My Sunday Cook Off
“I don’t have enough time”…
“that’s too hard”….
“I’m too busy”….
Do any of these excuses sound familiar? Well they just might when you consider they’re the most common excuses used for poor eating habits.
I always talk to my clients about the simple ways to eat a healthy diet, especially when their busy. Many of us spend way to much time working and far too few hours on our own health and wellbeing.
So this is a tool that I have developed which helps you;
- plan your meals for the week
- have simple ingredients ready to make AMAZING dishes fast
- stop making poor choices when you get home late or stressed
…all while making healthy cooking fun and enjoyable. I know, some bold statements right, but it really works and can help transform your eating habits in only a few short hours. You can thank me later, just make sure that for now you take it all in and make a promise to your self to give it a go. It’s really quiet simple.
My Sunday Cook Off
Believe it or not, but every Sunday (unless I’m crazy, crazy busy) I spend a couple of hours in the kitchen prepping for the week. Now I know your thinking… “ I don’t have time to do that” I’m busy enough before adding in 2 more hours to cook”. Don’t worry this will actually save you time during the week and will make your food exciting, nutritious and ohh so yummy.
Lets get started.
Step one: Weekly Planner
The first thing I do is get out a piece of paper or a food timetable (Kikki K does a great one) and write down everything I want to cook for the week. I normally keep 2 days free for eating out or for when we crave something different, but otherwise I have 5 days of meals all planned out.
This is a great time to get out your cookbooks, open up Pinterest, or work through your folder of favorites (I use mine all the time) and start searching for ideas. I like to try at least one new recipe each week to keep things exciting.
Tip: try to cook once and eat twice. This means that you cook a dinner which is larger than you could eat and then the next day you have leftovers available for lunch. This saves a lot of time in the kitchen and makes your workday meals super nutritious.
Step two: Supermarket Shop
I know, super boring and no one likes going to the supermarket, but when you have a list all ready for you, in categories i.e. fruit, veg, meat, dairy etc you’ll be in and out in no time.
Tip; never go to the supermarket later than 4pm. Basically that’s when everyone and their dog are there doing their shopping. You’ll end up spending double the time, just waiting in the line.
Step three: Cooking begins
The key to success is to have a very clean kitchen to start with, ideally with the dishwasher empty so you can also clean up as you go (not that I’m the best at this), I have been know to create a right mess in the kitchen, but isn’t that half the fun.
Have all your pots out, your food ready, your chopping boards clean so that you’re not wasting any time trying to find things.
Perfect, you’re ready; your time starts now…happy cooking.
An example of my Sunday Cook Off
I have written up an example of a basic Sunday Cook Off and some of the foods I always prepare. This might give you some ideas as to how you might approach your own session.
- Prepare a large batch of Bircher muesli and leave it soaking and ready for the week.
- Stew some fruit for the Bircher and for easy snacks or treats.
- Soak almonds in water for fresh almond milk.
- Freeze some bananas ready for your smoothies.
- Cook 2 cups of quinoa for easy lunches or to bulk up a dinner or soup (you can freeze batches of quinoa once it’s cooked)
- Cook 2 cups of chickpeas for hummus as it’s a great protein source to add to salads or in with roast vegetables
- Soak cashews ready to make some cashew cheese.
- Optional: make a large jar of salad dressing to last the week i.e lemon juice, olive oil, tahini, mustard and salt and pepper
- Roast a dish full of vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, sweet potato and beetroot so that you have delicious lunches and quick snacks with a dollop of cashew cheese on top.
- Wash and chop a large container of lettuce for easy salads, wraps or dinners.
- Blitz the ingredients for bliss balls in your food processor – such a healthy snack.
- Make up individual jars of trail mix to take with you during the day.
- If I know that I will be really busy the next day, I will prepare a large mason jar of green smoothie to take with me while I’m out. This will last for 2 days in the fridge.
As you can see I have basically made all my breakfast options for the week, I have healthy and quick lunches that I can easily pull together in no time at all. I have a bunch of snacks, which will keep me full in-between meals and will stop me from resorting to junk food.
All of this honestly only takes me 2 hours to complete. I normally have the quinoa, chickpeas and stewed fruit cooking on the elements, while the roast vegetables bake. While all of this is cooking I make the Bircher muesli, soak all the nuts for the almond milk and cheese, prepare the trail mix, and make my bliss balls.
This Sunday Cook off allows me to keep my sanity during the week and ensures that I don’t even have to think about my meals until it’s virtually time to eat them. The weeks that I get too caught up and forget to do this are the week that I lack energy and can end up eating take away food. In other words I can be guilty of making poorer decisions when it comes to the food that I eat.
“A Sunday well spent brings a week of contentment”
So go on, start preparing your weekly timetable, get your list all ready to go, crank the music and get lost in the kitchen for a few hours while you cook up a storm. The satisfaction you get after being this organised and in control of your life is well worth the 2 hours gone in your weekend. And just think about how much time you spend during the week racing off to the supermarket after work to pick up food, frantically pulling together meals you don’t really want to eat and generally just being stressed and overwhelmed with yet another thing to think about.
So take charge of your Sunday and embrace your inner Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson, or whom ever your celebrity chef crush is for (I’ll never tell you mine) and get cooking.