Meal Preparation
Your recipe for a successful life changer

We all need it.

We all do.

Indeed, love it:

Eating.

Without the regular intake of food we cannot exist. It is the fuel we need to achieve physical and mental performance.

And as different as the tastes are, as different are the various eating habits. A eating habits from should not be confused with a trendy diet.

Some diets disappear as quickly as they came. Often for good reason. By the way, i dont like to use word "diet".

A eating habit is always associated with a change in nutrition and also with a change in lifestyle. It is not a matter of a short-term result (e.g. a "fast weight loss" diet), but of a long-term and sustainable improvement in one's own quality of life.

Those results take it's time.

WHICH EATING PRACTICES WE HAVE?

Oh, there are so many. But on this page I will limit myself to the following:

VEGETARIANISM

vegetarian food - vegetables fruits and grains

Vegetarianism is the most widespread and the best known.

In addition to vegetable foods, only products from live animals are used. Therefore, all foods derived from killed animals are avoided.

These include fish, seafood, red meat, poulty and all other meat animals.

In contrast to veganism, food from live animals is allowed. These include animal milk (and cheese), eggs, gelatine and honey.

VEGANISM

warm tofu with garlic-soy sauce
Author: Joy License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Veganism is based on vegetarianism. With one difference:

All foods and products of animal origin are avoided. Even if it comes from live animals that have been kept in an appropriate manner.

The vegan way of life can also include products that do not belong to the food group.

For example, in clothing. Footwear is often made from leather of animal origin. Or medicines for which animal experiments are carried out to manufacture and study the active substances.

PALEO

typical paleo food are berries and nuts
Author: Ragesoss License: CC BY-SA 3.0

The Palaeolithic diet, the Palaeolithic diet, the Cave Man diet or the Stone Age diet is a form of diet based on the Palaeolithic. This is an age about 10,000 years ago, before cattle breeding and agriculture increasingly found their way into our civilization.

The palaeo diet is often equated with a low carb diet.

But this is a misunderstanding.

Carbohydrate-based foods such as dried fruits, berries or sweet potatoes are allowed in this diet. The paleo-food behaves however very critically opposite the grain. This leads to the misunderstanding that it is strictly low carb.

Paleo concentrates on natural foods that are free of additives.

GLUTEN FREE

wheat has a good amount of gluten
Author: biolib.de License: CC BY-SA 3.0

The gluten-free diet is often combined with the paleo diet.

It is suitable for those who want to avoid the health disadvantages of gluten. Or has a gluten intolerance.

What is gluten anyway?

Gluten is a nutritious protein in cereals. To protect against predators, gluten also causes digestive problems. In this way, the plant tries to prevent it from being eaten.

And this also affects us: humans.

Overview of the difference between the nutrition forms

  Vegetarianism Veganism Paleo Gluten free
red meat no no yes yes
poulty no no yes yes
milk yes no no yes
eggs yes no yes yes
honey yes no yes yes
grain yes yes no no
vegetables yes yes yes yes

one thing unites them all

As you can see, there is only one common food that is allowed in all diets: vegetables.

Everyone agrees on this.

So it can't be wrong to always include some vegetables in your meals. Vegetables always have priority and that must not be forgotten.

THERE IS ONLY ONE MORE THING...

I don't want to describe the individual practices in detail here. There are already a dozen of good books, which concern themselves in detail with the individual nutrition practices.

And as you certainly know, there are also websites on the internet that write about this topic.

Nobody is to be convinced here of the one or other nutrition practices. Or advantages and disadvantages are discussed.

Under no circumstances. This can take on religious proportions.

What I would like to clarify here much rather, is.....

WHY DOES NUTRITION PRACTICE FAIL?

In my experience, you are highly motivated at the beginning while changing your eating habits.

Surely everything started with a reason or a problem that should be solved.

Frequent reasons for this are:

  • the desire to lose weight
  • to have more energy and not be tired all the time
  • to eliminate digestive problems
  • improve athletic performance and potentials

There is a goal, that should be pursued and. In best case, it's gonna be achieved.

It does not fail because the lack of motivation or a reason.

Now you have chosen a nutrition practice and spent some time on it. You decide to start, a deadline is set (usually a monday) and you can start improving your life!

Well... in theory.

