Aioli is hardly more than mayo with garlic, but it’s oh so delicious and is a GREAT slow-carb condiment to add onto chicken, steak, or as you see in the amazing photo I found on flickr, to a bouillabaisse.
You’ll need a food processor with a blade, or a blender. I’ve found it works better in a small processor, but you use what you have. I haven’t tried it yet, but as I type this I’m thinking about trying it in our stand mixer with the whisk attachment at a super high speed. I’ll let you know how it goes.
If I didn’t have a meal planner to use instead, that’s what I would use to start planning my own meals. Here’s an example of how you could use it each week to plan:
Create a spreadsheet (I use Google Docs) and give each group its own column.
On a piece of paper (one you can hang on your fridge), make a space for each meal you want to plan. Here’s a meal planning calendar if you’d prefer to just print one out.
Starting with the first column, randomly pick a number from 1 to the amount of items in the list. That’s the number corresponding to the food you’ll use. So for example, using the list you should have downloaded by now, if I pick 20 for protein, I’ll write down mahi mahi. A 17 for veggies gives me cucumbers, a 6 for legumes gives me lentils, and so on.
The list provides the inspiration for the meal. For mine, I’d probably do a salt/pepper grilled mahi mahi, a cucumber salad (with red onions, salt, pepper, oregano, white wine vinegar, and olive oil), and my standard lentil recipe.
Repeat for each meal.
What I love about this is there are so many things we don’t normally eat (regardless of who you are) that you’re bound to try something new and delicious and vary your own intake. And we all know a variety is good for you.
When you have a combination of foods and spices you don’t know what to do with, head to the internet to find a recipe from allrecipes, epicurious, or chowstalker.
Of course, if there are things on the big list you don’t like, simply remove them for your meal planning purposes.
Never eat without a plan again
I mentioned above that I created a meal planner, and then I basically told you how to plan your own meals. Why would I do that?
The first reason is that my main goal is to help you guarantee you’re preparing slow-carb compliant meals that will help you reach your own goals. You’ll never have to wonder again if what you’re eating is “allowed”, regardless of if you do it your own or let me do it for you.
The second reason is that I know you’re busy, and I know this information is going to save you time. Sharing this with you is my way of saying thanks for being a SCF/FMF community member. If you can’t, or even just don’t want, to subscribe to the planner, you’ll still get the results you’re looking for and not have to put in as much effort as you did before today.
That said – if you think you’d like to find out more about the slow-carb meal planning service I’ve put together (and get the first month for only $1), then please follow the link to the launch post to read more. If you have any questions, let me know!
On the last Sunday of every month, we get together at church and have a covered-dish dinner. There’s always a pretty good selection, and there are a few families that take healthful foods, but we’re never guaranteed to be able to make an entire slow-carb meal out of the foods people end up taking.
My wife and I have been taking matters into our own hands and make sure there’s *something* we could eat and feel good about, so we’re always on the lookout for great recipes that scale well and are part of a healthful diet.
She was given a Paleo slow cooker recipe book for Christmas, and this recipe was just what we needed. It’s such a simple recipe that I was blown away by how many people put forth an effort to find out who made it and come up to us to tell us how good it was.
Sausage And Pepper Slow Cooker Stew #slowcarb #4hb #recipes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1 lb sweet Italian sausage
1 lb hot Italian sausage
1 Tbsp clarified butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 bell peppers, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
2 cups chicken stock or broth
1 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the sausage into 1/4-inch slices. The sausage we used was raw, so I found it easier to cook it in the skillet on two sides for a bit, then pull it back out and slice it up.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the sausages, turning frequently, until browned on both sides. Remove the browned sausage with a slotted spoon and put it in the slow cooker.
