Eating well can be hard work. Who wants to waste precious time preparing a fresh, home-cooked meal? It’s so much easier to just drive through a fast food joint to pick something up on the way home from work for dinner.
That sort of thinking, plus quite a bit of emotional/stress eating, was what got me to an all-time high of way too many pounds for me to publicly admin to a few years ago. Eliminating a large portion of the stress (via separation and subsequent divorce) helped me drop 30 of those pounds pretty quickly. The rest has been a bit more of a battle, and has come off more slowly, because eating well, and exercising, both require time that I often don’t have.
I’m a mom and business owner, so as you can imagine, I don’t have a ton of free time. My daughter’s father has her on average 7 nights each month, and most of those are on weekends. That means weekdays are a flurry of activity, and while I do love to cook, I would really rather spend my time doing other things most of the time. That brings me to the topic of this post: once a week (or longer) cooking.
During my low-carb eating days, I frequently cooked up 2-4 full meals on Saturday or Sunday. I was the only one in the house eating low-carb, so with 4-6 servings in each meal, I usually had enough food to last for a week, with a bit leftover for the freezer, in case there was a week I just didn’t feel like cooking. The weekend meals usually included a breakfast casserole of some sort, so I was covered for everything except for snacks and whatever raw veggies I might want to go with my meals.
Since starting paleo, I’ve been cooking once a week, usually on the weekends. I sometimes cook a few extra servings to freeze, so if I’m too busy to cook on a weekend (it happens!) I have some food to hold me over until the next time I have a chance to cook. It’s worked pretty well so far! I still supplement with fresh-cooked meals on the weeknights I have some extra time, and because I’m so used to cooking large batches, I usually end up with enough leftovers to last a few days (or freeze).
I’m planning to start another Whole30 in about a week, and since most of my family is going to do it with me, I thought this would be a good time to attempt a big cook-up for the duration. I don’t plan to cook 30 days worth of 3 meals each day. That would mean 90 meals per person, and with three people in my family, that’s 270 servings of food! Instead I hope to cook about 20 days worth of meals, and expect to supplement with fresh-cooked meals during the 30 days. That’s still 180 servings of food, but my plan is to cook on a weekend when I don’t have my daughter so I can focus on the task at hand.
Now I have about a week to plan my cook-up day. I’ll be posting more this week!