THE THEORY IS SIMPLE

What comes next?

That's quite easy: eat the right food. And for that you just need several suitable dishes every day.

"just" every day...

Have you also been wondering since the changeover what you should eat day to day at lunchtime?

It happens very rarely that the chosen form of nutrition is "ready to eat" and available in the grocery store.

  • Paleo-compatible convenience food? Nope, that's out of the question by definition (palaeo should be natural and without additives).
  • Vegan convenience meals? Well, the manufacturers follow the trend and produce vegan convenience meals, yes. But are those meals, which usually consist of gluten/seitan and are supposed to imitate a burger or a schnitzel, really still have anything to do with the original plant-based nutrition?

In the canteen, it's a matter of luck to find a dish that suits your diet.

  • As a vegetarian you certainly don't want to eat pasta with tomato sauce every day.
  • And with the often pasta and wheat-heavy variety of dishes, it is difficult to eat gluten-free.

...in a nutshell: Despite all the advantages and reasons that make you pay attention to your new eating habit. An "abnormal" form of nutrition often fails in practice.

The guilt is not to be led back on the respective nutrition practice itself.

It simply lacks the everyday-suitability.

Unfortunately, we are not hollywood- or sport stars who are relieved of the work of maintaining a special nutrition practice or diet.

In our society, only the generally accepted foods are offered at every corner in sufficient quantity. With a different nutrition, the 'good' food must always be brought beforehand(!). Or you have to ask in the restaurant if it is possible to prepare the dish according to your ideas.

Good luck!

No matter how desirable the advantages of a change of the nutrition are. In your day-to-day life, it's sometimes difficult not to forget your reason for all that...

...you are getting hungry, and eat "fast food".

Maybe, you eat even too much of it, to satisfy your hunger...
Thereby you get feelings of guilt...
That gives you a bad mood...
And you reach for fast food, again...

That is a nasty vicious circle.

THE SOULTION: BE PREPARED!

However, the problems in the everyday life can be solved quite easily: prepare your meals a.k.a meal prepping.

Meal prep itself is nothing new. It is nothing other than the good old precooking. In combination with a change in nutrition and the modern lifestyle, meal prep is an important tool and the key to success.

Because, with good planning and preparation your nutrition practice will work also in stressful times. Of course, ingredients must also be provided and the meals prepared/cooked.

I want to help you planning and preparing your meals for one week (7 days) in advance. You can use my recipe collections for this. Simply select the appropriate recipes for your diet and write down the ingredients you need.

So you always have a plan of what will be cooked and what will be on the table today, tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Meal preperation not only helps you to follow your diet. It also helps you to save time and energy, that you have left for plenty of other things.

Like...

  • sports
  • friends
  • family
  • hobbies
  • ...you name it!

MY WAY - HOW I DO IT

I'd like to give you a brief description of how i do it.

I'm planning the dishes for a week in advance. In the middle of the weeks I create a 7-day meal prep plan - that happens on wednesday. The next day I do my shopping. Shopping on weekdays is much less stressful than on weekends.

In the past, I used to think about what I actually needed only when I was shopping.... a real time bandit.

In addition: A targeted purchase costs much less time and money. Why less money? Because no unnecessary things are bought while being in the market.

On weekends we prepare the dishes for the coming up week (monday to sunday). Depending on the dishes, they are filled into suitable containers and kept frozen or cool in the fridge.

meal preparation method using suitable containers
Author: Wendywatson94 License: CC BY-SA 4.0

If there was a recipe that I didn't like, I drop it from the list and replace it with another one.

As time goes by, I have made 4x 7-day plans. That's a total of 28 recipes that we (my family) all like. The ingredients for the recipes are available all year round. These 4x 7-day plans are the baseline that can always be used.

If we don't have the time to plan, we simply repeat these 7-day plans alternately. So it's easy to figure out what to cook. It doesn't take any more time and energy to think about anything.

Each dish is eaten about 12 times a year (of course holidays and holidays come in between, that changes the plan). That offers enough variety and the intervals between the dishes are sufficiently large.

But since we also like to cook, we also look for seasonal ingredients and bring them into the dishes. On the whole, it never gets boring.

A balanced and varied nutrition is important. It always plays a role, no matter which practice was chosen.

