Tuesday, March 27, 2012

heading back to school!

I am officially back in school! I could not be more excited about the coming year. I have ogled the Institute for Integrative Nutrition for years and years, but it never seemed feasible time-wise. But this is a big year for me... I turned 40. And, well, I am tired of the post-baby weight that's lingering. I'm tired of being tired. I feel ready to make some changes. I *know* what I should be eating and doing, but for some reason, I lack the framework to really make it stick. And so, it is with great excitement (and some trepidation) that I have returned to school to better understand the nitty gritty aspects of nutrition and diet, as well as the holistic nature of wellness. I hope to come out of this year feeling better and more balanced myself, with a framework to make it sustainable. And looser jeans would be nice too.

In anticipation of school ramping up, I had the kids help me organize the playroom. It was like herding cats, getting them to focus, not play... but I am determined to have them play a more active role in tidying up at the end of the day. I am a super mom, but I am not Supermom. I will need help from everyone in my family to be successful.

On the meal front, I have a small stash of meals in the freezer, which I intend to add to on days when I have a chance to cook (and relish on the nights I don't). Right now, the stash includes: a spinach lasagna, a veggie-version of my go-to enchiladas, a big thing of my favorite turkey chili and Sunday's veg taco filling. Admittedly, I also have a stash of Amy's frozen pizzas. As I cooked on Sunday (veg taco night) and Monday ("redemption salad" a.k.a. my fav Asian-inspired salad), I also prepped extra amounts of the basic ingredients, so meal prep the remainder of the week can be quick and easy. I've written about this prep ahead concept before. Trust me, it's so worth it. Fruits and veggies are prepped in the fridge, so packing lunches is a breeze and the pre-dinner snacking platter can be assembled with minimal effort. Here's the scoop on some of the ingredients in my fridge as of Monday evening, and what they may become:

  • turkey that I'd roasted and frozen >> turkey sandwiches; go into a soup or stir-fry; top a salad; or as-is as a simple meat protein
  • edamame >> quick snack/lunchbox side as-is or edamame hummus
  • honeydew melon >> quick snack, lunchbox side, smoothie ingredient or side at any meal
  • more of the veg taco filling >> quick lunch as a taco salad or filling for veggie quessadillas
  • shredded cabbage >> salad or stir-fry ingredient
  • tomatoes >> salad, sandwich, scrambled egg or frittata ingredient
  • shredded carrots >>  quick snack/lunchbox side or salad/stir-fry ingredient
  • snow peas >> quick snack/lunchbox side or salad/stir-fry ingredient
  • bell peppers, washed and cut into spears >> quick snack/lunchbox side, quessadilla or stir-fry ingredient, add to scrambled eggs or a frittata
  • leftover Asian dressing >> marinade for chicken
  • cooked quinoa >> quinoa salad or added to black bean cakes in lieu of breadcrumbs
  • very ripe avocados >> guac or salad ingredient
Hopefully this sheds a little light on how I prep-- and use up-- lots of different basic ingredients. Once I am in more of a school groove I am happy to meet with you one-on-one and do a sample cook day of things your family likes, and then map out what you would then make the remaining days of the week. But first, I need to remember how to study! I know it's going to be tricky juggling school, raising two young children, volunteer work and being present for my family and friends, but I am thrilled to finally be pursuing a program I have admired for years.


  1. Welcome to the IIN Family :)

  2. Good luck! Can't wait to hear more about INN. Looks like you are well prepared.

  3. This is wonderful...I can't wait to hear all about your new ideas from school. I WANT your fridge with everything prepared like that...i HAVE nothing like it and no time to create it...may call on you for help one day :)


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