I know, I know, we’re all in a rush (not just during the holidays but all year long) and there’s just no time to eat properly let alone actually cook a proper meal. Right?
For those of us with IBD, cooking a proper meal should become second nature - eating well helps to provide our body with proper nutrients, energy, a strong immune system, and the ability to heal. And if you know a few tricks, cooking well can be as easy and more satisfying than lukewarm, mediocre, drive-thru food.
- Think before you shop (make a grocery list based on what you plan to eat that week and stick to it).
- Prep ingredients ahead of time.
- Cook 2-3 days worth of meals at a time.
A typical dinner meal around my house consists of an animal protein, two veggies (one a good starchy veg. like winter squash), and often a fresh, crunchy salad to end the meal - this leaves me with a nice satiated feeling and little need for dessert.
I try to do all my prep in one day – wash and cut all veggies for the week and store in the fridge. This makes grab-and-go eating and cooking a breeze. I roast 2-3 spaghetti, acorn, or butternut squashes. Make cauliflower puree. Roast a whole chicken or 8-10 chicken pieces. Brown ground turkey. Make lamb and bison meatballs or burgers. And, finally, broil some salmon for dinner and make twice as much so we have leftovers for lunch the next day.
If time or energy don’t allow for prepping everything ahead in one day, then I make sure at the very least that lettuce and other salad greens are washed, stored, and ready to use. Also, the week's veggies are washed, trimmed, cut, and ready to use. Then, as I cook each night’s protein, I make sure to make that extra serving or two so we have extra on hand for lunch or another dinner or two.
Our favorite cooking method for protein is either broiler or on the grill. We broil salmon, lamb, bison, and beef. I also love to broil asparagus and eggplant. This is a quick-and-easy cooking method, and you can broil more than one item at a time.
Thinking and prepping ahead saves time and energy when you arrive home hungry and frazzled and it means there’s less chance you’ll eat an empty meal out because you know you can put together a healthy, home-cooked meal in 15-30 minutes.
With the holidays just around the corner, it's also important not to overindulge in sugary and fatty foods. Eating high-quality, nutrient-dense meals helps to keep the snack-attack at bay and eating one or two indulgences will satisfy your holiday senses.
Learning to cook a new way will take a week or two, but once you find your groove I think you'll agree it's easy, saves time, and makes your tummy happy. Try it and let me know what you think.
Oh, and if you're looking for a few new recipes to try, head on over to www.eatlivelocally.com and check out my blog section there as well.
Published On: December 19, 2013