Guest Author - Jason Hodge
I was recently asked if I could distill a healthy, vegetarian 'how-to' process down to a few simple easy to follow principles. The answer is "Yes" I can!
I call it the 3M Method, it's Vegetarian 101 and can be applied to pretty much everything in life.
1. Make a place for it
2. Make it easy [a.k.a. efficient for yourself]
3. Make it lasting
Let me explain...
If you've ever tried to do anything successfully, in order for it to get the highest return on your investments of time, energy and, in most cases, money you would have had to implement some organic reasoning.
1.) Making a place for it
Do you have a place for your end result?
Here are four things you can do right now to clear the path:
1. Identify what your desired results are
2. Design a menu/calendar isolating what you'll need to support them
3. Clear a space in your refrigerator, pantry and shelves for your supplies
4. Locate the resources, tools and supplies that you'll need for your success
2.) Making it easy on yourself
In making it easy and efficient for yourself you will cut through the 'chores' of eating healthy by creating and implementing an automated system. When doing anything that requires a certain level of repetition you want to be able to free up as much of your energy so your process doesn't become a duty, a chore or worse yet... a drag. Automation is the key to all of that.
The best ways that I've found to do this is by creating menus and checklists, bulk portioning and vacuum sealing, bulk meal prep and using the freezer.
Menus and Checklists:
As I do my shopping, I shop according to a menu and base my checklist on that. How many of each item do I need to complete the things on the menu? [i.e. If I have a 30 day meal plan and rice is on there four times I will purchase the amount of rice that will make up the quota for my month's menu. I'll do this for all of my dry goods and if I have my year set up menu wise I'll do the same thing, make my purchases and vacuum seal them in the dishes' portions.]
Bulk Portioning and Vacuum Sealing:
I love my vacuum sealer! It allows me to prep the ease of my meals months in advance. Here's how I do it. I take my menu, portion out all of the dry bulk ingredients in their ratios for the dish on the menu, I vacuum seal them, label them and when it's their turn on the menu rotation I open them up and prep them along with the ingredients that couldn't be frozen or sealed. It saves time, energy and money because I'm able to purchase organic bulk and exactly what I need... no leftovers.
If you don't have a vacuum sealer you can use a zip top, food storage bag (although they're not as good because they don't take out all of the air, therefore decreasing the life of your produce, they'll do if you have no other alternatives).
Bulk Food Prep and the Freezer:
If you're prepping dishes that require the same or similar ingredients take a few hours one day and bulk prep your dishes.
Example: Say you're making a vegetarian lasagna and you plan on having more lasagna within the next three to six months, get the others prepped then as well. You use pretty much the same energy to get four to five times the things done for later. When you're ready for a quick meal all you'll have to do is pop it out of the freezer in the future and heat it up in the oven.
3.) Making it lasting
This is probably going to be the easiest part of this system. All this entails is your keeping your excitement and growth through education and exploration. Continue to raise your bar by exploring more foods, restaurants, cultures, classes and cookbooks and allow variety to be the spice of your life.
If you do all of these things: 1.) Make a place for your vegetarian lifestyle; 2.) Make it easy on yourself; and 3.) Make it lasting, you'll find that your venture into vegetarianism is a pleasurable one that will continue to blossom for a lifetime.
For more information or to get your questions answered, drop me a line, visit my forum and / or sign up for my weekly newsletter. Your information will not be shared.
As always... it's been great sharing with you. Until next time... Bye for now.