Tag Archives: prep

Update on Going Back to School

Update on School:

For those who are curious, I am taking BIO-110 Anatomy & Physiology and BIO-240 Nutrition. The A&P class is Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:40 – 9:20 PM, though we normally get out early (around 8:40). So far tests and quizzes in both are going great and I’m actually enjoying both of the classes! AND they’re building on each other, so it helps me assimilate the information and apply it to my eating and workout habits. Did you know that your bones actually become stronger when you do strength training!? It’s not just good for your muscles and heart! Lifting weights can actually reduce the risk of osteoporosis! Wow! I’m learning all kinds of cool stuff like that! So, if you’re one of those people that runs every day to exercise, consider replacing or adding 2-4 days a week with strength training and at least one day with flexibility training (like Yoga or Pilates). It’s still good to do Cardio about 3-4 times per week.

It is taking a lot of time, but I honestly believe it’s worth it. And being disciplined in any one area of your life encourages you to be disciplined in other areas of life. I heard this on The Biggest Loser this past season, and it’s absolutely true. They predicted that the people with the highest credit scores who were counting their calories would be the biggest winner. That’s probably why I feel like I do better when I have more things on my plate and feel lazy when I don’t have much going on. There’s still a balance that each of us has to learn for ourselves. I’m so glad I started this blog because it was the beginning of getting back into a disciplined routine. Between the blog, my workouts, and tracking my calories, I had some pretty good disciplines established going into the school thing. But since I’ve started school, I’ve noticed that I’m more disciplined in my Bible reading and actually have to plan my meals better too.

Did I mention I’m still working full-time and helping teach 4th grade Sunday school? Yes, it’s busy, but we’re making it. Bryan has been absolutely wonderful! He’s helping out with cleaning and dishes, taking care of pretty much everything as far as the yard goes, and even goes grocery shopping for me if I need him to! Last night, I had him pick up some things at CVS and gave him a $5 off $15 purchase coupon. He got everything on my list and hadn’t reached $15, so he picked up a bag of Dark Chocolate Truffles for me while I studied! What a sweetheart! (I only ate one…so far!)

Things I Keep on Hand to Make My Life Easier:

For Breakfast: organic Greek yogurt, fruit, quinoa, frozen berries, and occasionally juice

For Snacks: dried fruit, nuts, seeds, bananas, protein bars, granola bars

For Lunches: wraps, lettuce, veggies (especially carrots and cucumbers b/c they’re easy), whatever Boar’s Head meat and cheese is on sale at Publix for the week

For Dinner: cereal, organic milk, eggs, organic PB & J, pasta and marinara sauces, frozen veggies, beans, potatoes (red & sweet), frozen meats

From the Garden: lettuce and herbs

Keeping Organized:

  • I try to lay out my clothes for work the night before.
  • If I have school, I pack my books/laptop for the next day and put it at the end of the bed.
  • I also make sure my gym bag is packed with clean clothes, shoes (& baby wipes, body spray, and deodorant).
  • If I can, I make lunch the night before (Bryan helps me pack lunches sometimes).
  • If I make quinoa, I try to make a big batch once a week and put it in individual serving size containers and refrigerate. That way, in the a.m., all I have to do is grab a fruit, a pre-washed veggie, my pre-made wrap, a yogurt, and a serving of quinoa.
  • If I have school, I’ll try to make a PB&J the night before too and throw it in the bag with everything the next day for my dinner.

Overall, we’re doing well and really enjoying this process. I’m still trying to determine if I should register for classes next semester or just buy the materials to self-study the rest of the material for the certification. I’m leaning towards self-study and saving my money, but we’ll see. I still want to talk to a few more advisors. So, that’s the update. I’ll try to keep you posted as time goes on…

Love Your Kitchen – You Spend a Lot of Time There! (Mar. 9, 2010)

How much time do you spend in your kitchen each day? A recent poll revealed that time in the kitchen over the last 40 years has decreased significantly, mostly due to the creation of efficient food prep items (like the microwave: an appliance we don’t own and don’t care to). Most families don’t even create 4 homemade meals per week nowadays! This was a really interesting article, but it was kind of sad to me. To see the full article, click here.