Remove some of the rendered fat, leaving a few tablespoons (that’s optional, although if it’s not from pastured pork, I’d do it). Add the clarified butter and the onions to the skillet and saute for a couple of minutes until translucent. Add the peppers and garlic and cook for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Dump the cooked veggies into the slow cooker. Top with the tomatoes and broth, then sprinkle the oregano and thyme on top. Cover and cool on low for 5 hours or on high for 3 hours. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
You could eat this by itself, over a bed of cauliflower “rice”, mixed with some broccoli (I love how the juices get absorbed into the “leafy” part), or just over a bed of wilted greens like spinach or kale.
You may have noticed that we’re using a new recipe format on the site. It gives you a printable option, and it also lets you save the recipe to your Ziplist account. Please leave a comment below and let me know whether or not you like it, and if you prefer we just stick with the way we used to do recipes.
Hello Slow Carb-ers and Paleo-ites. It’s been awhile, and I’m now gearing up to get back into the swing of things.
I stopped blogging a few months ago when my computer crashed, and I lost all of my food pictures and recipes I had stored on my desktop(not the brightest way to store things!)
That was only part of the story though.
I honestly just wasn’t that motivated anymore.
No matter what I did, I could not seem to lose weight. I trouble-shooted my diet to no-end. The cleaner I ate, and the more I exercised, it didn’t matter.
My body was stubbornly hanging on to every last pound.
I was pissed off and frustrated that the better I ate, and the stricter I was with myself nothing was happening. So I just stopped trying.
That all started about 10 months ago. It wasn’t until recently though that I bothered having any health tests run to see if there was something else going on. And there was.
Adrenal Fatigue – not a major health issue, but it certainly explains why I wasn’t able to lose weight and also a good reminder of the importance of other lifestyle factors on your health (too much stress and not enough sleep can throw your adrenals into overdrive.)
In any case, after getting a diagnosis a few weeks ago, I stopped worrying about my weight and started focusing on getting healthy (now part of that is that for most people with adrenal fatigue, you can’t lose weight while your adrenals are under stress), so the dignosis made me take a hard look at my life and changes that needed to be made.
A big part of healing the adrenals is through proper diet – no caffeine, no sugar, lots of vegetables, aiming for a mostly alkaline diet and reducing acidic foods. It can certainly be done following a Paleo diet, but what I’m sensing is of the utmost importance (at least for me right now) is getting those other lifestyle factors under control.
So over the next few months I’ll be sharing with you some of what I’m doing and implementing and will hopefully getting back into sharing some recipes as well.
If you’re struggling to lose fat on these diets (and you’re truly following them), I’d highly recommend getting some health tests done and also looking at your overall lifestyle for clues.
photo credit: Wilson, James L., N.D., D.C. Ph.D.. Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. Petaluma, CA. Smart Publications. 2001.
Hi there to everyone in Slow Carb Land. You may have noticed that it’s been ages since I’ve posted on here. Well, two things happened.
1) My lap top crashed (the dreaded blue screen of death), and I love all my food photos of recipes I’d cooked and was planning to post one day.
2) I’ve been experimenting with other ways of eating that stretch the definition of slow carb quite a bit.
I’ve actually been at a bit of loss as to whether or not to keep up the blog as my own diet and health interests change, and I’m not longer cooking as many Slow Carb Meals each week.
The only reason I’m considering keeping the blog up is because (despite my lack of updating), the blog still gets plenty of visits – 300-500ish on any given day, and 2-5 signups to the newsletter. So this makes me think it’s serving a purpose for some of you out there.
So, here’s my request: If you’re out there, and you’re reading this – would you like to contribute a Slow Carb Recipe to keep the momentum of this blog and recipe repository going?
Please comment or message me at jason @ slowcarbfoodie.com
We all need them, or at least we all want them. We don’t realize how badly we want them until we can’t have one when we want it. Then when we get it, we usually feel terrible afterwards.
I’m talking about cheat days, and I’ve had several questions come up about them.
Why even have a cheat day?
Face it: one of the things that attracts you to the 4 Hour Body version of the slow-carb diet is the recommended cheat day. You can admit it; it’s one of the things that attracted me.
There seem to be two reasons people tend to give when talking about a need for cheat day.
