#21 Time Efficient Meal Prep on a Whole Foods Diet
The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast
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In Episode 21 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas and Kate Callaghan discuss healthy meal prep strategies, and healthy meal planning options that are time and cost efficient.
- Our personal favourite meals we cook
- Using the slow cooker
- Ideas for fast breakfast
- Foods good to cook in bulk
- Nats epic nutrient dense smoothie
- how to create a healthy breakfast smoothie
- What Kate feeds her toddler, Olivia
Natalie K. Douglas 0:02
Hello and welcome to the holistic nutritionist podcast My name is Natalie Burke holistic dietitian and nutritionist from health by Whole Foods calm today you and with me as always I have Kate Callahan, the holistic nutritionist from the holistic nutritionist calm, Kate, how you going? My preggers friend?
Kate Callaghan 0:19
I’m good. Thanks note. I only have four weeks to go. Oh my gosh. There’s a new baby. Well, that’s due date for weeks. Olivia was five days overdue. So we’ll see how we go.
Natalie K. Douglas 0:31
So exciting and has it like, is Olivia excited about the new edition? Or she like? Not really it’s not really on her radar.
Kate Callaghan 0:42
She is she comes up and gives it my belly cuddle new baby boy and should you give me a kiss my belly a kiss. But yesterday we had a bit of a conversation in bed when she was having her milk because she’s I’m still breastfeeding her. Yeah. And I said, you know baby boys gonna gonna have no keys first. No, mine milky. Oh, I know that that went really well.
Natalie K. Douglas 1:00
Yeah, sounds like that was a good start. You’re good chat.
Kate Callaghan 1:10
So hopefully it goes better when the time actually comes.
Natalie K. Douglas 1:13
It’s still good four weeks to work on that that’s
Kate Callaghan 1:15
four weeks is not long. And I’m being very unorganized. Actually, this podcast is that we’re going to be talking about as a bit of a reminder about what I’m going to be doing in the next few weeks.
Natalie K. Douglas 1:27
So on that note, guys, what we are talking about today, is meal prepping. And we thought although it’s quite a simple subject, it’s something that I know we both get a lot of questions around from clients, especially if someone’s coming from a not so Whole Foods based diet to more of a Whole Foods based diet where you know, a lot of the time it is requiring you to do a lot more cooking and prepping and whatnot yourself. So Contrary to popular belief, just because we have a diabetics and nutrition degrade does not mean we get any more time given to us in the day to organize good food. Um, so we want to provide you guys with our personal strategies that we use, and also what strategies we advise our clients to use in terms of making meal prep, you know, effective from a time point of view and also a cost point of view for some people as well. Because it is probably one of the biggest hurdles that people have to get over when, as I said, you are moving to a more Whole Foods based diet. So Kate, let’s I think maybe let’s start with what what would be your kind of main things that you would main three main tips that you would give someone when they’re first starting out with meal prepping?
Kate Callaghan 2:51
I would say don’t overthink it to start with. And you don’t always have to create big gourmet dishes, especially if you’re getting overwhelmed with everything. You don’t have to be fancy fancy Martha Stewart with every meal. I can just be very simple. And probably my number to
pass me Just give me this look like what do you
Natalie K. Douglas 3:22
we’re recording. Thanks, Erin. Go away.
No editing. Hey guys. Fantastic.
Alright, so that’s your number two. Tip
Kate Callaghan 3:33
number two, you know, you know what he’s laughing is because I actually do like to cook extravagant meals. Well not extravagant meals I am I like variety. Yeah. Whereas he could do meat and veggies every single night. And he could do like sausages and bench every night. Yeah. And be fine with absolutely the same thing every single day.
Natalie K. Douglas 3:52
Yeah. Yeah, if you look at that, but go for it, everybody. But if you do enjoy variety, then you could also do that. So what would you What? Something that you cook in bulk a lot?
