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What is Batch Cooking and How Does It Help Save Time, Energy and Money

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What is Batch Cooking and How Does It Help Save Time, Energy and Money

For entrepreneurs and start-up founders putting in as many hours in their work as possible has become a normal culture. Even 9-to-5ers put in extra hours just to get the promotion sooner. Everyone has started focusing solely on moving forward in their careers and will sacrifice anything for it. It is a good thing but not when it costs everything: your health, your life, your relationships.

Let’s focus on the health aspect today. Let’s say you work non stop- no time to eat or sleep. Your body gets tired, doesn’t get proper nutrition, falls sick, and then you stop working and spend all that you have earned in getting back in shape. Is it worth it?

We work until we feel total burn out. My question to you is how logical do you think it is? Why not do what we can to take care of ourselves and not fall into the predicament that many young, ambitious people are falling into. As important it is to work toward our dreams, it is equally important to keep ourselves in shape so that we can work toward our dreams.

What is Batch Cooking and How Does It Help Save Time, Energy and Money

I get it. You don’t have time to cook meals, so you resort to takeouts or packaged fried junk. They might be quick fixes, but processed food, fried food, and everyday takeouts will take their toll on your body. One solution to that is batch cooking.

When you have no time to cook during the week, batch cooking is the best way to ensure that you have healthy food and always have something to eat. All you have to do is take some time out of your weekend to make sure you eat well for the week. Just imagine the amount of stress regarding the food you will forego and how much time and energy you will save overall.

What exactly is batch cooking?

Batch cooking means preparing or cooking larger portions of a variety of dishes that can be mixed and matched to create different meals throughout the week. Most people do it on Sundays to prepare for the week. Some people like to break it down and do this on Sundays and Wednesdays so that they can get more variety.

All you have to do each day is pull out the meal out of your refrigerator and heat it or maybe if it is something that you can just grab and go then more props to you. You will be thankful to your weekend self for taking a few hours out to save so many hours and headaches throughout the week, and your stomach will be thankful for not getting the onslaught of junk food and cheap takeaways.

How to go about batch cooking

  • Plan out your meals for the entire week – Decide the meals that you want to home cook. If you are starting out, maybe plan only dinners and then see how it goes or you can go the whole mile and plan all the three meals on the weekend and prepare them. That is actually the best thing to do. It can get too much for beginners though, so start out with one meal. If you are planning for lunch then maybe you would want to focus on something that you can just grab and go because lunch hours can be short for most of us. For dinners, you can have something that can have all its prep done already, and all you have to do is put it together, it will give you the feeling of cooking a quick meal but not the time-consuming process of putting everything together.
  • Make a grocery shopping list – Now that you have a plan of what you are going to be cooking, you need to list out all the ingredients that you need. Cross check it with what you have at home and then head out to stock up on the remaining things you need.
What is Batch Cooking and How Does It Help Save Time, Energy and Money
  • Grocery shopping – Saturdays and Sundays are usually the busy days at the grocery stores because everyone heads out to get their shopping done so plan accordingly. If you have a farmers market nearby head over there to get fresh produce or your good old grocery stores, general stores, departmental stores will do – stock up on anything that will help you make a quick snack and also help your dish better.
What is Batch Cooking and How Does It Help Save Time, Energy and Money
  • Prep – Once you are done gathering the ingredients, start prepping. This is also a great time to catch up on all the podcasts you have been meaning to listen to or the audiobook that you keep putting away. Maybe just songs or the show that you have wanted to binge watch? Wash, chop, cook, boil, bake – whatever your dish entails. Make sure to work on recipes that can be reheated (soups, veggies, lentils, beans) or can be eaten cold (salads).
  • Store – Now that your dishes are prepared. Pack them in airtight containers and refrigerate them so that they are good to go throughout the week.

In summary

Batch cooking has a lot of advantages. The only disadvantage is that you have to dedicate some part of your weekend to cooking, but that is nothing when you look at the advantages. You bulk produce, so you use less energy, and bulk buying ingredients also saves money.

You have to head out to the grocery store only one time a week. You don’t have to spend tons of money on restaurants and takeouts. You don’t have to cook every day, nor do you have to worry about what to eat. You eat healthy so you can mark that off your list of things to do.

You can also work on your health goals and diets because diets require a little planning, which usually puts us off. You can do something or do nothing with the time you save every day with the meal plan in place.

You must have heard that “Modern problems require modern solutions.” This is the solution to everyone being too busy. It’s a win-win!

