I hope you’ve all been having a smashing week. Mine has been pretty great thus far. I catered an Acro Yoga retreat over the weekend so spent the night camping out in tipis, hiking some beautiful trails, eating delicious food, playing with some therapeutic acro, and ending the night with a beautiful campfire. The rest of the week was full of work, yoga, walks with friends, and lots of tea, so not too shabby all in all!
Today we’re going to talk about meal planning and food preparation. I get a lot of questions about how to save time in the kitchen. When you switch to a diet based on whole foods and very little processed or packaged meals it can be overwhelming at first, especially if you’re not sure what to do. Now I don’t want anyone sacrificing quality time with family or friends or missing out on pursuing any of your other hobbies in the interest of slaving away in the kitchen for hours. Yes you will likely be spending some more time in the kitchen than you were before going whole foods-based, but with some of my favourite tips and tricks I’ll help limit your time in the kitchen while still ensuring you’re eating the very best foods to nourish your body and soul.
- Pick one day to do all your meal prep and/or shopping for the week.
- Wash all your produce as soon as you get home from the store.
- Chop carrots and celery and store in an airtight container with water so you can just grab and go for snacks, soups, or stir-fries.
- Chop broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, peppers, onions, etc. and store in airtight glass jars, again so you can just grab and go when you need them!
- Invest in a mandoline, like this one. It will save you so much time with slicing, grating, and shredding veggies that you’ll be able to whip up a professional looking salad in under 5 minutes.
- Invest in a standup or handheld immersion blender to whip up smoothies and puree soups and veggies like a champ. I use this immersion blender, and love these Ninja Mini and Full-Size blenders!
- If you have kids, get them in the kitchen to help you chop and store your produce for the week. It’s a great way to bond and help them develop a healthy relationship with their food.
- Make a list of meals you’d like to eat during the week and write out a grocery list for all the ingredients from your recipes. Doing this will save time and energy in the long run.
- Invest in a slow cooker. I cannot emphasize how much time and energy you’ll save if you can throw some chicken, veggies, and a sauce in a crock pot and let it stew all day while you’re at work. Plus you’ll likely have lots of leftovers you can repurpose or take for lunches.
- Try making a mixture of your favourite nuts, seeds, and dried berries. For example: cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, and currants to have on hand as a quick and easy snack that you can keep in your purse or car.
- Make batches of granola bars, energy balls, and kale chips to have quick and easy snacks on hand.
- Invest in a set of 500ml mason jars to make so easy grab-and-go salads with greens, cut up veggies (that you already have prepped!), and a protein of choice such as chicken or leftover fish.
- Using those same mason jars fill them with about 1 cup of coconut or almond milk yogurt, your favourite nuts, seeds, and berries and set in the fridge for an easy grab and go breakfast.
- Smoothies. Seriously. My life has been forever changed by adding a daily smoothie into my repertoire. Not only does it take no time to whip up, but I also don’t have to waste time chewing, which, if you’ve ever eaten a meal with me, takes an epically long time for me to do. 😉
Those are some of my favourite timesaving tips to get you started. Next week we’ll take a closer look at meal planning and batch cooking as great foundations for saving you time in the kitchen. Have a wonderful day friends!