Meal Preparation Tip

Meal Preparation Tip

Meal Prep Tip

Try this kitchen productivity hack to save time. By spending 15 minutes on one day, you will make cooking dinner much quicker and easier for the next 3 nights.

A system or habit like this will make your life easier and help you succeed toward your goals.

My Problem: Afternoon decision fatigue and time challenged

A Solution: 3 day meal plan and preparation ready to go!

 

By 4pm in the afternoon I just want to chill out and relax. But tea…! I often save my sanity by using a pressure cooker but in the warmer weather I don’t use it as much. I prefer grilled meats and salad or vegges. But first things first – decision making.

All the choices can cause me to have decision fatigue. I ask the family to see what they want with the secret hope they will make the decision for me. No such luck. They don’t care – baked beans on toast will do them. I love them for not wanting me to slave away in the kitchen but I’m not doing baked beans all the time. So I look in the fridge at the plentiful food and can’t seem to make a decision. This hack means it’s already prepared and I only have 3 meals to choose from. Easy peasy!

I enjoy the shopping and choosing my produce. I also enjoy choosing our menu based upon our finances, our preferences, the weather and our likes at the time. I am fully in control. I get to choose the recipes that we love and that I know are healthy. I know the ingredients and I know there are no ‘hidden nasties’ or unnecessary ingredients in the spices sauces, etc.

This process still gives me flexibility and choice yet saves me time in the afternoon which is when I need time and energy the most.

Each year I compile two lists – Summer and Winter Faves. I list between 10 – 15 meals in each column. This saves me from racking my brain each time I create a menu plan. I simply look at my list and choose! Of course there is always room for adding new meals but this is my ‘starting point’.

The Process

  • Using my summer/winter lists I choose 3 meals for us to eat for the next 3 nights. I write them down. And I print out the recipes.
  • I go through the ingredients to see what is needed. This becomes the shopping list.
  • I grab shopping bags and hit the shops!
  • I return home. Now instead of putting everything in the fridge immediately, I group the produce and ingredients by recipe. Then I put each ingredient into a cooler bag or container, along with the recipe and pop it into the fridge!
  • I do this for all 3 meals.
  • I put other foods into the fridge – eggs, cream, butter, oils, etc.

When it is mealtime, I simply grab a bag from the fridge and get cooking! Everything I need is in the bag: the recipe, the protein, the fresh produce and other ingredients. The only ingredients I need to hunt for are the ones I usually use every day like eggs, milk, oil, mayonnaise, etc.

I have found this whole process to be quick and easy. I mixed up my own spice mixes ahead of time and portioned them out into jars which you can see in the photos. Hunting for seven or eight different spices and measuring it all out is quite time consuming so doing that when it is convenient for me saves me lots of time during the cooking process.

This process may not be for everyone and that’s fine! There is no one size that fits all. Rather it is about creating systems and habits that make your life easier, that makes it easier for you to succeed and reach your goals.

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THM Health Tip using Bone Broth

THM Health Tip using Bone Broth

Health Tip

Every time you eat a meal with meat, also add a tablespoon of collagen peptides or gelatin to the meal.  Or add a tablespoon of collagen to your cup of bone broth.

Why? The amino acid profile of the collagen (or bone broth) rounds out the meal and makes the meat meal far more balanced.

Tip Two

Have a cup of bone broth with added collagen 20-30min before bed. The protein often helps promote sleep and repairs and build your body while you’re snoozing.

It’s simple. Just have a cup of bone broth before your meal or add a tablespoon of collagen to your meaty casserole, pies or stews every time you make a meal with meat in it.

To learn more about the benefits of gelatin or collagen and why and how we use it, please head over to the Trim Healthy Mama main website and read the article, Collagen 101: The Merits and the Myths.

In case you were wondering, both collagen peptides/hydrolysed collagen and the firm setting gelatin can be purchased through Aussie Mamas, Great Lakes brand at iHerb or from Gelatin Australia.

Bloom into Spring with THM

Bloom into Spring with THM

Spring is nearly here! Can you smell it, feel it, breathe it in? Oh, I just love Spring! But you know what always comes around at this time of year (aside from hayfever & allergies)? Ads, promotions, articles all touting the same nonsense telling you to ‘spring clean’ lose weight, get the bikini body in just 4 weeks, shred, tone up, get lean, detox, cleanse, blah, blah, blah. The whole clean/purge/diet/lose weight/detox mentality drives me nuts.

  • You don’t need to gulp down detox smoothies that make you gag.
  • You don’t need to beat yourself up with exercise.
  • You don’t need a plan that tells you how and what to eat for 2 weeks of the year.
  • You don’t need to take courses on will power or self control.
  • You don’t need to ‘cleanse’. Your body is a beautifully designed machine that cleans, filters, digests, absorbs and heals if we just feed it nutrient dense foods. This does not mean sculling green gunk or limiting ourselves to 2 shakes and 1 real meal a day.

 

My motto: Nourish, not punish your way to goal weight and health!