Kate Callaghan 4:05
Yeah, sure. So and means dishes? Yeah, definitely. So we do. Like I have a marvelous men’s recipe, it’s in my book as well. I think I actually put on my website. And it’s basically an all in midst ish. You know, onions, garlic, carrot. Celery means tomato paste, tomatoes. Herbes just check it all in this local guy called in bulk. And it’s good to go and lots of others local because in bulk. And that’s kind of one thing that that would be my number one tip to recommend would be get a slow cooker if you don’t have one already, because they are life saving, literally throw everything in the pot. And you walk away. So I today I’ve got local beef ribs in the part, because we’re going out this afternoon, so we won’t have time to come home and cook dinner from scratch. So we just walk in the door and literally put some greens on and then sit down to eat.
Natalie K. Douglas 5:00
Excellent. Yeah, I would agree with that. I would say I think there’s a person that I’ve had as a client that I haven’t recommended getting a slow cooker, because they are so convenient. And I’m like you I saw your post the other day about making a slow cooker meal and not reading the recipe in detail. And I totally am guilty of that too. And but I saw a lot of local correct recipes, they’ll be like brand new meet up beforehand, then chuck it in. I don’t know for that. My strategy literally for my basic slow cooker. Or guest template is to chuck vegetables like chocolate onion and sweet potato in the bottom, put me on top mix coconut cream, and like maybe a spice blend depending on what I want or even some Thai curry paste together in the can that the coconut milk seen for it in the slow cooker and then maybe a couple of hours before it’s going to be ready, I’ll put my grains into the slow cooker as well so that they can cook and that’s it. And sometimes I get up like 10 minutes earlier and do that before work. And then I walk in and then you know, whoever’s home, if my partner’s home a couple of hours before I get home or before we’re going to eat then he’ll just put pop the veggies in there as well. And then a one part mail done. And my advice as well. Like probably one of my biggest tips would be never cook for one meal, like as he never cook, to serve yourself for one meal a day always cook as much as will fit in your pots like because realistically, you can you know, put keep stuff in the fridge for you know, usually a number of days. And if you’re not going to eat it in in that time period, you can freeze it as well. And the good thing about slow cooked meals is that they do freeze really well. So that would be a really good strategy. So say on a Saturday or Sunday, when you have a bit more time, I would be doing a slow cooker on both days and putting freezing those meals for the week ahead so that you’ve got plenty of stuff in the freezer in the fridge to tie you over. Because really the place where we come quote unquote on done a lot in our quest to eat more Whole Foods is just when we’re unprepared because it’s not that whole foods taste bad or anything like that they’re delicious, but it does require that you spend some time in the kitchen and preparing but it doesn’t have to be extravagant as as you’ve said. But of course it can be if you have the time and you also enjoy that or you make the time it’s a priority for you. So I yeah, I’d agree with that slow cool, good. The other thing that I was going to say is we I do a big batch of sweet potato in the oven as well and I used to be a bit fancy and that cut them into nice shapes and like make nice sweet potato chips. What do you mean those shapes? Lik e I don’t fit No No I’m not. I’m well beyond architecture. Like I just met in like circles and maybe the chip you want to get all crazy then you can go for it carve out a rabbit and put it in the oven. But I just literally get the sweet potatoes, scrub the skin a little bit, cut them in half, drizzle some oil on them and then put them in the oven and it takes like depending on how I guess efficient your avenues of runs is a bit different but mine takes about 40 minutes 45 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius in the oven. And then like that it’s so easy and there’s you can fit a lot of sweet potato in that album Trust me. And again, like then you’ve got your kind of carbohydrates to the meal if you haven’t put them in the slow cooker already or if you just needing like sweet potato makes a really good special as
well. So with tahini really yummy, bata.
Yeah. Or just salt and cinnamon tasteful. Yeah. What about breakfast? I know that a lot of people so if people aren’t quite at the place where we are eating meat and vegetables for breakfast do that so happens to be what’s left over. How How do you advise clients who really busy in the morning and they just thought I don’t have time to stand over the stove and make an omelet or something like that. What are a few tips he gives people in that kind of situation.
