Whether you’re a parent hustling and bustling from one place to the next, single and working long hours and trying to make time for the gym and social time, or just someone who wants to eat a little healthier, finding time to cook can sometimes fall far down our priority lists. After all, modern day restaurants have made it almost too convenient to eat away from the home. Consider this: from 1960-1961, 79% of a household’s food budget went for food consumed inside the home. From 2002-2003 only 58.1% of that food budget was for food consumed inside the home (not to mention the fact that on average we devote 50% less to our food consumption than we did in the 1960s—that’s a whole other blog post!). I’m guessing that “take-out” and “delivery” still counted as food inside the home, too.
We know full well that sometimes it is hard—really hard—to carve out some extra time to make meals for the week. Maybe it’s because you didn’t thaw out any protein in time for your regularly-scheduled cooking day. Maybe it’s because you weren’t able to make it to your local farmer’s market to stock up on goods for the week. Maybe it’s because you just could not find the extra time to be in the kitchen. Maybe you just did not feel like cooking. Whatever the case, we can empathize, as we’ve been there done that got the t-shirt. It isn’t always easy. And yet, it is so critical. Not just from a financial perspective (for certain you will save money by cooking more of your meals at home), but from a health perspective too. Most restaurants cook in highly refined oils. Many restaurant portions are far more than one needs to eat at a meal, not to mention the fact that gluten can easily sneak itself into a sauce, marinade or dressing at a restaurant without your knowledge.
These are just some of the reasons why we so firmly believe in making the vast majority of your meals at home. It is possible, it is affordable, and it’s definitely tasty! We know that with some advanced planning, with some sort of game-plan to follow, you can maximize your time in the kitchen while not getting bored with food at home (which is another big culprit in sending folks off to get that take out). An added bonus: it’s a great way to have some family time!
To help you stay the Paleo course even when it would be much easier to say yes to Chipotle for the third time this week, we’re putting together these Meals for the Week postings. We’ll provide you with some recipes, some creative ways to re-purpose leftovers, shopping lists, and even what equipment you’ll need to get the job done. As is always our style, we’ll give you alternatives. And while many meal plans might stipulate a Sunday/Monday/Tuesday/etc. kind of set up, we’ve made these plans a bit more flexible for you. So if Sunday and Wednesday are your cooking days, or Tuesday and Thursday, or Saturday and Monday, you are covered.
What is required of you?
1.) A kitchen, preferably one with at least 1 burner and an oven.
2.) Less than 2 hours total hands-on time per week. To find these 2 hours, consider cutting down on Facebook, or waking up an hour earlier, or eliminating one reality program in your week (or if you really can’t do that, have it on while you cook in the kitchen).
- If you just cannot find 2 hours, enlist help. Your spouse, your kids, your significant other, or a helper you can pay a small fee to help you out.
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