Working 6 days a week


Ada B.

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I work for a CPA firm and our busy time started the second week of January, which was also the second week of my whole30. I know I probably should be eating more than a largish snack for dinner, but I often don’t have the energy for even that. I’ll eat 3 eggs from my parents chickens and a random mix of veggies for breakfast, with a large salad and fish for lunch, or what ever crock pot meal I have leftovers from Sunday. By dinner time grabbing a couple veggies and a protein isn’t my first choice, my bed is. I’m struggling now with a level of structure, but my 30days are over in five and I definitely don’t want to go back to some of the worst of my eating habits. My work schedule won’t lighten up till April, so I need ideas for a long term solution. 

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So ideally, you'd eat 3 meals a day, but would it help at all to have two full meals and a couple of mini meals, one eaten at work and one once you get home? Or even eat dinner at work? Other than that, all I can really think of is making sure you have food in the fridge that you can either eat cold or heat quickly so you don't need to put much thought into it once you get home, you just grab food and eat.

Maybe some other people will weigh in as well, I'm sure we've got other people who have dealt with similar situations.

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My husband and I have a busy week coming up (events in the evening every night, and each day getting up at 4:30 am). So, we're increasing our meal prep today to include dinners (the only meal we usually cook). We're doing a big batch of roasted vegetables (potatoes, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts) plus cooking some tuna, salmon and eggs (we're limiting meat this round, but you could easily cook a batch of ground beef or ground turkey). Then you can reheat dinner easily. 

I also recommend having "emergency food" on hand - the "I really absolutely cannot cook tonight" food. We keep pouches of tuna and olives on hand that we can easily toss over greens and have as a salad or eat with bell pepper strips and cucumbers for a no cook dinner. 

Finally, if meal prep isn't your thing and you want a hot meal, you could do stir-frys. They take very little time to cook, especially if you splurge on pre-cut vegetables. Toss the vegetables and a few eggs in a pan and add some fish sauce, coconut aminos, garlic and ginger powder and you have dinner in under 15 mins.  

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Seasonally intense work makes it tough to stick to your Whole 9/Food Freedom life, for sure! My busy time is the summer-half of the year. I think the above suggestions are good. Little pouches of tuna and olives! Brilliant!

Don't beat yourself up for eating almost compliant jerky, or almost compliant anything, especially if it's late and your options are eat junk and feel like junk, don't eat and feel like junk, or eat an almost compliant convenience food. You're making the best choice you can at the time. Life is real, busy times are hard. My best technique for my seasonally busy job is to make sauces when I DO have meal prep time and freeze them in little containers. You can enjoy a really boring dinner if it has good sauce on it. My go-to is lemon/parsley/garlic/tahini. Then I can microwave frozen, pre-chopped veggies and the sauce, mix together, eat with slices of prosciutto or whatever almost-compliant cured meat stick (they often have sugar) I have in the fridge. I really like saurkraut; I put that on here, too. This is not ideal! It does not taste amazing! It is food, though, and it's close enough to a normal meal that I don't feel like a sandbag the next day.

I also freeze meal-size containers of the starch component of my plate, since that's the one I never have time to cook. Mashed potatoes (alone or in combo with whatever other veg you like mashed) are A-OK microwaved out of the freezer with salsa, black olives, torn up leaves of romaine, and leftover ground beef. Same with spaghetti squash, pasta sauce, torn up green, leftover meat.

 

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23 minutes ago, Ada B. said:

Thanks for all the ideas, I’ll keep them in mind as I prepare my next shopping list. Any other no microwave ideas?

You can def just heat things up in a big ole saucepan (or a couple small ones) with a little added water, too. The crockpot meals thing is smart, too! I just bought one with a timer so that I turns to 'warm' after the time it takes to cook (sometimes when I've tried this before, it's total steamy mush by the time I get in for dinner).

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