Kate Callaghan 9:37
Yeah, so that happens a lot. And I mean, we’re pretty busy in the morning, but we do well we’re out pretty early. So we have time to to cook no eggs, most mornings. On the odd morning, we might have porridge but my biggest thing that I usually recommend for people who say I have no time to make proper breakfast in the morning or they just have a smoothie or some sort of liquid breakfast or coffee, which is not great for you is to the night before, take five minutes. And you know, make it your favorite smoothie and turn it into a chia pudding. So that’s as easy as making your favorite smoothie, throw some greens into getting some babies as well throw good quality protein powder that doesn’t have additional junk in it. So as clean as possible. And PR one cup of liquid, you add three tablespoons of chia seeds and just let it sit overnight. And you’ve got that to go in the morning. So you can either have that before you go when you get up. Or you can take it on your commute if you’ve got a train commute, ideally not eating while you’re driving. And that’s a husband and all you can eat when you get to work.
Natalie K. Douglas 10:36
Yeah, a great and it’s funny you say that that’s probably like one of the number one recipes or strategies I give people as well because it like it is such a quick, easy thing to do. And it’s already there. And just on the subject of smoothies, so I recently made up not bragging actually am bragging, the most delicious, nutrient dense smoothie that I’m going to share. So the other day, I put in some coconut kefir, bone broth cube. So if you make your own bone broth and freeze them into ice cubes, you can actually pop them in your smoothies as well. So it’s an easy way to get some extra bone broth in if you’re you know, if you don’t have time to heat it up or you don’t like hot bone broth and you just want to hide it in there then that’s a good way so it had
Kate Callaghan 11:30
Can I can I sorry, can I ask? Yes. When you make your bone broth though that you freeze? Yep. Do you make it with Herb’s and onions and garlic and stuff?
Natalie K. Douglas 11:38
I do and you still can’t taste it? Which is good. Really? Yeah. So okay, I put I mainly put like a little bit of onion and I also I don’t put garlic in there. But I will try and report back but I put mainly onion and I put time in Oregon or in there and salt and apple cider vinegar. Okay. Sorry to interrupt tonight. That’s right. It’s a good question. Because some people will be like you That’s disgusting. But anyway, it’s not disgusting. And yes, so Kofi bone broth cubes, I put coconut milk, avocado, and banana. And sometimes I get fancy and add some liquid creamer, powder, or maca powder. If I’m trying to make it like that caramel, he taught taste, or I’ll add some terrible cow if I want to change the taste again. But the basic recipe is what I just said, so much nutrient density and one little thing. And then I would do the chia seeds things as well. I think that’s a good idea. So add that to my list, but it’s really fake. And as we’ve always, always said, when you’re going to have smoothies, it’s best to make them thick so that you are kind of somewhat eating them and stimulating that kind of digestive process in your mouth as opposed to just sucking it down the store and Bob’s your uncle is that even a saying in like anyway, but Australia? Well,
Kate Callaghan 13:03
I don’t know. I’ve said it before to American clients. They give me a funny look. So probably not so Bob. Yes. No
Natalie K. Douglas 13:09
one’s on cool. We apologize.
Kate Callaghan 13:12
But um, yeah, I’m glad you said that you read my mind because I was about to say the exact same thing about the making them chunky or turning them to quitting. So you actually have to chew to get those. This library amylase and older the digestive enzymes or appropriate hormone signaling going on. That tells your body that you’re eating something.
Natalie K. Douglas 13:29
Yeah, exactly. So I think they have really good strategies. The other thing for breakfast that I was going to mention is simply boiling some eggs at night like why are you making
Kate Callaghan 13:39
stealing my idea?
Natalie K. Douglas 13:39
Gosh, I’m so sorry. So well. Okay, what would you have your say we’re boiling the eggs, what would we advise putting with them?
Kate Callaghan 13:47
Because I’ll go
Natalie K. Douglas 13:49
right, well, usually I just tell people to have like, you know, boil the eggs have 223 depending on how hungry you are, and how big you are, and how active you are. And then usually like a half an avocado, maybe some leftover sweet potato that we talked about before that you baked in the oven on the weekend. And then a handful of grains of some kind so whether that’s some rockets and baby spinach, again, some leftover something or you can even have laksa Kini noodles, anything like that, that you can just check in with with it. And that’s pretty balanced. Was there anything else that any other kind of variations on that, Kate?
