Yesterday I shared a little bit of our fun weekend with Carly, a best friend who visited from Utah this weekend. What I didn’t mention is that this lovely girl is a little bit crazy. In January (a week after applications were due if I remember correctly), she decided she should go to grad school this year. She spent a week cramming for the GRE, and six months later, she’s cramming a two year program into one. With fifteen hour days on campus, Carly has little time to eat and zero time to cook.
Among the other things we discussed this weekend (that won’t ever make it onto this blog), I tried to figure out how to solve her “I don’t have anytime to eat and as a result don’t feel healthy ever” problem.
Here are some of our tips for the busiest of you:
1. Always eat breakfast. I don’t care if its just a granola bar or banana on your way out the door, but this meal is not optional. Breakfast starts your day, your brain, and your metabolism. If its a test day, a presentation, or some other reason you need to be on top of your mental game, make sure breakfast includes protein.
2. Have some easy and heathy go-to snacks on hand. My favorites these days are sugar snap peas and wheat thins dipped in hummus (this is awesome food for car trips). This takes no time to prepare and can easily be eaten at a desk while studying, or if you skip the hummus, you can eat the peas while walking between classes or appointments.
3. Eat dinner earlier as opposed to later. If you get home at 11pm and you’re starving because you haven’t eaten, most likely you’ll grab something, unwind, and go to bed. But, if you eat dinner earlier in the evening, you’ll get the benefit of energy and nutrition for everything you do from 5 – 11pm.
For lunches/dinners Carly is lucky enough to have access to a grad student lounge on campus with a fridge/freezer and microwave. When I suggested frozen meals she instantly said no. She’s tried lots of them, and they were all gross. I excitedly recommended Lean Cuisine’s new Honestly Good meals (which she hadn’t had yet).
Ben and I tried them a few weeks ago (and had them again for dinner tonight) and they’re pretty tasty. I love that they’re all natural, less than 500 calories a meal, and taste fresh. They’re not about to replace a home-cooked meal around here, but they’re faster and tastier than mac n cheese on a busy night (or a lazy one). I keep a few on hand now for the times I’m in no mood to cook but my body is begging for something more nutritious than cereal.
A few things:
- We’ve tried the Honey Citrus Chicken, Lemongrass Salmon, and Roasted Red Pepper Chicken (on a few different occasions). I liked the Salmon better than the chicken, but liked the honey citrus sauce better than the lemongrass. Overall, the roasted red pepper chicken was our favorite. (I’ll update this when I’ve tried the rest – I’m looking forward to the Plum Ginger Grain-Crusted Fish and the Pomegranate Chicken).
- Neat fact: Lean Cuisine, along with their farmers, are donating a portion of the vegetables grown for the Honestly Good meals to local communities.
- The sauce comes in a separate packet so you can add as much (or as little) as you’d like.
- I’m sure they have them elsewhere, but I picked up mine from Target.
- They look like this in the store:
^^And another favorite of me and Car from this weekend. I have smart friends, and wonderful friends. Thanks for spending the weekend with us Carly, and when we see you in November you better have made progress in the eating department (doing more of it).