How often have you grabbed the frozen chicken nuggets for the kids because you’re just too busy to cook? Do you find yourself ordering pizza or chinese food on Friday nights because you’re too tired to prepare a meal?

I’m going to share a secret with you that will get you out of your unhealthy eating habits….

It’s called batch cooking, and it’s a lifesaver!

For batch cooking to work, you’ll need to set aside a few hours (most people choose a weekend day) and decide on the four or five recipes you’re going to prep and cook for the week. Trust me, when you have had a really long day at work, you’ll be glad you set aside the time.

Here are some of my favorite foods to batch cook:

Roasted vegetables. You can roast an assortment of vegetables to use throughout the week. Stored in a container in your fridge, they can be eaten as a side dish or thrown into a stir fry.

Proteins: You can batch cook chicken breasts, meat sauce for pasta, and hard-boil a dozen eggs, all versatile choices for protein when you walk in the door after a long day.

Carbs: Make a big pot of quinoa and daily portions are just waiting to be reheated. Make a pot of brown rice and just add some canned beans and seasonings for a quick and easy meatless meal when you’re tight on time.

Repeating the same foods during the week doesn’t need to be boring. You can get creative. Shred those leftover chicken breasts, add some salsa, cilantro, shredded lettuce and diced avocado and put in a taco shell. You could do the same with leftover rice and beans.

In addition to batch cooking, here are some other time-savers:

  • Take advantage of your slow cooker and throw veggies, protein and a starch in a pot with some broth. Dinner is ready to be served when you get home.
  • Find an easy casserole recipe and double it.
  • Stock your pantry with staples like canned tuna or salmon, canned salsa, canned beans, pasta, quinoa, canned sundried tomatoes, and olive oil. These can be used to throw together a quick and nutritious meal.
  • Stock your freezer for meals that require little planning ahead: Foods like frozen pre-made grass fed hamburger, frozen veggies and frozen chicken sausage (I like to buy a package and freeze individual serving sizes).
  • Vegetables: Wash, cut and prep and you’re all set to throw in a salad or prepare for a side dish.

Batch cooking not only keeps you healthy because you are preparing your own foods at home, but you’ll also save money because you’re not ordering out.

Batch cooking will help you better manage your weekly meals. Try it and notice how stress-free healthy eating can be.

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