I had my 2nd foray into batching cooking today using a different menu planning website than the first time I did this a month ago. Instead of using www.20dishes.com, I used https://onceamonthmeals.com.
My goal is to cook enough at one time so I only have to cook once/month. 20dishes is great for doing a weekly prep in one hour but I wanted a service more geared towards prepping and cooking once every 4 weeks or so instead of weekly.
This meant learning yet another app which took getting used to. I LOVE the recipe builder in 20dishes; once I got used to the recipe builder in onceamonthmeals, I was okay, but it didn't feel as intuitive as 20dishes.
In 20dishes, I could visualize the whole week: the main course AND the sides for each. With onceamonthmeals, I had one menu for the entrees and a different menu for the sides. It just took getting used to.
I did, however, find the perfect use for my microwave (which came with the house when we bought it). It's a perfect "prep sheet" holder!! It's important to hang your prep sheets close to where you're working and in this case, it was right over my stovetop.
The meals I created this time were a little more complex than last time and I decided to cook more sides and larger main dishes. Over this past month, I would say a few of our meals were a little on the light side: we needed a little more food. This time: more robust menus and larger portions!
The entrees I made this time include:
The sides I made:
This definitely took me more time, however, I made a lot more food.
Overall, I spent $146.60 - NOT including the turkey!! I made 48 meals so each meal is $3.05. All of the meat was local, free-range, and pastured. About 75% of the vegetables were organic. We have enough meals so I'm thinking I won't have to cook again until mid to late January since we'll be eating out some, as well.
As far as the two apps I used: I'm going to continue with onceamonthmeals because it suits me better, however, I really loved 20dishes and their menu builder. Both services are great, however, the onceamonthmeals is less expensive per month ($27 vs $10). Both give discounts if you sign up for a year.
There you have it!! I'm definitely tired, but it was well worth the effort. I'd love to hear from you if you give batch cooking a try!!
I'm one of those kinds of people who likes to eat high quality food - organic, free-range, pastured, food. I love food and I love to eat.....so let's just say I'm particular. ;)
I'm also one of those kinds of people who really hates cooking at the end of a long day of working. Who does?? I've had a love/hate relationship with cooking for about 15 years. Make that 20, if I was being really honest.
So I stopped cooking. While my non-cooking husband raised a few eyebrows, he took it in stride.
Enough was enough. I just couldn't do it all: work, take care of my grandkids, help my mom, plan meals, food shop, AND cook on top of that. I wasn't willing to budge on my standards, either. I want high quality food and I don't want to cook. So what did I do?
I explored paleo meal delivery services and signed up with two of them. For the past 5 months, I really haven't cooked. Once a week, I log in, choose our meals for the week and voila! They are delivered to my door. One service was in Charlotte, NC (www.modpaleo.com) and one was in Chicago (www.factor75.com). I would alternate them. When we needed a change in menu, we'd switch to the other company, and went back and forth. Both were absolutely excellent! (And if you sign up with either, tell them I sent you!)
We would come home at the end of the day, pop a meal into the oven and 15 mins later sit down to eat. How incredibly unstressful that was! And it gave me a break from planning, shopping and cooking. I loved it!
Yes, it was a tad expensive, but not overly so ($12-$14/entree). We could manage. Still, it was a chunk of change every week and in some ways I missed cooking which can be quite enjoyable when you're not tired and hungry. So I started to explore options: how I could cook (but not at the end of the day) and still enjoy the ease of popping a meal into the oven which is ready in 15 mins?
The answer: Batch cooking.
Batch cooking is when you cook a ton of food, make it into meals, and freeze some of it while putting the rest into the fridge all in the space of a few hours. That actually sounded like fun! Perhaps I could turn this into a cooking show in my mind! (Raise your hand if you like watching those chefs on TV!! All that stress: who is going to win by making the tastiest dish???)
I explored a few online places that help you figure out your menus and decided on www.20dishes.com. The premise is that they will show you how to prep a weeks worth of meals in one hour. Then I sold my husband on this idea, after all, I was going to need his help.
I signed up with 20dishes (the first week is free), chose a week of menus, printed out my shopping list and my prep list. I also watched their intro videos that introduce you to batch cooking; those had some valuable tips for me. I also decided I was going to go further than just prepping: I was going to cook as much of the food as possible which meant it was going to take longer than one hour.
