I received many responses to my last post of people in a similar boat as I am. So, I thought a good follow up to the post I did last week would be to show how I took action on the items I mentioned I was going to do to help get me back to balanced.
I started by writing up my list of meals and snacks for the week. I chose easy lunches, for work, that make more than enough so I could use those for several meals. I also included dinners that were fairly easy with few ingredients. The exception is one meal that I got from a cookbook that I’ve never made before. But this will be our Friday meal, since we have nothing going on that evening and I can devote time to making it with out being rushed.
After I made my meal plan I cleaned up the kitchen. But I didn’t do the whole thing. The worst part for me was the counter tops that I use for my meal prep. They were so full of all our ‘homeless’ items that I had no space to prep and cook. So, I focused on cleaning these two counter tops. I also had to clean out the fridge, to start new. Then I went shopping and was able to load up the fridge with everything I need for the week. That was Saturday. It sounds like a lot of work, but between cleaning and shopping it was only a couple hours. And it was spaced out between Soccer pictures and a Soccer game, so it didn’t feel like I was trapped in the kitchen.
Early in the afternoon on Sunday I prepped all of my smoothies for the week. I like to use frozen fruit when I can, because it’s faster. But sometimes if the store doesn’t have the fruit I need available frozen, I’ll pick up fresh. Any fresh fruit that I had left over was labeled and frozen, so I can use those in smoothies in the upcoming weeks. I also took the opportunity to freeze some bananas and strawberries that were getting too ripe. This way I don’t have to throw them away. I don’t have time to cook with them now, but I can them both in or even for my kids favorite “Smoothie Muffin“! I also froze my left over Kale as I only needed a little and the container I bought already looked like some it was heading downhill. I can use this Kale in smoothies later as well. When all was said and done, it took about 45 minutes and I have frozen fruits and vegetables available for when I need them in the future. I also have 7 breakfasts ready for the week.
I get up and leave for work before my boys are up. So I take out a bag about an hour before I want to use it then blend my smoothies the night before and seal them up in mason jars, to keep air out. I can just grab and go in the morning. After the kids went to bed on Sunday, I spent about an hour in the kitchen prepping my lunch for Monday and Tuesday. I also put together my snacks for Monday at work. I know it sucks to spend an hour in the kitchen, but this hour Sunday cut my prep time down on Monday night. I don’t know about you, but week nights are crazy for us and it’s just easier to get some things done on the weekend and keep the week nights simple.
Having the simple dinners helped during the week because it was either easy enough to get together quickly or easy enough Andy was able to get them together or finish them off the day’s I was running with the kids. If you don’t have a lot of simple meals in your recipe box, you could try a few slow cooker meals to help simplify your week.
The other item I wanted to work on was getting more exercise in. That task this week has only gone so-so, but sometimes you have to roll with the punches. I wanted to do Tae Kwon Do twice this week, but on Monday I did a kick wrong and tweaked my knee….OOPS. So my Thursday class is not happening. Don’t worry though, it’s not a bad tweak, I just am going to lay off to make sure I don’t hurt it worse. I need to make sure it’s healed up by the 16th as I have a walk/run to participate in with the boys. On the bright side, I made it to Yoga this week! I really enjoyed it, but I can really tell I haven’t been there in about 9 months!
The biggest change I’ve noticed is I’m not spending that extra half hour in the kitchen at the end of the night. I’m still not getting to bed as early as I should, but I’m getting to bed a half hour earlier than normal, which is a good thing. As I continue with simple meals and prepping, I know I’ll see benefits in other places. I just have to trudge on and take it day by day.
I’ve shared some of the things I’ve been doing this week to help keep me reset. As you can see, when I feel organized, it greatly helps me. It also works best for me to spend the majority of my time getting organized on the weekends. This is something that was pretty regular for me until recently. I’m very glad to get back into this routine. Now that you’ve seen what helps me get/be organized during the week, what are some ways that help you stay organized and/or simplify your week?