Have you ever gotten frustrated about how much time you were spending in the kitchen so you could feed your family nourishing food? Yeah, me too.
Several years ago, I discovered the concept of real food – stuff that my great-grandparents could grow/raise and/or recognize. I was thrilled because I’d seen such a huge difference in my health even by switching to cooking from scratch. How much better would I feel if I cut out the remaining processed and chemically-laden stuff we were eating?
The trouble was, I got a bit ambitious and tried to do everything I read about in, oh, the first week or so (story of my life). The results were … frustrating. I was spending a ton of time in the kitchen when I’d rather be elsewhere.
Part of the frustration was that I felt so scattered with everyday basics. Yes, I had a plan for what we were eating, but there was still other stuff that I needed to make on a regular basis that were independent of the menu and I usually ended up cramming those tasks into one stressful day.
Thankfully, I eventually got a clue and created a routine that has since simplified my real food journey so much, I can’t believe it took me so long to figure it out.
The entire process took me less than 30 minutes, which included brewing a cup of my favorite tea and printing off a blank weekly calendar. And the result? A streamlined, simple routine that helps me quickly get things done in the kitchen so I have time for other stuff. I even applied this to my homemaking. Win.
Ready to make your own routine?
Step 1: Make some tea
Or coffee. You know, something tasty. I find it helps me think better when I’m sipping on a yummy beverage (this post brought to you by my husband’s homemade porter).
Step 2: Write down your tasks
What all do you need to get done each week in the kitchen? Do you bake bread? Make yogurt? When do you menu plan? Write down the tasks that need to be done every week but don’t necessarily fit in with your daily meal plan.
Step 3: Choose one task for each day.
Then write those items on your calendar. That simple. Here’s a look at my routine:
- Monday: Bake bread
- Tuesday: Make yogurt
- Wednesday: Make bone broth (we have baked chicken every Tuesday for dinner)
- Thursday: Soak beans
- Friday: PRN projects (things that come up less often)
- Saturday: Menu plan
Easy peasy. Seriously. This simple act of writing out what needs to be done and only doing one task a day has been wonderful. When combined with the simple prep I need to do for my daily meals, this routine makes kitchen time minimal.
Got more tasks that you need to do weekly? Do two items a day if need be.
Real Food Journey
Need a little more help with incorporating real food in your home? I highly recommend my friend Trina’s book, Real Food Journey.
Trina’s a real food expert and coach who specializes in guiding people gently to steady progress on this journey. She’s also a lover of simplicity (and has even lived in a bus with her four kids) who knows how important it is to keep this journey as simple as possible.
Her book has so many great tips and tricks for keeping real food simple, saving money and, most importantly, not stressing out about what you’re eating.
It even includes how-tos for doing everything listed in my weekly routine.
I took lots of notes as I read and even added some of Trina’s recipes to my must-try list. And I’m so excited about experimenting with more fermented foods – she made it sound so much easier than other books I’ve read.
This is definitely a must-read whether you’re a real food beginner or have been on this journey for a while.
You can check it out here.