Kate Callaghan 14:29
No, I think that’s good. That’s kind of what I would do maybe like boiled eggs, avocado, some sauerkraut? If you really Yes. That’s not keen on other veggies. And yes, some leftover roast veggies if you have some. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. And you can also do like a bulk of chemo at the start of the week and can freeze portions. And that can be handy. Sometimes if you don’t have a carbohydrate source mean, you want to have a carbohydrate source in one of the meals. Can’t be both in here. So can you came along overnight and then cooking it and
Natalie K. Douglas 14:59
yeah, blessing it and bowing down to it and making it happy. I completely agree with you. That’s a good strategy, that that just triggered something really exciting in my mind. So Lately, I’ve been making porridge with drumroll, cauliflower, rice,
Kate Callaghan 15:17
and everyone’s obsessed with his frickin cauliflower throwing it into smoothies and ORH I haven’t tried it.
Natalie K. Douglas 15:23
I wouldn’t put it in a smoothie. Unless it’s a thing. Is it cool? Yeah, it’s no, it’s raw and make it really, really creamy. Oh, yeah. No, I wouldn’t put raw cauliflower in my smoothie just because I have thyroid issues. So I probably wouldn’t do that. And anyone who does have thyroid issues, don’t put raw goat eugenic vegetables in your smoothies. But anyway, if you don’t, I’m sure that it would be fine. Now what I was gonna say is OK, so the cauliflower rice porridge, and at first I read it and I was like, That’s crazy. That’s not gonna taste like porridge. porridge is made from grains. And so I was like, Okay, I’ll put my big girl pants on. And I’ll try this, try to a noun obsessed. So you just like met cauliflower rice like IZ and just put cauliflower raw cauliflower in your blender to make it into a rice consistency. And then I just put it into a saucepan with some coconut milk, so enough coconut milk to just cover the top of it. And then I add a whole bunch of cinnamon, a little bit of salt just because I’m obsessed with salt. And I had mashed banana and blueberries and I just let it cook for probably like 20 minutes or so until the cauliflower is really soft and also most of the liquid has been absorbed. And then I just put it in a ball and I like putting on top of mine a little bit of extra coconut milk because I kind of like that like hot and cold combination, but some people who either have to do that. And then sometimes I stirrups and gelatin powders just to get some kind of protein in there and I can’t taste that and top with you know, some coconut flakes or whatever you really want. Oh, the other thing that I forgot that I put in there is creamed coconut. So like that coconut manner that coconut paste. I put a kabocha Yeah, yeah, I put a couple of tablespoons of that in wallets cooking as well. And it just makes it even creamier.
Kate Callaghan 17:22
I’d be going off track with a meal prep topic.
Natalie K. Douglas 17:24
Yes, I have sorry. But you can well, you can prep that in bulk. And you can keep it in your fridge for a couple of days. And that makes a really good breakfast as well because it tastes really good cold too.
Kate Callaghan 17:35
Okay, good to know. Thank you.
Natalie K. Douglas 17:38
God on that one.
Kate Callaghan 17:40
Something that I was talking to someone about the other day with bone broth prep. And in terms of putting onion and garlic and carrots and celery and stuff in there. I don’t peel my onions or my garlic when I’m putting them in broth or carrots or anything. I wash them. Well, if they’re organic, I don’t I literally just chopped them up in large chunks. Well smash the garlic and then chop it up a little bit and check them in. I don’t I don’t do anything else.
Natalie K. Douglas 18:05
There you go.
Kate Callaghan 18:06
That’s a good tip. I’ve been peeling mine and it’s really annoying, isn’t it? Yeah, garlic. I don’t bother peeling it. When I’m we’re making broth. Just check it all in because you just gonna strain it off. Anyway, that’s true. Another thing that you can do with veggie PrEP is to say if you’re doing like sliced carrot or grated carrot with it through the food processor with it, that’s a good ID. If you’ve got a big food processor, they’ll have different contraptions that I will do like fine grading course grading and slicing. So you can do like potato chips. And and that says a lot of time. Can you do bunnies?
