Sunday, August 16, 2009
Preparing 5 - 7 balanced meals a day, seven days a week, sounds like a full time job. And if you had to make only one meal at a time, it would be. Fortunately, a little advance planning will save you both time and energy when it comes to making meals. The meals you eat on the BBR program can be quickly and easily assembled simply by following a few basic guidelines.
Cook in bulk: Cooking foods in larger amounts is invaluable for meal
planning. In the time it takes to cook one chicken breast, you can cook
6 - 8, and have the leftover meat available for eating as is, or ready to
use in recipes. Many lean protein sources can be pre-cooked and
stored for later use: chicken and turkey breasts, pork tenderloin, lean
roast beef, seafood, etc. Even if you're a single person, you can make
recipes in larger amounts, and refrigerate or freeze the leftovers in sin-
gle-serving containers. Soups, chili, stews, casseroles, meatloaf, etc.
are ideal for bulk cooking and storage. It shouldn't be necessary to
purchase commercial canned soups or frozen entrees to accommo-
date a single appetite.
Starchy carbohydrate foods like brown rice, other whole grains, and le-
gumes can also be pre-cooked, and used for several di erent meals.
You can also make ahead and freeze homemade protein bars, pan-
cakes, and quick breads for snacks/meals. The recipe section in the
Members' Area forum has a number of recipes you can make ahead
and store for snacks and meals.
use of precut, ready-to-eat, and frozen vegetables/fruits: Larg-
er vegetables such as broccoli or cauli ower can be precut and stored
in resealable plastic bags for eating raw, or adding to recipes and sal-
ads. Ready-to-eat vegetables such as peeled baby carrots and grape/
cherry tomatoes are also handy. Frozen vegetables are an alternative
to fresh, and are often more nutritious and less expensive than out-of-
season, “fresh” vegetables shipped in from miles away and stored for
periods of time. It takes only moments to put a cup or two of fro-
zen or precut veggies into a microwavable dish. Use bagged, pre-
washed baby spinach leaves and other salad greens, or make/bag your
own bulk, ready-to-eat salad.
Use Your Blender: Keep bags of frozen, unsweetened berries (particu-
larly blueberries) and other fruit in the freezer for adding to home-
made MRPs/smoothies. Add protein powder, ground axseeds/ ax
oil, and other ingredients for a fast meal-in-a-glass.
Make use of acceptable ready-to-eat products: Keep single serving
containers of cottage cheese, low-carb or light yogurt, reduced-fat
string cheese, pre-seasoned tuna, and MRP packets around for fast,
portion-controlled snacks and/or o ce meals. Other pre-made foods
such as hummus, guacamole, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, reduced
sodium, low fat deli turkey/chicken breasts and lean roast beef can
also be used. Foods that don’t require preparation, like whole grain
crispbreads, nuts/seeds, and fruit can be used to round out quick
With a little practice, you’ll nd that you can minimize shopping trips, and
plan your eating 3 - 4 days in advance, without having to eat the same
menu over-and-over again, 7 days a week