I’m almost 2 weeks into my Whole30 challenge and I’ve learned a lot. One of this biggest things I’ve learned is that, if you want to be successful and keep your sanity during a challenge like this, you have to be prepared. Here are a few strategies to help make a challenge or diet change easy and stress free.
Prep ahead: I like to prep a few key items on Sunday to have on hand during the week to make it easy to throw meals together. Here are a few things I make every week:
-baked chicken breast/chicken thighs
-roasted sweet potatoes
-roasted veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts
-homemade stock (I’m trying to make this once a week or so)
Having a few pre-made items on hand has made it SO easy to make quick and nutritious meals. I was getting bored with basic meals and decided to be a little more “spontaneous” this week to spice it up and it has definitely cured my boredom.
Make extras: If you’re turning on your stove or your oven, you might as well make the most of it. I try to make a few dinners each week that give us some ample leftovers. My new favorite leftover dish is the Meatza recipe from “Well Fed” (I highly recommend that it, by the way!) – it’s so insanely delicious and makes great leftovers for lunches. Also, if I’m making a side dish, like roasted veggies, for dinner, I will roast the entire thing and save the rest for quick additions to meals later in the week.
Cook in bulk: One of the easiest and most economical things I’ve been doing is cooking a large potion of meat in the crockpot. My go-to is my cocoa coffee chili rubbed pork and I’m thinking some carnitas and shredded beef are next! The crockpot is a real life saver for us – I put the meat in in the morning and by the time dinner rolls around, all I have to do is make sides (or use some previously roasted veggies) and then dinner is done. Plus, pulled pork + eggs = breakfast heaven.
Stock your pantry: For a challenge/eating style that relies heavily on fresh ingredients, my pantry has been a game changer. Making meals is incredibly easy thanks to a few staples like canned tomatoes, coconut milk, and spices. One day I was craving green curry soup but was running short on time so I put some thinly sliced cabbage and diced chicken in homemade chicken broth, brought it to a boil, add coconut milk and green curry paste and made a delicious lunch in 15 minutes. Having some favorite pantry items on hand ensures that you can make a variety of meals, quickly.
On that note, I think it’s time to whip up something to munch. What are some of your quick & easy meal tips?