Teaching IS Exhausting.

I think we can all agree on that. For example, my day begins with my alarm going off at 3:30 am. I get up early so I can have a quiet house to myself. I read or listen to about 15 minutes of an audiobook, check my email and Facebook, and workout in my garage or living room (depending on what program I’m doing). From there I’ve got just enough time to pack my food for the day, make breakfast, and get cleaned up for work before I need to head out the door to school.
At school I’m constantly being pulled in a dozen different directions between teaching my classes, coaching my high school team, helping students, and serving on district committees. And when you throw in extracurricular activities for our kids or tasks that need to get done after work, we are exhausted and almost too tired to do anything else.
It’s no wonder why teachers seldom make dinners when we get home from our busy days. So instead we pick something up on the way home, order pizza or take-out, or we cut corners and heat up a prepared meal that high in preservatives and added fats and sugars. Over time this not only leads to us gaining weight but it becomes expensive when we add up these charges for the month.
But it doesn’t have to be this way……….

The Crock Pot Solution

One of our solutions to the dinner dilemma is the use of crock pot meals. With a little planning, we are able to make a meal that is simple, quick, healthy, tastes good, and won’t cost us an arm and a leg. It almost sounds too good to be true, right?

Benefit 1. Crock pot meals are simple

Confession time. I am not a good cook. I’m decent working the barbecue when we have family and friends over. But that’s about it. I’m not formally trained and haven’t ever taken a cooking class. So any recipe I make needs to match my skill level. Crock pot meals for the most part are very simple to construct. There are not a whole lot steps in preparation and there aren’t any advanced cooking techniques you need to know before getting started. You might need to do a little cutting and peeling of ingredients but that’s about it.

Benefit 2. Crock pot meals are quick

I started this article by walking you through my “normal” morning routine. I’m already maximizing my time since I leave for work before my kids are even awake. And Danielle’s mornings are even crazier. After all, she gets our 3 kids fed and ready for school before she can begin her day. So we don’t have an hour or two to prepare our dinners. In fact, there are many days when we have less than 10 minutes to get it set so dinner will be ready later that evening.
The crock pot meals we prepare generally fall within this 10-minute window for getting them started. The only advance planning includes making sure we took our proteins out of the freezer beforehand so they are not frozen when we add them to the crock pot and making sure everything we needed was picked up at the grocery store. From there we can add the meal ingredients in the morning, set the timer for the crock pot, and then continue our days.

Benefit 3. Crock pot meals are healthy

One of the reasons so many quick solution dinners become unhealthy is because of so many of the added ingredients up the fat and sugar content in the name of increasing the flavor of the food. But this isn’t the case with crock pot meals. The meals are slow cooked in the a broth or the juices of the ingredients itself, so there isn’t the need to add extra butter or oils for the cooking process. Also, the bulk of the ingredients are proteins, vegetables, and seasonings/herbs. These items maximize the nutrient content of the food without adding extra unwanted calories to the meal.

Benefit 4. Crock pot meals are tasty

I don’t care how good a meal is for you. If you don’t like how it tastes you will avoid it at all costs. And this goes for both kids and adults. We’ve all found an excuse for why we chose to order that pizza or swing by the local taco shop or drive-through on the way home instead of eating what we already had available to us. Luckily crock pot meals can be delicious. We have found several crock pot meals that our whole family will eat and most of the lime there are barely enough leftovers for me to take to work the next day.

Benefit 5. Crock pot meals are inexpensive

A decade ago as Danielle and I were busy, young teachers who were also starting a family, we found ourselves eating out of bringing home dinner 4-5 times a week. $30 for pizza. $20 when we would stop at a drive-through. And by the time we would reach the end of the month we couldn’t believe how much we were spending on food that wasn’t all that good for us. This is one of the reasons I always question people when they say it’s expensive to eat healthy. It was more expensive for us to eat crappy food that just contributed to us gaining weight.
With crock pot meals we have been able to significantly lower our monthly food bills. A whole meal that will feed our family of 5 (and still have enough food for a few leftover lunches) will cost around $10. And that includes the meat too. That’s just not the veggies and seasonings. It’s crazy how just replacing two meals a week where you would spend $30 going out with two crock pot meals can save you almost $100 a month. Those savings add up quickly and now you’ve just found the money to set aside for new cloths, entertainment, or even that workout program that all of your friends are raving about.

In conclusion

It’s easy to see why making crock pot meals has become one of our “secret weapons” to eating healthy without having to spend hours cooking dinner in the kitchen. It’s also helped us keep with our health and fitness goals so we don’t pack on those pounds we’ve lost despite our busy schedules.
If adding crockpot meals to your routine is something you would like to begin doing (or maybe you are just looking for a new recipe or two to try) you should definitely consider joining our FREE 5-Day crock pot challenge group. We give you the grocery lists, recipes, and cooking instructions. We even host daily live videos where we will answer your questions and we have a private Facebook group dedicated to helping everyone achieve great results with the challenge.
If you are ready to get started,?  Click here to sign up for our next FREE 5 Day Crock Pot Challenge Group.

Until next time,
Mark