School is back in full swing and it feels so good.
I’m someone who isn’t naturally structured and routine oriented so I need external structure and routine in place to keep me organized and focused. And nursing school provides plenty of that.
On Monday I did a good amount of food prep since I knew once school started I wouldn’t have time to cook as much. So I threw together a batch of granola bars, flourless PB chocolate chip cookies, a batch of this banana bread, a pot of tomato and white bean soup, and a pan of black bean and sweet potato enchiladas using this Oh She Glows recipe for inspiration. The soup and enchiladas made 6 servings each so I froze half of each recipe to eat at a later date so I’m not eating soup and enchiladas ALL week.
It felt great going into the week feel prepared and at least my life feels pulled together for the first 24 hours of the semester.
And it also felt really good to have a fridge and freezer full of homemade meals and snacks and a lunchbox full of feel-good-food. These past five weeks have been so relaxing and fun and full of amazing food, but I’m excited to be eating at home a bit more and to get some balance back into my life. But I know I’m not the only one getting back into the swing of things after the holidays – sometimes it can be hard to balance ‘healthy’ eating when you’re eating out a lot. And I’m nowhere near perfect at it. There’s going to be plenty of times when lunch ends with dessert or you get afternoon cake and coffee with a friend because you want to.
Sometimes dinner might be pizza and wine or brunch might include zero vegetables. And that’s okay. Because you know that you don’t eat out 100% of the time and when life slows down you’ll be in your own kitchen, stirring a pot of vegetables because that is what feels good.
But what about if you won’t be back in your own kitchen anytime soon? Then how do you find balance when you’re eating out all the time?
My second tip is to be mindful when you’re eating out. Typically portion sizes are bigger so I try [key word is try] to put my fork down and engage in conversation which allows time for your brain to register how full you are.
And thirdly, do the best you can given the situation, knowing that you aren’t going to eat out for every meal for the rest of your life. I think the most important thing is connecting what you’re eating to how it’s going to make you feel and then making a conscious decision to eat it or not eat it. When I eat baby carrots and a homemade granola bar for an afternoon snack I might have a bit more energy versus when I eat carrot cake with a cup of coffee, but sometimes the carrot cake wins because it’s what I’m craving, I’m sharing in that snack with someone I love, and I know if I forced myself to eat the carrots over the cake all the time, I’d go binge on five pieces of cake the first time I allowed myself a bite. Sometimes pleasure and experience are more important than how we feel physically.
So do the best you can, listen to your body, and know that you’ll be back in your kitchen eventually whipping up a home cooked dinner.