Posts tagged getting organized
Meal Prepping Before a Massive Kitchen Remodel (or Anything Else that Will Keep you Out of the Kitchen)

If you’ve listened to some of our previous episodes in the podcast, you probably know that right after the big launch of The Roadmap (our brand new online course that teaches you how to go vegan step by step), we were heading straight into a MASSIVE kitchen remodel. When I shared this, a lot of you wrote saying that you thought our current kitchen looked so great in our videos and you were wondering what on Earth we were going to do with it. Here’s the deal, and this might come as a huge surprise if you haven’t heard me confess it before. The kitchen you see in our videos is not our real kitchen!

What?!

Well, yes that is the truth.

When we first started filming for brownble we filmed one yummy recipe in our real kitchen and it has forever been under lock and key! The light wasn’t good enough and our lights for filming didn’t fit comfortably in the kitchen. Carlos had trouble moving around the kitchen with the cameras and tripods, not to mention the mic stand, or the fact that I’ve never really loved our kitchen and we’ve been wanting to change it practically since we moved into this apartment about 9 years ago. As we were pondering at night how we might be able to improve the quality of the videos filmed in our kitchen, Carlos suddenly had a stroke of genius and he began to plan and draw up a set for filming. Aka, our video “kitchen” set that was, and still is, very beautiful, but which we have to take down and set up after and before each new video.

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Grocery Day Meal Prep

You've heard me talk about the weekly habit that has changed my life in the kitchen the most many times in this blog. Sometimes I've called it batch cooking, sometimes I've called it meal prepping, sometimes I've called it my one pot of beans, one pot of grains ritual, sometimes I've called it the lifesaver, the money saver, the time saver, the sanity saver. We even have a whole section dedicated to this in our online program, with new batch cooking sessions coming soon. It doesn't matter how you call it, it can change your life and your way of eating! Why? Because you invest a little time in it, but it saves you 5 times as much throughout the week. It helps you build quick and delicious meals, and it helps protect you against the "I have no idea what to make for dinner brain fog syndrome". 

I first learned about this little weekly habit from Alicia Silverstone and her book The Kind Diet. In it, she talks about how making a pot of beans and a pot of grains a week can save you so much time the following one. It doesn't mean you'll be eating beans and rice every day, it means you have a sturdy base, already made for you to add additions or transform it into delicious dishes. A pot of beans and a pot of grains suddenly gets transformed into bean burritos with all the fixings, a seven layer dip, a veggie bowl, a big salad with tons of layers, veggie burgers, you get the idea.

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10 Unusual Tips for Sress-Free Holiday Cooking and Entertaining

As I mentioned last week, we've been hosting tons of holiday gatherings this year due to the fact that we finally have family living near us this year! I've shopped, planned, prepped, tested, decorated and cooked round the clock this holiday season, and even though I thought I knew all there was to know about saving time and energy when entertaining, every year I learn something new.

I've given you tons of entertaining advice in the past, and we've covered the basics including very helpful tips such as setting the table the night before, making your shopping list a week ahead of time in case you're in the neighborhood of some of your specialty stores. Planning out your menu so you don't need 6 stove burners when you only have four, and making sure you enlist some help. These are all part of having a stress-free holiday gathering, but today I thought I'd talk to you about some of the more unusual tips that might just make a world of difference. Sometimes it's those teeny tiny tasks that either make or break you, and if you need a seven hour nap after a seven hour cooking marathon, something's gotta give! It's time to change things up so that you can enjoy your holiday gatherings as a host just as much as your guests do.

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5 Tips to Help you Get Organized with Vegan Meal Ideas

So many of our unhealthier choices stem from that moment of complete brain freeze when we have to get dinner ready and we have no idea what we're going to make. Keeping a varied, fun and delicious diet is so important when it comes to sticking to a plant based way of eating, and especially if you were, or are, a total meat and potatoes person like I used to be, the transition to a vegan diet can be overwhelming sometimes, and you can often find yourself making the same dish over and over again and eventually grow tired of it. Not to mention the fact that glowing nutrition comes hand in hand with varying up those veggies and beans and whole grains and textures, flavors, colors. That's the sweet spot!

One of the great changes that veganism has brought to my life is how varied and colorful and creative my dishes are now, when compared to what I ate before, but this isn't something that just comes automatically the second you go vegan. Nope! I had to do a little leg work and wrap my head around some systems that now take no effort at all, and that made all the difference for me. 

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How to Organize your Recipes: A Recipe Storage and Meal Idea System that Works (or life lessons from trying every system on the planet!)

One of my biggest tools for success in the kitchen and especially with healthy eating is definitely organization. You know this if you've watched our latest FREE video series in which I help you revamp your healthy eating habits, and I give you a tour of my kitchen and pantry and how I get it organized. This is certainly the biggest tool in my organizational arsenal that ensures I eat really really well, but another part is having easy access and a system for all those recipes and meal ideas I love and make time and time again.

When it comes to systems to organize recipes, I can tell you I've tried absolutely all of them. I went back and forth for years and I still couldn't find a system that worked for me. 

I tried notebooks, large binders with magazine cutouts, online storage systems, and even a recipe organization software. It may sound extreme to you but when you're a recipe creator like I am and you spend most of your waking hours in the kitchen, you need a system or you end up having the same problem most of us have:

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NEW FOR MEMBERS!: DIFFERENT MEAL PLANNING METHODS

You've heard me talk about the importance of being prepared and getting organized when it comes to eating a healthy vegan diet. When I talk about organization and your health, I almost always refer to 3 different aspects. The kings of planning to succeed when it comes to healthy eating:

  • Keeping an organized kitchen and living space.

  • Batch cooking some staples for the week ahead, and...

  • Meal planning.

Today we're kicking off the organizational tips section of your online program with an amazing video that will teach you all about two different tried and true meal planning techniques I love. I have used them both and they work incredibly well, for different reasons. We're explaining why meal planning is essential for creating healthy eating habits that last, how to get started, and the pros and cons of each method so you can find what works for you.

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ONLINE PROGRAM PARTY! OUR VERY FIRST BATCH COOKING SESSION

Guess what day it is today? I'll give you a hint: today I started my day with a workout, a walk with the dogs, breakfast with my hubby, long awesome conversations with friends, and coming up next I'll be diving into delicious vegan sushi and a romantic vegan fondue dinner for two, and yes there will be cupcakes... made out of chocolate... with frosting... Can you guess? Today is my birthday! As you can probably tell, I never celebrate without bringing you guys along for the ride, so today we're unveiling our brand new section in the online program with our very first batch cooking episode!

If there's one practical tip that has helped me eat really healthily and remove stress from my busy life it has been batch cooking. A.k.a. preparing some basics over the weekend (or whenever you have the time), and have a fully stocked fridge, filled with healthy whole foods that I can mix and match for delicious veggie bowls, or use in other recipes throughout the week. This once a week ritual has been a lifesaver, and whenever I skip it I can really tell throughout the week. I spend more money, order more takeout than I probably should, and I'm a bit more stressed trying to cook everything day in and day out. Batch cooking helps so much with this.

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