Thursday, May 5, 2011


One of my friends recently said that, after she began reading Calorie Neutral, she decided to add some fruit to her days.

What a great decision! I thought.

She told me that within a week of cooking up some compote, someone asked her what she was doing because she looked different.

How cool is that? I thought.

And then my friend had a houseguest for a few days. And then she went away for a weekend. And there's the full-time job and volunteer work and, alas, laundry and dusting….

How do we make time to make compote? Or peel carrots for snacks, or any of the other tasks that take more minutes than slapping some cheese between a couple of slices of bread, or pulling a muffin from the bag?

I referred once to Sunday Set-up as explained by Kathy Kaehler, a lifestyle celebrity in the US.

I'm revisiting it again, because I still find the principle a huge help.

I don't do a whole week's worth of veg in one go.

Instead, a few times a week, while I'm waiting for my teakettle to boil, I wash and chop a head of broccoli; peel and grate maybe three carrots; rinse, tear and spin a couple of salads' worth of greens.

The next time I put the kettle on, I'll peel and chop a few carrots, wash and slice a pepper or two.

I throw it all in bowls in the fridge and it is SO MUCH EASIER to resist peanut butter toast when all I have to do is grab a handful of broccoli and toss it in a pot to steam while I toss the grated carrots with a handful of walnuts and a drizzle of some basil-infused olive oil.

The food is ready to eat just as fast as toast – and it gives me time to rummage up some protein, too.

The beauty of it is, I'm not taking time away from anything else.

Okay, maybe the dusting…


  1. One small way to save time in veg prep would be to NOT peel those carrots! I haven't peeled any for years now, after reading that the majority of nutrients are right under the skin, and not to peel.... I just scrub them quickly with a plastic scrubbie, and then cut away.... :)

  2. Excellent point, Madeline!

    I suppose I could do the same with the apples and pears in my compote…

    I think you've just saved me another chunk of time. Not that I'm going to spend it dusting, mind you :)