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ClaireT

Totally overwhelmed by time spent preparing food

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I think it was Munkers who said it in another thread: Don't cook what you are going to eat for that meal, cook however much fits on/in your dish of choice.  So if you are barbequing chicken breasts for dinner, do the entire dozen.  If you find a dozen compliant sausages but only want two for dinner that night, cook them all...there are other meals coming and you will be glad you have cooked protein.

 

For an example from my house, this week I cooked 12 chicken breasts in a nice (somewhat neutral) seasoning.  

 

Night 1: chicken breasts eaten as cooked

Night 2: thai style chopped chicken stuffed into a sweet potato

Night 3: diced up and tossed into soup for me and into a hashy-breakfasty thing for husband

 

We ate dinner leftovers for lunch the next day so these chicken breasts lasted two people for 6 meals each with a little bit of the thai chicken still left over.  So basically the time it took to grill the breasts didn't change between doing 2 or doing 12.  But I haven't had to really "cook" in three nights!  Score!   :D

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One of my W30 goals is to find 50 (an ambitious number!) new go-to recipes..... therefore but I think that, for me at least, a lot of that is unfamiliarity - having to THINK about what you are doing - and that's why it takes so long. My non-W30 meals though.... those are familiar & I don't notice the prep. So I want to replace those familiar/easy non-W30 meals with new (familiar/easy) W30-compliant ones.

 

 And if anyone wants to toss out a recipe (or a non-recipe) of meals they make without thinking about them.... it would be appreciated.

 

 

Think about how you ate before W30. Are there any elements of those meals that can transfer over and be compliant?

 

I've always kept it simple, so before W30, a typical dinner was protein, brown rice, vegetable, fruit. Sometimes homemade rolls/biscuits.

Now we eat protein, two vegetables, sometimes a potato or sweet potato, maybe a little fruit. I now use compliant oils and ghee. Not much has changed in the prep tasks or time.

 

I usually do a weekly cook-up and prep up the "components" like Munkers. Meal time is Mix N Match most of the time. I also make a breakfast casserole that serves 8. It's handy as a grab n go meal and is good cold.

 

I have found that having stack-able storage containers, a roll of masking tape, and a Sharpie pen goes a long way in helping stay organized and efficient.

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I think it was Munkers who said it in another thread: Don't cook what you are going to eat for that meal, cook however much fits on/in your dish of choice.  So if you are barbequing chicken breasts for dinner, do the entire dozen.  If you find a dozen compliant sausages but only want two for dinner that night, cook them all...there are other meals coming and you will be glad you have cooked protein.

 

For an example from my house, this week I cooked 12 chicken breasts in a nice (somewhat neutral) seasoning.  

 

Night 1: chicken breasts eaten as cooked

Night 2: thai style chopped chicken stuffed into a sweet potato

Night 3: diced up and tossed into soup for me and into a hashy-breakfasty thing for husband

 

We ate dinner leftovers for lunch the next day so these chicken breasts lasted two people for 6 meals each with a little bit of the thai chicken still left over.  So basically the time it took to grill the breasts didn't change between doing 2 or doing 12.  But I haven't had to really "cook" in three nights!  Score!   :D

 

 

Anything that you can cook in bulk will work. Ground beef, chicken or steak on the grill (switch up serving whole vs. in strips vs. chopped into cubes), whole chickens, pork roast, beef roast, etc.  A batch of chili can be eaten as chili, used as a potato topper, turned into taco salad, etc.

 

Thanks for this info.  Do you freeze any of this???

 

  I grilled 4 steaks the other day and they were BIG THICK STEAKS -- it lasted us a few days.  I like the chili idea.  I have 2 lbs of ground beef defrosting the fridge.  We are onl 2 people and I don't want anything going bad.  I am still getting my sea legs with meal prep.  Right now I am so full and I still have to make room for all that water.

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I rarely freeze leftovers...and it's just me and my husband also. If I do something like the dozen chicken breasts, I know we're going to be eating those for a few days so I'll come up with ways to use them to make them a bit different. If I make chili we'll usually have it for dinner and lunches for a couple - three days. Rarely do I freeze food. Sometimes by the end we're glad to see it's gone though. ;)

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Great ideas... thank you! I'll have to check out some breakfast casserole ideas. I love eggs & vegs, but then the rest of the day becomes "fish & vegs" followed by "meat & vegs" so I need to learn a bit of creativity too. Forums like this help.

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Hi All! Thanks for lots of ideas. I am at Day 9 and having spent all day Sunday (with a short break taking my daughter to ballet) prepping food I still have to cook dinners and breakfast every day. I only have a convection microwave as most apartments do not have ovens in Singapore (most people eat out for most if not all meals) so food prep is painfully slow. We have been thinking about moving apartments and my only non negotiable is an oven! Sadly we don't have space for a second fridge either so I guess food prep is just going to have to be sucked up.

I would eat simpler food but I think that will make the lack of rice (my husband is Japanese) just too obvious and difficult. By making interesting food it is making W30 seem fairly straight forward and my daughter has even eaten a couple of the meals we are eating instead of doing double meal prep.

I am still waiting for my Well Fed books to be delivered and am hoping I will find a few delicious options in there that won't be quite so labour and time intensive!

