Posts tagged ‘week prep’

September 4, 2011

How To Cook Just About Everything

I work with a lot of (excellent) college students, and right now is the time of the year where they are all settling into their new living quarters, and realizing that they need to depend on their own kitchen, rather than a dining hall, for sustenance.

So far, only one sorry kitchen tale has been brought to me (it was the story of a sweet potato that refused to cook fast enough), but as I eagerly await more, “Sarah, how do you cook?” questions, I figured I’d throw a post out there, dedicated new these new Kitchen Crusaders, in hopes that their kitchens soon produce delicacies finer than cup-a-soups, toast, and frozen vegetables.

Okay, before we get started…

Please make sure that your meals generally consist of vegetables/fruits, a grain or starch, and a form of protein. You know how to cook cereal, pasta, minute rice, salads, and sandwiches. You can probably do tacos, stir fry, pizza, and scrambled eggs really well. That’s all awesome. I’m going to walk you through some different (easy) preparations of foods that are healthy, inexpensive, and easy to find. Honestly, I googled most of these things when I first found myself in my own kitchen!

This is a very long post with a lot of information in it.  I’m hoping that this is everything you need to know to start really cooking for yourself all of the time! I’m trying to include the basic foods that don’t come with “this is how you cook this food” directions written on it, but let me know if I’m missing anything.

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April 3, 2011

Another Episode of Week Prep

So another rather busy week is coming up, which means it’s vital that I organize my brain around what I will eat and how I will move now, so that when everything is happening this week, I can focus on the things that are happening, instead of focusing on or being conflicted about what I will eat and how I will exercise.

When food and exercise are scheduled as part of a busy week, they happen. When I am eating well and exercising, I have more energy to attack the busy weeks. So it’s in my best interest to plan those things out now. Plus, if I don’t do this now, chances are that 90% of my meals (okay, more like 66.66% of my meals–the apple pumpkin oatmeal is a daily standard) will consist of either $15 salads from Whole Foods or bagels. And cereal and ice cream. And chocolate covered pretzels.

Week Prep is vital.

First up, exercise. Let’s check the weather, as that will very much dictate the exercise plans.

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March 1, 2011

Getting Back On Track Is Not Fun Or Easy.

First off, Chicago was awesome. Fantastic, wonderful, amazing, etc, etc, etc. I sort of stuck with my travel plans, I guess, but mostly I just did what I wanted. It was delicious. And not the unhealthiest weekend in the land, by any means.

But Ugh. I haven’t eaten my standard Sarah Meal Plan or exercised my standard Sarah Exercise Plan since Thursday, and this is how I feel right now:

Lazy
Unmotivated
Fat (as in gigantic)
Grumpy
Tired
Caffeine-Powered
Couch-potato-esque
Stupid
Boring
Not psyched for the day ahead of me

Taking the time to recognize that the lazy feelings of I-Just-Want-To-Sit-On-The-Sofa-And-Watch-Bravo-Marathons-And-Eat-Cereal-All-Day-Long after a few days away from the typical routine of healthy living stuff is important for me, so I thought I’d share the process on here.

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February 24, 2011

Staying on Track while Traveling

Confession: The suitcase is not packed, but rather full of other suitcases. I just wanted a picture. But. I will be bringing those sneakers and that emergency power bar for any ravenous moments that may occur.

Tomorrow morning at around 6am, Mama and I are stepping onto a plane to go visit my middlest, tallest, and most musically inclined brother in Chicago.  Despite the irony of going to somewhere that’s actually colder than Boston during a time of year when so many people seem to be off on Caribbean beaches and cruises, we’re psyched for Chicago (and to see Alex, too) and are going to have an excellent time.

As you guys know, I like knowing in advance exactly what I’m going to eat and how I’m going to exercise, because when those decisions are already made, it’s harder to change the plan than to stick with the plan. Also, I don’t have to think about food or exercise—it just happens how I planned for it to happen.

