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Laughlin Airman makes a lifestyle of healthy eating

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, walks down from his dorm room with a container of cooking supplies, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. For Blasberg, the trouble of cooking five or so meals at a time is well-worth the effort because of the time it saves him time in the long run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, walks down from his dorm room with a container of cooking supplies, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. For Blasberg, the trouble of cooking five or so meals at a time is well-worth the effort because of the time it saves him time in the long run. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, stirs ground turkey as it cooks on the stove, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Blasberg didn’t always know how to put together his own meals. However, with the help of the internet, he’s discovered how to make his own nourishing creations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, stirs ground turkey as it cooks on the stove, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Blasberg didn’t always know how to put together his own meals. However, with the help of the internet, he’s discovered how to make his own nourishing creations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, chooses black beans and rice to accompany his ground turkey, which he seasons with taco seasoning, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Since joining the military,  Blasberg discovered how setting a few hours aside to prepare meals one day a week saved him precious time throughout the rest of the week. In addition to saving time, he doesn’t spend as much on groceries and he is in control of his diet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, chooses black beans and rice to accompany his ground turkey, which he seasons with taco seasoning, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Since joining the military, Blasberg discovered how setting a few hours aside to prepare meals one day a week saved him precious time throughout the rest of the week. In addition to saving time, he doesn’t spend as much on groceries and he is in control of his diet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, stores and totes his cookware in a large, plastic box, making it easy to transport his meal prep to the kitchen, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Blasberg met and overcame the many challenges of cooking in a shared dormitory kitchen. Another strategy he implements is “clean as you go.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, stores and totes his cookware in a large, plastic box, making it easy to transport his meal prep to the kitchen, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Blasberg met and overcame the many challenges of cooking in a shared dormitory kitchen. Another strategy he implements is “clean as you go.” (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, separates the portions, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Blasberg did not eat the healthiest diet as he was growing up, which led to him feeling less confident and not as comfortable in his own skin. He continues to learn about healthy diets, and he experiments on what his ideal diet consists of. With strong determination, he creates nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, separates the portions, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Blasberg did not eat the healthiest diet as he was growing up, which led to him feeling less confident and not as comfortable in his own skin. He continues to learn about healthy diets, and he experiments on what his ideal diet consists of. With strong determination, he works hard to reach his wellness goals through healthy meal plans. Doing this over the span of two years in addition to staying active has changed his self-image and increased his confidence. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, presents his lunch and dinner meal preps, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Blasberg continually learns more about nutrition and how to apply it to his meal preps. Having been meal prepping for two years, he has come far from the baby-faced graduate considering joining the U.S. Air Force.  (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg, 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, presents his lunch and dinner meal preps, May 5, 2020 at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas. Blasberg continually learns more about nutrition and how to apply it to his meal preps. Having been meal prepping for two years, he has come far from the baby-faced graduate considering joining the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Anne McCready)

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Growing up, Airman 1st Class Matthew Blasberg worked out but was never what you’d call ‘fit’. His senior photos showed a round-faced boy who could have passed for a 12-year-old and he felt his confidence drain.

Blasberg, fresh out of high school, moved away from home to take college classes. With the influence of his older sister, he began to dabble in healthy eating to reach a higher level of fitness. Not long after, he made the life-changing decision to join the U.S. Air Force.

“I was at a crossroads in my life, living vicariously through others around me,” he said. “I needed to start my own journey. I have always known when I set my mind to something, I give it my 110 percent.”

After training, he arrived at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, his first duty station. Like many young airmen and lieutenants, the 47th Healthcare Operations Squadron referral management and patient travel technician, began his military life in the dorms--and as dorm residents can attest to, they’re not living off three-course meals most days.

One of the key obstacles for him was nutrition. He had never really cooked for himself before, and was unsure of where to start. So he did what most in this day and age would do, and opened an internet browser. 

“I had watched videos of people meal prepping, and I always had an interest in doing it myself,” he said. “There were so many benefits from cost-effectiveness to saving time, I decided to give it a try. Meal prepping is a tool, and what you do with it determines the outcome. I chose to make it healthy for my personal goals and everything else fell into place.”

Blasberg came to the realization that everything he wanted--to be toned, healthy and to live his best life--was all within reach. All he needed to do was make and follow a checklist to get there.

“It took a while to see results in the lifestyle change I wanted to achieve, but the more progress I made at work, in the gym and furthering my education gave me the motivation I needed,” Blasberg said. “The vast amount of fitness gurus on the internet and recipe options can be intimidating, but I kept trying and learned through trial and error.”

With that, he set off on his  journey toward learning how to meal prep. Along the way, he discovered it not only provided him with healthier eating options, but it also saved him money and time, not to mention a sense of accomplishment.

These days, some of his favorite ingredients are beans, brown rice and lean ground turkey. His meals are simple and seasoned tastefully, with varied garnishes to keep things interesting. 

Blasberg isn’t shy about his enthusiasm for cooking and is always willing to help anyone along their own health journey.

“Meal prepping benefits me on many levels,” Blasberg said. “From allowing me more time in my day not spent in the kitchen, to accountability of a healthier lifestyle, to even conversations with others when they see I have food already prepared. I’ve come to realize I have a passion for helping others get healthy because I struggled with that at one point in my life.”

For Blasberg, it’s all about growing to be the best version of himself possible and helping his friends on their path to creating the best version of themselves.

With two years of meal prepping experience under his belt, Blasberg is content. He’s certainly has come a long way from the baby-faced high-school graduate considering a life in the Air Force.