I was trying to calculate how much time I spend in the kitchen. Let’s take Sunday, for example. I always spend more time in my kitchen over the weekends than during the week, as I work an 8-5 job on Mondays through Fridays. Sunday, I got up and prepped the London broil for lunch (took about 10 minutes to find the recipe, mix the marinade and stick the meat back in the refrigerator). Then I had to prep the dough for our week’s bread (I have this great sourdough starter that I just keep feeding and bake about once a week). That took about 15 minutes. Then I poured myself a pre-made smoothie, wiped down the counters and went upstairs to get ready for church. So, we’re at about 30 minutes so far.

We got home from church about 12:45 and I started fixing lunch. I had my cousin chop the asparagus and onions, while I chopped potatoes, got them boiling, put the green beans on the stove and preheated the oven to broil. While everything was doing its thing on the stove and in the oven, I made some black bean hummus to serve with my All Natural The Works chips. Rinsed dishes and put them in the dishwasher, and cleaned up the countertops. We ate around 1:30, so lunch took 45 minutes, and we’re up to 1 hr. 15 minutes.

After lunch was clean up. I took my time and it was another 25 minutes – I know I’m weird, but washing dishes is therapeutic to me. Then I made a French press of coffee (about 5 minutes). So we’re up to 1 hr. 45 minutes.

Prep for dinner was fairly simple. We had Italian sausage and sauerkraut with apples (see recipe in previous post). It took about 30 minutes, then 10 minutes to clean up afterwards. So, since yesterday was a fairly typical Sunday, I’m going to say I spend about 2 ½ hrs. in the kitchen on Sundays. That’s a good chunk of my day. If our table was in the kitchen, you could add another hour and 15 minutes to that, which makes almost 4 hours in one day!

During the week, my time in the kitchen looks like this: 15 minutes in the a.m. to pack breakfast and lunch and 1 hr. in the evening to prep food and clean up afterwards. Inevitably, when we have company, we end up talking in the kitchen, either while we cook together, or just fixing tea and chatting. Our kitchen is too small to have a table in it, so we eat in the dining room for most meals. If you have a table in your kitchen, your time spent in the kitchen obviously increases. Growing up, the kitchen table was the place we gathered for our after school snacks, homework time, craft time, or just family discussion time, and we always shared dinner as a family (a tradition that many Americans are sadly missing out on today).

My point is this: we spend a lot of time in our kitchens, so make it a place of retreat and enjoyment, and make it work for you.
Pick cheerful colors for the walls, and if you have windows, make it so the sun can shine in! We just redid our kitchen. When we bought the house, it had a country style wallpaper print of vines and blue and pink flowers with thick lace curtains. When we finally got around to removing the wallpaper this winter, I literally felt like I could breathe better (I think those vines were strangling me)! We chose a Lyndhurst Duchess Blue for the top, a Lyndhurst Estate Cream for the trim, and Granola Crunch for below the chair rail. My mom helped me pick out these adorable bright curtains with the same blue and brown and a green that matches our dining room. They’re fresh and fun and energizing. I love them!
Make it efficient for how you work! I built a custom spice rack out of excess crown molding and dowel rods because I was tired of digging through the cupboard for the right herbs and spices every time I was in the kitchen. This way, I can have them alphabetized! The geek in me loves that! (Warning: I also sort my cans by meal type.)

Here’s a little sneak peek into my kitchen (before with wallpaper):

And after (sans wallpaper). It’s a place I love to be now:

And finally, a picture of the dining room, so you can see the fresh color that matches my kitchen curtains (Organic Vegetable Garden: yep, that’s really what it’s called)!
Organic Vegetable Garden