Quite a few things have changed since Raya Sophia was born. To start, my time is not really mine anymore (at least for now). As you can imagine, babies require a lot of attention, care and cuddles, and it is not an overstatement if one says that it’s a full time job. That said, I am not the kind of person to give up the things I love, the ones that define me as a person. Those that help me grow, learn and feed my inner curiosity. They help me stay balanced. So doing that while caring for a baby is a fine balancing act, one that requires patience and flexibility. I have learned a lot of things in the past four months of being a mom. One of them is finding a solution to still enjoy healthy, home-made food. My husband helps a lot, because he also loves to cook, but sometimes neither of us has the energy to prepare our dinner from scratch. INTRODUCING: batch cooking. I have been batch cooking a few times before, but it has now become a must in our daily life. It saves us so much time, and allows us to still eat healthy food, we prepared for ourselves.
I want to share with you the benefits of batch cooking, because it can play a big role for you to stay on a healthy track! When you prep your meals in advance you gain a few things:
- Time saver (a HUGE plus for me right now). You will cook only once and will have food for several meals during the week
- Money saver. If you buy your ingredients in bulk you will save some money too. Also shopping for dry ingredients and stocking your pantry for the week ahead can also save you money, as all you will need to buy during the week is fresh produce.
- Reduce the take-out dinners during the week. Having your dinner delivered every night is far from optimal. While I certainly see the benefits, and order food in myself once in a while, I do not consider it a healthy practice that should be done often. You don’t know what ingredients the restaurant is using to prepare your food, and too often it contains things you would not want to put in your body on a regular basis.
- Stocked fridge. A fridge stocked with the right ingredients (even better when you have some prepared food in it), makes it automatic to make healthy choices.
- Healthy choices made easy. The best way to eat good food, is to have it at home and to prep some of the meals in advance. This way you always have a healthy option when you are tired or out of time for cooking.
Here are some of the things I like to prepare on Sunday afternoon that last me throughout the week:
- cooked quinoa, brown rice, lentils
- washed and chopped veggies, that are easy to throw in a salad
- dips, like hummus, black bean dip etc.
- big batch of kale salad. I find kale tastes better when it had time to absorb the dressing. The leaves are tender and the flavour is better. I cannot say the same for other leafy greens though. They are always best when prepared fresh.
- batch of overnight oats or chia pudding
- roasted vegetables
- salad dressing
- homemade granola or trail mix
- homemade vegetable soup
In another post I will share with you how exactly I combine the prepared ingredients to make a well-rounded and satisfying dish. For now try and invest an hour or two on Sunday afternoon to prepare some of the meals you will eat throughout the week (saving you valuable time, energy and money!). It is a relaxing and fun activity that you can also do with your partner, or by yourself while dancing to some good tunes! 🙂