Howdy Folks!!! (Charles here). Back in January, through the referral of our good buddy Robb Wolf, I began counseling military families on the importance of nutrition in having a strong family unit. It is an amazing program and I’m simply thrilled to be giving something to a community of men and women that give us SO much. This past weekend was the first opportunity, since Scott was born, that Julie was able to join me for one of these workshops. The dynamic duo was back together again!!! It was a great weekend-complete with Scott getting some solid “play in the grass” time and finally stringing together a few crawling steps. Crawling baby = life as we know it changes yet again.
The other unique thing about this weekend was that this was the second time I’d spoken to this command. That had Julie and I pretty busy coming up with some new material to give these folks more take home value after the weekend. It seemed appropriate to share some of that material with you all today. The message we delivered is simply this: Utilize the kitchen as a catalyst to build a closer, happier and more resilient family. Sounds kind of obvious, right? Hopefully, many of you are getting in the kitchen and making some tasty dishes. It needs to be more than just cooking and so I wanted to share a few tips/tricks with you that we used this weekend to make the act of cooking so much more for you too.
Tip #1- Failing to plan is planning to fail.
Whether you are a seasoned kitchen ninja or just trying to learn your way around the kitchen, you have to have a plan in place before the week gets started. Get the family together and let everyone have a say in meal selection and make your grocery list. What meals do you want to make? When do you want to eat them? Who’s doing what when it comes time to shop/cook/clean? Grocery lists save you time in the store and tend to keep your food budget where you intended.
Tip #2- Be sure everyone is involved during meal prep.
Remember, we are trying to make this fun and interactive. Everyone involved should have a job or two when you cook. We absolutely love watching videos from our friend Chrissy Gower. She has her son Kayden doing everything from measuring out ingredients to chopping up mushrooms. You can bet that Scott will be pushing buttons or washing veggies the minute he is able. Giving everyone a task is critical to reconnecting to our food. Got a spouse coming home late from work or kids that have practice? Put them on kitchen cleanup. That still counts and might be the unsung hero of cooking at home.
Tip #3- The kitchen must be fun and devoid of judgement.
I always say, ‘if it isn’t fun, you are not likely to do it’. The kitchen should be a place of interaction and learning together. You’re teaching you, your spouse and children life long skills. There are no wrong answers, only quests to make awesome chow.
If you are making initial baby steps to prepare your own food, start with a few meals a week. You can supplement your meals with some pre-made stuff…or utilize Robb Wolf’s Paleo Dining Out Guide. Pre-made meals are becoming more prevalent as the paleo movement continues to build steam. Speaking of building up steam…gotta talk about some dear friends of ours that are doing amazing things in Charlotte, NC.
Carter and Amber Lewis (we call them Camber for short) have been dear friends of ours since Julie and I met back in 2008. In fact, Camber were present at the inaugural cook off between Julie and me…needless to say Julie squashed me like a grape. Carter and Amber have moved around a bit and ended up settling in Charlotte, NC a few years ago. They jumped on the paleo wagon not long after we did and have taken their passion for food to a whole new level. ModPALEO has been making pre-made paleo meals now for over a year and they make simply AMAZING food for you. Recently, the developed a ModMINI meal plans specifically for kids. They shipped us some of their stuff not long ago and we whole heartedly endorse their skills. We only wish they were still in the ATL so that we could treat ourselves to an occasional night off in the kitchen. That said, check out some of their drop off points. If you live in Ohio, North Carolina or South Carolina…you might be able to get your hands on some of their vittles. Keep up the great work Camber!!!
That’s all for now folks. Remember to get your butts in the kitchen and be on the lookout for some fun recipes and content coming out of the Paleo Comfort Foods Camp in the coming months.