PS: I will not publish my plans. The composition is much too individual for someone to simply take over. Also, the learning effect and motivation is higher when you put together your own plans.

EXCOURSE: WHATS MY EATING HABIT?

Each of the 4 nutrition practices sounds reasonable for itself. And yet there is no unity between the different worlds.

That is, there is no right or wrong.

I confess: We are sometimes vegetarian, then paleo and sometimes vegan.

It is important for us to always eat enough vegetables (see table above). It's not important if you serve the vegetables with high quality meat or fish, eggs or cheese, or coconut milk with tofu. The main thing is, there is enough vegetables.

Eat your vegetables! - That is definitely right.

EXCOURSE II: COMPLETE FOOD - Ultimate Time Saver

I prepare my meals not only to save time. But also to better integrate a change of nutrition into the daily routine.

But if it's just about saving time, and by that I mean also the time needed for meal prepping, then you should have a look at "Complete Food products".

With that, whole meals are replaced with a powder mixture. This powder contains all the nutrients you need, in a compressed form. You could also call it "astronaut food".

For one serving the powder is mixed with a liquid (water, regular or vegan milk of your choice) in a shaker. Several such portions are drunk per day - about 3 to 5 times.

You can imagine, a meal cannot be prepared more quickly than that. It takes less then a minute to prepare a whole meal.

The nutrients are also not scarce. Complete Food products are composed in such a way that sufficient amount of macro (carbohydrates, protein and fat) as well as micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, fiber) are supplied.

The disadvantages are that the chewing, the haptics of eating and of course the taste is kind of lost.

Nevertheless, it is the fastest food preparation suitable for people who want to spend very little time on food procurement.
And it can be measured precisely and purposefully. This is an advantage when you need to know exactly how many calories you have consumed.

MEAL PREP TIPS FOR YOUR DAY-TO-DAY LIFE

Well, just with a collection of recipes it is unfortunately not done. Here I give you tips and my experience from the field of Meal prep.

Cooking of several dishes on one day wihtin 2-3 hours must be practiced. And can quickly overstrain. After all, we are not a professional chef from the canteen kitchen.

In the beginning, start small!

Start with a 3-day plan at the beginning. And work your way forward slowly up to a 7 day-plan. How well this works also depends on the choice of your recipes...

One essential is to combine meal prep with clever cooking hacks and tips

Those who cook clever can prepare meals without too much effort and stress.

PLAN YOUR SHOPPING TOUR

It's best when shopping in a favorite grocery store.

That's good, because you already know your way around here!

Structure your shopping list so that you don't have to walk back and forth all the time. The best way to do this is to use apps (Google Notes), because it's difficult to change the order on a piece of paper...

The ways in grocery stores are often so designed that they lead you through the whole store. So you see products you don't think about and then buy them - a impulsive purchase. It is as it is - just beware.

Look at your list, use your mind and "walk" through the grocery store. Where is what? Then put the items on the list in the right order. You always concentrate on the next item in the list and get through the store quickly and optimally - no distraction, no impulsive purchases.

THE RECIPE CHOICE

A recipe that needs 15 or more ingredients and requires a lot of attention and skill is not suitable for meal prepping.

Choose Recipes that only need 3, 4 or 5 ingredients. In this case, less is better.

When choosing your dishes, make sure that the number of ingredients remains manageable.

It's great if certain ingredients are required by several recipes. For example, two dishes that need rice or chicken.

This makes meal preparation and even the shopping easier.

FIRST THINGS FIRST: DO THE CHOP WORK

A huge part of your time is needed for and chopping and cutting the ingredients. And dont forget to wash them before.

If you need tomatoes for three dishes, as example, cut all the tomatoes directly into the matching pieces. This completes the processing of all the tomatoes at once.

Distribute them in separate containers. You will then have them ready for later cooking.

Personally, I first cut everything into the appropriate pieces and put it aside before(!) I start cooking. If I start to cut the ingredients during frying and cooking, I quickly lose the overview. The time pressure and stress is selfmade.

With prepared ingredients, it works like it is shown in the nice recipe videos in the web. (The preparation of the ingredients is often not shown here, but simply omitted.) All ingredients are thrown together in order and - BOOM - the dish is ready.