You’ll go crazy if you don’t have one, and having one helps keep you focused the rest of the week.
Your body needs one, otherwise it’ll go into starvation mode. Cheat days keep it from doing that and actually help you lose fat.
There’s some truth to both of these. We all understand the psychological benefit to having a cheat day, and I’d say that it’s fairly true.
The biggest problem with a cheat day, though, is that it reinforces hold habits and even uses them as a reward for good habits. That’s like, if you’re trying to quit smoking, saying “I haven’t smoked all week, so I get to smoke on Sunday!”
How to have a cheat day
There is a right way and a wrong way to having a cheat day. Most of us need a few wrong ways before we can appreciate the right way, so do your thing for a while. Live it up! When you’ve had enough of that, try these things.
Have a good breakfast
Tim Ferriss will tell you a good cheat day is founded on a solid breakfast. Make sure you have the recommended 30g of protein in a slow-carb breakfast before you begin your cheat day. You can treat yourself for this breakfast, though. Instead of your standard scramble, try something new like a slow-carb breakfast burrito!
During your cheat day, there are a few things you can do to keep things under control. When I do these things (and I don’t always, let’s be honest) I notice a difference in how I feel and how I recover from the cheat day.
Tim recommends using grapefruit juice as a tool to blunt the insulin spike you’ll no doubt need after shocking your body with all that extra carbohydrate. I don’t know exactly why it works, but I do know two things: it’s tasty, and it seems to work.
I drink yerba mate because I like its flavor and it reminds me of Paraguay, but you should drink it because it helps you digest food too. Many Paraguayans drink it more bitter specifically before eating large meals. I learned that trick there, and it totally helps to get rid of your “stuff” quicker.
It’s also an energizer and seems to raise metabolic levels a bit. That means you burn stuff quicker. I’m not sure how much that works, but even if it just helps with elimination, you’re still getting a huge benefit.
When you’re having your cheat day, to boil it all down you’re consuming more sugar than your body needs. So in order to get your body to need more than it normally does, you’ve got to make room.
Important note: you’re not trying to burn off what you’ve eaten. You’re simply trying to get your body to allocate the sugar into the muscle as much as possible instead of store it as fat.
To help accomplish this, there are a few resistance-based exercises you can do just about anywhere to get the job done.
Ideally you’ll do these exercises for about 30 seconds each just before and then 90 minutes later after your meals. You’ll actually feel pretty good about it too the next day. Even though you’ll feel the wrath of the cheat day, you’ll feel the good soreness of working out, and it just seems to make it better.
Best cheat day practices
A lot of the questions we get seem to revolve around what I’ll call “best practices” for cheat days.
When to start
Most people have their cheat day on Saturday, so someone who starts their new diet on Wednesday will wonder if they have to wait. There’s no reason to avoid going longer than a week, so my recommendation is to decide which day will be your cheat day and have it when that day falls after the 5th day of your start date.
So if you pick Saturday and you start on a Monday, have it that next saturday. But if you start on Tuesday or later, wait until the Saturday after that week. All that does is give you extra fat loss before your first cheat day.
How many days between cheats
Your body doesn’t really know what a week is. It doesn’t know when you’re on a Saturday or a Sunday. So my answer to this question is “around a week”.
If you normally do it on Saturday, but you know Sunday will be more convenient, there’s nothing wrong in switching it up that week. If the difference between two of your cheat days will be much smaller than that, I’d recommend just skipping it.
The bottom line is you’ll have a far easier time losing fat if your cheat days are farther apart.
Cheat meals or cheat day?
Having cheat meals instead of a cheat day is a preference item, however you probably shouldn’t have more than one a day and no more than two a week.
This is how giving a license to cheat can cause more problems than it solves. Your success is going to depend on how faithful you are. The more “good” you are, even with cheat days, the easier a time you’ll have of shedding fat.
Start your day slow-carb
Eat your breakfast pretty soon after waking. It doesn’t have to be a big one, but it can be if you want to cheat less. Start your cheat day for lunch if you can. Keep the “refeed” between lunch and dinner to minimize the craziness.