Health

How To Find Motivation For Running

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How To Find Motivation For Running

Running is one of the most pleasurable activities you can do. Along with making you feel super good, it also keeps your weight in check and takes care of your overall health. I hear so many stories of people whose lives changed since they started running and became a part of the running community.

However, it is not easy to put your shoes on and head out for a run each morning you wake up. It requires immense discipline and motivation for running on a consistent basis. This is why people try to find motivation for running by doing things like joining a runner’s group or wearing advanced gadgets that push them to do well.

Here are 5 things you can do to find motivation for running. I have personally tried all of these so there is no risk in considering trying them yourself.

1. Get running-specific clothes and shoes

How To Find Motivation For Running

For most people, running is not a one-time thing. Rather, it is a permanent part of their life which they want to cherish and share with others in their life. If you are planning to make running a part of your daily routine, you should consider investing in quality running clothes and shoes.

Running gear is usually not that expensive so even occasional runners can easily afford it. Running clothes are usually made from a synthetic material that dries up very quickly and is super lightweight. However, you should buy them depending on the weather conditions in the place where you stay. I have seen people running wearing a tracksuit too.  

However, you should not play around with the footwear you wear during running. Ill-fitted and worn out shoes can cause serious damage to the soft tissues in your feet. Most running injuries are difficult to heal and cause permanent damage to your ankle, knee, or hip region. So, buy shoes that are specifically made for running and also don’t forget to replace them every 4-6 months if you run regularly.

2. Use a running app to track your runs

Although running is a pleasurable activity for most of us, it’s important to keep track of your runs using an app. A running app is for people who are new to running and want to measure their progress. There are more sophisticated pieces of equipment available to help you do the same thing and I will discuss them in one of the next sections.

Endomondo is my personal favorite running app and its freemium version is good enough for me. It allows me to share my running accomplishment with other runners in my area. You can also take selfies and share it mid-run. This provides others all the motivation they need for running.

3. Join a local runner’s group

How To Find Motivation For Running

Every city has a runner’s group on social media sites like Facebook and Meetup. Along with providing motivation for running, these fellow runner’s can also become your good friends. Who doesn’t like people with the same interests? Moreover, most of these groups are newbie-friendly and non-profit.

So, all you have to do is provide positive energy and motivation for running to others in the group. You also get advice and guidance from expert runners without needing to hire a running coach. However, if you are one of those people who prefer to run solo, then you could use these groups occasionally. Solo running is also great as it helps you build self-reliance and self-confidence.

4. Get some music

How To Find Motivation For Running

A Brazilian study says listening to music improves performance and recovery during running a mini-marathon. In this study, researchers studied the effect of different forms of music on 15 well-trained male long-distance runners after conducting psychological assessments before and after the athletes ran while listening to music.

They concluded that, listening to music while running activates the prefrontal cortex area, numbs the feeling of pain and accelerates recovery. This research paper is a must read for people seeking motivation for running. Music can make you feel the right kind of emotions in a quick and effortless way. By making such a small change you can improve your performance by 30-40 percent.

5. Wear a running watch

A running watch is mostly used by professional runners for whom running is a career and not just a sport. However, there is nothing stopping you from getting one of these for helping you out with running. These watches provide vital information which is key for improving your running speed, distance covered and stride length.  

I have used a few running watches but, Garmin Forerunner 735XT is one of my favorite.  I don’t worry about exhaustion or overtraining as it measures my heart rate and notifies me if I overstep my healthy boundaries. Moreover, I can also use it during other activities like cycling and swimming. So, it does a lot more than just provide me motivation for running.

To reiterate, running is one of the best habits that can enhance the quality of your fitness and life in general. You should definitely do everything in your means to find motivation for running. However, running also brings along with a lot of niggles and injuries. So, don’t forget to add some strength and conditioning workout to your routine.

Reference:

“How does music aid 5 km of running? – NCBI.” Accessed May 31, 2019. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25029009.

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Skipping Breakfast Because You Are Busy is a Bad Idea

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Skipping Breakfast Because You Are Busy is a Bad Idea

Time and again, I have focused upon the importance of getting up early and how it is tied to achieving success. I also wrote an entire post giving tips on how to wake up early. One of the main benefits of getting up early that is more focused on your body and health than work is that you get time to eat a proper breakfast.

One of the main issues I see with entrepreneurs – because I have had the same – is that they will eat up whatever you tell them about being more productive but when it comes to their health, they can be least bothered. I was the same. The logic that we run on is that we need to put all in now so that we can have time to ourselves later.

What we miss here is that if we fail to take care of our bodies, it will fail to take care of us. A weak body won’t help you work hard. So the smart thing to do is take care of it while you can. Many people skip breakfast, not realizing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I have heard so many reasons that people give for skipping breakfast.

