“It’s the MOST won-der-ful time of the year!”
As I write this post I am surrounded by half unpacked bags of back to school supplies, packages of pens and pencils, combination locks, sheafs of three-hole paper and an array of brightly, perhaps slightly over enthusiastically coloured binders. I LOVE Back to School, always have. It’s a time filled with such hope and promise. Out with the old, in with the new and all that jazz.
Why isn’t September the REAL New Year? It’s not just for those of us with kids either… isn’t this also when everyone makes their vows to themselves to cast off their patio going ways and begin a NEW, HEALTHY lifestyle of lots of leafy greens and lean protein, chia seeds sprinkled on everything in sight? And what about that renewed enthusiasm for hitting the gym, yoga mat, spin class or whatever tickles your fitness fancy?
For me, it’s the routine… up early, four legged and two legged kids breakfasts made, workout and yoga, cook, cook, cook, photograph, photograph, photograph, write, write, write… all neat and tidy and fit into time slots… much like a student’s time schedule!
I like order and routine… anyone who has been to my house can attest to that! I like things, all things, to occur without stress or frantic rushing about. I like things to happen WHEN they’re supposed to happen and HOW they’re supposed to happen. Probably missed my calling as an army sergeant!
And so in the spirit of order and routine, today’s post will hopefully serve two purposes…
1. As a reminder that Be Still & Eat’s regular posting day is moving to Thursday (and Boy oh Boy am I excited to share this Thursday’s post!) and…
*** I interrupt this blog post to bring your this important notification*** this next bit is for those of you with school age kids, or perhaps those of you who pack a lunch for work or feel rushed at home during lunch, and so for the rest of you please feel free to sign off here. I hope you have a wonderfully happy “New Year” 🙂 Namaste!
2. I thought I might offer some suggestions for how I manage the whole breakfast and lunch thingy.
It’s pretty simple really… keeping it this easy takes only three components and a tiny bit of prep work.
1. I intentionally always make too much dinner so leftovers form a big part of the next days lunch, and frequently breakfast. Whoever said rice or pasta with chicken or pork can’t be breakfast?
2. I make a box or bag of pasta (yup, the whole thing, but I have big eaters around here!) which I keep in a ziploc bag in the fridge. You can pretty much always find a bag of cooked pasta in the fridge at any point between September and June around Be Still & Eat HQ
3. I often have a similar bag of cooked rice as well, or alternate weeks. Yes this is a lot of carbs… but it’s almost always whole wheat and they are children and burn calories by merely existing right? Besides you can still measure it out for proper and HEALTHY portion sizes.
4. In the unlikely event that I have not over planned dinner from the night before, I sauté up a package of those super little chicken tenders you always see in the meat department. They are cheap and cook so quickly! My kids like them done with salt and pepper and finished with a splash of lemon juice. If I have time, I add some chicken broth as well as the lemon and cook it down slowly for a light gravy. We use a LOT of lemon around here… one young friend actually commented once that we obviously liked it so much ‘cuz we’re “Lemonese”! 🙂
5. Ground turkey or chicken sautéed and seasoned, stored in, you guessed it, a ziploc bag is another great and really simple option. One package makes about four meals. Again, my families preference in flavour profile leans toward middle eastern and so with that in mind… try seasoning the meat with a little of my Syrian Pepper! If not, maybe some oregano or basil will give it a more Italian flavour. Go crazy! Remember, your imagination is your only limitation!
6. Frozen vegetables are the best invention ever… yes better than sliced bread! Their nutritional value is second only to fresh, and let’s face it, in the winter… better! No need to cook them… just toss them in frozen with the pasta/rice and whichever protein, this is why microwaves were invented! In an ideal world I wouldn’t use a microwave and try not to when possible, but COME ON people we all know how convenient they are!
I asked my kids which of these choices were their faves this morning… they said “all of them and are they in the fridge now btw?”
And so with these three easily prepared food items, you have the makings for a very healthy lunch (or breakfast!) which can be made at home, or packed in a thermos or jar!
I hope that these suggestions help make your “New Year” a happy, organized and calmer one!
Enjoy & Namaste!