A few weeks ago, our class had our first exam of the semester! It was a two-part combined lab and lecture exam for Neuroscience II. Neuro is arguably the hardest class we have in the first year of our program, so needless to say everyone goes slightly crazy the week of the exam. Since then, we’ve had mid-terms for our other three classes one after another so I’ve been a busy gal! In the days leading up to a busy exam week, I try to meal-prep so that I don’t have to worry about food shopping and cooking in between my bouts at the library. I’ve recently implemented “Soup Sundays” in my apartment and it has really helped me save time during the week. I’ll make a huge pot of soup and freeze it in individual containers, so I can just pop it right in my lunch the following week! A few weeks ago I made chicken pot pie soup via Annie from The Garlic Diaries. It was so delicious and froze really nicely so I had lunches during the next week, rather than having to spend time packing or spend money on junk food from the student center (because we all know I’d eat Pop Tarts every day for lunch if I let myself).
Another meal prep strategy I use is overnight oats. My best friend Ally turned me onto this easy and healthy breakfast over the summer and I love it! All you need is a base of equal parts old fashioned oats and milk. Then add whatever fruits, nuts, and sweetener you like! I like to mash up a banana and add pecans or walnuts and raisins with a little bit of cinnamon. Other times I’ll add in a half of a cubed apple, cinnamon, pecans, and craisins. Pop the container in the fridge the night before, and they’re ready to eat by morning! You can eat them cold, but I’m weird about the temperature of my food so I tend to heat it up for a minute or two in the microwave.
I’m big on individually freezing soups, but I also make my own marinara sauce and meatballs from my dad’s famous top-secret recipe that I freeze in individual servings. I can never order spaghetti and meatballs at a restaurant because this recipe is THAT good. Every time I’m with my dad I ask him to make it for me, so he passed the recipe on to me so I could make it whenever I want! I still think it tastes better when he makes it, but I’m getting the hang of it! At the beginning of the semester, I made a huge pot of sauce & about 50 meatballs. They have lasted me about three months! I use the sauce for pasta and pizza, and the meatballs for sandwiches, soups, and on their own.
Last Soup Sunday, I made Italian wedding soup via Brown Eyed Baker with my meatballs. I stored it in individual servings and stuck them in the freezer. Whenever I have a busy day all I have to do is throw one in my lunch bag and microwave it!
I have also gotten myself into the habit of grocery shopping the weekend before a busy week. I’ll make sure I’m stocked up on snacks, produce, milk, eggs, cereal and chicken. Rotisserie chickens are only about $5 and can be spread out throughout the whole week. When I get home from the store, I chop up all of my fruits and veggies so that whenever I’m cooking I can just grab what I need and throw it in. I’ll shred up my cooked chicken and have it on hand to add into pastas, stir-fries, salads, soups, and sandwiches.
I hope these tips will help to keep your diet on track, even while you’re spending all hours studying! In the next post I’ll post some updates about what I’m learning this semester and other things I’ve been up to this spring.
Keep on Dreaming,