Food for Thought: Christmas food prep

Heyyy y’all,

HAPPY 1. ALMOST CHRISTMAS (or whichever holiday you celebrate), but especially, 2. ALMOST CHRISTMAS BREEEEAAAAAKKKK. To those of you who don’t work in a school, keep in mind that I teach on Saturdays, so we’re pretty much breaking even. Imagine that when you’re hungover at 7 am tomorrow…

This was definitely a week to which I’m glad to (almost) bid ‘adieu.’

Pretty much sums up my attitude for the week, except it would be more like, “I have no free time…I’m eating on the fly…my pet’s head is falling o…” well, nix that last one. Minnie is fine.

Hey.

Hey.

Now that I’m one hour-long class away from a two-week vacation, I feel like I can breathe again. Despite the craziness of dorm duty, extended classes, track practices and a 7-hour-long track meet, I still managed to fumble around every morning to make a green smoothie to take to class as a mid-morning snack. I also did myself a favor on Tuesday and Wednesday nights and went to bed SUPER early. Sleep + lots of fruits and veggies = I didn’t rip a student’s head off this week, so I’ll call that a W in my book. Those two things really are secret weapons to health and to living like a quasi-functional human being amidst a mountain of stress.

The usual.

The usual.

My students are used to me slurping away at one of ^these babies in between classes by now, but a few were beyond grossed out at first. Truth be told, I was a little freaked out by how these guys look when I first tried one last summer.

Yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, tofu, over a bed of kale & topped with salsa.

Yellow bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, tofu, over a bed of kale & topped with salsa.

A quick, pre-chopped dinner was all I could really manage most nights. I didn’t even snag a picture of my other creations, but Rich roasted some mean Brussels sprouts last night. I’ll do a post on some of my favorite roasted veggies at some point, because at this time of year, I crave them on the daily.

Today’s roundup isn’t as much a roundup as much as it is a preview. If you’ve followed the blog at all, you’ve probably noticed that I’m a pretty big fan of pre-prepping meals, or even just portions of meals/snacks, for easy grabbing throughout the week. I feel like one of the biggest snags people run into during the week when it comes to healthy eating is that it takes soooo much time. Honestly, I feel ya. By the time I’ve taught all day and coached, I certainly don’t feel like cooking a darn thing.

Two big things lately have helped me to stick to eating healthy, veggie-packed home-cooked meals:

1. Planning out meals for the week. If this isn’t your thing, at least give it a shot. I find that if Rich and I haven’t talked about at whose apartment we’re meeting, or what we’re having for dinner, and especially if we don’t buy the ingredients for those dinners when we raid Wegman’s (affectionately dubbed “Weggies”) on Sunday afternoon, then we end up picking something more processed on the fly and eating super late– which for me, who has trouble keeping my blood sugar steady, is honestly a nightmare. It usually takes a 5-minute conversation, and we often pull new recipes and give them a shot because we had time to think about it.

2. Taking an hour, or even just a half-hour, on Sunday afternoons to wash and chop some veggies, cube tofu (if that’s yo thang), or draining and washing beans. For my non-vegetarian friends, this could mean baking some chicken along with your Sunday night meal.

With all of this as well as the craziness of the holidays in mind, my mom and I are tag-teaming to make large batches of homemade and veggie-packed meals for the week. After classes today, I’m tackling these veggie meatballs from Minimalist Bakers, as well as two different Christmas-themed versions of my oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. My mom is making this veggie chili (it’s vegan, actually), so that my vegetarian ally sister and I can grab that as a quick lunch or dinner between shopping trips.

Lindsay over at www.theleangreenbean.com does a post every week in which she features the Sunday food prep of various individuals and blogs– look for me on there this coming Sunday! You can see how the cookies turned out…muhahaha. I’ve got some pretty awesome sub-ins for chocolate chips going in there.

All hail the giant oatmeal canister.

All hail the giant oatmeal canister. I nearly cried (not really.) when I saw this on sale…I rip through oats like nobody’s business, since they’re gluten-free and don’t irritate my stomach.

Happy weekend to you all, be safe, and enjoy those holiday parties!

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