Even if you’re only cheating for 2 meals (and the space between), you’ll still accomplish the refeed you’re going for, but you won’t do so much damage you freak out about it the next day.
Make a list of your cravings
This tip works especially well for folks just coming into this. When you have a craving, write it down. Tell yourself you’re not depriving yourself, just delaying gratification. These days I think we could all use a bit more delayed gratification. It builds character.
Then if you head into cheat day with a grocery bag full of goodies, you’ll be so excited it’ll be like Christmas! But then this brings me to my next tip:
Eat everything you buy
Even with this whole refeed business, I think most of us need to change our eating habits for good anyway. Eating everything you buy will accomplish two goals:
You’ll probably get sick and you’ll start associating that food with the way it makes you feel and – hopefully – stop craving it (lifehacker)
You won’t have anything to fight against later in the week if you’re like me and can’t bring yourself to throw away stuff you paid for
Oh, and if you can’t possibly eat everything you buy, throw the rest away at the end of the day.
Gluten-free cheat days
Tim doesn’t get into much detail about this in the book, but problems with the protein gluten are some of the main reasons diets like this work so well. It’s also the one of the main reasons you feel terrible after eating a bunch of it again on your cheat day.
If you want to go for something new, try a gluten-free cheat day and see if it makes you feel less bad. Enjoy the heck out of cheeses and ice cream. Eat as much fruit as you want. And if you must have something that seems like bread, try gluten-free flour. You may find that you even have a mild gluten reaction you didn’t know you’d been having (for me it’s severe bloating, upset stomach, and reflux problems).
Bonus track – getting rid of the cheat-dat weight quickly
This final tip came on the scene thanks to Tim’s Christmas Countdown Experiment for kindle. After your cheat day, try having a full fast day. Literally don’t eat anything. Before bed, have a small snack of some almond butter and celery or something so it’s easier to sleep.
Our bodies actually enjoy the occasional fast, and what better time to do it than right after you’ve stuffed your face for a day!
What are your thoughts on cheat day? Do you do them? Have any other questions? Let us know in the comments!
On the slow-carb diet, one thing you’re going to eat more of than you probably ever have before is vegetables.
It seems really obvious, but a lot of people just don’t get it. To lose weight, they eat less calories, and that – to them means smaller portions of bread, fats, and sugars. But really, that’s not the way to do it.
It seems like a secret that no one knows but is right in front of your face. The best way to lose weight is really by eating more: more veggies.
Think about it this way: in a cup of whole oats you have 607 calories and 103 grams of carbohydrate (that’s more carbs that I eat in a day). In a cup of green beans, you have 44 calories and only 10 grams of carbohydrate. Sure, the grains might fill you up more, but that’s what fat and protein is for. I’d take 3 cups of green beans over a cup of oatmeal any day (and I love oatmeal)!
But I don’t like vegetables
I’ve actually heard someone talk about how they’re tired of choking down vegetables. Now, I understand it can get old quick. I can only stand broccoli in my omelet for about a week before I switch it out for spinach or kale. But vegetables could really be an untapped market in weight loss nutrition!
So I want to help out a bit. I’ve learned to love vegetables, and I’m trying different kinds I hadn’t considered before. Maybe one day I’ll write a post about different – and possibly strange – vegetables, but today I’m going to skip ahead to some cooking tips.
You see, loving veggies probably has a lot to do with the way you cook it. Personally, I love the flavor in vegetables. They come packed with a lot on their own. But often the cooking method can really seal the deal.
This is a very easy way to prepare some delicious vegetable sides, especially if you’re already roasting some meat besides. They can go in together, and sometimes even in the same pan.
Technique: Prepare your veggies in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle some cracked sea salt and pepper on top. Bake in a 375 to 400 degree oven (F) for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
It won’t be long before we’re all in relatively warm weather and smelling the familiar scent of coals blazing under some delicious meats. You grill because you like the flavor it gives to your chicken or steak. Why not also give that same flavor to your vegetables?
