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Vibrant health means you can live life to the fullest. Empower yourself with the steps I used to free my life of chronic disease and medications.

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67 Comments

        • I recently had to replace my old toaster oven. After some research I got at Panasonic Infrared Toaster Oven. You don’t even have to pre-heat, its really hot right away. No weird coating inside the oven. It is square in shape, not rectangle like the typical toaster oven. Reviews are great. I got mine directly off the panasonic website. One negative for me, is the flat pan it comes with. I put it in dishwasher and that metal doesn’t do well with that. A grey “residue” rubs off. Did my research on that also. You will have to look into that as I can’t remember specifics. I cook my fish in a small glass dish with a glass lid to eliminate fats splattering on the interior and the heating rods. A filet of wild salmon cooks nicely in a small corning ware dish at 390 for 20 min. I do not use foil. Love this oven as others have stated also. It comes in black or white.

  1. I love this and will definitely need to do something like this myself. It’s so much easier to stick with eating this way if the food is prepped and ready to go or reheat easily.

    Thanks for laying out your procedure.

  2. Thank you so much – this is immensely helpful!! I’m getting ready to have a baby and this will help me both at the end of pregnancy and as baby arrives. A couple questions: Do you eat the coconut butter/sweet potato puree cold or reheat? What do you do with the chicken you pull off the bones? I can imagine but would love to hear your ideas. And, how do you use your broth? Do you just drink it with meals or make other things? Thanks again.

  3. Thank You, for this post, it is Extremely helpful! I have two questions: how large is the chicken that you cook for 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees, and is it whole or in pieces?

    I usually bake a whole 2-pound chicken at 400 degrees for 1 hour; if the bird is heavier then I add 1/2-hour for each additional 1/2-pound.

    At 350-degrees I bake a whole chicken at 1/2-pound per hour, so a 2-pound whole chicken would bake 4 hours at 350-degrees.

    So, I find that it’s faster to bake a 2-pound bird for 1 hour at 400-degrees. I’m eager to hear the details of your chicken-baking, as I’m wondering if it’s the same or different from mine, and if different then why, & should I change…http://mooremusicedstudio.blogspot.com/p/books-im-reading.html

      • Thanks, Lauren. Your birds must be under 2 lbs on average, I would guess. I buy only grass-fed & pastured meats, too–yum! and worth every penny, more satisfying to eat so a little goes a long way, plus much better health for us.

        Thanks again!

        • I wondered about this too. I buy organic Smart Chickens and they are 3-4lbs. I wondered if Lauren was advising way undercooked chicken!

          For a 3-4lb bird, you can do it in one hour, breast-side down, like so:

          500 deg 15 minutes
          450 deg 15 minutes
          Baste with drippings.
          425 deg 30 minutes.

          This is not fun in summer – a toaster oven outside becomes your outdoor kitchen, but chicken poaching in the summer is an easy way to do it, too. Takes less than an hour on stovetop with water (or broth) heating for only 15 minutes or so.
          http://www.chefdarin.com/2011/04/why-boiled-chicken-is-bad/

      • I don’t know about pastured chicken being smaller (maybe different breeds are used in the States, I am in Canada), but my homegrown pastured chickens are bigger than grocery store ones. It is my understanding that most meat chicken farmers use the same breed (Cornish cross), but I think the grocery store ones must be processed sooner since they are so small (3-4 lbs). Mine reach an average of 7-8 pounds at 8 weeks.
        I think that the size of a chicken when it’s processed depends on it’s age, not on how it was raised. Although, I do understand that a chicken allowed to roam around might not gain as much weight, it has not seemed to make a substantial difference in my experience. They still love their grain and eat a lot of it (on top of the bugs and the grasses).

  4. I wish I could cook only 2 meats, alas, my whole family eats AIP food for dinner. However, I do batch cook AIP oatmeal, brussel sprout hash, and sweet potato hash for breakfasts and lunches. Other great things are to rice a cauliflower to quickly sauté and chop a zucchini (or 3) for a quick steam or grill.

