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.

  5. Amazing blog and very interesting stuff you got here! I definitely learned a lot from reading through some of your earlier posts as well and decided to drop a comment on this one!