Natalie K. Douglas 18:46
Yeah, of course.
Kate Callaghan 18:48
I only get contraptions. Thank you. Nice. Yes.
can save time as well. Okay. Can you can cut. A lot of people say can cut your veggies up early in the week and have them in a bowl and use them throughout the week. I don’t often recommend that unless it’s kind of a last minute pinch. And you’re really struggling because when you cut veggies, then they’re exposed to air in the oxidation process, which does make them lose nutrients. And because a lot of our produce is nutrient deficient these days anyway, don’t generally recommend that as a meal prep thing.
Natalie K. Douglas 19:26
Yeah, that’s a good point. I agree with that. I think as a last strategy may be bought, yeah, I’m with you cut your veggies close to when you’re going to eat them. So yeah, I think that that’s, that’s a good idea. Now another strategy that I would say is quite good. Or another little recipe that I would do quite often is doing, making like salmon patties. And just using wild caught canned salmon. And I do a big batch of those with, you know, wild caught can salmon, whatever veggies that I want, and some coconut flour to bind it and just salt and pepper. And I will just roll them into balls, maybe fry them off in a little bit of coconut oil or butter. And then just let them cool down and pop them in the fridge they’ll keep for a few days. Otherwise, if I haven’t eaten them in like four days or so I’ll pop them into the freezer. And I often wrap them in like in I’ll put them in individual portion sizes so that I can just like take one out the night before I’m going to take it for lunch the next day or something, and it will be defrosted. So that’s another quick and also quite cost effective thing to do with the the canned wild caught salmon. And for a lot of us. I don’t know how these in New Zealand Kate. But in Australia, as you know, it’s quite difficult to come across affordable wild caught salmon sorry, most seminars that sold in Australia is farmed. With the exception of the Canadian why someone is the most common one that people get. And studies wild caught however, it is quite expensive. So if you are in a budget, then the best way to get wild caught salmon is actually buying the canned varieties. And you can find them even in Coles and Woolworths, you don’t have to go to a health food shop to get that. So just look on the label for wild caught. And that’s that’s what I would advise that a lot of people do. And it again, it is a really good strategy to have as well. And they they defrost well.
Kate Callaghan 21:32
Yeah, I 100% agree we can get one quote someone here either believe it’s illegal to catch someone from the wild in New Zealand. And so it’s all about the can’t
Natalie K. Douglas 21:43
hear me go. Now, just before I forget, I wanted to chat about any of the listeners that are thinking okay, but I have kids and how am I supposed to prepare their meals as opposed because it’s, you know, it’s traditionally I know myself growing up, my mom just made me a sandwich and put some chips and maybe a piece of fruit in my lunch box. So obviously moving towards more of a whole foods on processed diet, you’re not going to be doing that kind of prep for your kids. So Kate, I wanted to ask you, how do you go about making sure Olivia always has nutrient dense food to eat?
Kate Callaghan 22:21
Yeah, that is a good question. Sorry, everyone loves my two year old daughter. And she goes to daycare three days a week. So I do pack her lunch three days a week. And literally, it’s always leftovers. So we always make sure we put cook a little bit extra the night before, or when we bulk cook. So we’ve got some extra to put into her lunch box. So she might have some whatever it is meeting bench. So it might be a su might be beef rooms might be carry, maybe a chicken drumstick, and with some veggies with some leftover roast veggies. And then so she’s got three little portions. So that’s her main lunch portion. And then one other little portion, she might have a piece of fruit, and maybe a bit of cheese. And then another portion she might have some avocado and also send it with some plain Greek yogurt. Awesome. And, and you know you can, you don’t have to buy the flavored yogurt. So you can make up your own flavor to get by getting some plain Greek yogurt at the start of the week getting some berries or other fresh, fresh or frozen fruit, pull the whole thing of yogurt into your blender, throw some fresh fruit into it with it up maybe put some cinnamon in as well. If it’s a really Todd Greek yogurt, then maybe put just a teeny tiny amount of honey or maple syrup and pour it back into the bottle. And it’s it’s a flavored berry yogurt that’s going to be cheaper, and so much better for your child.
