Not a good sign that we’re in week 2 of the challenge and I’m getting tired of chopping. The benefits are outstanding – when I can quickly drop some veggies in a pan, in lunch containers or in the oven to roast. We are eating well and it’s easy. Lots of colours, lots of greens. Couldn’t be happier with the nutrition the kids are getting every day.
I tend to think of myself as a good cook. A great cook? But my knife skills are rudimentary – there’s no subtlety in my chopping. If I had ninja knife skills it might be a different story, as it’s always more fun to do things when you’re proficient (or at least it’s more efficient when you have skills).
My friends think it’s not about the chopping – it’s about being a mom who is keeping it all together. I see the other moms and dads out there — rest assure if I see your kiddo having a meltdown in Tim Horton’s or if I overhear you snap when your munchkin gets a case of the ‘gimme’s’ at the checkout line. There’s no judgement from me – only relief that I’m in the company of other imperfect but well intentioned parents – just like me.
But it if it is about the chopping – I guess I’ll simply try to find a new Netflix habbit to turn on in the kitchen Sundays and Wednesdays while I’m prepping away.
So I’ve figured out that when you are dairy-free, gluten/grain-free, legume free, and low sugar…what you are really doing is following a Paleo diet. I like that frame of mind because it’s about what we are doing vs a list of things we aren’t doing.
Regardless of what you call it, there is a ton of meal prep involved. We’re too new in the process to have the kids self-sufficient for breakfast – so that means mom is planning for 21 meals (ok maybe 20) a week. Of course Nom-Nom Paleo has a brilliant schedule worked out for meal prep. Can you find this kind of time? Not me.
That said , you can’t just start chopping veggies on a Sunday night – you need to plan to plan. Without it you have cranky kids in the AM or when they get home from school and no one’s day gets better with that:
- What kitchen tools do you need? Because I’m living in a furnished rental 6 months, I’ve been quick to identify what’s an absolute must have to get started with Paleo. All the equipment here is complete rubbish – here’s the short list of what I’ve bought to make the 6 months manageable:
- Baking Sheet & muffin tins
- Cast iron pan
- Chef’s knife
- Sturdy cutting board
- Kitchen grill – this was probably not necessary, but it’s fun
- More glass containers than you ever thought you would buy
Stupid Easy Paleo – Meal Planning has some good tips on how to structure your time to the through week, so you aren’t cooking every day. She also recommends a slowcooker as a must have. I don’t think so – I’m making due with the oven. When we were still eating beans – the slow cooker was huge.
- When do you have time to grocery shop, that is followed by time to prep? For me that’s usually Saturday shopping and Sunday afternoon prep. I don’t schedule anything for Sundays – we get home from Church and the kids have free time until dinner. I try to have some relax time, some time walking the dogs and my afternoons are spent getting the lunches, breakfasts and 1-2 dinners organized. If you don’t have a specific list of what you need for the week, Paleo Leap has a great set of all purpose suggestions for things to get ready, so you’re not scrambling every day. Of course, you can’t chop everything on Sunday or it gets squishy. I try to carve out a little time Wednesday to get through what’s required for Thursday and Friday. And Saturday’s is simply cobbling together the odds and end we didn’t get to or didn’t quite finish.
Don’t underestimate the value of your containers. It’s an investment – but there’s value to being able to put together 10 little packs of olives, 10 little packs of chia pudding, and other additions to packed lunches in advance.