We’ve all been hearing a lot in the news lately about how preparing ahead can make all the difference when it comes to surviving a disaster (like a hurricane). While not nearly so dire, I have found that the same holds true when maneuvering your diet to pave the way for a successful outcome.
On a daily basis, this means planning and writing down your food ahead of time, seeking out a network of supportive friends, and for me, preparing my food in advance.
When I decided to embark on a plant-based diet, I signed on for a meal planning service. One of the techniques they recommended was batch cooking. If you’ve never batch cooked before, and I hadn’t, it can seem daunting at first. But If you are still working, or just have a very busy life, I highly recommend batch cooking.
Just be prepared to spend one full day a week in the kitchen. And expect that your kitchen will look like a war zone by the time you are finished.
Then why batch cook at all you might ask.
Because you end up with a whole week’s worth of pre-measured, prepped meals that allow you to just come home and eat your dinner when you are hungry and tired, and resist the temptation to pick up fast food, go out to eat, or grab something unhealthy from your own kitchen.
In other words, you’ll suffer through one day to successfully breeze through the next six.
Having fun with it
Of course, batch cooking is really not all that grueling, and can even be enjoyable, especially if you enjoy cooking, as I do.
I started first thing in the morning, when my energy was highest, laying out all the ingredients I needed on the counter, and working through the process without cleaning until I was finished, which was completely contrary to the clean-as-you-go method I’d learned. However, the meal planning service I used recommended leaving clean up to the end, and I found it to be the fastest way to go.
I really got into batch cooking for awhile. I stocked up on Glass Lock containers, which I think are the best for food storage and microwaving, and got much faster at the process the more I did it.
Starting your day with success in mind
When I joined Bright Line Eating (BLE), I decided to abandon weekly batch cooking for daily prep. I was retired and had the time, so it seemed to make more sense.
These days, I prepare my food for the day right after breakfast. It takes me about an hour or so.
My husband does not follow the eating plan I do. He prepares his own breakfast and lunch. I cook his dinner and get it ready in the morning too.
Breakfast: Fiber One cereal, peach, cashew milk, sunflower seeds
Lunch: Broccoli and kale, cashews, baked tofu, cantaloupe
Dinner: Brussels sprouts, green beans, edamame, pistachios
If you are following BLE’a eating plan, be it for weight loss or maintenance, it may look different than mine. I have customized mine to suit my body’s needs and my preferences. Here’s how I would prep for this day.
- Weigh and eat breakfast,
- Chop, wash, microwave kale and broccoli for about 45 seconds, weight and mix in one container. Weigh and cube pre-baked tofu (from Trader Joe’s), weigh cashews and put them in separate containers. Cube and weigh cantaloupe, put in container. Voila, lunch. When it comes time to eat, stir fry the veggies.
- Wash and microwave edamame, green beans, and Brussels sprouts, weigh, and mix in one container. De-shell, chop and weigh pistachios and put in separate container. This is dinner. When it is time to eat, I just warm in the microwave, add pistachios and eat.
Preparing our food in advance has been such an important step for me in successfully losing and maintaining 23 lbs, and also adhering to my WFPB diet. Even though I am no longer working a full-time job, I am tired by the time dinner rolls around, and having our meals ready stops me from veering off my food plan.
What are you doing to prepare for successful weight loss? I would love to hear your tips and strategies in the Comments section below. If you would like to learn more about my own experiences with BLE or WFPB eating, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org