Natalie K. Douglas 23:47
There you go. That is a good strategy. Yeah, and I think a good point to make there is that feeding, like maybe a bit off topic, but feeding your children doesn’t have to be any all that different or any different at all, feeding yourself. It’s all like there really isn’t, doesn’t need to be any such thing as kid food and adult food, it’s really about feeding them nutrient dense food that you yourself would eat. And of course, if they’re not coming from that place, it’s going to be a bit of a transition period for that to happen. So just you know, start with little things that you can incorporate into their diet. And then as time goes on, move towards them eating, you know, more Whole Foods based diet and one that is is the same as you so you’re not, again cooking multiple, multiple, multiple meals for different people in the family. It’s just about making sure that you’re cooking extra so that you’ve got leftovers. So I think that’s a good a really good strategy and something good to point out. I would also add that if you are looking for further kind of kids lunch box inspiration, Star nice organic, so solo from Star nice. organics has some really great kids Lunchables info on her Instagram, and I believe she does she have a book on it as well, I think so I think she does. So I’ll link to that in our show notes. But if you follow star nice organics on Instagram, then you’ll be able to see some of the stuff that goes into her kids lunch boxes, and some really good ideas there as well. So, and I’m sure cat, you’ve posted quite a number of times about Olivia’s food, or just what’s going into our lunch box or what she’s eating in general. So if you’re listening and you’re a mom, and you need some ideas and do jump on over there and have a look as well.
Kate Callaghan 25:35
Yeah, and I never, I’m actually quite lazy.
I never really made calories and never but it’s rare that I’ll make her you know, muffins or slices or biscuits or things even you know the quote unquote healthy version. I just don’t I just give her you know, a slice of cheese off the block I’ll kind of bit of avocado out I won’t make fancy quote unquote kids food. Another resource that I really love is Dom’s kitchen. So it’s Claire, Deeks. And she’s got lots and lots and lots of resources and lots of ideas. And on her website, and also on her Instagram and social media. Also Instagram and Facebook for
Natalie K. Douglas 26:15
I’ll make sure I pop that money in the show notes as well. So I think that they’re all really great tips. And hopefully, like I know, it was a bit of a disorganized podcast from Blackboard jumping a bit all over the place. But honestly, what we what we wanted to do was just give you an insight into how we actually make it work for us. Because as I said at the beginning, we don’t have any more time than anyone else. In fact, we are both very busy people. And it’s just about making it a priority to eat healthy food and also implementing strategies to make that easier and to take up less time. So hopefully, hearing about what we do. And als o what we advise our clients to do is going to help give you some ideas about how you can start incorporating those strategies and your life to make the whole eating healthy on a regular basis much easier and much more time effective and cost effective. Kate, did you have anything else to add before we wrap up today?
Kate Callaghan 27:14
Oh, I would just say don’t let that get in the way of
Natalie K. Douglas 27:16
good. Amen, sister. That’s a good point. And you don’t need to make fancy rabbit or unicorn shaped sweet potatoes like Kate does everybody. You can
Kate Callaghan 27:28
I never do that. I don’t actually have cookie cutters.
Failure as a mom, but no cookie cutters.
Natalie K. Douglas 27:34
I’ll send you some. Actually I don’t even have that actually. I do think I have some I think maybe I have like love hearts because the Valentine’s didn’t know was it all time So yeah, I think I was like gonna make something fancy and then I never made them
Kate Callaghan 27:48
just to make Instagram worthy. Yeah, pretty much Yeah, yeah.
Natalie K. Douglas 27:52
that didn’t happen at all. I’m just I just opted for the squares.
I wasn’t very popular post but that’s okay. So we will wrap up now guys, if you have any questions that you want to or topics you want us to address, as always, please send us an email via our websites. And I hope everyone has a lovely week and get some meal prepping down the weekend. Kate, have a lovely weekend and I will chat to you soon.
Kate Callaghan 28:25
You too. Thanks. Bye bye.
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