Technique: Much like roasting, toss your vegetables with some olive oil. This helps the browning and helps keep them from sticking too much. Sometimes I’ll form a tray out of aluminum foil if I’m grilling smaller veggies like cherry tomatoes, onions, or sliced peppers, but you can also just lay them right on the grill.
Recommendations: There’s nothing like grilled onions, peppers, zucchini, or eggplant. You have to watch some of the softer ones, though, because they get really soft really quick.
When people see the word “fry”, they automatically think it can’t possibly be healthy. But you know better, and you know that nice fats from oils are an essential part of a solid diet. Because you’re using a hot pan, though, you can’t just use any oil. I recommend using coconut oil or clarified butter when you stir fry.
Technique: To stir fry, use high heat with a few tablespoons of oil. When the pan is hot, toss in your veggies and keep tossing until cooked to your liking. I love to add just a smidge of sesame oil at the end to give it sort of a rich nutty flavor.
Recommendation: Some of my stir fry favorites include cabbage, green beans, and broccoli.
With a nice saute, you can thoroughly heat vegetables without wilting them too much. This is great for vegetables that are soft anyway. Again, you’ll need to use a fat with a high smoke point, like coconut oil or clarified butter.
Technique: Sauté is much like stir fry, only the action isn’t as intense. Heat your pan and a bit of olive oil over a medium-high heat. Toss in your chopped or sliced vegetables, stirring just occasionally.
Recommendation: You’ll love sautéed zucchini (my favorite), tomatoes, onions, and peppers.
Most people might say this is the healthiest way to cook vegetables. I really don’t think it matters, except for flavoring purposes. What I like about steaming vegetables is that they won’t take on any extra flavors, and they often beautifully exhibit their natural colors. I love how green broccoli gets when steamed, for example.
When you steam, you’re just a step away from raw. They’re soft enough to not crunch, but still natural enough to show you what their real flavors are.
Technique: You can get steaming inserts for pots, and that’s probably the most recommended way to steam. Basically you add water to your pot, stick the veggies in the steaming tray, and cover. Cook time will depend on the vegetable and your preference. Check it, and when it’s as soft as you want, it’s done.
Alternatively, I’ve steamed veggies in the microwave. In a bowl, you can put a few tablespoons of water and add the vegetables. Most microwaves these days have a “fresh vegetable” button or setting you can use that will pretty much cook them perfectly.
Recommendation: My favorite vegetables to steam are carrots, parsnips, broccoli, and cauliflower.
Of course you don’t really have to cook your vegetables, now do you? Many vegetables can lose some nutrients in the cooking process, and sometimes their flavor even changes.
When you get your taste buds back under control, you will actually begin to find really delicious flavor in raw vegetables. I personally love to eat raw peppers, carrots, celery, and tomatoes just to name a few. Experiment, and you’ll find a whole new world of flavor!
We want to hear from you! What’s your preferred method of enjoying a nice veggie? Lay it out in the comments!
Not too long ago, I talked about eggs. Today we talk about the chicken. So I guess we have that answer!
One of the easiest and most versatile proteins you’ll find on the slow-carb diet is chicken. I find it’s the quickest way to a solid slow-carb meal when I don’t know what else to have.
It can be easy to get tired of the same old thing every time, though. In an attempt to help you overcome the boredom, I’ve gone around the internet looking for some of the best chicken recipes and put them in one spot.
To determine what would go on the list of the dozens upon dozens I saw, I answered one question: what would I love to have for dinner tonight?
Here are the internet’s 30 best slow-carb chicken recipes! I had a hard time deciding how to categorize them, but this is what I came up with.
Question: What did Tim Ferriss say was the world’s greatest beverage? Do you think you’re already drinking it?
I’ll give you a hint: if you’re from the Rio de Plata region of South America, chances are you’ve been drinking it since you were a child, and your family’s been drinking it for generations.
