Cooking in Bulk – Be Prepared

HealthyDinnerPlate     Cooking large quantities of food once or twice a week saves time and makes meal preparation easy. It also sets you up for success as you work towards a nutrition and/or fitness goal. When we leave our food to chance, like leaving home without packing a lunch and snacks, we depend on restaurants and perhaps, corner stores, to provide our  food. Often, the food is more calorically dense and has more salt, sugar and fat in it than we know. Meals are usually larger than we would fix for ourselves, at home.

Here are some great tips to help you stay on a healthy path;

  1. Cook large amounts of lean animal protein (chicken breast, fish, lean meat) to refrigerate or freeze. Use zip-lock freezer bags for storage or use a food saver (machine that vacuum-packs the food so air is drawn out and it lasts longer).
  2. Hard boil your eggs ahead of time and refrigerate them.  This is a quick way to get your protein in.
  3. Cut your veggies up, rinse and store in a crisper. When you’re ready for a salad, it is right there, ready to eat. Just add a small amount of healthy dressing.
  4. Use canned legumes (kidney beans, black beans), rinse and re-heat in the microwave vs. preparing them from scratch.
  5. When using our Lean for Life Cookbook, make enough for two, four or even six meals. Many of these meals can be frozen and used later.
  6. When preparing your food, begin cooking the items that take the most amount of time first and finish with the easiest items, last. (i.e.: I bake a large salmon filet in the oven for 40 minutes, set the rice cooker at 20 minutes next and finish off with cutting up my veggies for either a salad or to be reheated later).
  7. There are a lot of healthy meals that you can buy at the grocery store, that are pre-made. I’m not referring to traditional TV dinners but more healthier choices, like a pre-made salad from Trader Joe’s or meals made and delivered by a company like “The Lean Machine Meal Prep”. Keep a few in your fridge, just in case. If your day gets ahead of you, you have a healthy meal ready to go.

Make nutrition a priority. It is not something we “fit in” to our busy schedule. We make time for it because it is one of the ways we take care of ourselves!