This blog is called East Valley Living, and living refers to healthy activities too! I’m sure if you are working, running a business or busy family, it seems like there just isn’t any time to make sure everyone is eating healthy. Here is a behind the scene view of what a busy Realtor on the move does to stay firing on all cylinders! I’m sure this technique can help you too!
The term “Food Prep” refers to the act of meal planning and preparing ahead several meals at once, or batching meal preparation, so foods are ready to eat or quickly heated up. There are several reasons people Food Prep: to measure correct potion sizes for a healthy eating lifestyle, to have food to quickly prepare while zipping around a busy lifestyle, and to save money by buying in bulk and freezing meals for future use. There might be more, but these three come to mind as I tasked myself today to get a whole lotta cookin’ done.
My husband and I try really hard to eat a healthy diet. We like a Paleo plan involving humanely prepared foods, organic and grass-fed if possible, and we like butter in our coffee (Bulletproof coffee!). To achieve this, it takes some selective grocery shopping and preparation. We are also constantly on the move and on the road. We pack lunches to eat in the car and take vitamins and eat simple prepared meals at home. Sometimes after an especially long day, we don’t feel like cooking and if there is not food already prepared, we run to a restaurant. What a waste of money and burned calories!
We decided to do “Make Ahead” meals, which kept us on track but were prepped out for a whole month. After scouring books and websites, we had around 12 entrees to prepare, and several meals worth each. We made a loooonng list and made several stops to make sure we got everything we needed. After driving from Phoenix to our local grass-fed butcher, then to Gilbert with our favorite grocery stores, back home to East Mesa it was already after noon. I followed up with some clients then ran to the kitchen getting pressure cooker, slow cooker, oven, food processor, blender, and multiple pieces of cast iron warmed up. Then there was the vacuum food saver bags. We just got the food saver and I had no idea how to use it. But we needed to freeze things, so we figured it out. I’ve never made such a mess of my kitchen.
Seven hours later, my feet are killing me. I’m glad I wore the new running shoes I got for the Phoenix Half Marathon. They definitely got broken in today. My back is killing me, but I got to play with all my favorite kitchen appliances and dance to some Spotify. The fridge, freezer, and deep freeze are full, and that’s a blessing that keeps us closer to our goals. I learned something new that intimidated me…I am a vacuum bag food saver Queen! We definitely felt epic today!
So, here’s what NOT to do during Food Prep: Plan 12 entrees with enough servings to feed a family of eight. Especially if you are a family of two. After seven hours we realized we had six entrees we just can’t cook because we have no more room and we have enough food for at least a month. And we were just too tired to keep going. The WIN of the day is now we have tons of ready-made food so we don't have to think about where our next meal was coming from.
Do a little research on make ahead meals and try new things. You may not be perfect at first, but making changes in life involve small changes and correct for what works for you and your family.
And if you want an awesome cookbook with yummy Paleo recipes, check out Nom Nom Paleo by Michelle Tam and Henry Fong!