I shopped without wondering what I was going to make with this food. I already knew it: every food had a purpose. I also utilized a local, organic produce delivery service: www.motherearthproduce.com. This really helped so I didn't have to do as much running around and shopping.
We chose this morning to take the plunge and do our first batch cooking.
My menu consisted of 7 meat entrees:
My side dishes consisted of:
By 11:00, we had quite a few bowls filled with chopped, raw vegetables.
Then I moved on to cooking while he continued to chop.
I had two and three burners going at once.....
.......and both oven racks were filled.
Pretty soon we had beautiful bowls of steamed, sautéed, and baked vegetables, sweet potatoes, and oven fries.
Then I started compiling the food into meals. That's the chicken carrot meal in the forefront and the baked trout in the back.
PJ worked on the 3 slow cooker meals. He added all the ingredients for the pot roast into our crock pot.
The other two meals were loaded into heavy duty ziplock bags and were put in the fridge.
(And if you're thinking: plastic! Oh, no! The meal is now toxic! Learn German New Medicine so you can put this thought into perspective!))
This is the Pork & Pineapple Stew. Yum!
This is NOT even all of them!! I still have the pot roast and the two slow cooker meals in the fridge that haven't been cooked yet. I'll cook those this week and divide them into some of these trays I reserved for them.
PJ & I each did several rounds of hand washing dishes, plus we filled up the dishwasher!
So, are you just dying to know how much this cost and how many meals we now have??
Here are the stats:
The veggies were all grown locally and were purchased at farmer's markets and farms. Same with the meat AND it was all pastured, free range meat and sustainably harvested trout.
We have 14 meals in the freezer.
There are 8 finished meals in the fridge for this week.
PLUS: 6 pot roast meals, 6 lemon chicken meals, and probably 4 (maybe 5 or 6) pork pineapple stew.
These are not super-sized portions! The protein in each meal was 4-6 ounces, plus there were two sides of varying sizes. I'll add on a salad if we need more food to round out the meal.
Total meals: 38, 19 for each of us. ( I will also have lunch everyday from my meal the evening before, so figure I also have 38 lunches in addition to the 38 dinners). I'm figuring it will last us between 3 & 4 weeks since we don't eat every dinner at home.
Cost for each of the 38 dinner entrees: $3.82. (And I was paying $14/meal with the meal delivery service!)
I'm also figuring this doesn't count the salad I'll make every week to augment a few of the meals for variety.
We started at 10:00. I was essentially done with cooking around 1:00pm. We finished making up the trays, labeling them, and storing them around 1:45. I finished mopping the floors at 2:18pm. Essentially it was 4.25 hours.
I'll start gearing up for the next prep day in about 3 weeks. For now, I can rest easy that we have some super scrumptious meals all ready for us every day. And if all else fails, I can always put in an emergency order with one of the meal delivery services!
Have you ever tried batch cooking? If not, I highly recommend it. If you have, drop me a line and let me know how it went for you!
This is one of the first videos I ever made for my website. I filmed it in June 2014 in Mt. Shasta, CA. While it's just a basic video (heck, I was still figuring out how to hold my iPhone!), I love the sacred location where I filmed it and I also love the message. From my heart to yours. I hope you enjoy it!
I've seen people react to the knowledge of the Five Biological Laws of German New Medicine with several responses:
Many people, regardless of their initial reaction, have little (or big) lightbulbs go off in their heads when they learn the Five Biological Laws and they intuitively "know" these are true, even though their intellect hasn't quite caught up with their gut feeling.
In my view: all responses are absolutely valid and worthy, even the person who adamantly opposes any and all of it.
Because belief isn't required.
The Five Biological Laws have existed since time began without our belief and they will continue to exist when we are dead and gone whether we believe them or not. They are biological like having two feet or a digestive system.
The World Is Flat, right?
It's a little like thinking the world is flat. Imagine you believe this with all your heart.
Then you start hearing that some people question that belief and you think: What is wrong with these people? Are they crazy? Don't they know the world is flat?
And yet these other people produce more and more evidence and conduct more and more experiments that show some pretty darned convincing evidence that the world really is round. You know other people - maybe even family members - are beginning to believe the world is round.
What do you do then?
Open Your Belief Box
You can certainly continue to believe the world is flat. If it works for you, then it is the right choice. The earth won't stop being round because you don't believe it just like your body won't stop running GNM programs just because you don't believe in them.