KITCHEN UNTENSILS

It is also advantageous if you use recipes that matches the number of kitchen utensils you use.

One or two pans, one or two pots and an oven should be enough to avoid stagnation. Anyway, you can't use more pans and pots in a normal kitchen.

If you have a microwave, see if certain things can't be cooked there as well. Rice and potatoes can be cooked with it wonderfully and without much effort.

Note: it is not optimal if you already have a large roast in the oven and at the same time, you have to make two other dishes here that need a certain height. It doesn't all fit in at once - this costs time and unnecessary electricity power.

Some dishes, on the other hand, should not be made together in the oven. The smell and aroma can pass from one dish to another. A dessert cooked that is in the oven with a spicy pulled pork takes on the aroma of the spices.

Not tasty.

Please take this into account.

HANDS FREE COOKING

Most comfortable way of cooking is hands free. What do I mean?

My favourite kitchen utensil is the oven. It does the cooking almost by itself - of course nothing should burn, but with a timer you can avoid that easily. The rest almost goes alone and the time is on your side.

The same is true for a slowcooker. Of course, the cooking time is takes longer (thats another story).

The crucial factor is, that both devices require almost no attention during cooking! "hands-free"

You can use your attention to focus on something else.

COOKING IN THE RIGHT ORDER

Pay attention to the order in which ingredients are prepared. Some things take longer, others less time to cook.

It's useful if you prepare a task list.

cooking technique stir frying
Author: Ginny License: CC BY-SA 2.0

The longer proportion needs to be done first. For example, you need boiling water for your recipe? Start with it first! While the water heats up, take over to ingredients that are done faster - as example, stir fry ingredients in a frying pan. When the water cooks, put the ingredients in it that need to be cooked. In the meantime go over to the next task.

Right before cooking, turn on the devices so that they are ready to start when they are needed. I always do this just shortly before I finish preparing the ingredients.

  • Turn on the oven and let it preheat.
  • Boil the water in a pot or better in a kettle.
  • Pans on the stove and switch on

CLEAN UP AND KEEP THINGS IN ORDER

Okay, is everything in the oven or is cooking under control? Perfect!

Always clean up in between.

One thing that is not shown in the cooking shows and videos is the chaos that arises in a kitchen while you are "working" there. Their kitchens are always neat and clean...

avoiding a messy kitchen should not be a problem
Author: Ginny License: CC BY-SA 4.0

Before starting, make sure that the dishwasher is cleared and empty(!). During the cooking you constantly need utensils which have to be cleaned after use. With an empty dishwasher this is no problem. Nothing has to be stacked, instead the parts can be placed directly after use. This creates free space and everything keeps in order.

At the end, the dishwasher can be switched on and the working areas can be wiped off.

That's it. The kitchen is tidied up again. And ready for the next big round.

Because: after cooking is before cooking.

REWARD YOURSELF

Your normal eating habits are healthy and under your control?

Great! It's time to treat yourself for this!

Include one or two "comfort food" dishes in your weekly plan. That's okay as long as you control it. See it as a reward for having followed your diet and pursuing your goal.

There are days, for example on weekends, when a homemade pizza, burgers or a delicious pasta dish is simply beautiful. Free yourself from dogmas and constraints of diet. It's not good for you and you even won't last long.

These dishes don't even have to be prepared or cooked by yourself. Maybe you'll go out with your loved ones and have them cook for you in the restaurant?

You also have to relax and "recharge your batteries" for the next coming days.

...LET'S SUM IT UP

The meal prep saves your valuable time and nerves. In summary, you should consider the following tips:

  • the choice of recipes: not too many ingredients, easy preparation
  • the kitchen is prepared for cooking: dishwasher empty, kitchen utensils are ready and turned on
  • Prepare the ingredients without pressure: otherwise you will have a unnecessary hectic rush.
  • cook the ingredients effectively: starting with time-consuming first - faster ones later, try to cook several at the same time.
  • reward yourself once in a while!

By the way, a well thought-out purchase also saves money because less food is thrown away because it is not needed.

Initially, planning will take some time. Don't give up immediately! You will get used to it and become an effective habit. Always think about it:

"Nothing in this world worth having is simple."

Happy prepping!


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Source: cleanfoodcrush.com

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Source: wholefoodbellies.com

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