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ClaireT... I have just a convection microwave as well... no oven.... and I don't use my slow cooker a lot. Mostly I rely on a couple of excellent frying pans & a very large wok. The nice thing about W30 is that coconut oil & ghee are compliant, so cooking with frying pans & a wok becomes an easy thing. I made a vegetable stir-fry for a family get-together a few days ago, and I filled the wok... lots of leftovers for me! And I agree about the meat. Cook all you can fit in the pan. I am not a cook... don't really enjoy spending hours in the kitchen.... so lots of cooked protein, along with a bunch of vegs that I can grab on short notice, works just fine for me. When I used to cook rice, I would also cook a large pot every time that I cooked some. Then when you want rice, toss some into a bowl, fluff it up, add any new sauce or ingredient that you want to use, nuke... pass quickly to hubby. :-) For me, I don't see the lack of an oven as a problem.... but I do have several appliances that help to compensate. The slow cooker has been mentioned. When my husband is home we use the BBQ a lot, and one of those counter-top griddles (George Forman type?) would work almost as well. My absolute favorite, though, is a counter-top chicken roaster. (I can send a link if it's not a familiar item to you.) Plunk the chicken on the spit, set temp & time, and walk away. Golden chicken every time, with moist & flavorful leftovers. I'm quite sure you could do roasts as well. The roaster fits in my storage area when it's not in use, so is only on the counter when I am using it.

 

Dishes... if I didn't have a dishwasher I'd croak. And I'd definitely be cooking in bulk (and probably eating straight from the containers). When we use the BBQ we often put all our vegs in a tinfoil pouch with butter (now ghee) and toss it onto the BBQ alongside the meat. NO clean-up for pots. Big win in my book.

 

Good luck with your apartment hunting! 

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I get the most bang for my kitchen time when I focus on prepping components instead of prepping recipes. So instead of making salmon cakes and casseroles and very specific meals, I cook a big hunk (or two) of meat, chop and roast vegetables, hardboil some eggs, and maybe make some mayo or a sauce. I pretty much always do the meat in the crockpot. When I'm done with my prep, I'll have a big container of meat and an assortment of vegetables that can be made into different meals and changed up with different spices or prep techniques. My pot roast in the crockpot can be eaten as pot roast with broccoli and sweet potatoes, tossed in the skillet for stirfry with coconut aminos and rice vinegar, or mixed with some tomato sauce and served over green beans for an Italian-style meal.

 

When you have the components already cooked in your fridge, all you have to do is warm them up and season them for meal time. You'll have food on the table in 5-10 minutes.

 

This is definitely the way to go for me (day 11).  This weekend, instead of making recipes like I did the first week, I cooked 2 pounds of ground beef & ground turkey with onion, peppers and some shredded sweet potato and 8 chicken thighs.  I cooked a batch of summer squash, sweet potato and red pepper and grabbed a few bags of the frozen cook in the bag broccoli and some frozen squash.  I've been having eggs scrambled in ghee with broccoli for breakfast, and either protein with the veggie medley for the other two meals.  Maybe going into my third week I won't have to spend the entire weekend in the kitchen!

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Hi!

 

My fiance and I are both whole30 converts since May 15, 2015. We both work full time and workout so we have to plan our meals out. On Sundays I try and cook breakfast and lunch for all week. I do a pan of baked sweet potatoes, roasted potato spears, 2 pans of roasted veggies (I try and mix it up w/type and spices). I throw a protein in the crockpot that is lunch all week, pulled pork, roast beef, chili. Fat for lunch and breakfast is always avocado.

 

We always have burgers and steak for dinner which are the only dinners I make that does not yield leftovers(just doesn't taste right reheated!). My veggies for dinner are always something fresh, tomatoes/cucumbers/salad. My fat for dinner is always 1/2 avocado or olives. I found a huge container of olives at BJs (Costco like store) for less than $10 bucks! I make meatballs or chili cinnamon chicken breast. I try and make a mango or apple salsa during the week which yield 4 servings. 

 

My best advice is to try and do the bulk of cooking one day per week. 

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Hey, ClaireT!

 

Do you have a crockpot? I've found this to be a great tool to help me prepare enough food for the week! I mostly use it to cook a lot of meat at once (pork loin, chicken breasts, or even a whole chicken) and then freeze portions of the meat to use as a quick add in to fresh veggies or a salad.

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Hi everyone,  I would love to know your thoughts and suggestions on not feeling like a slave to the kitchen.... I understand that this program requires A LOT of cooking and meal prep but it's becoming a bit overwhelming.  I feel like I'm constantly in the kitchen surrounded by dishes.  I'm worried that when the program is over, all I will want to do is order take out.  I don't know how people stay eating healthy without a good amount of cooking but at the same time, I feel like it's taking over my life and it's all I have time for.... help!

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Hi @dragonfly41 - yep, there's a definite committment to cooking within this program. It can be startling to first time people. This has been discussed a tonne though so I've merged your topic with another informative and relevant thread in order to keep the forum clean. Have a read through. Also googling "Whole30 + your question" will tend to yield lots of results. I googled "Whole30 too much cooking" and got these threads as well. 

 

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