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Cook Enough Food for Several Days to Save Time

Posted by James on Jan 30th, 2008 and filed under Getting Started. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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This is the seventh article in the Get Started Eating Every Three Hours series that outlines how to start eating every three hours and the benefits of such a diet.

Not long after I first started my diet of eating every three hours, I nearly gave up because it seemed most of my time was spent cooking for the next meal. In order to successfully maintain such a diet I needed to look past the next meal and start thinking ahead to the coming days.

When eating every three hours there is always another meal around the corner, so it makes sense to minimize the amount of time spent in the kitchen. Get in the habit of cooking several days worth of food at one time whenever possible.

Choose which day(s) to cook

As with the day you chose to do your bulk shopping, select a day where you will set time aside to cook the food you will be eating during the week. Depending on the type of food and storage options available, you may not be able to cook for the entire week. In those instances you may have to schedule another cooking day mid-week.

I usually do my cooking on Sunday. This is the least busy day in my schedule and it seems logical to stock up on cooked food as close to the work-week as possible.

Come up with a process

To make this chore painless as possible, come up with a cooking process that works well for you. Here is how I go about cooking my chicken:

  • Cut several pounds of bonless-skinless chicken into 4oz portions
  • Warm-up two large frying pans
  • Cook all the chicken at once
  • Let them cool a little
  • Vacuum seal all of the portions
  • Refrigerate

    I then wash the pans and do the same thing for any red meat I have planned for the week; normally I don’t eat much red meat so there is not much to cook.

    From there, I move on to vegetables. I usually buy Birds Eye frozen veggies that allow you to steam them right in the bag using the microwave. In my personalized food log, I get three servings of veggies out of each bag. I cook a total of three or four bags. After each bag is done I’ll dump the contents onto a platter, divide into three smaller piles (my portions), then I place each portion into a vacuum seal bag and seal them up.

    If I have a whole turkey breast, I’ll slice it up into 4oz portions and vacuum seal those too.

    I also eat a lot of fish, but I purchase the salmon precooked and divided into 4oz portions. If I didn’t have that convenience I would take the time to cook my salmon on my designated cooking day.

    All of this may seem like a lot of work, and in the beginning it certainly is. Once you get into the routine and develop your own process, this should take no more than 90 minutes. It will save you hours of time during the coming week having this food already prepared.

    Do you have any tips-and-tricks to save cooking time?

    5 Responses for “Cook Enough Food for Several Days to Save Time”

    1. Anne Keckler says:

      I used to do a lot of volume cooking, but I mostly gave it up when I started trying to eat healthier. Those “cook once a week” books have recipes that include too much fat and carbs for our lifestyle. Nowadays I just buy the pre-cooked and cut-up chicken breasts in a bag, and the frozen veggies.

      Can you give some ideas for seasoning the chicken?

      ~Anne Keckler
      ACSM Certified Personal Trainer

    2. Abby says:

      If you’re into vacuum sealing, you should consider Vacu-Seal, which is handheld (not as clunky as countertops) and uses reusable, dishwasher-safe ziptop bags.

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