If you’re a North American, it’s possible (but still not likely) that you have recently picked it up because places like Whole Foods decided they should sell it for really high prices as the new “secret” beverage.
I have no idea about the rest of you. ;^)
Have you guessed it yet?
I’m talking about yerba mate.
Enjoyed by millions of South Americans for hundreds – maybe thousands – of years, yerba mate (pronounced yair-ba MAH-tay) can be all of refreshing, healing, soothing, and warming. Traditionally “taken” in lose-leaf form, you can buy it bottled, canned, and in tea bags these days.
(Side peeve: I’ve seen people write it “yerba maté”, and I don’t understand why – it’s not yerba mahTAY. Don’t do that.)
What is this magical herb?
As a really quick primer, yerba mate is a tea leaf grown primarily in South America. Most places get theirs from Paraguay (tierra bendita) or Brazil. Argentina also produces a lot of brands of yerba. It’s related to the holly plant, but I wouldn’t recommend trying it with our (American) holly bushes.
I’m not sure if the native Guaraní people knew the health benefits of yerba mate when they started cultivating and drinking it, but it turns out there are quite a bit. Paraguayans in the countryside believe it helps you live longer and keeps you fit (I kind of think it’s their hard work ethic personally). Superstition aside, science has revealed some of its benefits.
Yerba mate is an antioxidant on par (or better than, depending on who you ask) with green tea. It’s got a form of caffeine that helps yerba serve as an energy booster. Several compounds that have been studied for their anti-inflammatory properties have been isolated from yerba mate leaves. If you listen to Robb Wolf at all, he’s all about anti-inflammatory properties. It’s one of the reasons we eat slow-carb that Tim Ferriss never told us about.
For more information, a quick Google search on “yerba mate health benefits” will find you more info than you can read in a day.
How to enjoy your yerba mate
There’s a right way and a lesser way to enjoy it. I’m going to tell you the right way. If you choose to go the easy (and less interesting route, may I add), I won’t think any less of you. But I really want you to try it my way!
“Taking” yerba mate is a very social event. You do it with friends, and you almost always share the same “cup” (guampa) and “straw” (bombilla). You sit, you drink, you chat, you laugh, you enjoy. When I drink mate, I’m reminded of the awesome times I had in Paraguay and it makes me feel the warm fuzzies.
The traditional way to drink is to fill the guampa up about 3/4 of the way with the looseleaf tea. Often you’ll find the tea mixed with some mint leaves, maybe some anise, or perhaps some orange or lemon peel. The one I’m drinking as I type is “normal” blend that my wife added some anise seeds and orange peel to.
You slip the bombilla into the guampa, covering it with the leaves. I like to tilt the leaves so there’s an incline from the bottom to the top. The idea there is that you leave some of the leaves dry so when your tea starts losing its flavor, you add some more dry to kick things back up.
Yerba mate is brewed on demand. That is to say you pour as much water into your guampa as you will drink in that turn, usually just about a mouthful. Don’t let it sit; it’ll get bitter really quickly, at least at first. When you take your sip, you pour one for your friend and pass the guampa over. This goes on, a new brew for each person in the group, in a circle until the water’s gone or until no one wants any more.
Variations on the theme
The way I’ve described it is the typical Paraguayan style. If it’s cold out (anything below 70°F), you drink it with hot water. If it’s hot out, there’s absolutely nothing more refreshing than an ice-cold “tereré” (cold mate).
When I’ve had mate with Brazilians, they have a much bigger gourd and you usually fill it up once per round, and each person takes a sip, as opposed to drinking everything in the guampa like I described.
Paraguayans also add certain crushed plants or roots into their water as herbal remedies for things. Argentinians almost always had hot mate, even when it was hot out, and almost always with sugar in it. When I did have cold mate in Argentina, it was usually with a sugar-free juice mix in the water (typically a citrus fruit).
If you’re Uruguayan and have a different custom, I’d love to hear it!
