Success in the LFPB Challenge almost always requires increased cooking at home. At a few weeks in, where have you improved in the kitchen? This could be a new technique that you picked up, or a healthier way that you've discovered to prepare favorite dishes, or some time saving tip. If you don't cook for whatever reason but have been able to change the way you purchase prepared foods, what's going good there? Share your successes and maybe someone else can benefit!
For me, going back to a stricter Zone has had me prepping and packing meals in the evening for the next day. I've started eating a small breakfast again and love it. I feel much better when I have a bit of protein in me early in the day. So far my go to meals have been either boiled eggs (sometimes with bacon) with a few nuts and a small piece of fruit, or microwaved oatmeal with vanilla protein powder, cinnamon, and butter. So, no fancy new techniques or dishes, but I've reacquainted myself with a few simple old techniques to much success!
I have been cooking batches of things on my days off, or whenever I have time. I'll always (since Jan 1st) have the following in my fridge- baked sweet potato, in 1 block portions, ground meat of some sort with garlic and spices, chicken pieces with my latest favorite spice, smoked paprika, hard-boiled eggs, cooked oatmeal. I have all my proteins in one section and carbs in another. I have also been chopping a load of mushrooms/ tomatoes whenever I get them so they are easy to grab. I have just discovered that I adore cottage cheese- the texture used to freak me out as a child- so that's been amazing. My go-to breakfast is oatmeal with coconut oil and cinnamon and a few blueberries with a side of cottage cheese. Yummy. Oatmeal, chickpeas and cottage cheese are the only non-Paleo items I have been eating and adding them into my diet has not been a problem. My go-to lazy dinner or lunch is zoodles with garlic, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, soft cooked-egg, and whatever ground meat I have in the fridge and sweet potato and cinnamon for dessert. For snacks I'll have cottage cheese with fruit and some flaked almonds, or meat and sweet potato and cinnamon. For work I pack a spinach salad with whatever meat I have and egg and whatever veggies work and I bring two snacks just in case too. This Zone thing is really working well for me so far. Can't wait to see other responses to this thread- great topic.
Remembering that I have a slow cooker!
Used to use it all the time. Then we moved in September, and in the new apartment we have to store it in a cabinet out of sight, so I pretty much forgot all about it. Then someone posted in the forum about a slow cooker recipe, and I was, all, "Duh. I have a slow cooker."
So now I have the Nom Nom Paleo Korean short ribs in the cooker, which will make a dandy snow day dinner!
Great thread, Fox.
I'm experimenting with something simliar to what Charlie describes, except much less organized :)
Basically, for the most part, I stopped following recipes and just buy things that I like. For example, I know my grocery list is always going to look something like this:- Eggs- Chicken breasts (bone-in, skin on)- Ground beef - Greek yogurt- "Bonus" protein: sausage or bacon (only occastionally), or maybe something "special" (like a roast)- Onions- Peppers- Garlic- Greens (usually kale)- Other green veggie (usually broccoli or Brussels sprouts)- Starch (either sweet potatoes or rice)- Fruit (usually apples because they keep well)- "Bonus" produce/other (lately avocado, sometimes cheese)- "Pantry" items (if I've run out): salsa, marinara sauce, peanut butter, etc.
I mix and match the above to make basic but satisfying meals. I've seen two big benefits: (1) this approach takes the stress out of grocery shopping and (2) I end up wasting less food at the end of the week.
If I do follow a recipe, it has to be something that doesn't require that I buy any special items. I do keep spices, oils, coconut aminos, fish sauce, etc. on hand so I don't consider them special.
Also, frittatas have become a way of life. It's like the garbage disposal for the end of the week veggies.
In the kitchen, as at the box, I am way too anal to cook by the seat of my pants. I envy those of you who can just buy a set of ingredients and trust yourselves that you'll mix and match them at will during the week!
I remember having this discussion last year and I'm not the only one who's anal enough to do this, so here's what I do, for those who are planner types like me:
I keep my menu plan for the week on Google Docs. At the top of the document I have a running list of all the proteins in my freezer that need to be used up. This allows me to make my FreshDirect order either at home or at work without having to wonder, "Do I need to order ground beef if I want to make picadillo casserole?" or "What do I need to get rid of?" Under each day of the week I have a description of what I plan to cook that night (eg, "Salmon fillets, zucchini, cauliflower rice") as well as links to recipes (if they're online) or cookbook titles and page numbers if I'm using one of my dead-tree editions. I also note a day or two each week as a leftover or order-in night, so that I don't defrost way too much meat and then end up having to refreeze it (which I know is a no-no) if I end up working late or not wanting to cook one night.
Speaking of slow cookers- I highly recommend 'The Paleo Slow Cooker' by Arsy Vartanian. I just made the Indian curry and I had to go back for a fourth block. Everything I have made from that cookbook has been scrumptious and ridiculously easy.
Mike and I have been experimenting with new foods and recipes during this challenge. Instead of buying our favorite things each week, we've been buying proteins based on what's on sale. It has been helpful in keeping meals interesting since the sale items rotate on a week to week basis. In addition to rotating proteins we've also included a lot more seafood in this challenge and we keep staples like a giant box of salad greens, brussels sprouts, cauliflower or broccoli, and sweet potatoes and plantains on hand for veggies and starches.
I’m very similar to KMo. I just buy a bunch of proteins and veggies for dinners and pair them up. I try to have at least two veggies to one protein. I also found that the Whole Foods Salad/Cold Food bar is amazing for quick meals. I picked up an awesome scallop salad that was all Paleo-they post all the ingredients. They also have a lot of pre-chopped stuff, squash, peppers, ect that are easy to throw together. We eat a ton of homemade kale chips, so much kale all the time.Also egg cups have been a saving grace in the morning.
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