You could also choose to open your "Belief Box" - the one that contains all the beliefs that create YOUR reality. Open one little door, or a window, if that feels safer, and begin to explore a new truth.
It is all about choice and in my belief system, YOU have the final say in your life. You can decide what and who to believe. As Mr. Spock of Star Trek used to say: "Infinite Diversity In Infinite Combinations" - which means there are lots of thoughts and beliefs and ways of being and this abundance of differences is what makes the world go round.
A Gift from GNM
I am one of those people who intuitively knew GNM was accurate and correct when I first learned it yet I'm also a healthy skeptic so I had to test it over and over and over again.
Fortunately, after working with hundreds of people, I have total and complete evidence and proof, in my own mind. I would be an utter fool to not believe what I have seen with my own eyes.
A very large gift I have received from the knowledge of GNM has been the elimination of fear about my body. I know the cause behind every single ache, pain, and "sickness" that I have had in my life. Because of this, I have very few aches, pains, and sicknesses because I know how to live my life in such a way so they are minimal.
How do I do this? Or: The Belief Traps
One of the most helpful beliefs I have and tools I use is that I endeavor to live in the present moment - not tied to the past or the future by fear.
Yet it seems as though most people don't live like this, especially in regards to their bodies.
Fear Wastes Energy
I've noticed that many people put a great deal of energy into trying to avoid future diseases, sometimes because of past diseases. They worry greatly about past "illnesses" resurfacing.
They'll avoid people who are "sick" thinking they might catch the sickness. They won't go out in public as frequently and if they do, they wear gloves or wash their hands after touching something, anything.
Allergic to The World
And they are sometimes "allergic" to vast parts of the world (the air, the soil, many foods, etc). They bop from doctor to doctor and from alternative practitioner to alternative practitioner spending their life savings seeking THE answer. They'll make some gains with that new practitioner they're seeing and then, unbelievably, their health backslides.
And often their world gets smaller and smaller: less food choices, fewer products in which to clean their home, fewer people with whom they will associate and fewer activities in which they will engage. All the while they keep cleansing and detoxing thinking if they could just get this one thing OUT of their bodies: they would be fine. They often becomes victims due to their shrinking world, stuck in belief traps.
Perpetuating Belief Traps
I believe that our current medical theories such as the germ theory, the toxin theory, the malignant & metastasis theories all perpetuate belief traps and, by default, increase this phenomenon of shrinking circumstances.
And, yes, everyone comes by this fear naturally since our schools, media, advertising, and certainly what we learn from our "healthcare" professionals all perpetuate these traps.
But it doesn't mean we have to continue having these theories and thus, these traps in our lives. Yes, we CAN get off that perpetual hamster wheel of fear.
What GNM Can Give You
So, in my mind, it comes back to choices and it comes down to trust.
GNM gives us the knowledge to understand how our past and present conflicts affect our physical bodies. It gives us self-empowering knowledge to know ourselves, what makes us tick, what triggers us, and what to do about it, altho, because we're not brought up with GNM, we sometimes need help at figuring out the "what do I do about this?" part.
It gives us the ability to safely make different choices in how we live our lives, to break the hold the past and future may have on us, to decide what to use of our current medical system and what to discard.
And for many people, changing beliefs like this often entails a journey. If we've lived with the destructive (safe) walls of allopathic beliefs all of our lives, or with the cleansing/detoxing/dairy/gluten alternative beliefs that often help for a while (until they don't help), then moving beyond these destructive (safe) and/or alternative walls takes courage and conviction. For some more than others.
What is that definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right?
Needing to find answers beyond what our allopathic and holistic, alternative practitioners can tell us is often what initiates the journey towards German New Medicine. And truly, you have to be ready for this journey.
My Journey....My Anchor
GNM can give us the science, and yes, the irrefutable proof our minds often need so we can have a new Belief Box. It certainly gave me an anchor of truth to explore which I eventually, and easily, adopted.
I now have the knowledge to:
I'm sure there are other gifts I have received and will receive in the future from GNM. Since I'm always learning more, and I'm always testing it, I gain new knowledge and experience regularly.
The Foundation of NOW
It's about having a different foundation so we understand better what is happening in our bodies and thus, we can zero right in on what our bodies may need for support, if anything.
