So tired of cooking/hating the weekends


nutmegh

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Ok, so I'm on day 12. This is the same day that I failed in my last attempt. I'm just so tired of cooking every day and dining out is super limited. Take into account its Friday night and I'm feeling much more run down than I did last time. My energy is just zapped. Can I just order a pizza already? But I won't! Anyone else offer some motivational support? Needing to get over this hump

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I felt that way around Day 12. It does get easier to make meals based on what's in your fridge. What helped me get over the hump was making some mayo I could eat with a can of tuna. What about pre-washed salad greens and a burger patty? Just thinking of the easiest meals to make.

Maybe go through some people's logs looking for ideas? That helped me a lot. You can do this.

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Do you really cook every day? I'd go totally nuts! I cook all my meals for the week on Friday afternoons, and sometimes on Saturdays I have to finish up baking a batch of sweet potatoes and boiling eggs. Then for the rest of the week I just have to reheat! You can also double things and cook a little extra if you're feeling more motivated one day, then you'll have some stuff in the freezer to cover another week or partial-week if you just don't feel like cooking, you get too busy, you get sick, etc...

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I second looking for easy to make meals and cooking in advance. We try to always have at least one option of already made food on hand for dinner or lunch, and we usually have two choices. So, for example, right now in the fridge, I could have a burger patty with carrot and celery sticks, tomato soup with meatballs, or spaghetti-squash egg bake with sausages. All I'd have to do for any of those meals is just heat up the part that gets heated. All of that food is left from last Sunday, when we cooked for the week. We made dinner two nights this week, and that was it.

We usually make something fancier on Friday night than we usually would, so tonight we had steaks and brussels sprouts. But, during the week, a lot of our food is workaday, reheatable stuff that gets prepped on Sunday.

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Yes, I really cook every day. My husband works non stop and I have a ten month old, so I don't have large blocks of time to get things going for the week. As soon as I think I do, I run out of something, either for myself or my husband or for my baby. No family here either. And every time I think I have enough for leftovers, there are barely any. As I'm writing this I realize I need to double up my recipes and possibly hire a sitter on the weekend.

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Oh I'm sorry, that sounds really tough. If you could get a sitter to give you enough time to cook up your meals for the week that seems like a good plan, and you would hopefully have a lot less stress for the rest of the week.

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It must be really tough getting time to cook with a 10 month old, I do remember what they were like at that age :). When I cook any kind of meat or protein I cook at least 4 times as much, split it into portions and freeze 3 of them. That way, there's always sliced roast beef or pulled pork or chicken breasts or ground beef etc, available that only needs heating.

Packs of frozen veg can also be a lifesaver as it cuts out a lot of the prep time. I also buy packs of fresh cabbage, kale etc that's already shredded so just needs washed and dumped in the pan. I even buy washed spinach which just needs heated and prepacked salads are so quick with a can of tuna or hardboiled eggs.

The first thing I'd do, is sit down, grab a coffee or tea, when your baby lets you ;) and plan, what you're going to cook and what you need to have on hand, it makes shopping so much easier. I also order a lot of my food from the supermarket and get them to deliver it. I just wish that option had been available when my kids were little. There's no doubt that eating W30 does take more organisation than just grabbing pizza but the more you do it, the easier it gets, honest :) good luck

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I really focused during my second whole30 on easy meals. Like Beets said, mayo and a can of tuna with a salad are just as good as anything else!

A crockpot would be your lifesaver too!

There is a quick coconut curry recipe in It Starts with Food. You can use frozen veggies and any protein you want. Just make sure the curry paste doesn't contain sugar.

Peel and eat shrimp cooked according to the directions on the side of Old Bay seasoning is really good and quick, and dipped in mayo they are delicious!

Grassfed burger patties topped with your veggies of choice with some sweet potato wedges is a quick go to for me.

I have to give props to you young moms out there making this work!

If you get desperate on a Friday night, send hubby out for Chipotle. Carnitas salad with tomatoes and double guac. :) Hang in there!

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Do you have a slow-cooker? You can just leave a chunk of pot roast or a whole chicken in there all day, even if you're leaving the house. Then you come home in the evening and most of dinner is already made! Throw it on top of some salad, or microwave a bag of frozen broccoli and you're good to go. You could also "double up" on slow-cooker recipes (like leave one cooking during the day for dinner, and leave another cooking during the night for breakfast the next morning).

