Time—we never seem to have enough. But as you know, we can’t add hours to the day. We are only allotted 24, no less and no more. We can, however, be mindful of how we manage and spend our time.
Time flies quickly, so it’s important to be intentional and organized when we have tasks that are crucial or important to us.
Since we have to eat to survive, we need healthy food to have a good quality of life, and some of us have families to feed, it makes sense that we should be organized and intentional when it comes to food.
I enjoy cooking and baking, but I don’t want to spend tons of time in the kitchen cooking and cleaning. I have other priorities that need my attention like my relationship with God, time with my husband, family time, homeschooling, dear friends, my home, a THM lifestyle coaching ministry, a craft business, and volunteering. I’m sure you have some of those priorities as well as others.
What are some ways we can be intentional, organized, and efficient in the kitchen, so we have time for all of our priorities?
- Make the most of your time. Well, probably more than we like to admit, I’m sure we all spend way too much time with our eyes on social media and television. So, let’s commit to a little less time on social media and TV. That will free us up for more priority time. And, in fact, while we are watching TV we could open our THM cookbooks, bookmark and jot down some easy, quick recipes to make. (If you don’t get carsick, you could even do this while riding in the car when someone else is driving you. I do this all of the time. Rarely do you see me riding in the passenger seat without doing something productive. It also distracts me from being that annoying backseat driver.)
- Choose recipes that can do double duty. For instance, you may not need a whole baked chicken for one meal. Efficiency is key, though, so choose a roasted chicken recipe. On any week night or in your cook ahead time, you can roast, pressure cook, or slow cook the whole chicken. Pull part of it for an immediate meal with sides like nonstarchy veggies and rice. Use the other half for another meal the same week like chicken tacos or salad topped with chicken. The longest part of most meals is cooking the protein, so it saves lots of time if your protein is precooked.
- Order your groceries. Once you have a list of easy recipes (crockpot recipes, pressure cooker recipes, etc. are the best), open your favorite grocery app and place your grocery order. Choose a pickup day that works best for you. I choose a day near payday and also one I know will not be popular for most shoppers so I don’t have to wait a long time for pick up. Or you could even have your groceries delivered which saves you even more time.
- Choose a meal prep/cook ahead day or time. I used to order and pick up my groceries directly on payday and would use that afternoon for my meal prep/cook ahead time, so I only had to set aside time on one day of the week. However, this semester we have a class that afternoon. So I choose to do my prep and cooking the very next day. I would suggest doing it all in one segment of time if you can, because then you don’t even have to put your groceries away first. You can just set them on the table, grab what you need, and start prepping and cooking.
- Decide what needs to be prepped and cooked ahead. If I know I’ll have leftovers for lunches the next day from dinners, then I don’t cook ahead much. However, if I know my children will get the leftovers or there won’t be any, etc. I will cook ahead protein like whole chicken. I just put it in a pressure cooker, pull it when it’s done, and store it in the fridge and/or freezer to eat on all week. I also wash and prep fruits and veggies that don’t mold quickly so they are easier to grab and I have no excuse not to eat them. I also make breakfasts ahead for my children. I mostly make coffee cakes or muffins because the ingredients can be dumped in baking dishes and quickly shoved in the oven. If I have a little extra time, I will take time to make pancakes or waffles.
- Clean as you go. Start with a clean kitchen so that you can clean up as you go. It makes life a lot easier and you’ll be less overwhelmed if you aren’t staring at a messy kitchen and a full sink of dishes.
- Meal day instructions. You’ll have one cook ahead and meal prep day where you wash and prep veggies, herbs, even proteins so that you’ll only have to cook sides, so on meal day you’ll have entire meals prepared ahead so all you have to do is dump them into a slow cooker or pressure cooker on the day you want to serve them.
- Be flexible. Now that we’ve done this minor preparation, we still need to remember one thing: be flexible. The busyness and chaos of everyday life can interfere with even the best made plans. Learn to be flexible. Have a few healthy options available on-hand in case something interferes with your plan. Don’t let it derail you. Unfortunately, overwhelm and stress can cause us to fall of the wagon of a healthy regimen. Sometimes we have to be flexible to keep from going off the deep end. Sometimes we have to make less than optimal choices, but they are still the best choice at the time. Just do the very best you can. You’ve got this!
Managing our time wisely is the best way to utilize the time we are given. And that rings true with the THM lifestyle as well. True success requires preparation. The amount of planning depends on your family and work schedule. It’s fun to fly by the seat of our pants, but when the chaos of life hits it can derail our health plans. Working so very hard to reach our goals, we deserve better than feeling like a train wreck or even wrecking all of our efforts. Happy planning, happy cooking, happy THM lifestyle friends!
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission for our family and our business at no extra cost to you. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you. Thank you!