 

Winter can be a time of beautiful, nourishing broths, soups, casseroles and lovely E meals in abundance as we eat legumes, gentle carbs, etc. I seem to eat more E meals in the colder weather. But the warmer months do start to signal the desire for salads and drinks – that is a different mentality to purging/cleansing/detoxing.

I get it. We all want to look good in our summer clothes. Or maybe you just want to fit into your lovely spring dress. I’m there too! But deprivation and punishment is not the answer! Simply make better choices each time you eat. And we eat regularly so have a chance to make good choices often.

Regardless of where you are or what you’re doing this season, you can make better choices. Your body will love you for it. Choose the best you can according to the healthy, successful principles of THM:

~ Separate those fuels.
~ Eat protein with every meal.
~ Only eat every 3-4 hours.
~ And hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

GET BACK ON PLAN or TIGHTEN UP
Start with the very next meal. No point in bingeing for the whole day – that’s not the THM way! Having said that, even a day or two of eating off plan isn’t going to completely derail you so let’s lose that mindset. You only have to wait 3 hours until your reset. Now that’s good news!

Make your next meal a Deep S. Even on those days when you know you’re going off plan, start the day right by eating a lovely Deep S breakfast: Fried eggs in butter or coconut oil with a Trimmy is an excellent start. This will empty excess sugars out of your body. Protein with large salads and olive oil as your dressing is the way to go. Plan your Earth Milk, All Day Sippers, Yuck Yum Bitty’s and Skinny Chocolate – we’re looking to nourish, not punish.

WHAT NOT TO DO
Do not feel bloated and yuck and think the answer is to exist on Fuel Pulls or do a Fuel Cycle! That is the Indulge – Purge – Punish mentality. It is a dieting mindset and we aren’t dieters. Indulge, Purge & Punish is not food freedom, rather legalism and bondage. Plan to say no to that mentality before the holiday season even starts. Deep S is the way back to getting on plan and good health.

WHAT TO DO
Remember, ‘prior preparation and planning prevents poor performance’. Think Nourish, not Punish. Spend the next few weeks building up and strengthening your body and its systems… for a strong healthy body will naturally eliminate the gunk.

Bloom into spring
THM Hack for QuirkyJo’s Coconut Lemon Chicken Soup

THM Hack for QuirkyJo’s Coconut Lemon Chicken Soup

THM Hack for QuirkyJo’s Coconut Lemon Chicken Soup (S)

I was having an S day and some of my folk have a cold so this is the perfect recipe to serve for tea. So quick and easy as well. I made a double batch so made it on the stove instead of the Thermomix.

To boost the protein content I added 2 tablespoons of Just Gelatin, like Serene does in her bisque’s.

As this is quite a tangy soup that we love, I also added 2 TB Baobab powder.

Result = Wowsers! This soup tastes even more amazing than before!

Note: I added half a packet of konjac rice noodles ( I LOVE that stuff!) to my bowl and poured the soup over keeping it to an S.

For my menfolk, I added rice vermicelli (but rice works better) to the bottom of their bowl before pouring over their soup, making it is a Crossover for them.

See QuirkyJo’s lovely recipe here: Coconut Lemon Chicken Soup.

THM… Finding Your Way

THM… Finding Your Way

The sisters often encourage us to do THM our way. What does that mean?

It isn’t a justification for eating off plan foods. Off plan is off plan.

It doesn’t mean ignoring THM principles of separating fats from carbs, protein centred meals, timing of meals, etc.

It does mean having the freedom of not starving or being hangry. It doesn’t mean counting calories or macros but to be aware of them.

It means the freedom to choose your S, E or FP meals based upon your needs, your wants, your budget, etc. some people need more E meals than S meals or vice versa. Some need more FP. Anything done to excess becomes unbalanced and is not THM any way.

It means not being bound to follow your best friend or popular blogger but instead choose when you will eat and what food category you’ll eat.

It means that you don’t have to like or consume smoothies if you hate them. Substitute nearly anything in place of the word ‘smoothies’. I don’t much care for kale, shakes or oats.

This is THM your way. And THM, unlike most other eating philosophies, has room for ALL types of people!

Your home looks different to mine and they both look different to someone else’s. As they should be.

If you have any questions about doing THM your way, feel free to ask.

THM Your Way
Hack for Golden Chana Soup (E)

Hack for Golden Chana Soup (E)

Hack for Golden Chana Soup

P99 THM Cookbook
After our holiday we are a bit tight so we’re eating out of the fridge and pantry, purchasing only small selected, mainly fresh, ingredients until payday. I decided to make Chana Dhal soup because I had all the ingredients.

At the store, I found one of those pre-packed root veggies in a foil tin going out cheap. So I roasted them, threw them in the Thermomix/food processor along with about 2-3 cups of the soup and blended it, then added it back into the soup.

Result = More Veggies = Even More Delicious!

PS: This meal was a straight E meal for me but I added a dollop of butter to everyone else’s meal and the 5yo also chose to add some grated cheese on top – making this a Crossover for everyone else.

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