A lot of Moms work outside of their homes these days. One of the most common things I hear from them is that they don’t have a great deal of extra time to spend in the kitchen. They want fast and simple meals. I agree; I’m not a lover of being in the kitchen for hours each day either. However, I am a planner and planning allows me the freedom to keep my time in the kitchen minimal each day. Young Moms, older Moms and Grand-Moms all have very busy schedules and if being in the kitchen is not a “love” for you then we have a few suggestions for you.
Create a pantry of food items that fits your diet and lifestyle choices. We use quart size canning jars to store our nuts, seeds, grains, raisins, oatmeal, carob, etc. These see-through jars provide easy storage and at a glance you can see if you are running out of something. I also keep a running list of grocery needs on my refrigerator, so I never run out of anything for my food preparation.
Sunday afternoon is my “prep day.” We start by soaking the nuts we need for the week or if you have a dehydrator, we soak larger quantities. Nuts and seeds are a wonderful source of vegetarian protein. By soaking the nuts it makes the protein more readily available for absorption. All nuts have a digestive enzyme in the middle of the nut which when activated with water, makes the nut easier to assimilate and absorb into the body. There is also a metabolic enzyme which aids every biological process in the body to take place. Both of these enzymes are activated when the nuts are soaked. Not soaking nuts will not cause your demise, but will limit the health benefits to your body. Most people who consume nuts seem to consume the roasted and salted varieties which are not a health food option. Almonds should be soaked about 8 hours or overnight, cashews or softer nuts should be soaked a minimum of 2-4 hours.
Salad boxes are becoming more popular. On Sunday afternoon, we prepare our 911 Salad Box. 911 was the coined phrase because in case of emergency (like we are too lazy to prepare a healthy salad) we already have our emergency fixings. This entails getting a large plastic container with quite a few large and small containers to store within the bigger box. Then we have a “cutting up the veggies party!” Get all the family involved in this one. Start to teach your young ones the benefits of eating salads and healthier food options. Little ones who are not knife-ready can be responsible for putting the already cut up tomatoes or cucumbers in the smaller boxes. This is a wonderful family project and will have lasting memories built in for future years. Choose whatever variety of veggies you would like to precut and then store in your salad box. This will give you the ability to have a quick salad bar at your disposal, every day. Salad should be a part of every meal and this is a handy way to cut your time down in the kitchen after a busy day at home or the office.
The third Sunday activity is that I prepare two cooked meals that can be used a couple different ways during the coming week. For example, I may make a Vegetarian Chili and then serve it on top of Raw Taco’s another night. I may make a Spaghetti Sauce and on another evening, make home-made Pizza. Soups or stews go a long way and allowing for a “left-over” dinner is really a time saver.
On those “leftover” nights, all I have to do is prepare a quick salad from my “911 Salad Box.” It’s quick and it is easy!
By preparing and planning ahead I save myself a lot of time in the kitchen. Generally, I am preparing one meal a day. Another tip is that whatever I have for supper, I make a lunch bag for myself and husband for the following day’s lunch. Before rushing off to work, my lunch has already been prepared and off to work I go.
So Moms, start applying these Simple Sunday Solutions and your family will be on its way to health and wellness just by working Smart and Simple. Send us comments and pictures of your 911 Salad Box to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sherry L Orcutt is the owner and operator of the Hallelujah Acres Lifestyle Center in Plant City. She and her husband, Dave, created the Back to Eden Health Ministry in 2002 after he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. She has been the author of an email newsletter since 2002. Visit their website at www.edenwellness.org for more information.