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Stay at Home…they say
As we all get more into this staying home thing I’m getting lots of questions about Keto & low carb meal planning.
People are running into a lot of problems with quarantine cooking because they’re…
- Feeling like a short order cook all day long with so many mouths to feed all day long.
- Needing to reduce spending or be more mindful of the money they spend on groceries.
- The CONSTANT snacking! Can it stop already?
- Stores may be running low on staples or basics (like meat or eggs).
- The dishing washing-Oy vey!
- Not really knowing how to cook basics and suddenly needing to….ALL.THE.TIME.
- Quarantine meal planning is completely different from regular meal planning. (Spend less on MORE meals)
Once you get used to cooking more at home, you can move slowly into some easy freezer meals, foundation meals and learn the basics for easy low carb options.
Pre-quarantine I had to teach people all these things while leading incredibly busy and unrelenting lives. NOW everyone has time because you are home ALL DARN DAY….so I wanted to give you some insights on ways you can tackle meal planning right now.
Right now, we’re kinda doing backwards meal planning. Which means that when I shop for groceries I just grab staple meat, dairy, eggs, and produce. Then I use eMeals, Pinterest and Yummly to search for meals I can make with those staple groceries.
eMeals.com is a good choice for anyone, but it’s essential for people like us trying to stick to healthy & low carb foods during this quarantine because I can set my food preferences. AND eMeals will only show recipes that are Keto or Low Carb (which is especially helpful if you don’t want to eat carby foods.)
If you’re newer to or like to be loosey goosey with meal planning, I’d rather you just write it out on paper and stick it on your fridge. Chances of success in staying keto and low carb through the quarantine skyrocket when you meal plan. If you’re already rocking the meal plan and want to try eMeals.com… I’ve been a huge fan.
Here’s the best part of eMeals…I connect it to my InstaCart or Amazon Fresh and they do the shopping for me. No going to the store to risk germ exposure. That’s been working really well.
Here’s another trick…put BREAKFAST on autopilot. Most people know that I’m an Intermittent Faster, so I don’t usually eat until noon. I don’t eat breakfast, so I don’t have to even think about this meal.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO FAST TO BE SUCCESSFUL.
However, I suggest you set your breakfast choices to 2-3 things that are grab’n’go. Two Good (brand) Yogurt or Egg Bites (Three Bridges brand) are quick, minimal effort, inexpensive and low carb.
If you need to drop your grocery budget quickly, try Intermittent Fasting and skip breakfast….it can save a lot. One less meal to spend money or to make has been a game changer for me in weight management, health benefits and saving money.
Usually leftovers from dinner the night before, my Basic Chicken Salad over a handful of greens. Sometimes I will pull out a freezer meal and we eat it over a few days (like doing a double batch of taco meat and we have taco salad for lunch for a few days).
I try to make it so the only meal I’m actually cooking is dinner.
When I make something like a casserole, soup, taco meat or grilled chicken for dinner; I make 3-4x the normal amount and freeze the rest for easy heat and eat lunches.
For example, my instant pot rotisserie chicken turns into basic chicken salad, Cobb salad, Chicken Soup or BBQ chicken Fathead Pizza.
When I can make a Keto or Low Carb DESSERT I freeze most of it in single servings. I can take out just enough to thaw for a single treat. That way we don’t eat the whole cake, pie or batch of brownies in one sitting.
We don’t usually stock a ton of pantry food (because I’ve run the numbers on this several times and I usually spend more, not less). But, since I’m planning meals based on what we have now instead of what we want to eat, having as many staples like canned tuna, diced tomatoes, peanut butter, soy sauce, etc. can be a good idea.
Pro Tip: Don’t stock anything you don’t routinely eat.
I’m a HUGE fan of “shopping my fridge”. Using what I already have on hand so there’s no waste can be a great money saver. FridgeToTable.com is a free service that gives you ideas of what to make based on ingredients that you have. Try it…it’s free and easy.
Finally, if you totally suck at cooking (no judging, I promise I was so bad when I started), this is a great time to learn just the basics you need to know.
Don’t get overwhelmed. Just do one every few days. Google search each of these and you will find simple videos to help you learn fast. And…doing is learning. So just start cooking.
- How to grill chicken
- How to broil a steak
- How to saute chicken
- How to cook chicken in an Instant Pot
- How to make cauliflower rice
- How to grill burgers
- How to brown ground beef
- How to thicken a sauce with xanthan gum (this lets you make thicker sauces from thin pan juices).
My secret to lasting weight loss
Maintaining my weight loss, and quite frankly staying healthy, has always been the main driver for this website. Making meals in my own kitchen on a routine is really my trick.
Sorry, it’s that simple for me…I meal prep and almost always cook at home.
I wrote a few articles about this and will write more. Everyone needs to know that cooking at home is one of my major keys to success.
Every meal does not have to be epic.
When I am prepared I have a much better chance at success and maintaining my best health.
- The Diet That Changed My Life
- My 80 – 20 Rule
- Re-Thinking Healthy Food
- Life with a Keto Mom
- My Favorite Low Carb & Keto Resources