Hacking Thy Food Woes (Part Two)
(Check out Part I if you have no idea what I’m discussing here.)
Not Enough Time
I mean two things by this.
- You haven’t been pursuing your ‘diet’ of choice for long enough to see results.
- You’re a busy mother f’er and simply don’t have a lot of time.
Taking care of the first part is easy, peasy. Calm down, stop focusing on getting results yesterday, and ride it out for a few more weeks. Yes, weeks. If you don’t see results in a few weeks, then you can change your approach – or give up. But nobody likes quitters!
Being busy is a bit more tricky. Admittedly, I am not a parent so I cannot really relate to someone who has 3 kids in 3 different sports practices plus a full time job. I do, however, keep myself steadily occupied with a full graduate coarse load, research, teaching/grading, training for powerlifting, and taking care of my stupid pets. Here are a few things that help:
Advanced meal prep is the obvious go to.
After my days of bodybuilding, I hate setting up my meals in advanced in 8,000 tupperware containers. If this method works for you, by all means, have at it. Meal prep, however, can be muchMUCH more simple!
You can simply plan your dinners for the week and have the ingredients already prepped, making extra for lunch the following day. You can google make ahead paleo meals. (<<click that even if you aren’t interested) Or, you can check out Erica’s make ahead crockpot meals (1 week/1month). I refer people to that all.the.time. I love it. I’ve made all the meals and each one is not only stupid easy, but delicious as well.
If you don’t want to prep whole meals in advanced, I highly recommend at least cooking some meat (slash protein) as this is usually the big time sucker. You can roast some chicken, throw some ground beef in a skillet, or hard boil eggs really easily one day just to have to throw into salads or with some quickly sautéed vegetables.
Set it and forget it!
Get a Crock Pot. For as little as $30, you can get a 5qt crock pot (<get a big one).
This is the one I have, they don’t sell it anymore but it works like a charm! Never had a problem with it! You can seriously take 5 minutes to just dump everything in there (still frozen if you’d like), go to work, and come home to a hot meal. Here are some recipes that I’ve tried and/or want to try:
- Slow Cooker Chicken & Gravy (<< making this, this week)
- Bo Kho
- You can even make eggs in the crock!
- or this for eggs too
- Buffalo wings
- here’s a bunch of dump recipes (may need to modify them)
- coffee crock pot roast
- smokey roast
- apple sauce
- pork roasts
Let me bring you in on a little secret: any soup and almost any meat/veg dish can just be dumped in a slow cooker.
KNOWLEDGE BOMBS AHOYYY!!!
But what if I forget to set up my slow cooker?
If you realize you have nothing prepared in advanced and you’re tired as hell, there are a few options. If you aren’t doing something totally rigid and ridiculous (*cough*likeawhole30likeme), I usually just swing by the store and get a rotisserie chicken. If you’re being more strict about what ingredients you are eating, I’ll gravitate towards egg and/or tuna salads.
It ain’t pretty, but it’s delicious and really easy. I hardboil 3 eggs (if I forget to make them ahead of time!), add a gloop of dill mayo, and sprinkle with truffle salt (or whatever other seasoning you want to add). If you are feeling super lazy and have nothing ready, you can steam some frozen veggies in the microwave or stir fry something in a skillet in 5 minutes.
One could *easily* substitute the eggs with tuna, sardines, salmon, or any other canned fish.
Finally, for the more adventurous types, I recommend a pressure cooker.
You can get a quality 4qt one for $37, or about $50 for a 6qt. I recommend the latter if cooking for a family – I live alone so the the small one does the trick. I use this chart for pressure cooker times… I found it on google. One can cook a whole chicken in 25 minutes. WTF. THATS SO QUICK!!!!! The meat is really tender and delicious, too!
So, yeah, this option requires you to spend some money (as does the slow cooker if you don’t have one), but I think it’s worth every penny if it will save you future headaches and give you a quality meal.