Top 5 Must-Do
I abso-friggen-lutely + 110% just L O V E cooking for clients and being that extra set of hands that they're missing in the kitchen due to a busy work schedule, hectic family life, or simply being that they do not know how to cook—let alone, cook nutritiously + think cooking nutritiously is too expensive! Surprise, surprise! No, don't even think like that. I got you. Trust in Hazl because we #eatbetterfeelbetter and that's how we do it. Going to culinary school + graduating with a degree in culinary nutrition has forever changed my life, mindset, and urge to just want to help—help others help themselves in ways they may or may not be educated enough about through nutrition.
I'm so thankful and so blessed for pursuing a career path that allows me to make people's insides smile as big + as bright as their outside. #YAS #realfood
Since I began meal-prepping for clients, I have so quickly learned a few tips + tricks that really go a long way while in the kitchen! These top 5 must-do things are what work for *me and allow for me to be more efficient when preparing meals every week.
I hope this helps + if you have any questions or comments, pretty please feel free to leave them below!
1. P L A N
- First and foremost—you must plan, plan, and then plan some more! I literally plan + map out the timing of my whole day from the minute I'm awake in the morning until the minutes I have to go to leave for work in the late afternoon, no joke! #literally
- I've learned to become more realistic with how long it takes me while at the grocery store grabbing ingredients + products for meals and I like to give myself more time for my grocery runs—I gaze around way too much and always catch myself down isles that aren't necessarily essentially for client prepping days—plus traffic, I'm always sitting in dang traffic!
- I always plan the recipes that I will be creating the night before, a l w a y s. There's nothing more obnoxious to me than contemplating what to make with a whole bag of goodies because let's be really really . . . . . TOO many options fly through my head + although it's what I do, I get too much anxiety when I'm on a timed-schedule to be coming up with things from scratch—that's what recipe-testing days are for!
2. N U T R I T I O N
- 1oo,ooo,ooo% nutrition is my main focus, goal, and desire!
- I'm always in + out of grocery stores and visiting local farmer's markets seeking the best of the best, freshest, and seasonally-based produce—that's what it's all about, staying in season and truly utilizing each vegetable, fruit + grain for all of it nutritional worth.
- Despite the gray cloudy days + colder temperatures in the winter—don't fret—there's still beauty amongst us! Some of my *favorite produce right now are beets, brussels sprouts, persimmons, greens, radishes, and nonetheless, P O M E G R A N A T E S.
- Cooking with fresh produce (as well as fresh proteins) matter the most to me, but what kicks things up a notch in nutrition is cooking techniques.
- As much as I love keeping things *raw and not bringing heat to produce, there's nothing wrong with a little bit of roasting, broiling, sautéing, steaming, grilling, baking, poaching, and etc.—just NO frying allowed because when frying in oil, it allows for the oil to be soaked up during the process adding unwanted fat.
3. H E R B S + S P I C E S
- There's never a day that passes me by in which I do NOT dive straight into my herb drawer in the fridge OR dried herbs section in my cabinet when cooking in the kitchen—whether I'm cooking for a client, myself, Blu or friends—I forever + always use herbs + spices for flavoring. Always, forever. Fresh or dried, obsessed. Need.
- I will write another post soon about my "pantry 101" and what I always have in stock!
4. E A T before!
- Don't laugh. Eat before. Trust me. Lol. I learned the hard way—eat before OR you will forever be getting a stomach ache and taking a "potty break" . . . . . WHAT, who said that? Lol, yes!
- But in all seriousness, just eat a quick meal beforehand so that while you're prepping, you're not starving + find yourself eating half of what you bought for your client—guilty as charged, but lesson learned.
5. Be I N F O R M A T I V E + creative
- Always, always!
- One of the things I've learned pretty dang quickly is to express to clients why I use the grains, fresh produce, proteins, and such things as I do because without the cold-hard facts backing me up, there's hardly any validation other than the typical —"just eat this, it's good for you"—allow them to be them aware of all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants + everything in-between that they'll be consuming through nutritious cooking!
- Having a "picky" eater is always tough but slow + steady wins the race!
- Slowly implement new side dishes, flavor profiles, and proteins when preparing meals for clients of all ages! I've found that keeping it pretty simple at first, and then kicking it up a notch for one meal keeps it fun, light, and interesting. As long as you have a client willing + open to trying new things, do NOT bombard them, slow and steady!
It all starts from within! #eatbetterfeelbetter #selflove #motivation #newyearbetteryou