Monday, October 22, 2012

Guest Post: A-Doctor-In-The-House

I might work part time, but that doesn't mean I'm not a busy woman. I realize that I have more time than most to keep a clean house, work on freelance projects and raise a child—but there are still days where I can't seem to get everything done. It's on these days that I feel like there's just not enough time, which is why I'm super excited about today's guest post. Quite frankly, I love hearing how other people get it done. There are so many ways to go about it, and Andrea talks about it from a time crunched med student's perspective. And I'm sure you'll love her advice as much as I did when I first read this:
Hi! I’m Andrea, a 3rd year medical student and I blog over at A-Doctor-In-The-House. I’m passionate about all things healthy, science, and living life the way that makes you happy! (For me, that means eating tons of frozen yogurt and cookies in between my healthy meals).

We've all had weeks when we are on the go non-stop. Get up first thing in the morning, race out the door, work hard all day, tend to other responsibilities at night (family, extra-curriculars, homework) and crash into bed only to repeat the same thing the next day.

For some, every single day looks like this.

So how is one supposed to stay healthy when it's hard to find time to even stay sane? Do you find yourself thinking it's so much easier to grab lunch while you're out, deal with dinner later, and not waste time packing food or cooking? Do you find yourself thinking there is zero time to workout? I am totally with you! I've had many weeks like this in medical school and it's not always easy to stay on track. But I've picked up a few tricks and I thought I would share them today!

1. Once a week, make a ton of food. I know it sounds time consuming, but I promise it's not. If you spend 3 hours cooking on a Sunday, you save yourself SO MUCH time every other day of the week! Obviously, cooking each day takes a ton of time. But buying food every day takes time too! Think about it—you have to go down to the cafeteria, stop and wait at a drive through or run over to a restaurant. That all takes time! If you can prepare two different meals in large batches one time each week, you have lunch and dinner ready to go every day! If this is something you've never done before, it might sound crazy, but once you get used to cooking on Sundays, it becomes a part of your life!

Some of my favorite foods to make in bulk are soups, chili, turkey meatloaf muffins, and pumpkin muffins. The easiest way to prep food on sunday is to buy tons of chicken breast and throw it on a baking sheet with some spices on top. Cut up a ton of veggies and roast those, too. Meanwhile, on the stove, sauté more vegetables and cook up quinoa. Now you have yummy chicken, quinoa and veggies to put into individual Tupperware. Grab and go all week long!

Oatmeal, coffee, snack, and lunch—ready to go! This technique sounds intense, but think of all the money and calories you can save!!

2. Streamline your routine. Making breakfast in the morning can be time consuming and lead you to skip it. But as we all know, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Find a breakfast you love that keeps you full until lunch (or snack time—I can't go more than three hours without feeling starved) and make it every day. You will get so fast at making this breakfast, it won't be a big deal! Make a smoothie with protein powder, spinach, a frozen banana and blueberries. Take it with you in the car! Make oatmeal and mix in some liquid egg whites to eat while you check your email. Have a bowl of greek yogurt and dump in a handful of chia seeds or flax seeds and berries.

I am such a pro at making my voluminous oatmeal every morning. It takes me exactly three minutes!

3. Plan your workout like you would plan an appointment. If you can schedule in time to work out, you will be more likely to stick to it! I actually don't do this because whenever I make a schedule for myself I automatically rebel and literally never stick to it. I am so bad! But, I know myself and so I know when I can fit in a workout and when I can't. If you LOVE working out at night, then get up early, grab a huge cup of coffee and work your booty off while everyone sleeps so you have all of your to-dos done before 8AM! Then you will have more free time at night to hit the gym. If you would rather work out in the morning, put out your clothes the night before and immediately get up when your alarm goes off. If I lay around and think about it, I always talk myself out of going. So try to leave the house before your brain wakes up!

Other random time-saving things I do:
• Study on the treadmill/elliptical.
• Make to-do lists all the time to keep yourself in line.
• Record yourself reading your study notes and then listen to it in the car.
• Find a hairstyle that takes no time.
• Work out at home!! Huge time saver!
• Do small workouts throughout the day—15 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night.
• Make extra food and freeze it a few weeks before an upcoming busy week.
• Get up early! 4am rocks. It's the best time of the day, I swear. No one will bother you.

Lastly, don't forget to enjoy yourself and eat lots of ice cream! We all struggle to stay healthy when life seems to get in the way. If you can remember that you're more efficient when you are eating well, sleeping and exercising, then putting in the extra time to pack lunch or go to the gym might not seem so bad!

Question: What are some of your favorite meals to make in bulk?

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