The importance of protein in one’s diet has become increasingly clear and moderate to high protein diets have become increasingly popular, as they should.
But, in this post I’m not going to delve into the nutritional science of protein and its effects on you diet, body and health. I’d rather assist readers in their habit forming and preparation of a healthy diet, specifically, when it comes to preparing food.
A linchpin of my 360 Fat Loss Challenge is getting participants to practice and develop their skills in mass quantity food preparation. There are many reasons why this is an important habit to create. Proactive food preparation saves us time in our busy lives, surrounds us with healthy options to eat and in-turn makes the healthiest option the most convenient option (that’s huge!).
Life gets tough and stressful. When we get tired, stressed, and hungry we enter the “stupid zone” and our once smart brains no longer want to cook or even make the decision to choose a healthy meal off a menu (if possible at all). What if we were surrounded by healthy meals that required no cooking (because we did it already? And what if that shit tastes good?
Protein is the least convenient macronutrient of the bunch. Carbohydrates are easier to preserve and package. They are also typically cheaper than proteins and fats to manufacture into foods. That convenience is poured all over our built environment. Just take a look at the vending machine in your office and the quantity of carbohydrate dominant foods vs others.
Since proteins, particularly animal proteins, aren’t necessarily cheap or convenient (most need to be cooked and refrigerated) they can be a burden in creating a healthy diet to our dismay much like the ladies above in the famous 1984 Wendy’s commercial.
I was born September, 17th 1984. You asked “where’s the beef?”. At nearly 10lbs, the beef arrived. Coincidence? Doubt it.
This “protein inconvenience” makes food preparation that much more important. Participants in my 360 Fat Loss Challenge are asked to choose a recipe for each of the 3 main meals and prepare them for the following week. The habit of performing that week in and week out has been a huge factor in my participants’ fat loss success and their ability to create a sustainable healthy diet.
One way to make protein more affordable, tastier, and more efficient to make in bulk is cooking whole proteins. While the cook time of cooking a whole chicken, pork shoulder, brisket, etc can be long the amount of actual hands-on preparation is very little for the amount of food that is produced. You’ll see that most of the recipes below are “set it and forget it” as they utilize slow roasting, a dutch oven or slow cooker. You will also find the price per pound drops significantly.
I created a short list of whole protein recipes that can help you save money, create an abundance of food, improve your diet, and keep you out of the “stupid zone”.