  5. Lauren! I’ve been amazed by your blog for months!! I am a missionary in my mid-twenties and I am absolutely a scatterbrain, and really struggle with eating my Paleo AIP diet. I am doing GAPS now, but out of curiousity, when did you add in sweet potatoes again? I am healing candida as well- so all those things ex-nay sweet potaters.

  6. I applaud your efforts, but as a caterer & personal chef it is impossible to do all you do in 2 hours. Especially since you are creating 21 meals AND you never address clean up!! Sometimes that can take another hour to wash, dry & put away all the big items that do not fit into the dishwasher (if you have one).
    We both know the key to cooking is timing & organization. Your posting will help many with the organization, but timing (without any distractions) is more realistically 3 hours (w/out clean up).

    On another note, I do like your postings on FB & emails. I read mostly all, however sometimes life happens & I have to skip one.
    Thanks for your time,
    Mary Ellen

  7. Lauren you are the best! Thank you for all you do for your readers! Your articles, recipes and photos are top notch!! This is exactly the kind of post that inspires me and keeps me going when I feel overwhelmed with AIP 🙂 Much, much gratitude from a mom and toddler on AIP

  8. I love all of the ingredients you use for your cook up.

    I would feel quite comfortable with all of these and would not feel in any way deprived having this food to come home to.

    In New Zealand we have a sweet potato called kumara – soft yellow flesh, creamy – very nice and great alternative to white potato.

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Great post, you have inspired me to do some “batch cooking” too 😀 you are so organized! I read so much about the health benefits of bone broth that I want to try it, but cooking bones for 2 days just seems kinda gross, but maybe I could try it as a soup base like you said you do. Also, do you remove the foamy stuff that gets on the top of the bone broth while it is cooking?

    • Maggie, It was recommended to me that I have bone broth daily so went about making my first batch. It tasted awful but I powered through each and every cup! Later on, I accidentally diluted the broth and it was so much better! So, for me, I always dilute it down a bit and add my spices (sea salt, pepper, onion, garlic) and let it steep (don’t boil it) for a few minutes in order to melt the Tbsp coconut oil I put in before drinking.
      And yes, do skim off the froth.

  10. How do you eat these once they’re done? Do you just eat “as-is” (apart from heating where appropriate)?

    I’m on a diet that’s pretty similar to AIP, and I am not only starving, I HATE it. I’m really tired of eating the same 2-3 dry meats over and over and over. I feel like my entire life revolves around food – that I don’t even LIKE – and I would LOVE to find a workable solution!

    • Rachel, if you’re eating chicken, it doesn’t have to be dry. Whether you want to roast or poach, I posted two moist-retaining methods above (one is a link, and for roasting, I add fat under chicken skin before roasting, breast-down in pan – no rack – to absorb extra juices).

      I hate dry meat too. Noone should have to eat dry meat. Everyone should receive pleasure from eating (obviously and sadly, this only applies to the First World).

    • I hate dry meat, too. The secret is to NOT overcook it.

      A whole chicken is done when an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh is 170 (for me, that ensures that there is no blood).

      Be sure to roast your whole chickens breast side down to ensure that the white meat doesn’t dry out.

      If you are cooking boneless chicken breasts, 160 is done, and 165 for breasts with bones.

      Also, never allow your chicken to be boiled, either in a stock pot or in a broth or sauce. Boiling chicken makes it very dry.

      Hope this helps a bit.

