Hey ya’ll! This week is a big week for me, as I’ll be heading out on my nine month clinical rotations (all local, thank goodness) for PT school. Just over nine months from now I will (God-willing) be able to call myself a Doctor of Physical Therapy! Woohoo! Pending passing boards and graduation, of course. Technicalities.
Anyway, I’ve been a bit nervous about the change in pace. Coming off of two years of a schedule that pretty much changes from week to week (some days I’d be in class 8 hours, other days I’d get a morning off for a split-lab, some Fridays I had completely off). Now I’ll be working 40 hour weeks with a half hour lunch and probably a bit more time on top of that for patient documentation. It’s an exciting change (real world alert!) but I’m nervous about being able to manage all the other things I’d like to be able to do: make tasty dinners, pack lunches, find time to work out, take the dog for a walk/bike ride, clean the house, do laundry, spend time with friends, etc. etc. I think about how I’m going to handle it and I’m stressed about 3 seconds later. Which isn’t good for anyone.
With that, I’ve decided to control what I can control now instead of worrying about the “what if’s.” I decided to start prepping lunches for the week ahead in advance (either Saturday or Sunday), with the goal of streamlining the process. On one weekend evening I plan to make a big protein-packed salad that I can steal from all week long, to mix up lunches on days where I’m not really feeling the whole sandwich or yogurt thing. Then, my hope is that Monday night will roll around and I’ll just grab a bagged sandwich or some of the prepared salad, a bag of veggies, a bag of fruit, some pretzels and other pantry snack, perhaps a yogurt, and call it quits. I’ll do this for Ben and my own lunch (different sandwiches, yogurts and snacks).
I also came across these super cute Rubbermaid Lunch Blox, which can be purchased on Amazon for sandwiches and salads. (See the link at the bottom of this post, or visit my “Things I Like” page!) They were $12.99 at Kroger, but buy one get one free! So I got one of each. I was so pumped about the way that they snap together, lego-style, with one large bottom compartment for a sandwich or salad, and a top compartment with little individual boxes for sides and salad dressing. Best part is the ice pack that fits on the bottom to keep your lunch cold until noon! I packed one sandwich box right up with sides of veggies and fruit, and the salad one with some mixed greens and veggies. I plan on making a tabouli salad tomorrow which I’ll then add to the salad with some lemon vinaigrette (recipe to follow)!
For Ben’s sandwiches, I packed up about 8 or 9 different varieties on some leftover wheat buns we had from dinner last night. I made some with avocado, Smokey Cheddar Cheeze SPREAD, ham, and provolone, others with hummus, ham, pesto and provolone, and the remaining ones with PB, strawberry jam and raisins.
For my sandwiches, I made one with SPREAD, avocado, turkey, tomato, spinach, and a sprinkling of dried basil on Ezekiel bread, another with hummus, turkey, tomato, spinach and swiss, and the last on a multigrain FlatOut wrap with all of the ingredients from the first sandwich but edamame instead of turkey.
Fruit bags were strawberries and cherries (both of these are in abundance right now! I’ve been freezing a lot of the ones I get to save for the winter!)
Veggies included carrots, grape tomatoes, and radishes.
Gluten-free pretzel sticks (much crunchier and tastier in my opinion!) for snacks.
I’m hoping that this will help start off the next 9 months with as little stress as possible!
What tips and tricks do you use to streamline meals for the week ahead? I’d love to hear them!