Okay, so truth is…I do have a microwave. But it’s never used for cooking a meal, mostly just for reheating my coffee. Or warming up some coconut butter. Eating well is so crucial to staying healthy. Making a habit of microwave meals or grabbing fast food are great ways to make yourself tired or sick, or both. Here’s the best part, the more you eat well, the more energy you will have to make your own food to continue to eat well! My friend, Kristi is a great example of this! She recently changed the way she does everything. Instead of grabbing fast food all the time, she cooks at home and the difference in the energy she has is amazing!
I get a lot of questions about how I cook so much and am still a successful student. So I thought I would share some tips that I have found helpful!
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10 Tips to Surviving Grad School (Without a Microwave)
1. Take a homework Sabbath (day off) and use it to meal prep. This is so important for so many reasons! Biblically, it’s a command. If that’s not something important to you, it’s just plain good for your brain and your study habits! Choose whichever day you like, and take it! Enjoy! Sundays are the day I choose, and I use it to make food for the week.
2. Make at least 4 servings of everything, even if there is only 1 or 2 of you. And get used to left overs. I love things like shepherd’s pie, it makes 6 servings and takes one dish! So I portion out the leftovers and freeze half of them. That way I have a couple in the fridge to grab and heat up quickly. I freeze the other half to eat a week or two down the road, so I don’t get sick of the leftovers.
3. Learn to enjoy leftovers. I know that this was part of #2, but I have more to say about it. You can always change things up. Did you make chicken thighs last night? Tonight, pull the chicken off the bone, throw it into a skillet with some salsa and you’ve got Mexican chicken! Or mix it up with some mayo and grapes for a chicken salad. Get creative, and if you need ideas – use the internet, it’s a great resource!
4. Multitask. When I have the oven on for one thing, I like to add something else in there. Maybe you are roasting some vegetables for dinner, throw some chicken in there at the same time so that you have leftover chicken you can grab for lunch the next day. The best part about cooking in the oven, is that for 20-60 minutes the food cooks itself! You could make a sauce that will spice up your leftovers in that time, or use it to make your homemade almond milk.
5. Keep chopped up veggies around. On your day off, or just when you get home from the grocery store, chop up all your veggies! When you do it all at once it is much more time efficient! You can throw them in your eggs in the morning, make a quick salad, or toss them in some olive oil, garlic and sea salt and roast them for 30-45 minutes and have a quick side dish for dinner!
6. Make breakfast easy! I like to cook an elaborate breakfast and I’ll usually wake up a little earlier to do that. I know this is not normal. When I do need something quick and easy, I grab egg muffins! You can make these on your meal prep day and heat them up on your way out the door. They keep well in the fridge or the freezer!
7. Don’t be afraid to be that person. And by that person, I mean the one in the library who is busting out their tupperware of home cooked goods. People might look at you funny, but they’re just jealous. Your health is way more important than being cool.
8. Become best friends with your crockpot. Seriously, it’s the best thing that happened to a busy student. You throw your ingredients in before you head to class for the day and when you come home, dinner is ready! This salsa chicken is one of the absolute easiest and it’s delicious! I’ve been wanting to try Nom Nom Paleo’s Kalua Pig and one of my favorites is Crockpot Chicken Curry.
9. Meal plan. This is a great way to stay on budget and make sure that you have the food you need when you need it. Take 10-15 minutes, browse the internet or a few cookbooks and make a shopping list! Those 10-15 minutes will go so far, I promise!
10. Watch less TV. I know, you probably feel like this is lame for #10, but I mean it. Cooking takes practice and the more time you spend in the kitchen, the more you will enjoy it. Watching TV is not as restful as you think it is (your brain is still engaged and activated) and it’s definitely not contributing to your health. If you don’t watch any TV and you still can’t find time to cook, then we’ll talk. ;)
What are things that you do to help streamline your cooking/healthy eating?
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