My baby will be 7 weeks old tomorrow. Wow does time fly. As any mom knows, losing the baby weight can be quite a torturous process. I knew I didn’t want to go on some sort of crazy fad diet to lose the weight, so I decided to go with just eating healthy and exercising. That means lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meat (i.e. chicken). Basically no processed foods, very little fat, and no refined sugar … if you know my love of treats this basically equals NO FUN! 😉 But he was worth it! And the best part is I am using TONS of food storage while I’m at it.
While this “diet” is very healthy, it can also be a bit of a pain to prepare the foods. But I’m going to show you a few tricks I’ve learned to make it easier to follow, and super easy to stick with even on busy days when you aren’t at home to cook the food. And the bonus part is, it uses lots of food storage, yay!
I have started keeping a bucket of wheat, rice, and oatmeal upstairs because I’m going through them so quickly. I make two loaves of whole wheat bread (click here for my favorite recipe) every few days and my family has started snarfing it up. I should be grateful that they love the healthy food but then I have to keep making it more often. At least it’s really cheap since I grind my own wheat! I’ve also started cooking up big batches of brown rice in my pressure cooker and storing it in 1 cup baggies in the fridge. This has been an awesome way to always have a healthy side dish on hand.
Fruits and Veggies
I have been using my favorite service Deals to Meals to find the best deals on produce and stock up. If the foods look like they may go bad soon I just stick them in the freezer. Usually I can make the freezer foods last until stuff goes on sale again. Sweet! (To see how easy it is to use deals to meals for product, check out this post)
I am choosing to avoid red meat and cheesy/pasta dishes for now, but I still make some of our normal family favorites for dinner. So I have started cooking up large batches of chicken in the pressure cooker and keeping it in 4 ounce baggies in the fridge. It’s so easy for me to pull out a baggie and stick it on a salad for a healthy dinner, while my family can still enjoy a good spaghetti dinner. I like to consider frozen meat as part of my three month supply so preparing this in bulk is great for that.
Here is my confession, until a few weeks ago I was AFRAID to use my pressure cooker. Seriously! But I could never make my brown rice turn out very yummy so I decided to give it a whirl. Well I am officially in love. The rice turns out perfect and chewy and delicious every time. And the chicken … oh the chicken. Tender, moist, and cooks in such a short time. After eating plain chicken on a george foreman for a few weeks the pressure cooker chicken in marinades are divine.
How to Use a Pressure Cooker for Rice and Chicken
The Finished Product
I accidentally had to eat some of the chicken after working so hard to prepare it all 🙂
Garlic Lemon Chicken Recipe
2 lbs thawed chicken
1/3 cup olive oil
2/3 cup lemon juice
6 cloves garlic
2 tsp. thyme
Mix all the marinade ingredients up and pour in a gallon ziplock bag along with the chicken. Marinate for 15-20 minutes and then cook in the pressure cooker according to your cooker’s directions.
Our Favorite Pressure Cooker
Cuisinart CPC-600 1000-Watt 6-Quart Electric Pressure Cooker, Brushed Stainless and Matte Black
Reduce time spent in the kitchen preparing meals with the help of this 6-quart electric pressure cooker–it cuts cooking times up to 70-percent when compared to traditional stovetop cooking methods. The unit traps steam inside, which builds up pressure to create hotter temperatures, and its tight seal locks in heat, moisture, and flavor, as well as vitamins and minerals for exceptionally healthy, great-tasting meals like soup, chili, and other one-dish entrees. For safety, the cooker must be fully locked for pressure to build, and it will remain locked until the pressure inside drops to zero. It is so easy to use and we LOVE it!
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder