Cooking for a real food diet, especially the GAPS diet, is no small feat…it consumes your time, your money and your energy! What’s our other option?? Continue getting sicker and sicker, unable to ENJOY any of our lives? Nah….I opt for healing our bodies through nutrient-dense foods. There is hope in this overwhelming undertaking…..here are some time-tested tips that will help you survive cooking for your real foods diet!!
Employ a husband (preferably your own) to carry your burden with you.
-Feeling like you’re not alone with all this work to do makes a HUGE difference
–This could easily be a roommate or another family member as well
–Not every husband would be able to do the same, but Luke is ‘in charge’ of kombucha, juicing, organizing my fridge when I bring home groceries and many mornings he makes breakfast. (What.a.man.)
Do NOT wait until you run out of certain staples, keep them continuously going.
-yogurt and sour cream (as soon as you buy your milk/cream, come home and start it)
-broth (as soon as your low, start another batch of broth)
Buy a deep freezer and buy in bulk.
You will have a love affair with a large white box.
Double recipes whenever you can.
-freeze leftovers, or keep so there’s extra in fridge for that week
-this is hard for the frugal type (me!) but really it’s not costing you more, you would make it again anyways, it’s just SAVING you time!
‘Cheat’ where you can, without compromising healing.
-For the GAPS diet, don’t go eat a krispy kreme donut now, BUT there are products that are technically GAPS-legal, but not home-made.
-Things like canned coconut milk, tomatoes, olives OR jarred PB/almond butter, dried fruit, larabars…..get the jist? If you can’t keep up with every single thing being homemade, compromise where you need to within the realm of GAPS-legal ingredients. If you notice any adverse reactions, stop using that product.
Make work play.
–Don’t always be alone and focused when you’re doing your tasks, have your kids help you with certain things, and instead of always sitting on the couch having meaningful conversations with your spouse at night, work on getting caught up in the kitchen, and enjoy each other’s company at the same time. (why do we always separate work and play? REAL LIFE: ideal doesn’t always happen, and there’s lots of work to do!!)
Keep snacking simple.
-For special days it’s fun to give the kids a blueberry muffin or jello jigglers, but for most other days we do dried fruit/nuts, baby carrots or fresh fruit. EASY.
Keep recipes simple.
-Find easy recipes that use what you typically have available and that everyone likes, and don’t feel bad to keep rotating them- eating simply is not a bad thing!
Make your appliances your slaves, rather than becoming a slave to them! (get the most out of them)
-When your oven is on for, say, a casserole, throw a squash in there too for later in the week! Use up that oven time well.
-When your food processor is out for a soup, cut up a couple extra onions in there, bag ’em and throw ’em in the freezer for next time.
-When you are juicing, make a lot for everyone and make your time count!
-When you are dehydrating, fill that puppy all the way up!
-When you are simmering your stock, strain and store it, and then fill that pot of bones back up for round two!
Work a little bit through every day, instead of set days/times for cooking.
-There might be some people who can get all their cooking done, say, on the weekend, with the rest of the week free from cooking, BUT for the average mama, this is unrealistic and a tad bit overwhelming. For me, getting things going then walking away for periods to play with the kids, work on the computer or take a shower…is the best way for me to stay on top of my cooking. Obviously, between events, returning to the kitchen to finish up something, put it in the fridge and then moving onto the next task.
– Always think “is there something easy I could get started”. I don’t like to spend extended periods of time in the kitchen, but if I can throw a bag of nuts in water to soak, or start my yogurt—these quick little tasks allow me the freedom to come and go as I please, but also accomplish much in the way of a well-run kitchen!
With courage and determination, feeding your family a real-foods diet is a realistic lifestyle! The rewards make the work WELL worth it….everything worth something calls us to some level of sacrifice.