Sunday, November 15, 2015

Healthier at Work and Meal Prep

Happy weekend! Or end of the weekend. Which I guess is universally known to be less happy than the beginning. So...sorry about that.

A big focus this weekend was stuffing myself full of nutritious foods. I’m only two weeks in, but I can already tell that one of the biggest challenges I’ll face (health-wise) as a full-time employee is controlling my sugar intake. I’ve never been one to shy away from sweets, but I can usually keep it in check at home. I mostly eat what I make, and I mostly limit my desserts to one treat at night time.

But now I’m suddenly in an environment where generous strangers offer me cupcakes and cookies and donuts at random intervals throughout the day. I work in a fairly large department, so it’s always someone’s birthday or first day. Or there’s a staff event and we’re offered leftovers. Or there’s a student awards ceremony and we attend to congratulate the students and enjoy a refreshment. (No joke, EVERY ONE of those things happened in my first eight days of work.)

I need to rein it in. I bring healthy, satisfying lunches, so there’s no reason to have multiple sweets on top of that. And if I do have sweets during the day, I should omit my evening dessert and have something healthy (or nothing, if I’m not hungry--hahaha). But apparently I have zero willpower. So I’ll keep you updated on how I solve that problem.

For now, my boss and I agreed to bring in a bunch of fruit, carrots, celery, and other healthy snacks next week. If we need to munch on something, we can grab those instead of sweets. And I may stick to some more nutritious desserts at night for a while, too, just to get my sweet tooth in check.

We also spent a lot of time at home this weekend, just relaxing. We took long walks to the park, played with new objects (I gave this kid a small bowl of dried chickpeas and he was busy pouring them back and forth between bowls for almost an hour), caught up on a few TV shows, and cooked a whole bunch of food for the week (more below).

Saturday night, I wanted to try a new recipe that I actually discovered last year and never made. It's a bit more time-intensive, so I decided a weekend night would be best. The dish was amazing, and now the problem is that we're going to want to make it a whole lot more often! Terry already plans to bring it to his office potluck this week, and I want to make it for Thanksgiving. Good thing it's got a lot of healthy ingredients! (Here's the recipe!) We ate the sweet potato casserole with salmon (cooked in the cast iron skillet a la Ina) and sauteed green beans.

(By the way, at first, Marshall was not into the salmon, but once he devoured his first serving of the sweet potatoes and asked for more, we stirred some of the salmon into the sweet potatoes and he gobbled up TWO more servings, which is kind of cheating but still healthy, so we rolled with it.)

This morning we played a game of "find the corks" where we hid wine corks in plain sight and Marshall had to find them all. He thought this game was awesome, and it took very little effort from us to have a blast!

Later we walked to the park for some climbing, swings, and running through the grass (Marshall is now entering the age where he seems open lawns and just RUNS and I think it's adorable).

Back at home, I continued meal prep that I had started yesterday. Here's our meal plan for the week:

Monday: Overnight oats // Frittata and fruit // Zucchini soup and leftover sweet potato casserole

Tuesday: Frittata // Leftover soup // Fish - Quinoa - Brussels Sprouts

Wednesday: Oatmeal // Frittata (sandwich for Marshall) // Leftovers from Tuesday

Thursday: Eggs // Sandwiches or quinoa + veggies // BBQ Pulled Pork salads or sandwiches

Friday: Eggs // Leftover BBQ pulled pork // Shop the fridge!

Saturday: That's too far away to plan!

Here's what we did this weekend for prep:

- grocery shopped for the week (and forgot a whole bunch of stuff, so we had to go back to the store TWO more times)

- roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes to reheat throughout the week (and also to use in the frittata

- made the frittata--onion, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, cheese

- cooked the quinoa

- made the zucchini soup

-packed up lunches for Monday and made overnight oats for Monday morning

Truth be told, I love spending time in the kitchen during Marshall's naps on the weekend, so all this prep work is fun for me. With less time (or if we ever actually have weekend plans...), I won't be able to do as much, so our menu plan will change accordingly. I'm also trying to use these free weekends to prep ahead; for example, this weekend when I made the zucchini soup, I doubled the recipe and froze half for another time. We're working a LOT harder on weekends and evenings than we used to, but so far it feels like a good balance between productivity and play. We'll see how it goes on busy weekends or--heaven help us--weekends when we travel (like in two weeks for Thanksgiving). 

I was a little under the weather at the end of last week through this weekend, so we've been taking it easy on the workouts, in case you're wondering about that. We're trying to walk a lot, and tonight I threw in a few upper body exercises, but hopefully I'll be back to 100% soon to kick the workouts back up.

Hope you have a wonderful start to the week! 


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