“I am not used to eating in the morning.”
“I don’t have time.”
“Having breakfast means getting late.”
“Not enough time to make a proper breakfast.”
“I will eat later/on the way.”

Most of these excuses can be chalked down to poor time management. If you don’t have time to sit and eat your breakfast then maybe wake up early. If you don’t have time to cook a proper meal, then you can meal prep the night before or on weekends. There are many articles and videos on how to meal prep for the whole week so that even if you are busy, you still are having a healthy diet.

Here are some ways to make sure that you eat a proper breakfast every morning:

1. Wake up early

Waking up early will give you much needed time to eat your breakfast in peace without having to rush out. Taking time to properly eat your food in the morning lets you have a relaxed start to your day.

2. Prepare the night before

If you have a really packed schedule in the morning and while you can make time to sit and eat but you cannot take time out to prepare something, then this is a great option. You have two options here. You can either make all the preparations the night before and then cook it in the morning. Like boiling eggs the night before, making a fruit bowl for the morning, etc.

The other way is just to cook whatever you are planning to eat and refrigerate it. All you have to do in the morning is microwave it.

3. Batch prep your meals

Skipping Breakfast Because You Are Busy is a Bad Idea

Now, if you can’t find time to prepare your breakfast at night or are too tired to do so. This is one of the best ways to ensure that you eat healthy the whole week. Prepare whole week worth of food on the weekends and refrigerate it. That way, all you have to do every day is either heat up a portion or eat it as it is, depending on what you made.

4. Add it to your to-do list

If you need external motivation to give you a push to eat, then add it as a task to your to-do list. I know many people who work a lot to get everything on their list complete. If that is the case with you, then go ahead and add self-care and meals in it too so that you finally do that too.

5. Download apps to keep track of your meals/Start a food journal

There are plenty of apps that have detailed entries for you to make to keep track of what you consume daily. This helps see what you intake and how much calories it adds up to. It also helps you see if you have a balanced diet or not and how to improve it. There are apps to keep track of how many glasses of water you drink too. I use MyFitnessPal to track what I eat.

You can also keep a food journal and make an entry every night before going to bed. This gives it more of a personal touch. Both of these things help you play your guilt over not taking care of your body, and you start making a conscious effort to eat good food.

6. Hang up a quick meal idea chart in your kitchen

Thinking of quick things to make isn’t exactly something you want to spend your time in the morning when you are rushing out of the door. I have already talked about some quick breakfast ideas that you can cook up in minutes or grab on the go. Having a list easily visible will save you time and energy, and you can quickly whip something up with what you have.

7. Keep your quick breakfast recipes in mind while grocery shopping

Skipping Breakfast Because You Are Busy is a Bad Idea

Remember to always pick up things like fruits, eggs, yogurt, milk, healthy cereals, and oats. These things are the easiest go-tos you can have when it comes to healthy breakfast and your rushing hours.

Skipping breakfast might seem like a small thing, and you might even get a feeling of you working hard because you don’t even have time to eat. Many people boast about how they don’t have time to eat. It is not something to be proud of.

Remember the good old saying that we learned in school, “Health is Wealth.” This is something that, ironically, we require a constant reminder of.

Most of the times it isn’t because you are too busy, it is because you aren’t managing your time efficiently. If you being too busy is the case, then you need to stop and take a step back. Evaluate what is important in life and cut back on some things so that you can make time for yourself.

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9 Health Benefits of Having Breakfast and Quick Breakfast Options

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9 Health Benefits of Having Breakfast and Quick Breakfast Options

When running late, we always tend to skip breakfast. Breakfast is treated like the most obvious thing to skip when it should be the last thing you skip. When you skip breakfast, you are letting your body know that it will not get fuel to burn for a while, so it has to conserve energy from the last meal it had. This causes your body to start storing fats because your metabolism slows down.

When you choose what you eat for breakfast, always focus on getting a balanced diet. Include whole foods that are filled with minerals, proteins, dietary fiber, fatty acids, and vitamins, meaning nutrient rich. Include eggs, yogurt, milk, fruits, oatmeal, whole wheat toast, wheat pasta, mixed nuts, etc.

Calorie-filled sugary food, sugary cereals, white bread, processed food, etc. can cause more damage than you can imagine. Yes, they are quick bites, but they can be harmful to your body in the long run. After I talk about the health benefits that you reap from having breakfast, I will give you some quick breakfast options for when you are running late.

