Class #6 – Learning the “Pre”pared Method
This is my favorite thing to teach. If you can master this you are going to really eliminate
the need for “running out for a bite to eat”. If you never ate an organic carrot in your
whole life I know you would be healthier just learning the easy principals of “pre”paring
for your meals. In this video lesson I will discuss the why, what and when of “pre”pared
meals. If you are wondering what a “pre”pared meal is you will find that out too.
1. The Theory
Now that you know what a “pre”pared meal is I want to talk to you about the ideas
behind the method. There are times in the week when you have more time to dedicate
to your kitchen. Usually 5:30pm before soccer practice and ballet class is not one of
them. So how do you make your family the home cooked, healthy meals they need if
you have no time to make them? You guessed it – “pre”pared meals. If you only have
45 mins for cooking, eating and cleaning you need something fast. This is where fast-
food establishments start to look like good options. Why not have fast food in your
kitchen ready to go with just a quick reheating? It all begins with scheduling a time to
cook. Here is an example. I cook on Sundays for the entire week. I set aside a few
hours in the morning to make all the food we are going to eat during the week. If for
some reason we are not around on a Sunday morning, the next time I make my lunch or
dinner I make a double or triple batch and that gets us back on track. It is so easy to do
and only requires a few hours of your time to save a lot of time throughout the week. If
the biggest time saver is only doing dishes once during my batch cooking session, it is
worth it. Here are a few tips to get you started.
- Schedule a time to cook. Most of the time I need about 2 hours from prep to clean up
to make 5 lunches and 5 dinners for myself and Robin.
- Use your new meal planning skills to plan ahead.
- Make a list of tasks to complete so you don’t miss anything and then you can plan the
cooking order that makes most sense.
- Label your storage containers with meal name, date and person assignment, this will
help everyone stay on the same page.
2. The Habit
I love trading bad habits for good ones. “Pre”paring meals is an amazing habit to get
into and you are quite possibly trading an eating out habit for an eating at home habit.
Just like any habit though, it requires some work on your part. They say it takes 22 days
to create a new habit. That means in 3 weekly “pre”pared meal sessions you will have a
new habit! The previous classes have all been preparing you to reach this point.
Creating a space in your life for this habit will eliminate kitchen frustrations, keep you on
your healthy journey and give you the freedom you want to spend more time with your
family doing the things you love. I love these tips on making new, healthy habits.
- Write your big goals down! “I want improved health”, “I never want to get cancer!”, “I
want to teach my family healthy eating behaviors.”• Get a buddy! This is easy. Head on over to our private Facebook page for this class.
- Eliminate the “Aw, forget it” scenarios! Make this task as important as eating itself.
You have to eat, you should eat real food, so you have to cook. No options and no
way to squirm out of the task.
You will have lots of support and maybe you can find an accountability buddy that
messages you on your scheduled cooking day to encourage you. You can do the same
3. Types of “Pre”pared Make Ahead Meals
Not all “pre”pared meals are created equal. I find that I component cook when I
“pre”pare meals. Here is what a typical “pre”pared cooking session looks like for me.
Normally I am prepping lunches and dinner for two.
– A whole roasted organic chicken. I like to buy them whole because they are cheaper
and less processed in butchering so to me they are the purest, easiest, and cheapest
way to buy chicken. While the chicken is roasting, I can do other work. So I prep this
and get it cooking first thing.
– I cut and clean a variety of veggies, making sure I have a variety of colors and nutrient
dense combinations. Normally I lightly steam them (5-7 mins under 115 degrees),
lightly blanch them or roast them. Sometimes I do all three depending on my recipes
for the week.
– While the veggies are cooking, I will make a protein for lunch. We like turkey
meatballs, salmon patties and grass fed flank steak. We put these on salads,
sandwiches and eat them with the variety of veggies mentioned above.
– To finish it up I make a grain or legume like quinoa, wild rice or our favorite black
beans. These really round out my ability to make many different meals with my
selections of protein and veggies.
– While the legumes or rice are cooking I do my prep work for fruit. I wash and cut up
berries and melons. I wash apples and make sure we have a variety of colorful fruit to
eat throughout the week.
In a few hours I am done, and reheating is a snap for the rest of the week. I can add
spices and herbs to make the flavors I want in reheating. We can have something
yummy every day and never think of eating outside our own house.
If you don’t have time to cook an entire week’s worth of meals, try these tips and types of
“pre”pared meals to help you stay on track during the week.
- Freezer Meals – I love freezer meals. In fact, I normally have 1 or 2 at the ready in the
event that my cooking session gets pushed back. Think of it like making your own “TV
Dinners”. The best type of meal for this kind of cooking is casserole. Layering
ingredients in a baking dish, freezing and reheating when it is time to eat. I have a few
recipes over at go2kithchens.com to get you started if you like this idea.
- Prepping Produce – Maybe you don’t like reheated veggies. You can always prep
them for cooking. To do this you just wash, dry and cut them so when you are ready to
cook that work is all done. Keep in mind once they have been prepped they will not
stay as fresh so you will need to make a commitment to cook them within a week or
they will rot.• Prepping Your Proteins – I like to do this with my meats. I love to cut a whole chicken
and marinate it in yummy spices. Then it is ready to cook when I am. No prep work to
do and the flavors can be amazing!
- The Crock Pot – This can be your best friend for a busy lifestyle. Crockpot meals can
be “pre”pared raw and then frozen and just heated throughout the day for an amazing
meal that cooks while you are busy.
- Soups – I love slow cooked soups that are meals! Put one on to cook in the morning
and by dinner you are set with a home cooked meal. Full of nutrients and made with
As you can see, “pre”pared meals come in many forms. Pick the ones that works best
for you, make it a habit and eat well to feel well! In the worksheet you will find ways to
determine a schedule. Ways to help you determine what kind of “pre”pared meals might
work for you and a few recipe resources for crockpot and freezer meals.