Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Food preparation

Food and managing food is one of the most important changes I had to make when I decided to get healthier. 
Is it easy? No.
Is it manageable? offcourse…
Compared to many I have it a little easier because T and me both have the same food, I don’t need to make separate meals, we are both ok with repeating food and most days we have very simple meals.
Lot of people ask me how I do it and my answer has always been the same 'I plan'. Every Friday or Saturday morning I browse my favorite blogs for recipes for the following week. I usually plan only for Monday to Friday. I narrow down 3 main meals and 2 breakfast options and 2 snack options. I make my grocery list and usually Sunday morning we go grocery shopping. Sunday evenings are my cooking time. I will prepare our snacks, breakfast, sometimes I make stews & soups for the week. I even make the marinades, salad dressings for the week if I can. Then during the week all I do is marinade the meat/fish in the morning before work and bake it once I am back from the gym in the evening while my food is baking I prepare my vegetables, sometimes I bake/grill vegetables in bulk other times I make salads which barely take 10 minutes to prepare.
If my planning is done well then you will find me in the kitchen for less than half hour on a weekday not more.
Here is a list of things that makes it easier for me
My usual breakfast is baked oats with fruit and nuts, I make two different batches for the week. My usual snack options are protein balls and egg muffins again I make about 12 each. I always have Greek yoghurt, apples, oranges and bananas around for snacking.
If I don’t plan then my food becomes simpler. Sometimes I might not be able to make my food in advance then my snacks change to fruits and carrot sticks. My breakfast changes to cottage cheese with protein nuts and oats.
I know which recipe websites work for us so most of my recipes are from the same websites. I don’t waste too much time looking for my weekly recipes either, I know what works best for us and that’s what I stick to. I usually try new recipes over the weekend or when I really have more time on my hands.
I stick to recipes with similar ingredients: this is just so I am carrying less stuff back from my shopping trip and it's easier to manage. For example if I have sweet potatoes then my week will definitely include sweet potato mash, baked sweet potatoes and sweet potato patty. Finally for  my dessert I also chop and freeze bananas and grapes.

In short:
Step 1: find recipes (stick to tried and tested)
Step 2: Make grocery list (always keep fruits and carrots around for snacks)
Step 3: Shop
Step 4: Sunday evenings are for chopping, baking, breakfast and snack preparation
Step 5: Every day just do the finishing touches before eating (not more than 30 minutes in the kitchen)

 I don’t think it can get easier than this or maybe it can but this works for me. The only time you will really see me in the kitchen is on a Sunday evening when I am doing my food prep. I hope you find this post helpful, how do you do your food prep?
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  1. What an awesome blog post!!!
    You have written it all:)
    PS - What's that chocolate kind of thing in the top right pic ;)

    1. My usual food prep- I have veg for the lunch and dinner is 99% chicken.
      I make a menu on the weekend and then stick for the week.
      I usually face lot of problem as I can't get my kids to eat what I eat.

  2. Hi Tanvee - food planning and preparation is key.Once that is done everything falls into place.

    Enjoyed reading your post.

    All the best Jan

  3. Thank u for writing this post Tanvee! Indeed what is say right - planning is everything :-)
    Could please share the recipes of the the protein balls, and the bar shown in the pic?


  4. Wondeful post. Tks for sharing it in so detail.