  11. Awesome, Lauren! This is how I also spend a couple hours every Sunday getting ready for the work week. It’s cool to see the whole procedure written out as you have it here. I remember the first couple of times I did batch cooking it felt like a culinary hurricane – pretty overwhelming. Now it’s easier to think about. This post will be so helpful for so many readers, including me 🙂

  12. Great ideas! I cook for 5 among 3 generations so it’s difficult to fully batch. Make a big pressure cooker pot of grassfed beef bone broth every 2 weeks or so. (See Nom Nom paleo blog for details.)
    Get a big CSA box weekly and prep the veggies right away so they’re ready for cooking/salads etc. plus my garden.
    I love the meatball ideas/herb spice combos in Well Fed 2 by Melissa Joulwan. Sometimes bake a big batch on weekend.
    I try to keep a meat defrost bowl filled in the frig but quick thaw in a pinch. Use more economical ground meats.
    We eat pastured eggs….quick and easy to incorporate leftover veggies.
    I’m retired now so have more free time than most!

  13. Hi Lauren, thank you for another great article!

    Some questions:

    – I am always worried that cooking in advance will have two negative side effects: 1) the food will get mouldy (even when it’s not visible yet, Candida diets always stress this point) 2) the process of heating and reheating will cause the food to lose nutrients. Is this true? What are your thoughts?

    – Do you store all of this in the fridge or also in the freezer? I had the same question when I read “Well Fed”. I can eat something that was prepared yesterday, but I can’t imagine eating stuff that was prepared 3 or 4 days ago.

    _ How about the histamine in meats that were prepared and then cooled down?

    Looking forward to your answers!!!

    PS I cook paleo and AIP for 3 people, if I want to prepare all in advance, I’ll need a bigger fridge 🙂

  14. After you’ve cooked all this, do you just eat it as is? or do you have a ‘meal plan’ to go with it? Such as Day 1: chicken pieces, greens and rice. Day 2 chicken salad with pureed broccoli.. .and so on?

  15. Wondering what you do with the pureed greens? Do you just eat it that way? I’m not sure I could do it… but I’d like to use more greens especially since I get them in my CSA box and I don’t really love salads… I usually juice them and add to a smoothie but I think cooking them would be easier on my gut.

  16. Lauren, I applaud you. I’m 78, have had lots of kitchen experience, but this post inspired me to try your batch cooking. My son, who is a Natureopathic Physician, introduced me to your newsletter about one year ago and I totally enjoy you and have learned quite a lot from you. God bless.

  17. Hi Lauren, I have 4 kids home educating and I’m studying and running the house, so I batch cook. I generally take a day of cooking. I cook and freeze in individual portions so my girls can say what they want each evening and it goes into the oven from the freezer, a la carte, according to the house menu 🙂 Currently we have 8 or 9 things on offer (as well as things that can just be flung in to roast … such as fish). I keep a count of what is used so that I can replenish stocks of dishes as they run low. It also makes it fun because I get to cook new things and most nights I only have to prepare salad or veg to go with our meals. I freeze portions in tubs (all the same size) and then pop them out and wrap them, to conserve space. Then we have oven dishes the same size too. Batch cooking is very liberating. 🙂 I tend to add a lot of things in to my meals too … things that my children don’t eat otherwise. 🙂

  18. Love this post! Yesterday was the first time I took my hand at batch cooking, thanks to this article!!. I love to cook and do it frequently, but now that my son has started kindergarten it’s important for me to spend as much time with him as possible after getting home from school. Being that I work from home as a real estate agent, batch cooking during the day while he’s at school only makes since. Thank you so much for posting this article. I myself learned that I have Candida Albicans, so paleo cooking has become my new lifestyle. It’s definitely more time consuming, but I love it so much more and you’re site is great for it! Thanks so much!

    • Not sure, but a breakfast item that I enjoy making in batches are egg muffins. Add whatever vegetable and/or meat that you like. I use a dozen eggs and pour them into a muffin tin greased with coconut oil, butter, or ghee.

  19. Thank you for this!! Question- Do you store any of your meals in the freezer (like if you cook for a month ahead of time? And if so, do you have any ideas on what to store the meals in (aside from plastic!)? Lately I’ve been using mason jars or glass tupperware to keep quiche batter or soup in but I’m wondering if there is a better way. Thanks!