I'm such a slow cooker evangelist on this forum but there was about a year in my life where if I didn't have one I think I would have starved! Can't imagine how much energy it must take to cook every meal with a baby...my hat goes off to you!

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You mentioned running out of foods. Over the weekend I make a meal plan for all three meals for the entire seven days. I search for recipes, write the menu on a whiteboard and head to the grocery store. I don't run out of food, I don't feel like I am throwing things together last minute and it keeps variety on my meals so I don't get bored.

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yup, +1!

I have a notebook in the kitchen, on one page i write down all the dinners i plan for the week & on the facing page i write down what i need to buy/order (i also get my shopping delivered, lifesaver!). I nearly always cook at least double - so for example i'll make a curry in the slow cooker & the recipe says it serves 4-6, so my OH & i will have a portion each that night, then 2 portions go in the freezer for another night & if there's a bit left i might put it in the fridge for a quick lunch for myself :)

Sometimes i overdo it & i'm frantically playing freezer tetris for the evening...

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I agree about cooking ahead, but it's also hard for me to get a huge chunk of time on the weekends. What I have been doing is making extra veggies whenever I cook them, or slicing extra veggies when I'm prepping one meal.

I usually try to get at least two dinners out of the bigger hunks of meat (that are either slow- or pressure-cooked) get a whole chicken for a meal and leftovers, and then I fill in the other meals around that. Having a tub of something like chili helps fill in the holes.

I think what I meant, too, is that you don't don't need to pre-plan each and every meal to the T--like I need to have meat, veg, and fat all planned out and pre-made for 21 meals a week, which when you have a 10 mo baby and not a lot of help might feel overwhelming and stressful--and learn to "see" a meal coming together based on various items you have on hand. I try to make dinner be a composed meal but breakfast and lunch don't need to be pretty! Having cans of fish or even compliant hot dogs on hand for emergencies can let you relax a little bit.

Cooking ahead, of course, helps a ton. But so does shifting your thinking about how you eat. I've never been good at recycling, say, brisket one night into tacos the next, but this WOE forces you to be more savvy in how you use your leftovers.

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No kiddos here, but I own a business and work long hours. I don't always have time to make a time-consuming dinner, but I do have down time after dinner, so often I'll take that couple of hours between dinner and bedtime to fix a make-ahead meal, or to roast veggies, etc.

Can you find an hour or two after you put the baby to bed? Lots of things only take a few minutes prep, and the rest is simmer time. It's easy enough to run and give something a stir once in a while. Or pop a roast in the oven and ignore it until the timer goes off.

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Great suggestions up there !

I am well past the 10 month old stage, and am fortunate to have a couple of very helpful/capable teens to help prep food for our large-ish family. The only thing I might add, and this is just from personal experience- I used to cater at a retreat center, and every two years or so had a new baby to fit into my schedule. While the siblings were still too young to help, I often kept our latest addition in either a front carrier when they were very small, or a backpack baby carrier, like used on hikes. It freed up my hands, kept the baby out of trouble, and may have burned a few extra calories ;) . I know this would not work for everyone, and there are many reasons to prefer NOT to do it- but it was sort of a necessity for me for a period of time, so it worked out fine. I also had a daughter that preferred the swing-which I set up in the kitchen, she'd rock back and forth and fall asleep ! A mommy's helper would be a good find, or even another mom that would want to batch cook with you and you could take turns watching the kids. Too bad you are in texas- my daughters would LOVE to help :D

All the planning suggestions above are great- and do work if you try to implement even a few at a time.

Hang in there and enjoy your baby !!!

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I don't have kids, but I hate fussing over meals and making/shopping for complicated recipes. Most of the time I just cook a whole chicken, a whole bunch of ground beef, hard boiled eggs, and if I'm feeling really fancy I'll make chili. Then I just make sure I have lots of easy veggies on hand to cut up and eat raw, roast, or steam. Usually when I cook them I make enough for a few days and make meals in tupperware. I also try to get microwaveable fresh and frozen packs of veggies from Trader Joe's. They have a great fresh try a brussels sprouts with salt, pepper, and olive oil. You just microwave it for three minutes, add some meat, and your done!