If you haven’t guessed, I generally drink it the Paraguayan way. I’ve got a set that includes a thermos (two actually – one for hot water and a bigger one for cold), beautifully decorated with stained leather, a carved guampa and a silver bombilla.
Are you ready to try it yourself?
My favorite place online to get it is Amazon. If you can’t find a latin market that carries it, this is where I’d suggest going. You can find some in higher-end grocery stores, but it’s overpriced and not as tasty as the South American brands (although the manufacturer you’ll find has told me they buy their yerba from Paraguay, which makes me happy).
Go ahead – give it a shot, and drop us a comment to let us know what you think!
The weekend’s almost here, which means it’s the perfect time to fool-proof your ability to stick to the plan next week. There’s one way that’s almost guaranteed to help get you results every time:
The Boy Scout motto notwithstanding, being prepared is easily the best way to keep yourself from slipping up. Think about the last few times you’ve had difficulty. I’d bet that most of them were due to needing to make game-time decisions or not thinking about your plan well enough ahead of time.
The easiest way to prepare for the week ahead is to get as much of the work as possible done ahead. Let’s look at several different ways you can work ahead.
Here are my three Ps:
Plan your attack
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but a few beforehand.
– Sun Tzu, The Art Of War
Don’t think that you will always be successful by winging it. Maybe sometimes you will, but most of the time you won’t.
The best tip I can ever give anyone who is trying to follow a new diet is to plan your meals in advance. When I have the best success, I know what I’m going to eat all week. It takes the thinking out of things, and the less I have to think about eating right, the more likely I am to do it.
So the first thing I want you to do is to make a menu for yourself for the coming week. Plan in snacks if you want to, but make sure you know exactly what you’ll eat.
Pro tip: this will also save money because you can always make extra at night and have the leftovers for lunch.
When the circulars for the grocery stores in your area come around this weekend, get them all and figure out where the best place to get things is. Then use your menu to make a list and separate it by store. Now you not only know what you’ll eat, you also know where you’ll get it from and roughly what your budget will be.
Procure the goods
The next tip I have for you is to buy in bulk. Most sales are usually better in bulk anyway (the big honkin’ tray of meat is usually cheaper per-pound than the one- or two-serving sized one).
If you’ve got one nearby, a bulk store like Costco or Sam’s Club will be your friend. My wife and I shop once a month and get enough almost for the whole month, with the exception of the fresh veggies (I like to get those
once a week). We save a lot of money that way.
Buying beans and lentils dry is far cheaper than buying canned too and are not hard to make. I’ve got a couple recipes linked for you towards the end.
You may be saying to me now, “I can’t possibly eat fast enough for it not to spoil.” That’s OK. There are ways to handle consumption in bulk. Use reheatable containers and freeze what you know you won’t get to for a few days. They’ll feel just like frozen dinners, only you wont be eating crap.
Prepare the bounty
Once you’ve got your food at home, it’s time to fix it up so you don’t spend hours each day cooking. There are many different small things you can do to make meal prep a lot easier on you.
Chop up things like onions, garlic, peppers, and other veggies you know you’ll use a lot. Use tupperware containers to store them in. Then when it’s time to use them, just toss a bunch in your pan.
Separate your meat right away. Cut larger chicken breasts in half. Slice a large hunk of beef into steaks or pork roast into chops. Store them in separate containers so you only have to thaw one serving at at time.
When you prepare ahead of time, you make it almost silly not to follow your plan. There are left no excuses because your food is already there. You just have to eat it.
Recipes that work well in bulk
One of the best ways to prepare ahead of time is to actually cook in bulk. If you find a really nice roast on sale, cook it all at once in a slow-cooker, and you’ll be all set to portion it out for the week.
When you take some time to think about what you’re going to do and then take some action ahead of time, you’ll go a really long way towards having a foolproof lifestyle change. Then, once you’re used to your new diet, it’ll become a habit and you’ll be living a healthier lifestyle before you realize it.
Let’s hear from you: what’s your favorite way to foolproof your fitness?