Before we discuss anything, can we please recognize this????
OOOOOOOMG. Fall is my absolute FAVORITE time of year and I love anything and everything that tastes like pumpkin. I had my first pumpkin spice latte today and before I took a sip, I told Chase, "As soon as I take a drink of this, summer is officially over and it's time for fall."
He looked at me like I was crazy, but I happily welcomed the new season through my delicious coffee drink despite the 90 degree temps outside.
I go pumpkin crazy during the fall — pumpkin food, pumpkin scented candles and wax melts, and anything pumpkin I can get my hands on.
Anyways, now that I've made my devotion to pumpkin known, let's move on.
Last Tuesday, after the long Labor Day weekend, I had the following conversation with the professor I TA for:
Me: Hey! Did you have a nice, long weekend?
Her: I guess, but I kind of hate long weekends.
Me: Why is that?
Her: It just seems like everyone goes crazy and I don't get anything done. I like structure.
Her: Yes, I almost prefer not having long weekends. I like to keep my routine.
And oddly enough, I think I agree with her. I know this will come as a shock to anyone that knew me during my teenage and early adult years: I was always a total procrastinator with a "why do today what I can do tomorrow" attitude. Now, I like my laundry done, my kitchen clean and dishes put up, meals planned and groceries bought, my apartment clean and my things ready to go for the week. I arrive anywhere at least 15 minutes early, just in case I get caught in traffic or inclement weather.
Last week, I had absolutely nothing done. Chase and I didn't even go grocery shopping. Granted, I did grade papers all weekend and complete some freelance assignments but still. I find that when I'm not organized, I tend to be a little more stressed. And when I don't have meals planned and healthy food ready to go, I eat way too much junk from the student union convenience store.
My life is a bit crazy right now: writing my thesis, TA-ing for 20 hours a week, freelance assignments that take me anywhere from 20-30 hours a week, commuting for 12 hours a week, six hours of class (plus homework, papers, experiments for papers) a week and trying to be an awesome wife (cooking, cleaning, laundry).
I've been eating a very carb-heavy diet since school began; while Chase's foods of crackers, bread and Apple Jacks are delicious, they neither make me look, nor feel good.
Carbs are definitely not my friend and I made it a point to make sure I had plenty of healthy Paleo-ish items to nosh on.
I spent the entire day today cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping and getting my things together (and of course, listening to the hubs whoop and holler for the 'Boys!) and I feel so much better than last week. Bring it on!
Here are some things I do to ensure a successful and healthy week:
I prep, prep, prep as much as I can! I boiled eggs, cut up some cheese, washed fruits and veggies, and prepped items for salads. This way, I can just grab and go!
I try to make lunches the night before. On Mondays, I am away from home from 6:40 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. I plan on eating Greek salads for lunch everyday — this one has romaine and spinach, kalamata olives, pepperoncinis, red onion, grilled lemon chicken, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes, yellow bell pepper and cucumber. The dressing will be red wine vinegar and olive oil.
I sent my mom a picture of my creation and she replied, "Faythe said that's not a salad...'dang, thatta buffet!'" Haha...I take my salads seriously!
Random note. While making my salad today, I thought about my fifth grade teacher. She was an older woman that had traveled the world with her military husband. She ate Greek salads almost daily. She also used to make us do calisthenics during recess because she didn't believe in free play and called us "lackadaisical" (yes, I had to look up the spelling of that word).
I was enamored by her though, and told my mother that I wished I could sit down with her and listen to her adventures. She also told us that to lose weight, girls should eat 1,200 calories a day and 20 grams of fat. I also started counting calories that year — a fact I had never connected until today. Thank goodness I learned better than that!
Anyways, my food is ready to go. I know that I will be eating hardboiled eggs, berries, and salads while I am on campus. I feel kind of silly carrying a lunch box at the (almost) ripe old age of 26, but I prefer to bring my own food rather than scavenge for something healthy in the union. And, let's be honest. I'm also less likely to eat something healthy when bombarded by chips, candy bars and cookies.
I'm trying to get back into the habit of drinking a gallon of water a day, so I have my water bottles filled (with lemon added!) and ready to go.
I also meal plan. For example, I am out of the apartment until late on Mondays and Wednesdays so my poor husband has to fend for himself, but I know that on Tuesday, we're having salmon and sauteed zucchini with brown rice and garlic cheese rolls (carbs for him), and Thursday we're having bbq chicken with mashed potatoes and rolls for him and broccoli for me.
I planned the meals before grocery shopping, so I already know that I have everything to cook dinner those days. On the weekends, we usually eat leftovers, eat at restaurants or throw together things in the kitchen.
I did all of our laundry and ironed Chase's clothes for the week. I also have my nails painted and hair washed and blow dryed (since I have to be up at 5:30 in the morning). I know what I am wearing tomorrow and my backpack and purse are packed and ready to go!
I find that my mornings are less stressed and sometimes I can even enjoy a cup of coffee without feeling as though I am rushing out the door.
How do you prepare for the week? Do you pack lunches or buy them? Any tips?