Staying primal when busy
Hey guys! I've got an issue that, while not very unique, isn't really addressed in the paleo literature. I'm a college student and I've been paleo for about a year, so I am very familiar with all things paleo and have a solid group of good paleo recipies.
So here's my issue. Bear with me, it's a bit complicated. I am a student and I also work part time. I work for a business that is only open from 8-5 so I have to work within those hours. My typical day is working 8 to 10:30, driving 30 minutes back to my school, going to class from 11 to 2, driving 30 minutes back to work and working from 2 to 5. I am having a really really hard time with when and what to eat for lunch during this time. I also don't have a whole lot of time to cook, since I do homework practically non-stop during the evenings and the weekends.
So I'm hoping you guys could give me some tips. Here's the facts. I do have a refrigerator at work that I can put food in, and a microwave to heat something up. I do need to eat while driving however, so fingerfood type stuff is best. I'm just having a hard time coming up with a plan and meals that are not terribly expensive, don't require long hours cooking, would be easy to eat in the car, and ideally do not need to be heated up.
That's a tough one. Boiled eggs seem like the easiest thing. A piece of fruit or some cut up vegetables to go with it, perhaps? Maybe take some salmon or tuna and make a salad and roll it up in lettuce? I'm afraid it this would get boring fast. A blended soup that you could drink on the way to class after heating up in the microwave?
I can definitely relate... I think everyone can relate to being super busy :) Here are a couple tips of things that I use that maybe could help you:
Even though you are super busy on weekends, taking time on the weekend will save you time during the week. I have a bunch of meal size tuperwares, so I measure out meals into them for the rest of the week. Like a large chunk of meat and a cup of veggies. Pack up fruit or nut snacks in plastic bags. That way you don't have to integrate prep time into your morning schedule and you can just throw whatever you want for the day into a lunch bag.
Try to find easy prep meals, like pot roast. You just throw the chunk of meat and the veggies into a pan and put it in the oven for awhile and you get a tasty thing: [url=http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pot_roast/]Pot Roast Recipe | Simply Recipes[/url]. Another idea for time saving recipes is crock pots, everyone raves about how you just put the stuff in and then when you get home they're done.... I have never used a crockpot though, so this is just something I've heard. For breakfast's that you make ahead of time, make quiches in cupcake tins, I don't have a recipe, but you basically just throw eggs and anything else you would like into the muffin sections.
Sorry everything is about preparation, but I rely on preparation because I get super lazy during the week and if I didn't have prepared meals when I'm tired at the end of the day I would just grab a granola bar or make a pan of french fries. No really, I used to eat just a whole cookie sheet full of french fries!
Hi Kathryn, you certainly have a busy schedule. I sincerely hope that you have a fabulous primal breakfast before embarking on a day like this.
One thing I'm thinking is perhaps if breakfast is substantial enough you could go all day without lunch and eat again in the evening. Eating while driving is not very relaxing. However, if you must, then fruit, cheese, boiled eggs, nuts are all possibilities.
A slow cooker would be a great asset to your lifestyle, just load it in the morning and dinner awaits when you get home. It could work the other way too, load it at night and eat a hearty breakfast in the morning, packing up the leftovers for work. That's assuming you can find time to microwave and eat them.
I make crustless quiche the night before and have it as breakfast (I make a 9x13 pan that lasts most of the week), often ate a salad during class, and then dinner is sort of whatever. Sometimes I'll cheat and have canned soup on days when I'm really tired. Sweet potato chips at lunch are an option as well.
I'm a grad student and work two part time jobs, so often I have to pick between sleep and food prep. If I wasn't celiac with yeast and mold allergies I'd have more options (like the grocery store salad bar). It sucks.
Invest in a crock pot and you can set it in the morning before work/school and you will have dinner PLUS leftovers for the rest of the week.
Things like canned fish (tuna, salmon), boiled eggs, raw veggies, etc. will hold up fine in a small cooler and an ice pack.
Seems like the general consensus is crock pot breakfast or dinner. Good advice! I'll have to borrow my sister's paleo crockpot cook book. Thanks so much for the help! It's always nice to get second opinions.