Sunday, September 8, 2013

Long days, short evenings

For the past few weeks, my average day looks a little something like this:

5:30 a.m. -- Alarm goes off ... hit snooze.
5:40 a.m. -- Alarm goes off again ... hit snooze.
5:50 a.m. -- Alarm goes off. Drag myself out of bed and rush to get ready for work.
6:35 a.m. -- Leave for work.
6:50 a.m. -- Arrive at work.
7:00 a.m. -- Work officially begins.
11:00 a.m. -- Take 15 minute break. My work BFF and I usually go for a walk.
1:00 p.m -- Take lunch.
3:30 p.m. -- Take 15 minute break.  Again, there's usually another walk involved.
5:30 p.m. -- Log off my work computer and pack up.
6:00 p.m. -- Arrive at the gym for a workout. 
7:15-7:30 p.m. -- Return home and shower.
7:45 p.m. -- Eat dinner.
8:00 p.m. -- Watch TV, read blogs, make sure my blog post/tweets for the next day are scheduled.
9:30-10:00 p.m. -- Go to bed.

As you can see, my days are really long and my evenings are really short.  Some nights I barely feel like I've been home before it's time to put my head on the pillow.  It also doesn't leave a lot of time for cooking and since I'm trying to eat well at least 80 percent of the time, this can be a problem.

That's where my Sunday night preparation comes into play.

As the weekend comes to a close, I make sure I have lunches ready for the week.  I usually make a big meal on Sunday night and then package the leftovers right away in individual servings. I even cleared out a shelf in my fridge that is only for my lunches. This makes it super easy to grab what I need and put it in a lunch box before I head out the door in the mornings.

I don't always pre-prepare my suppers (although sometimes I do), but I at least have a menu set and the ingredients in easy sight so I don't have to come home from the gym and spend time trying to figure out what to cook.

As an example, here's this week's meal plan --

Lunch: Salad with chicken breast strips and an apple.
Supper: Spaghetti and a salad.

Lunch: Spaghetti, baby carrots, and yogurt.
Supper: Egg scramble with green onions and tomatoes and whole wheat toast. (I like breakfast for dinner on Tuesdays.  It's kind of a tradition for me.)

Lunch: Chicken breast, a salad, and a yogurt.
Supper: Steak and steamed broccoli.

Lunch: Salad with steak strips and an apple.
Supper: Squash and a salad.  (I haven't officially decided how I'm going to cook the squash.)

Lunch: Steak, a salad, and a yogurt.
Supper:  I might go out with a friend.

As you can see, I try to have a fruit or vegetable with each meal.  Also, as I type it out, I realize there's not a ton of variety. For now, I'm good with that, but I'm working on finding new recipes for future weeks.  I've been scouring Pinterest for easy make-ahead meals.  Do you have any good ones to suggest?

I know I'm not the only one with a busy life. How do you plan your meals?


  1. My days are about the same. I hate it. Like you said, I'm not home for long before it's time to get ready for the night routine and sleeping. The past week, I've been making up salads to take for lunches each day at work, and I usually always have what I'm going to make for dinner thawing out for the next day.

  2. We eat a lot of fish, because even if its frozen, you can thaw it out fairly quickly (toss the package in water while you're showering and you're good). Also to get veggies in, we make pico or salsa and if I'm scrambling for a veggie, thats a good way to get one in.
    We also buy the frozen individually packaged microwavable veggies. I would rather have fresh, but it's a quick way to get corn/beans/broccoli at lunch or dinner!

  3. My meal-planning has been horrible the last couple of weeks. I don't know why. I used to be good at it! I do usually pack the dinner leftovers for Scott's lunch,
    Also, I like to buy the already cooked rotisserie chickens, especially for weeks when you know you won't have a lot of time to cook. It always tastes better on salads than chicken I make myself!


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