So I thought it would be cool to write a blog entry about easy, healthyish meal options for extremely busy people. I’m in graduate school, work thirty to thirty five hours a week, and I’m in the process of completing an internship- I totally understand what it’s like to come home exhausted and not want to cook anything for yourself. I also frequently wake up late in morning, which means I don’t have time to throw breakfast together. To be honest, I often forget about breakfast all together-the only thing my brain says (more like screams) at seven am is COFFEE COFFEE COFFEE!
Being on my winter break from school has been causing me to have these really ambitious food prep fantasies. They consist of me spending my Sunday afternoons making scrambled egg cups to have for breakfast during the week-you know, the cute little things that Pinterest says you can make in a muffin tin. Said fantasies also consist of me preparing all of these healthy lunches, like tilapia and sweet potato (both of which I hate, by the way). My dream fridge is stocked with grilled chicken made by yours truly, which I imagine eating for dinner every night. That won’t get boring at all, I tell myself, dreamily. I’ll just put a lot of hot sauce on it.
I know very well that all of this is highly unlikely-although Steve and I did buy this really cool kitchen grill that is supposed to cook meat while it’s still frozen. I forget what it’s called. I’ll find out-if it’s any good, I’ll be sure to blog about it. If it sucks, the good news is that we have 60 days to return it…I think. Wait, when did we even buy that thing? Uh oh…
The fact of the matter is that Sunday is my busiest day of the week. Sundays are for papers and discussion posts and current events and all that hella fun stuff that goes along with being a grad student. So I’ll probably just keep eating this stuff instead:
Think Thin Protein bars
I really only ever eat one thing for breakfast, at least during the week. I like to have these protein bars by Think Thin. Steve likes them, too. We buy the Brownie Crunch flavor. These bars have less than three hundred calories. They contain twenty grams of protein and 0 grams of sugar, which is awesome. What’s even more awesome is that they don’t have that disgusting aftertaste that comes from a lot of other sugar free products.
We buy them at Target. You get five for 5.99, which is kind of pricey, but they’re well worth it.
These are awesome- I buy them every single time we go shopping. They are these little frozen meals that contain more wholesome, good for you ingredients, and less processed crap. They go for a little under four bucks at Wegman’s. My favorite is the broccoli cheddar bake, which despite being gluten free, contains these really delicious bread crumbs. The spiral pasta is made out of brown rice. I also like the Mexican casserole bowl. The single enchilada dish is really good, too-it comes with rice and beans…beware of the one that comes with two enchiladas-it’s actually TWO servings in one. The way they have it packaged makes it look like you’re supposed to eat the whole thing, which pisses me off because that’s what I end up doing every time I accidentally buy it. The other one I really like is the pesto tortellini, even though Steve says it makes my breath smell really bad. Too bad for you, Steve. Too bad for you.
I eat these for dinner all the time. They’re a little on the expensive side, but a lot of grocery stories have a value pack. What I love is that they’re super quick and require next to no planning. You can literally come home, throw them in a bowl of cold tap water, wait about ten minutes for them to defrost… rip their tails off (you don’t have to do this, I just like to), and heat them up in a frying pan with some olive oil and salt and whatever other spices you like. I like to let them get a nice little crust on them 🙂
Steamfresh rice in a bag by Birdseye
This isn’t the official name or anything-“rice in a bag.” The Birdseye brand makes all these really cool rice medleys. Steve was just eating the Southwestern style rice last night. It has corn, peppers,onions, and (you guessed it) southwest seasoning. As for me, I had the “Protein blends” flavor , which contains a bunch of whole grains, beans, corn, peppers, and southwest seasoning. I really like it, but it may not be for everyone. You have to really enjoy that super healthy, grainy taste in order to enjoy it. If not, there are plenty of other flavors to choose from.
Here it is! Pretty? No? Eat it with your eyes closed then.
Steamfresh also makes plain rice, without any other ingredients. You can find their products by the frozen vegetables. I get them at Wegman’s, but they’re probably sold everywhere.
Tyson Chicken Nuggets
Lol, don’t judge me. Remember, this is called healthyISH food. These aren’t healthy at all, they’re just better than McDonald’s. They’re free of fillers and preservatives, and are supposed to be made from all natural ingredients. They can’t be that bad for you-my sweet Grandma who eats healthy things like sardines and whole wheat pasta and beets keeps them in her freezer. So there.
Fresh Organic Spinach
I don’t buy frozen spinach because I think it tastes gross. The fresh is the easiest thing in the world to make. If you’re already making something-say you’ve just finished heating the pre-cooked frozen shrimp in a pan-you just massage the spinach for a couple seconds with olive oil and a pinch of salt and throw it in there for about two minutes. Be sure to toss it around a bit with a cooking spoon. You can also do this in the oven; after removing your Tyson chicken nuggets, turn the temperature off, throw the oiled and salted spinach in the same pan you cooked the nuggets in, and put it back in there for two or three minutes. If you really want, you can even make your spinach in the microwave. I usually throw it in for about a minute, but every microwave is different.
Oh, and for the record-I’m not an organic food snob. It’s just that I eat a lot of spinach, and it’s typically one of those foods that get sprayed to death with pesticides. It costs a dollar or two more than the regular spinach, which isn’t horrible. You can buy the regular if you want to. I do that sometimes, when I go shopping late at night and there is no more organic left. It tastes the same.
For when I’m feeling snacky:
Mary’s Gone Crackers
These crackers are super crunchy and fun to eat-plus they’re gluten free, contain little to no flour-and you get to eat thirteen of them for under two hundred calories. Not too shabby, right?
Happy healthyish eating!
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