5 kitchen hacks that save you time and energy
Does it feel like you’re spending waaaaaay too much time in the kitchen and when you’re not in the kitchen you’re thinking about what to cook? Feeding ourselves and our family can take up a lot of brain power and add to our mental load significantly but with a few strategic habits you can cut that time and mental load in half.
1. Stop snacking
Plan three nutritious and filling meals per day. The only exception is if you’re an athlete, child or are pregnant or breastfeeding. The snacking mindset has you going back to the kitchen every couple of hours checking the fridge, checking the pantry, checking the fridge again. Instead, plan three main meals around a protein source and be amazed as you don’t even think about food for a few hours. This is a key concept that my Metabolic Balance clients work through and gain big results from, too.
2. Meal plan
As mentioned before, the brain power and mental load it takes to actually think about what to have for dinner every day can really suck the joy out of being in the kitchen. Leaving meal planning to the few hours before you’re to eat can lend the process to be rushed, stressful and actually push us into that sympathetic nervous system state (fight or flight). If we are in this state, we are not absorbing and metabolising our food as we should be.
HINT: create two or three different weeks of meals, and rotate them. You’re still getting the variety but without having to meal plan every single week once you’re in this habit.
3. Shop once weekly
Have a plan, then execute. If we spend time writing out the meal plan, don’t drop the ball when it comes to collecting what is needed to follow through. One big weekly shop will save you so much more time and energy (and money, trust me!) than smaller shops throughout the week.
4. Batch cook
Lentil curry one night, lentil curry pies with GF pastry the next yummmm.
Or spaghetti bolognaise morphing into a shepherds pie for the next day.
And a super versatile one: leftover roast vegetables being used for lunch the next day, simply paired with some goats cheese and fresh greens.
This hack is a favourite time saver of mine. So much so that I’ve created a mini batch cooking recipe book – you can grab it for free here.
5. Keep it simple!
We seem to way over complicate our evening meals, but in reality you can create a healthy meal that is super simple and quick. In summer we are lucky to be able to get away with a lot more raw and fresh foods so dinner can be as simple as a piece of grilled meat alongside a salad with dressing.
Just make sure that your meal structure contains these key aspects: protein, good fats, complex carbs, vegetables and colour.
Hint: Have quick proteins ready to base your meal around, tinned tuna, salmon or sardines, pre-cooked chicken breast, boiled eggs, goats cheese, yoghurt, legumes, etc. I posted recently about getting a roast chook and making a salad. Nothin’ wrong with that!
We often don’t do these things because we think we don’t have time to be that organised, but in reality you can’t afford NOT to be this organised! And as you can see, with a little conscious thought and preparation, these hacks are super simple and easily integrated into your life.