Meal Prep Mondays
We’re back for part two of our Meal Prep Mondays! There’s so much to learn about how to meal prep. My guest, Alex Torres and I are so excited to continue talking about how to incorporate the habit of meal prep into your daily routine so read on to find out.
When To Meal Prep
First of all, Alex Torres segregates the types of people who plan to meal prep. This is because we all have different priorities and lifestyles. He breaks it down as follows:
– they have a lot of time on their hands
– it doesn’t matter what day, but do what day is best for you
– mornings are better but evenings are fine as well
– if you are exhausted, meal prep one meal for one to two days to get started
– if you both know each other well, make it fun by cooking for each other
– weekends are best, Saturdays in particular or Mondays and Tuesdays
Parents with Kids
– take turns in cooking
– meal prep is usually on Saturdays
– cook in bulk
– ask family members what they like
– prepare meals for one or two days to avoid soggy vegetables
Using Glass Containers
Have you heard that using plastic containers to store or heat food in the microwave is harmful to your health? It is! Which reminds me of a story I heard about singer Paul McCartney’s wife, Linda.
I interviewed a Naturopath who happened to be one of the doctors of Linda McCartney who was vegan. She would bring her containers everywhere and use it to heat food in the microwave.
Years later, Linda McCartney developed breast cancer. And the cause was traced to her frequent use of Tupperware to heat food in the microwave. When she was tested for cancer tissues, doctors discovered that it was full of toxic substances that are also found in Tupperware.
When we store and heat food in plastic, that is cancer-causing. That’s why Alex Torres suggests the use of compost containers. It can be used one more time if you first store food with no liquids. He also recommends using a food grade liner to prevent leaks.
Invest In Cookware
Microwave destroys nutrients, so it is a good idea to invest in good pans and a big pot. Find kitchenware or cookware that make you excited to meal prep.
“My favorite is investing in knives and a good cutting board. Because the worse is trying to cut a tomato. Also, invest in cast iron pots and pans. Season cast iron pans by washing and putting olive oil. Leave the pan out. You’ll use it more when you see it lying around,” said Alex Torres.
My personal favorite is using a bamboo spoon. There’s something about stirring the food with something organic. It feels so much better. Another fun gadget for me is the Veggie Bullet. It turns everything into spiral shapes. Sweet potato and carrot noodles, in particular, are delicious!
Meal Prep For Parents
For some reason, food tastes better on the third day since it was cooked, especially marinade dishes. It’s probably because all the flavor seeps in well by that time.
Alex Torres says this is also true for soups and stews. But he also advises to watch out for squash and zucchini. These vegetables hold a lot of water and over time, they turn into mush.
Certain Mexican, Italian and Indian dishes pick up flavor within a day or two. But even if the dishes are tasty, it is still not a guarantee that kids will eat it.
“It is not easy to get kids to eat. So, a good way to make them eat is to let them help cook what they want. Getting them involved,” Alex Torres said.
He shares that his 9-year-old daughter made a sandwich filled with vegetables. It was filled with ginger, Asian-inspired seasoning, and dressings. If Alex Torres made that and gave it to his daughter, there’s no way she was going to eat it. But because his daughter did by herself, she was more receptive.
Learning To Cook
Most of us have a hectic life, so people rarely cook anymore. It often leads to bad food choices when eating out. That is why Alex Torres believes that people need to be re-educated that meal prep or cooking at home is not hard at all.
“Adults need to go back to cooking class. I think in the future, we’ll see a lot more cooking classes. It will become popular in the next couple of years,” said Alex Torres. “Honestly, America needs to learn how to cook at home again. Start cooking good home-cooked meals.”
I know it seems pretty hard to transition. But it shouldn’t stop you from trying it first. To everyone who is thinking of switching to a plant-based diet, try it out for a month and see how it feels. I lost 25 pounds of water weight in my first month of practicing a plant-based diet.
A lot of people also find it hard to stick to a plant-based diet especially when they go to gatherings where they are made to eat all kinds of food. Guess what? There’s a solution to that.
A Health Coach told me to stop telling people you are gluten-free or vegan. Do not put a label on yourself. Say, “No thanks. It doesn’t make me feel good.” The tactic works!
My mom was obsessed with dieting. That’s what led me to yo-yo dieting during my whole adult life until I found a healthy relationship with food.
You see, my mom was a runway model during her younger years. She was obsessed with maintaining her figure. But during my puberty phase, I gained weight even if I was athletic and eating healthy.
My mom interpreted my weight gain the wrong way and immediately put me on diets. She made me very conscious of weight and food. As a result, I was not getting the nutrition I needed, and I rebelled.
Looking back, the lesson learned was that we must all empower our kids on making food choices. Many people eat what they eat because that was how they were raised to eat. So, look at your belief system, whether or not your choice comes from what you want rather than adopted from everyone else.
Back To Nature
I highly recommend that everyone watch the Back To Eden video documentary. It narrates the story of Paul Gautschi who lives in Washington but grew up in Los Angeles.
Paul Gautschi has been gardening since he was a kid. The garden that he currently maintains has plants growing on its own with no chemicals nor tilling soil. The video also contains a lot of helpful gardening tips like how many wood chips to use.
I got so inspired by the video, so I’m planning to build my garden soon. Ultimately, it’s all about coming back to nature. Gardening can be therapeutic as well as an anti-depressant. I also happen to know of a story wherein a kid was able to get out of the spectrum through gardening.
“It’s up to you and me to show our kids. I want to go to sleep knowing I made a difference and that we are moving forward in the life we want to live,” said Alex Torres. “I think it’s vital tapping back the way it was back then, like the gardens and all that.”
The Plant-Based Hut
Looking ahead, said Alex Torres is slated to launch his new business venture called The Plant-Based Hut. Because going on a plant-based diet has changed his life so much, Alex Torres now want to spread the word about the benefits of a plant-based diet.
The Plant-Based Hut will offer plant-based meal preps. They will primarily be doing food deliveries to clients within the central Florida area. Eventually, Alex Torres hopes that the business will expand to selling their produce at the farmers’ market.
“There’s something about eating healing foods that are very filling. That is the difference I want to make,” said Alex Torres.
Alex Torres is the man behind @Mealprepmondays on Instagram. He is a full-time influencer, blogger, and dad to four kids. Alex Torres is married to his wife Diana for over 15 years, and who just so happens to blog as well.
Alex Torres has been living in Orlando, Florida for the past ten years. He and his family previously lived in Williamsburg, Virginia for a couple of years, and most of his life in Long Island, New York.
Get Connected With Alex Torres:
Recommended Readings by Alex Torres
The Auto Immune Solution by Amy Myers
How NOT To Die by Dr. Michael Greger