1. It gives your body strength and energy

Eating a healthy breakfast gives you the energy to go about your day. You need to be fully charged to tackle all the things you need to throughout the day. This isn’t possible if you haven’t had anything in the morning. Your body will be running on the leftover energy from the last night’s meal, most of which has already been consumed by your body.

2. It helps lessen frequent food cravings

9 Health Benefits of Having Breakfast and Quick Breakfast Options

When you eat a full breakfast, you have a lot to work on till you reach lunch. When you skip breakfast is when you opt for fast unhealthy food. Something to munch on so that you can sustain yourself till lunch. If you see yourself reaching for fast food quite often before lunch, you should start including more nutrients in your breakfast and start eating breakfast if you don’t already.

3. It helps consume less sugar

When your body has received the required energy in the form of breakfast, you will stop craving something to put in your body. Mostly we lean towards things that are heavy in sugar content. Energy drinks and caffeine aren’t exactly your friends. Yes, they give you instant help but are very detrimental to your health in the long run.

4. It helps you control your appetite

This one ties in with two of the things we talked about. When your stomach is empty, and you are waiting for the lunch hour to strike, that is when you binge-eat junk food. The stress of having to wait for lunch, combined with the other stresses of your life makes you eat more sugary food. If you already have something healthy and filling in your body, it becomes easy to not eat junk food.

5. It helps you lose weight

9 Health Benefits of Having Breakfast and Quick Breakfast Options

Many dieticians will tell you how vital breakfasts are to losing weight. Losing weight doesn’t mean starving yourself. It means you need to eat food that is nutrient rich and has fewer calories. This helps you lose weight. Include vitamins and proteins in your breakfast. Proteins are the base of a lot of breakfast options anyway. Try including omega-3 fatty acids as well.

6. It boosts your immunity system

One of the reasons to incorporate fruits in your breakfast is to boost your immune system. Citrusy fruits are said to be best for it. The antioxidants you receive from the fruits help strengthen your immune system and your body.

7. It increases your bone strength

A lot of breakfast options include dairy products. We all know that calcium is the main component needed for our bone strength. Breakfast options that include milk, cheese, yogurt (pretty much anything that is made of milk), egg whites, etc. help you strengthen your bones.

8. It helps increase memory

Carbohydrates are also one of the essential nutrients for your brain. Incorporating them in your breakfast helps your memory and concentration levels. Having mineral rich breakfast is also related to better cognitive skills.

9. It helps maintain psychological health

Focusing on your psychological health is as important as your physical health. Your sustenance depends on both. Food items benefit your brain, depending on what you eat. Food enriched with potassium and magnesium is great for your brain. Consuming a well-balanced breakfast can help you maintain your psychological health because you are starting your day with caring for it.

Quick and healthy breakfast alternatives when you are running really late-

9 Health Benefits of Having Breakfast and Quick Breakfast Options

1. Fruits – Most fruits don’t need you to prep them. Grab an apple or a banana while you bolt out the door to catch your uber. You can also have fruits like watermelon, muskmelon, papaya precut in your refrigerator to grab for busy mornings. This can also be turned into a fruit salad container to take along.

2. A glass of milk – It doesn’t take much time to pour a glass of milk and drink it, neither does it need a lot of effort from your side.

3. A glass of juice – If you have no time to make fresh juice, try making it the night before. It doesn’t take long to make juice either. You just have to blend it in the blender, and you are good to go. Don’t go for packaged juice, most of them have high sugar content.

4. Smoothie – If you have a little bit of time, then add more to your blending jar full of fruit that you were going to turn into juice and turn it into a healthy and filling smoothie.

5. Yogurt smoothies – Talking about smoothies, how can I not talk about one of the most popular and my favorite option – yogurt smoothie. Yogurt smoothies are an excellent quick breakfast option to have or leave your house with. Along with some low-fat yogurt pop in some fruits like mangoes or bananas or some berries and you have yourself a quick healthy drink.

6. Eggs – Eggs, in any form, are quick and healthy to make. You can have boiled eggs if you plan. You can boil the eggs the night before or put the eggs to boil while you are doing your morning chores, and by the time you are done, you will have boiled eggs. You can also quickly scramble the eggs or make an omelet. The possibilities of a healthy breakfast with eggs are endless here.

7. Oats – Oats are the epitome of healthy breakfast when it comes to representation. Grab some quick-cooking ones, and you are good to go.

9 Health Benefits of Having Breakfast and Quick Breakfast Options

With planning, you will be able to have proper healthy breakfast every day, but on days you really can’t afford to spare some time, use these breakfast options to still keep yourself nutritiously fueled.

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