The other day, someone asked me what I eat when I am really busy.
I suppose I needed to give the reply of what fast food I order out or what's my favorite microwave dinner when I have no time to cook.
Now, there's always an exception as I do not believe that there is a perfect way of eating but you will not find a microwave dinner in our freezer and Karel and I rarely (less than 5 times a year) go out to eat (unless we are traveling).
This doesn't mean I am good and you are bad but there's a reason why I wanted to write this blog.
I absolutely love real food and I make time to cook, even in my busy lifestyle.
I know you can do it too. It's a lot easier than you think.
You, me.....we are all busy. Who isn't busy? If there were more hours in the day, we would find a way to fill those up as well.
But it is because of my/your health that we are able to thrive in a world of craziness, business and never ending to do's.
The food you eat has the opportunity to fuel your lifestyle.
Why do you feel you are too busy too cook?
Here are a few reasons that surprisingly, do not all have to do with needing extra time:
-No real food options in the house
-Grocery shopping takes too long
-Clean up takes too long
-Cooking takes too long
-Do not know how to cook
-Always going into meals starving (who wants to cook when starving and blood sugar is low?)
-Other, more important priorities than cooking...and sometimes eating
-Eating out is easier
-Eating out tastes better
-Not a good planner
-No fun cooking for yourself
-Crazy schedules (spouse/family/kids)
-Too busy training/exercising (if you are too busy to eat a real food meal because of this, then we need to talk :)
-No time to cook
I am busy, just like you, but if my body is not nourished, I can not do the things that I love to do and that life requires me to do.
The food we eat has the ability to keep us health, energize our body, help us think clearly and my favorite, make us feel absolutely amazing inside.
So, it is important that you do not look for extra time to cook or hope for it to magically happen but instead, make the time. Carve out 30-60 minutes of your day to nourish your body and do not make meal time complicated.
Certainly, there are a few things that help with making sure you get a health, real food, balanced meal in your system on a daily basis (hopefully three times a day):
-You can plan for leftovers
-Do a little prep ahead of time (Ex. weekends, morning)
-Get a little help from the grocery store (pre-chopped options)
-Involve the family at meal time prep
-Don't expect to be perfect
-If you are not a master chef, keep your recipes simple
-Think about the best days in your week to cook and prep
-Make compromises if you feel that there is absolutely no time during your week. Keep in mind that if you do not take time for your health (ex. nourishing your body or fueling your workout routine), you may be forced to make time for illness or injury.
While in Jacksonville for the past few days, Karel stayed extremely busy by fitting 14 athletes on their bikes using the RETUL system. Each fit takes an average of 2 hours and Karel was on his feet from 9:30am until 5:30pm almost every day (one day until 9pm).
Needless to say, Karel was exhausted every evening on Fri, Sat, Sun and Mon and with that, his workouts were modified so that he could get good sleep on Sat morning (no workout) and Monday morning (no workout).
It was my job (wife and RD duty) to make sure that my amazing hubby was well fed and that meant making sure that at the end of the day, he not only kept his blood sugar stable throughout the day but that he honored his hunger as he was working. Because we were staying with some friends at the beach, we had the great honor of being fed some fantastic meals and didn't have to do any kitchen. What a treat!
However, on Sunday, I was in charge of the menu and I could not wait to not only prepare a good evening meal for everyone to enjoy but one that would be balanced for each person.
Because I believe that we should all eat similar foods but in different quantities and times, I prepared a plant strong buffet of options so that exhausted Karel could assemble his plate as he wished, I could create a plate that would help me continue to refuel from my morning long run workout (and boost my immune system) and for our friends to also feel great about what they were putting into their body.
So I give you a beautiful buffet of Trimarni creations, all prepared in less than 40 minutes. Enjoy!
Blueberry Kiwi Almond Salad
Olive oil on the side
1. Combine in a bowl. Add as much/little of each ingredient as you wish. Mine was extra berry because I LOVE blueberries.
Veggie stir fry
Mushrooms (1 container, sliced)
Onions (1/2 medium, sliced)
Red pepper (1 large, sliced)
Tamari sauce (about 2 tbsp)
1. Cook in a skillet on low heat with a tbsp of olive oil and 1-2 tbsp tamari.
2. Stir occasionally, cook until soft. Season to taste.
2 boxes firm tofu (cube, bought at Costco, can be stored in pantry until opened)
Herb seasoning (any no-salt seasoning)
1. On skillet on medium heat, add cubed tofu and toss in 1 tbsp olive oil.
2. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until tofu is slightly golden on edges. Lightly toss occasionally and add more olive oil to prevent tofu from sticking (or a splash of water). Season to taste.
Quinoa and rice mix
1 package quinoa and rice mix (I did not use the link I attached, I used one that was in the house I was staying and forgot the name).
1. Cook package according to directions on stove top.
Chickpea, corn and edamame salad
1 can chickpeas
1 cup edamame
1 cup corn
Yogurt ranch dressing (or creamy dressing of your choice - I used what was in the house where I was staying)
1. Combine ingredients in a bowl (if using frozen corn and edamame like I did, you can defrost until warm and then cool in cold water and drain).
2. Add 1-2 tbsp yogurt ranch dressing and stir until combined.
3. Season with pepper and keep in refrigerator until serving time.
Enjoy your yummy creations by yumming with every bite.
Remember, eating is a happy time. You should feel great while you eat and even better after you finish your meal.
Happy Creationg Cooking!
(And yes, cooking in 110% Play Harder compression socks is very typical in the Trimarni kitchen)