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Hey nutmegh, I rarely have time to do a cook-a-thon on the weekends either. I work full-time, have a 15-month old, and my hubby works weekends so ... kinda busy! I just prep what I can during the week - boil some eggs while making breakfast, roast a pan of potatoes while cooking burgers, etc. I don't have a crock pot, but I just slow-cook roasts and whole chickens in the oven at a low, low temp (180* or so). Works just fine, and only one pan to clean! This is just stuff that's working for me right now; it's a total process, and by trial-and-error you'll figure out what works for you. Good luck!

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No kids here and I pretty much just cook for me since my husband works late or doesn't want to eat when I do. I cook just about every day. Most of the things I cook during the week are finished in less than 30 minutes and I use the leftovers for breakfast/lunch the next day or use extra cooked veggies to make a quick dinner the next night. On the weekends, I will make the more complicated, time-consuming recipes. I do find myself cooking multiple things at once since I am in the kitchen like cooking hard-boiled eggs for quick breakfasts or roasting g veggies while I am sautéing or grilling something for dinner. I am getting better at eating leftovers but only up to about 2 days after it's made which is why I find myself cooking just about every day. But, I love to chop and cook so it doesn't bother me....I am just not a fan of washing all the dishes since we don't have a dishwasher. :(

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I am on day 16, and cook most days. My crew needs lots of variety so I scour the web for help. I do a bunch ofcrock pot meals and found this other site called multiplydelicious.com. This site is good forlooking forward to after your 30 days to see there is yummy healthy eating

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The other day I stumbled into my kitchen, winced as I stepped on a cashew left there form the night before and hung my head in despair. As much as I love cooking and have done it for years and can support the idea politically, economically, ecologically and philosophically...sometimes...I just...want my mom. I really do believe Tom who says there are "9,000 delicious foods" to choose from in the Paleo universe but why can I only remember six of them??? It's bad when you bore others with your cooking but it's really bad when you bore yourself.

On the other hand, I think it's just gonna be a slog sometimes so some copious slack needs to be cut. Cooking all our meals is the price we pay for eating off the grid. And between the sourcing, the shopping, the cooking and the cleaning up it can be a part-time job just feeding ourselves and our families. Worth it? Abso-paleo-lutely.

So after that gentle, self-inflicted kick in the rear, and instead of listening to the usual politics-as-usual on NPR I cranked up my iPod, swept the kitchen floor and fantasized that in my next life Michelle Tam from NomNomPaleo will cook all my meals and have them FedEx'd directly into my mouth. Meanwhile, thank god for iPads, food blogs and slow cookers. And ya'll.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I am only on day 5 right now, and I did a fairly decent size cook up on Sunday. Half way through the cook up, i was annoyed, stressed and mad because i was trying to make everything perfect all at once and I was not sure how I could do that week after week. (prior to starting the whole30, i spent about 2-3 weeks eating paleo for almost all of my meals, as practice, but instead of preparing anything in advance, i was cooking every meal to order, which took forever between prep, cook, and clean up)

My wife helped with some of the prep work, she made the marinade for the chicken, put the cauliflower in the food processor, chopped some onions etc, it was a big help.

We made 2 lbs of pastured, organic ground beef and onions. 3.3 lbs of grilled, marinated, organic chicken, boiled a dozen eggs. shredded a whole head of cauli-rice (didn't cook it until Tuesday night though, but it was handy to have had it ready to go after work), baked a couple of yams and a few sweet potatoes,

Overall this really didn't take TOO much time, maybe 2 hours or so (i was annoyed about it at the time), but it's thursday now, and I am realizing that it was a HUGE help for the week.

My wife and I both work full time, we have a VERY active 2 year old son, and now that the weather is getting nice, we prefer to spend as much time out of the house as possible. So I know how it is having very little time for this kind of stuff. So having had all of this food already prepared, or semi-prepared for the week has really been a life saver. Dinner prep was a LOT quicker, the only extra thing we would do would be to prepare some extra veggies to have with dinner, in a larger than normal portion, so that any leftovers could be brought with lunch or tossed into scrambled eggs the next day. Last night, we didn't eat the pre-prepared food, we just tossed some frozen tilapia in the oven for 30 mins and baked some brussels sprouts, so still a pretty easy dinner to prepare on the fly.

