Wow! It has been a long time since I have posted, and I am way overdue! After nearly six weeks on crutches, my good habits and healthy lifestyle have gotten off track. Previously easy things to do like grocery shopping and cooking have become very challenging for me. At the end of the work day (and crutching up four flights of stairs to my apartment), I am so tired, I had stopped doing much cooking for a couple of weeks. In the 11 months I have lived in NYC, I never once ordered take out/ delivery. I always cooked dinner during the week. If I were going to eat out, it would be for a social occasion, and I would eat at the restaurant in the company of friends. The month of June was a mostly food delivery month, leaving me feeling more drained, and more physically and emotionally weak. Surprisingly, Instragram, along with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition Facebook network, has offered some inspiration and motivation for clean eating and fitness.
And also thanks to the start of my farm share (now including fruit!) and the opening of a new farmer’s market a few blocks away, I am able to start getting myself back on track. Sundays are a great day to prep meals for the week. I always love cooking on this day anyway, so it allows me to try out some more creative meal ideas than just making my dinner into leftovers for lunch the next day. I have always brought my lunch to work, and would eat breakfast there as well, but it would become time consuming in the evening to get everything prepped for the next day. Today, I decided to try a weekly prep (we’ll see how the food tastes on Friday) to simplify my life during the week. Once my online classes start next week, I will be even busier. My favorite part of meal prep Sunday is listening to Jonathan Schwartz (Frank Sinatra-style music) on http://www.wnyc.org- New York’s public radio station. It got pretty warm in the apartment with the 90 degree heat and humidity and all the baking and stove top cooking- so I was thankful for lots of home-brewed iced tea. This spread will cover breakfast, lunch, and snacks for the work day and work week.
I am hoping that this week’s doctor’s visit will lead to a change to my life on crutches. I am hoping for news that I can at least upgrade to a cane to be able to move a little more freely. This past holiday weekend has been focused on recovery, and my meal prep has focused on protein and calcium for bone building (Greek yogurt, red beans, and cod) and anti-inflammatory foods like sweet potato and turmeric in the veggie stew. Not pictured is my daily oatmeal which I keep at work. My green smoothies will likely become an after work snack even though they are best in the morning for greatest nutrient absorption. Pre-prepping smoothies is difficult because they taste best and are most nutritious straight out of the blender. The stew is similar to my spicy sweet potato, red bean, and swiss chard stew, but with spinach and some slightly different spices.
Two days this week I get to have baked lemon pepper cod with wild rice and steamed vegetables and three days of steamed veggies with veggie stew. Breakfast is plain Greek yogurt with blueberries or rhubarb sauce and oatmeal. Raw almonds and chopped veggies and apples for snacks.
When choosing rice, wild rice packs the most nutrients: 1/4 cup (dry)= 140 calories, 2g fiber, 6g protein compared to brown rice: 1/4 cup (dry)= 15o calories, 1g fiber, 3g protein. Wild rice can take longer to cook and gets harder as leftovers, but I love the chewy texture! (White rice is not included in this comparison because it is nutrient stripped during processing).
I am proud to say that all of the fruits and vegetables in my weekly prep came from local sources- either my CSA/ farm share or the farmer’s market (except the tomatoes in the stew). I wasn’t quite sure how I would use up all of my farm share rhubarb since I have never prepared it before, but it is a great topping for frozen fruit, yogurt, or added to smoothies.
All my food for the week was prepped, packed, and cleaned up in 90 minutes.
Definitely a great investment in time that will be saved later in the week. Now I just need a system for keeping up with fresh and healthy dinner options.