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Hi! New, starting 8/5/13, and have never cooked - oh boy! - any advice?


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I've been eating SAD for TOO long of a time, and have become a statistic - overweight, insulin-resistant. 


I lost some weight (and got healthier) working out and lowering my carb intake, but still haven't gotten to where I want to.


After learning about Whole30 and reading ISWF, I was like THIS IS IT.  I need to let my body HEAL with the right food, not continue to sicken it with what I normally eat.


Bought ISFW this week, already finished it, and am a bit worried.  Not about being able to eliminate the bad food.  I'm super excited about doing the Whole 30 and while I know it will be an effort, I WELCOME it.


What i AM worried about is that I've never cooked.  I've been eating out (from restaurants to delis to fast-food...see the problem?) all this time!


I've been checking some of the cookbooks / sites mentioned either on the forum or in the book, and I find myself a bit overwhelmed with the cooking aspect.  Seriously, you gotta realize that I will have to buy cooking utensils and things like, oh, a pot and a cutting board, for example.  THAT'S how I'm so not used to cooking.


And while i COULD do the pre-made paleo, I'd rather not.  I'd rather learn how to cook while I'm doing this.  It'll ground me more to my meals, teach me that I don't need to rely on a 3rd party making my food, and I'll be able to REALLY learn about preparing foods that are good for my body.


I live by myself, and tend to keep a busy lifestyle - one of the main reasons I'm always eating out.


Can anyone recommend a cookbook or site that may be "just what I need" to get started??    Something that isn't necessarily for those that have years of experience cooking.  Something that may be for the cooking-impaired.    


Eventually, I'd like to get the experience, but I don't want to fail Whole30 because the recipies are just too darn hard or time-consuming for me.  I see myself eventually cooking a whole week's worth of food on a Sunday, but i'm DEFINITELY not ready to do that THIS Sunday for Week 1 of Whole 30.


So, if anyone can point me in the right direction, (and one that is DEFINITELY Whole30 approved), I'd really appreciate it!!





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congratulations on deciding to do something about your health!!


in terms of cooking, keep it simple. instead of making complex dishes, stick with protein, vegies and a fat. separate.


cook a piece of meat or eggs, steam or roast some vegies (or make salads), and serve with olives, avocado, drizzle salads with olive oil, or cook in ghee/coconut oil, or drink coconut milk.  


make double or triple and make meals for the next day from what you don't use.

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A lot of my recipes are simple. I am too impatient to do complicated, time-consuming things. The most remarkable recipes I offer are the Skillet Roasted ones. They are really simple but you need a cast iron skillet and a cast iron lid, a stop top and an oven. You season a piece of meat, sear it for a few minutes on each side. Season some veggies. Spread them around and on top of the meat. Cover with the cast iron lid. Let roast in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes. The juice from the meat infuses the veggies and everything tastes wonderful.


Here is the list of my recipes: http://www.wholelifeeating.com/recipe-index/

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Ya know, I would set yourself up for success. Maybe plan on cooking a few simple meals a weeks since you will be learning new skills. Tom's recipes are good, Practical Paleo is a good, simpler choice as well. And when you cook, Amberino's suggestion of making enough for the next day(s) is right on, as well as her suggestion to make simple protein and veggies separately rather than complex dishes. But having on hand some premade meals for emergencies, frustration and too-tired-to-cook days sounds reasonable. I admire your wanting to cook every meal, truly, but i like the idea of a fall-back plan, just in case life goes wonky.

As far as learning very basic cooking skills themselves, I recommend How To Cook Everything by mark Bittman. If you have an ipad, their app is amazing, with lots of pictures and step by step instructions, but the book is wonderful, too.There is a fab section of how-to's--basic knife skills such as chopping, how to cut a chicken, how to sauté, etc, etc. Will help you understand the terms you see in recipes. The recipes are great, too, but you will need to put your Whole30 glasses on.

And if you can eat them, a big supply of boiled eggs always helps.

Good luck!

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Good for you for really thinking through all of the aspects of your Whole30. If you're new to cooking you're also new to the realities of preparation, execution, and storage, so here's some tips.

Preparation: keep kitchen equipment simple and cheap, try Goodwill and garage sales with a good scrub and a bleach soak. 

Execution: cooking can be boring. Queue up a podcast or Netflix - it helps you track your pacing of chopping, roasting, dishwashing, etc.

Storage: canning jars are cheap, great for leftovers, better than Tupperware, and more available in summer. Large sizes can hold entire Whole30 meals in layers. They are about a dollar each for twelve in a large flat pack.


While you say you're not ready to spend a whole Sunday cooking, if you find yourself majorly fatigued of cooking a full meal 2-3x a day, you might want to devote at least a little weekend time to preparation. Can you give an hour and a half on a Sunday to chopping veggies, storing them in canning jars ready to be dumped into a fry-up with some eggs? While you're chopping, can you hard boil eggs or pop sweet potatoes in the oven? Finding something to do while something else cooks is all that a weekend cook-up involves. I started doing weekend cook-ups long ago because even as an experienced cook I HATED coming home exhausted and then having to cook and clean up. Check out this book by Tamar Adler called An Everlasting Meal - it's not a Whole30 book, but it does coach you through multitasking a big cook-up and encourages simple preparation that enhances high quality ingredients. Another benefit is that if you screw up cooking on the weekend, you have time to fix it. Best part is, when you're done your fridge isn't full of ingredients, it's full of FOOD!

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