keeps you inspired. I know Kayla James taught me about a grapefruit with cinnamon
(Greg) mmm ya, anything you can get excited about is key because you don’t want it to seem like a chore and sometimes it will be, but it can be really fun it can be really fun and you get to get creative and put your health first at the same time.
10 | Are you really good at drinking water?
Greg: Yup! I drink a lot of water. One of my tricks is the first thing I do when I wake up is I chug a big glass of water before I have coffee before I have anything. Just chug a big glass of water.
(Sarah) That’s a great idea that we can all probably implement into a morning routine.
(Greg) when in doubt, drink more water.
Top 10 Takeaways
# 1 Stay consistent with eating habits.
#2 Prep on your day off so you are set for the week.
#3 Make things like chillies and curries: Filling! Easy! Healthy! Cheap! Large amounts!
#4 Pay attention to what your body needs to keep energy levels up.
#5 Share recipes with friends! #GetCreative
#6 Eat snacks rich in protein such as hard boiled eggs and nuts.
#7 Stay on budget while eating healthy.
#8 Try Greg’s fried rice recipe with an easy sauce such as hot sauce, peanut butter and soya sauce)
#9 Drink Water.
#10 Get excited and inspired about cooking!