if-i-trusted-you
If I Trusted You
October 21, 2013
Internet Inspiration – October 25, 2013
October 25, 2013

Meal Options to Make Your Life Easier

meal-options-to-make-your-life-easier

Hi Peeps,

I eagerly await the day I tell you about morning hours and bedtime routines that are deliberate, mindful, healthy, and spacious. Some days I have them. It’s an ongoing process of discovering what I want.

And yes, since you asked, I would like coffee and adventures every day.

But another truth alongside my need for spaciousness is the fact that I work mostly 12-14 hour days. I’m an entrepreneur, and there’s a stone cold requirement for woman hours.

Last week I got a little overwhelmed and I realized how few systems I have in place to support me when I get busy.

I think that, on some level, humans really crave routine. Having a structure, an architecture of things that you can depend on, allows me to relax into other things. If my mind doesn’t need to have a running commentary of a to-do list, I can focus on what’s at hand, which is a more enjoyable way for me to live.

So today I want to introduce you to some tried-and-true recipes that I often plan in during my week. These are recipes I can prepare in advance, or just put together and they magically coalesce to create edible food.

I hope they help you, and I hope they give you an option for weeks when you won’t be able to put as much time or energy into food preparation.

Breakfast:

Green Smoothies

green-smoothies

  • A few years ago I actually tried a 30 day trial of eating these every day, which I quite enjoyed. I used primarily this post, printed it out, and circled all the ones that seemed interesting to me. From memory, my favorites were:

#6 [+ 2-3 cups of your favorite grapes] [+ 1 handful parsley] [+ 2 handfuls spinach] [+ 2 cups water]

#49 [+ 1 large pear] [+ 1″ ginger] [+ 4 leaves Romaine] [+ 1/2 frozen banana]

#67 [+ 1 bunch bok choy] [+ 1 banana] [+ 1 pear] [+ 6 strawberries] [+ celery] [+ 1 Tbsp Flaxseed Oil] [+ 1 cup water]

But they were all good.

  • I also really like this Classic Green Monster recipe from Angela at Oh She Glows. It’s simple, I always have those things in the house, and there’s enough flavor that I can add a ton of supplements, powders, seeds, etc depending on how I’m feeling.
  • Angela also has a website for her Green Monster Movement, which features tons of recipes.

Oats and Grains

chia-pudding

  • Angela is the Queen of the Overnight Oats. I don’t actually eat these often, although sometimes I’ll have some of the chia recipes on hand, but I really like the idea of putting everything in a jar the night before and then having it magically become food by the next morning. For those of you who travel, this might be an interesting option to have packed before you leave (keep it all dry and put it in your suitcase) and then add liquids once you arrive at your destination.

The only caveat I’d add to this line of breakfasts is to be mindful of your macronutrient balance. Fruits and grains are all carbohydrates, and it’s helpful to balance it out with sufficient protein and fat so that your body has some longer-burning fuel in its furnace. Add nuts and oils to your overnight oats, or supplement with other foods on the sides.

Meat and Eggs

eggsquares1

  • If you can make yourself a delicious omelet every morning with a side of crispy bacon, that’s so wonderful and you have my 100% blessing to do that. If you need other options, here are some that work.
  • Bulk Breakfast Burrito. I did this years ago with a then-boyfriend, and we had a fun day of assembling burritos for the week. It seemed to work out pretty easy. I think you can add whatever you want here, but it was worthwhile to read in the comments that potatoes defrost at a different rate than other things, so you may not want to include them in these burritos.
  • Egg Muffins. There are recipes everywhere for this, and it’s because they’re genius. Just heat two on your way out the door and you’re good to go. I like this one from Mark’s Daily Apple, but I’m sure you can find other options as well.

Lunch:

Big-Ass Salad. I’m not really sure I’m going to have other options to give you, simply because this is as good as it gets for me in terms of what to take to work that doesn’t need to be reheated (my microwave is not really good at heating food and also microwaves freak me out.

A game-changer for me regarding salads was the explanation of  Hot Plates by my girl Melissa Joulwan. On an organized weekend, I make a lot of chicken and beef, and have it in the fridge. Then, the night before, I assemble a jar of:

[+ meat] [+ bell pepper (chopped)] [+ green onion] [+ hardboiled eggs] [+ olives (chopped, I love the green ones stuffed with feta)] [+ seeds and nuts]

For dressings, it’s up to you. You can add some olive juice or put some real salad dressing. I like these dressings:

Tessamae’s Cracked Pepper (I actually couldn’t find a link to buy this online, but I usually find it in the refrigerated veggie section of Whole Foods)

Oh She Glows Lightened-Up Tahini Dressing

Obviously you can customize this however you like, but I like these items (as opposed to greens) because they can be assembled in advance without worrying about getting slimy and wilty.

Dinner:

sweet-potato-bake

I’ll be honest with you: my favorite thing to eat after a long day is a poached or fried egg (with a runny yolk) on top of a heavily buttered english muffin.

But sometimes that gets old too. I think there are two obstacles I have when it comes to dinner:

1) I’m tired and just want food to HAPPEN ALREADY, and

2) I am a different person tonight than I was when I made food over the weekend. How can I POSSIBLY want to eat NOW what I made THEN??

So for those issues, I go to the Hot Plate Revolution by Melissa. Make a bunch of sauces and keep them on hand, and just swap them out depending on your mood.

It also helps to have soup and casserole options that really get better with time in the fridge. I like the Italian Sausage and Eggplant Strata from Well Fed, and I also have this Sweet Potato Cottage Pie in my freezer pretty much at all times.

Speaking of sweet potatoes and sausage, I LOVE this brunch recipe from The Kitchn. And when I say I love it, I mean I’ve made it once as written, and I think I did it wrong. But I pretty much always have sweet potatoes, sausage, onion, and eggs in my house, so i just fry it all up together. Delicioso.

What do you guys do for meals? Any suggestions to add to the list?