Also, I was able to use the grilled chicken and sweet potato as a quick post workout meal in addition to the lunches or dinners I have used it for.

The great thing is that there is still some of the beef and chicken left, along with the cauli-rice. So my concern that all of this food I spent so much time making would be gone in like 2 days was unfounded. After nearly getting into a fight with my wife on sunday over this cook-up for the week because I was so stressed about it, I'm a firm believer in it now and i am more motivated to continue this for the future because it made the week a bit easier. The trick is making the time, and also making the time every week to go to costco and a regular market to stock up on what we need.

Now...if only there was a way to eliminate or cut down the kitchen clean up....

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@Juice. So friggin' familiar, all of what you describe. And my wife and I work from home without active 2 year-olds! So huge props to you and your wife, especially to be on Day 5 and sounding like you completely got this!

When I get overwhelmed by the recipe research and the multiple store shopping and the cooking and the packaging and the cleaning my food processor twice a day and the oh crap I'm out of ghee... I try to remember what exactly these new, seemingly onerous tasks and new patterns and habits are actually replacing—the "I don't feel like cooking tonight let's order a pizza", and the microwave meals and the all-carb breakfasts and the Sacred Nightly Ice Cream Ritual and some years before that the wine...oh the wine. And, the 'I know I should get on my bike but I'd rather take a nap" and eventually, "honey, I need to run down to the store to get...uh...milk", and eventually "which blood pressure meds cause the fewest side effects?" and then your doctor suggesting you should consider getting better health insurance because you're going to need it (that actually happened).

And then it dawns on me, again, in this culture, even out here in Foodie Land, that eating well takes more time, labor, infrastructure, and god forbid maybe even more carbon AND a kind of motivation that I still find hard to sustain sometimes.

Because even after Whole30 + 90 days, I really do have to stick my fingers in my ears and recite chapters from ISWF, et al, several times a day, because if I let my guard down and get "stupid", what's being broadcast on the cultural loudspeaker 24/7 is that feeding ones' self is a "necessary evil so why not make it quick, cheap and sweet as possible? Let's go shopping!! No, not on those side aisles, over here, in the other 90% of the store!! C'mon...it's more fun, colorful, packag-y, cheaper and (wait for it...) conveeeeeeeeeenient!!"

So hang in there, it gets easier, then harder, then easier again...oh hell it's never really easy, but that's a good thing. Even the kitchen clean up.

Great Scientific American blog article here, btw, on why the food industry doesn't want us eating healthy.

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I've been eating paleo for almost 2 years now, Whole30 for the past year (mostly) and I still don't really like to cook. In fact, my family is kind of shocked that I've stuck to this as long as I have because they know I'd rather not be in the kitchen!

I go through waves of motivation. Some weeks, I'm all on it. Others, I feel like I've moved mountains if I managed to make more mayo and/or boil some eggs.

In fact, just the other day I bought Michael Pollan's new book "Cooked" in the hopes that it inspires me to do what I know I need to do. ;-)

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  • 2 months later...

It must be really tough getting time to cook with a 10 month old, I do remember what they were like at that age :). When I cook any kind of meat or protein I cook at least 4 times as much, split it into portions and freeze 3 of them. That way, there's always sliced roast beef or pulled pork or chicken breasts or ground beef etc, available that only needs heating.

Packs of frozen veg can also be a lifesaver as it cuts out a lot of the prep time. I also buy packs of fresh cabbage, kale etc that's already shredded so just needs washed and dumped in the pan. I even buy washed spinach which just needs heated and prepacked salads are so quick with a can of tuna or hardboiled eggs.

The first thing I'd do, is sit down, grab a coffee or tea, when your baby lets you ;) and plan, what you're going to cook and what you need to have on hand, it makes shopping so much easier. I also order a lot of my food from the supermarket and get them to deliver it. I just wish that option had been available when my kids were little. There's no doubt that eating W30 does take more organisation than just grabbing pizza but the more you do it, the easier it gets, honest :) good luck

How do you keep the meat/poultry from drying out after re-heating. I've steered away from cooking ahead for that reason.  Don't like dry meat.

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