When it comes to traveling, it’s basically impossible to make these decisions far ahead of time. Okay, it’s possible, but I think that it takes a lot of the good stuff out of traveling—what’s the fun of checking out a new city if you’re stressing about how you’re going to get in those necessary servings of dairy?

So here are my healthy-living goals and plans for the weekend, along with my commentary on why I’m including them.

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February 15, 2011

Get Away from my Exercise Plan, MBTA!

The MBTA (Boston’s public transportation system) is consistently great for a lot of things, including, but not limited to, the following:

– people watching
– free copies of “The Metro,” one of the best news publications in all the land
– creating time to read so that My Intellect Does Not Die (but I have a Kindle now, thanks to Lil Brother #1, so I usually play Scrabble instead of read. Close enough).

…right now, that’s about all I can think of. But we’re talking consistent things that it offers.

I take the commuter rail to work, which, about 85% of the time, is awesome. This winter, the commuter rail has been less than even remotely reliable. Whatever — the frustration caused by delays due to massive amounts of snow is (hopefully) behind us Boston commuters. What is quite bizarre, and I think you’ll agree, is that my train yesterday, when it was about 48 degrees and sunny with a pleasant, mild breeze, was canceled and that the following train was running 20 minutes late. Which meant that, rather than happily boarding  a train at 4:43 (don’t judge — I have non-traditional work hours, so 4:43 is actually me staying late at work on a Monday), the earliest me and my gym bag (with our “mild elliptical” intentions) would possibly be boarding a train was 5:55.

Stupid MBTA messin’ with my life. Again. 

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February 13, 2011

Prepping for a Healthy Week

no pictures of me as a horrid child exist (right, mom?), so this will have to do.

When forced to actively think about what I should eat or how I should exercise mid-work-week, Bratty 4 Year Old Sarah comes out and whines and stomps around, angry that she has to make choices about food and exercise plans, which generally results in one or more of the following happening to Grown Up Fancy Lady Sarah:

1. The allotted workout window is shortened because 4 Year Old Sarah couldn’t decide between gymming or running, and thus Fancy Lady Sarah had to change outfits 4 times.

2. Fancy Lady Sarah has to eat stupid canned tuna on her salad instead of chicken because Brat Sarah was too lazy to cook the chicken over the weekend (which takes about 2 minutes of active kitchen work)

3. Fancy Lady Sarah visits Whole Foods to pick up veggies for dinner every night, thinking doing such classifies her as European. This means she also visits the Whole Foods salad bar every night and spends apprx $239402 extra on food “because it’s so pretty!”. Which she justifies as “just fine,” since spending $239402 on Whole Foods food is a lot better than spending it on fast food, as Sarah Of The Past did.

4. Fancy Lady Sarah spends the week feeling like she constantly has to keep on trying to think one step ahead of Brat Sarah, and thus spends afternoons trying to be decisive about dinner veggies & workout plans, instead of spending the afternoon focusing on more important (and more interesting) things, like what her next blog post should be about.

4b. Fancy Sarah’s brain energy is spend arguing with 4 Year Old Sarah, instead of on blog post topics. Thus you all suffer. And that is not nice.

5. Fancy Lady Sarah gets so irritated with the 4 year old brat that she completely turns into 4 year old Sarah by rebelling and taking “extra days of rest” or eating random, unnecessary food. Then Fancy Sarah feels ill and grumpy.

I think I’ve demonstrated, through those five truly fear-inspiring examples, that I need to plan my week out before I live it. When I already know how I’m exercising and what I’m eating for the upcoming week, it’s harder to not follow those plans than it is to follow them. Living Healthfully is easiest when you’ve already laid everything out have to do out right in front of yourself — when you already know the healthy choices you’re going to integrate in the upcoming week, there is no way for your version of 4 Year Old Brat Sarah to come out & influence my Grown Up Fancy Life. The intention is that me sharing how I plan for my week (with all of the influencing brain waves included) will help you plan for yours. 

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