Hello! I’m back!
It’s been quite the week. I know I say that a lot (I can’t handle adulthood), but I am serious this time. THIS WEEK. WAS. TOO MUCH.
With work, teaching my morning Tu/Th classes, getting ready for my CNA class, spending time with some friends from out of town, babysitting, attempting to get my medical records sent to my new doctor, getting my own workouts in, sending in some other school applications, having my CNA class start over the weekend, and fitting in me time….yeah. To say I’ve been overwhelmed is an understatement.
When life is just plain hectic, it requires so much more planning. Making sure you are doing everything you are supposed to be doing and having time for yourself while staying sane may take an extra few minutes of organizing your week. One of the first things I notice with clients/members at work is when they are super busy and stressed out, the first thing to go out the window is healthy eating. When stressed out, people may tend to reach towards the unhealthy options and may feel overwhelmed or feel that they just don’t have time to cook or go to the store.
It is super important to eat healthfully for so many reasons, but it does not have to be hard when you are running around town (like I usually am!). Now, you may wonder, if your schedule sounds anything like mine, you may ask yourself “How in the heck can I fit in meal planning into my already-packed schedule??” Here are some tips that help me stay on track when my weeks are busy!
1. Utilize a calendar to plan out your weekly tasks and events.
This is a given for most people, but I do know a few people who somehow manage their life without using a planner. I love using a monthly calendar so I can see my week up front and it is easy for me to plan a couple days ahead. Use whatever works for you! I write down everything from my work shifts, my scheduled Class Pass classes, doctors appointments, reminders to call/email people…pretty much everything.
2. Highlight the free time you have, even if it is sporadic.
Writing every little thing down in your calendar not only helps you keep track of what you have to do, but it helps you assess your pockets of free time. This is where your meal prepping can come into play. It helps you see when you have time to run to the store, see if you have enough time to prep/cook a meal in between going from Point A to Point B, etc.
3. Browse recipes on the go.
These days, everyone is constantly on their phones. Use the time where you typically surf around Facebook or check Instagram for the 10th time that day to browse recipes on Pinterest or your go-to food blog. When I have down time at work, when I am waiting in line at the store or at the doctors, or as I am eating breakfast, I’ll browse through my Pinterest boards on the Pinterest app, see what other people have pinned, or browse through my Bloglovin’ feed. If I don’t have time to read a recipe post on my Bloglovin’ app, I’ll save it and check it out later.
4. The crockpot is your friend.
For me, if I am planning meals for the, I’ll usually have something going in the crock pot and have something cooking on the stovetop and/or in the oven. Since meals in the crockpot typically take longer than meals that are cooked in the oven/stovetop, I’ll prep the crockpot meal first, then deal with the other meal. The crock pot can also be going on while you are at work or out and about, which can save you a ton of time. Just make sure that it won’t be done well before you get home!
5. Make it easy.
The meals do not need to be extravagant. Simple and delicious is key!
6. Meal prepping doesn’t need to happen all at once.
Granted, it is awesome and an accomplishment to get all of your meal prep done in one sitting. I am a sucker for reading meal prep posts and checking out what people meal prepped on Instagram. But, in my world at least, sometimes I only have time to prep a 1/4 of what I see being prepped on social media. Use your little pockets of free time to get a little done at a time, so it won’t feel so overwhelming. Start with the meals that will take the longest and/or you want to eat first, and then work your way through.
Any other tips that work for you when you feel like you don’t have time to meal prep? What do you usually prep? I am always open to more ideas 🙂