The pictures of the whole week’s meals all stacked in matching containers is just so appealing. I don’t know about you, but all of my containers don’t match and every time I have tried to do this style of food prep I resent the 4-5 hours it takes. Then I have food I worked really hard on going off before I get to it.
I love the benefits of food prep – it really does make the week go more smoothly and you can use it as a tool to get in more nutrient density, waste less food, and save money.
My style has really changed though and I stopped following the model that every meal for the whole week has to be made in one stretch (I still watch the videos though – they are very satisfying and they do give me good ideas!)
Now I use more of a capsule style with my nutrition (think capsule wardrobe – key good quality pieces that can all be used interchangeably together).
My current capsule looks like this:
- generally take up half of my plate
- with focus on the Wahls protocol categories of leafy, various colours, and sulphur-containing
- I make it a game to include as many colours on my plate at one time as I can
- usually round out each meal with at least one prebiotic food and one herb/spice
- focus on local, ethically raised and grass-fed sources (many local butchers will offer these at a lower price and even many large chains have really started bringing the price down for these)
3) Fermented Food
- current favourites are: sauerkraut, fermented vegetables, kimchi, apple cider vinegar and kombucha
- because food should be fun!
- examples: hummus, guacamole, homemade mayo, fermented hot sauces or mustard
That’s it, that’s all! You may notice a lack of grains on this list and this is because grains don’t like me, so I give them a respectful distance. They may like you and so you should add them to your capsule. Everything about your capsule (if this method appeals to you) should reflect your unique needs and goals. I recommend worrying less about what others are telling you and more about what feels good to your body and lifestyle.
So now for execution, all I have to do is make sure I always have a few things from each category in my fridge at all times. I generally spend a couple of small (like an hour or less) times each week preparing a couple of items that fit in one or more categories.
- Putting on a new ferment and throwing raw veggie bread in the dehydrator
- Making a batch of kale chips and throwing a sheet pan of protein in the oven
- Hard boiling eggs, making two-minute mayonnaise and putting on a pot of broth
Then the rest of the week I can literally pack my lunch or whip up a meal in less than 5 minutes if I need. If it was a stressful day I might do more cooking, because I am one of the strange few who finds cooking really relaxing (something my sister with two kids reminds me has to do with my childless status – I completely agree!)
If the week is busier and I don’t have the time for any prep, I can just grab some frozen vegetables (so underutilized – basically cheap, nutrient dense, pre-prepared vegetables!) and pre-made ferments from the store or farmers’ market.
Grocery shopping is much easier too. I just need to buy a couple of things for each category. I can plan it all out if that feels fun or I can literally just get stuff for each category and know that it will all go together.
I think every style of food preparation (or lack thereof) is great. Be sure to do what works for you! I just see a lot of people struggling to do food prep and to eat the way they really want to be eating. If this is you, I gently invite you to not worry about making the prep look magazine worthy and just focus on what works for you. It may be as simple as these few things are my capsule.
Does this leave you with any questions or any areas you would like me to write future blogs about? Please let me know in the comments!