It's about living in the present, and being free from fear so we can enjoy the "now" because, truly, the present moment is all we ever have.
Won't you join me?
One way it weakens our vital energy is by interrupting our circadian rhythm - the 24 hour, day/night,
When the sun begins to set, fewer light impulses are sent to the brain which is the pineal gland's signal to begin secreting melatonin to induce sleep. It is secreted all night long until light impulses - traditionally (and preferably) from the sun - begin to stimulate your retina to send light impulses to the brain again which begins to decrease the melatonin until you wake up. (Alan, R. NYU)
This is why most articles that outline how to improve your sleep mention that you need a darkened room to help your melatonin to release and stay releasing throughout the night.
So What's The Problem?
Unfortunately, our modern lifestyles are often the culprit due to artificial light from the curlique, energy efficient light bulbs and the light from TV, computers, tablets, and phones.
The Center for Disease Control states that "Insufficient Sleep Is a Public Health Epidemic." One reason for this? Artificial light.
Gone are the days when we fall asleep soon after the sun sets and rise with the sunrise. Also gone is the sun as our main source of light. (Source for graphic)
What's wrong with artificial light?
The problem with the light from computers, phones, tablets, and from energy-efficient light bulbs is that they emit a short, wavelength light known as blue light. While all light can reduce melatonin, it is exposure to blue light at night that reduces our melatonin the most.
What can we do?
I've recently discovered a wonderful solution. It's an app called f.lux and I'm pretty sure it's the best thing since sliced bread.
It is a free app that you download to your Mac, Windows, Linux or iPhone/iPad, then set to your time zone (this is important). It adjusts your screen throughout a 24 hr cycle by reducing blue light as the sun sets for your time zone.
Ingenious, right? You bet!
Start Sleeping Better Immediately!
Since I've been using it, I've slept better than I have slept for a long time.
My husband and I have chosen to NOT have a TV, so we use my MacBook Pro to watch TV shows and movies. With f.lux, the display looks a little different - a softer, warmer light - and we don't mind it at all. (Downton Abbey, here we come!)
I recommend this for anyone who uses any sort of electronic screen, especially after the sun begins to set where ever you live. Download it to all your devices, and don't forget to turn some lights off in your house, especially the closer you get to bedtime.
How many of you make New Year's Resolutions?? In this short video, you'll learn how many people make resolutions, how many actually succeed at them and the greatest obstacles we have.
I, of course, have a solution to everyone who wants their 2015 Resolutions to manifest in their lives! ;)
Check out this short video I made in Indianapolis at the Weston A. Price Conference about this special food consumed by many indigenous cultures. I have it on a daily basis; learn why! (Click below my picture)
One of the best parts of the Weston A. Price Conference is the incredibly delicious, organic, nutrient-dense food! The next best part is meeting other like-minded people who share my love for incredibly nutritious food. Check out my photos below!
Ever been in a salt store? I can't say I've been in any salt stores in the U.S., however, I took a day trip to Hallstadtt and St. Wolfgang in the Saltzkammergutz region of Austria and I found many salt stores.
So, I bought salt. Hey, when you visit the oldest continuously mined salt mine in the world (7,000 years), you want a momento to remember those special moments when you're inside a mountain surrounded by history.....and salt. Lot of it.
In one of the salt shops, I saw pink salt candleholders, salt Christmas ornaments, flavored salt, course salt (see the little pile above), fine salt and more. Then I picked up a cellophane bag with odd looking rocks. Yep, salt rocks. The shopkeeper told me these rocks came from the mine I had just visited; the pink salt came from the Himalayas. Each has a different mineral content, thus, the difference in appearance. I was hunting for local salt so was thrilled to find these rocks.
And what do you do with salt rocks? The instructions told me to place them in a liter of water for an hour. Drinking 1 teaspoon of the liquid every day would cure all sorts of ailments and ills. This certainly piqued my curiosity.
Once I returned home, I did just that. The glass in the photo above shows my "salt solution" and I add a good teaspoon to my morning smoothie. I also decided to add a teaspoon to my WaterPik and use it on my teeth and gums.
I can't say I had any ailments and ills that needed curing, however, I'm glad I'm using this solution on my gums which have occasionally bled. The bleeding increased for about a week once I started using the salt solution in my WaterPik; I figured some deep healing was taking place. Then it stopped and I've gone a month without any bleeding. Nice!!