  20. Lauren, Thanks for all your wisdom and inspiration! I love your site and have been using it for about a year. This Sunday I was finally able to dive into this batch cooking session, and it was awesome – my husband and I ended up with almost a week’s worth of meals that are filling and tasty AND we are so pumped about our bone broth. It’s his new morning ritual, and I’m excited that he’s joining me in my whole/organic/nutrient-rich food journey! Just wanted to say thank you, and I really appreciate your work!

  21. Great article. I’m a newbie to eating clean but we sound very similar in our methodologies – knocking the week’s meals out in a time effective way all the while listening to pandora on a Sunday evening! Question – you mention drinking the chic broth at meals. How often/how much and what benefits have you noticed? I ask as I have not used all the broth I’ve made and would like to use it to its fullest each week. However, didn’t think about drinking it straight. Thoughts?

  22. Really excited to try your suggestions here. Lately I’ve been feeling like my time spent cooking every day is very inefficient and since I often work until 630pm and then exercise after, by the time dinner is ready to eat I’m lucky if ours before 8pm. And now my boyfriend works nights starting at 815pm which makes for some rushed evenings! Is it Saturday yet?? Can’t wait to get started!

  23. just want to say how much I like your cooking ahead. I am in the in-betweens over 60 and taking care of elderly Mom and grandchildren…..it is a great help to cook ahead. Chicken stock is fast and delicious cooked in a pressure cooker, much faster and gels beautifully. My Grands love to drink it on cold days to warm them up.

  24. Great post with simple instructions! I do this every week as well. I use similar ingredients but also eat grains, so I do mix it up with quinoa, beans, and oatmeal cooked in batches.. Or I made a soup like carrot ginger, vegetable, ham and pea, lentil, or broccoli avocado. Another easy paleo hack is to cut up your meat and make lettuce wraps with the end of your food prep items. I love your blog!

    • I like to make a chicken salad using avocados instead of mayo with celery, lemon and seasoning of choice, for the broth I like to put in coconut butter (comes in a box) lemon and pinch of cayenne.

  25. There are some great ideas here (in the article and the reader comments) and I’d like to add one more. You mentioned a few times to drain the liquid from the steamed veg – SAVE this liquid to mash back in, add to soup, or just drink it … it contains some vitamins and minerals.

    Joanne
    Frugal Home and Health

  26. This is fantastic! Super smart approach. I LOVE cooking with music on. I’ve used Pandora but now Spotify is how I roll since I can create a “paleo cooking playlist” and share it with my friends on facebook.

    I’m going to try out the Greens this week.

  27. I started batch cooking nearly two years ago with my crock pot and found it such a comfort to know that I had healthy, portion controlled meals ready in the fridge and freezer for the coming week. Now I use the oven as well for chicken and minced beef dishes. I am loving all the tasty muffins and bars I am now adding to my weekly cook…if only I could get them to rise as well as those made with traditional flours! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  28. A girl after my own heart listening to Broadway tunes in the kitchen 😉 I love this approach of just focusing on the key ingredients to make up in advance. I get so caught up in planning “meals” that I tend to make too much work for myself. Thanks a bunch!

  29. Thanks–I loved reading this. For those of us that have to cook everything, I just figured out that batch cooking is the secret.

    I live in a country where it isn’t possible to get organic or free range chickens. Would throwing the bones into the slow cooker for broth still be beneficial?

  30. Thanks for sharing! Just a tip I learned from my naturopath: use uncooked bones for your broth (it’s a pain de-boning a chicken–but if you have the time it’s so worth it) the collagen content and nutritional benefits will be much greater –and yes the ACV will help that much more!

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Lauren Geertsen, NTP

I’m an author, entrepreneur, and nutritional therapy practitioner (NTP). I began this website at 19, to share the steps that freed my life of chronic disease and medication. Now, Empowered Sustenance has reached 30 million readers with healthy recipes and holistic resources.

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