Ok, so I can (personally) speak to only one of these. I know what it means to be tired.
And although I may not have any physical conditions that can hold me back, my hope is that I can come up with a few tips and tricks to help those of you who do.
Let’s begin, shall we?
If you’ve been following along with this series, you may recall in Part 1 where I talked about what all my days consist of, as a stay at home mom of 3 kids. It’s time consuming and oh-so-exhausting. Yes, I do have days where I am too tired to even think about what to feed my family for dinner, so I do as simple a meal as I can think of (while staying in the healthy realm): sandwiches, apple slices and corn chips are usually a big hit with the kiddos…and Mountain Man and I will comb through the fridge and freezer for leftovers.
But… even my kiddos get tried of their favorite sandwiches from time to time, and I need to switch it up a bit.
So what can you throw together in a hurry, that is still healthy, and keeps you from grabbing that phone to call in an order for take-out, or swinging by your favorite fried-whatever fast food chain on your way home from work?
Y’all…this is key. You know I love Pinterest. I find so much inspiration on there for recipes I’d like to try. But I also feel it can be somewhat of a double-edged sword. They tempt you with these amazing food pictures, then as soon as you open the link, you are inundated with a long list of ingredients you will need to have on hand to make that delicious meal. Plus it requires too many detailed steps or too much involvement in the kitchen.
Ain’t nobody got time (or energy) for that!
So what can you do to be prepared for those “too-tired-to-care” days? Now, I might be stepping on some toes here…and husbands (or wives, if the husband is the main cook) need to do their part to help make meal prep a little easier for you. How they go about doing this will look different for everyone. For me… it’s a huge help if Mountain Man keeps the kids occupied and out of the kitchen. Or if it’s one of those rare evenings when the kids are all actually getting along, and playing quietly upstairs…
Seriously…so rare that I can count on one hand the number of times this has happened in 2 years.
I may enlist Mountain Man to chop a vegetable or two. Or maybe sauté some veggies, or get the rice on the stove. However that help looks to your family, it’s a bigger help than you might ever imagine. And it can make a huge difference in how much energy and effort you have to put into the meal. Especially after a long, taxing day at work.
But what if you’re both so tired you just can’t…?
Okay, so this is where meal prepping comes into play. If I know I’m going to have a particularly long week, I might pick recipes that are easy to throw together. Or better yet, ones that have already been prepped, and are sitting in the freezer… just waiting for the perfect opportunity to grace my belly with it’s presence.
One of my favorites to have on stand-by is pita pizzas. These are so flippin’ easy and take less than 10 minutes to put together and bake. I like to pre-make my pitas and pizza sauce over the weekend, and store in the fridge. When a night arises where everyone seems to be falling apart at the seams, I grab my pita bread, pizza sauce, and cheese, throw it together in a hot oven, and BAM! Hot and delicious pizza in less than 10 minutes! Plus… who doesn’t love pizza?!
Did you know that you can freeze rice?! This is excellent news, because you can make a big batch, portion out serving sizes, and freeze them in little baggies. When you are ready to eat it, take a baggie out, run it under hot water for about a minute, empty the rice into a microwave safe bowl, and cook on high for about 2-3 minutes. Done! Plus, rice makes an easy and tasty side to just about any dish.
The crockpot is your best friend. Seriously.
There are so. many. recipes. that you can throw in the crockpot in the morning before you leave the house, and let it go on low until you get home. I’ve even known people to prep the crock pot the night before, stick it in the fridge overnight, then place it in the heating unit in the morning. Genius.
Some of my favorite (easy) crockpot recipes;
- Crockpot (venison – optional) Chili
- Chicken and Wild Rice (the rice cooks IN the crockpot) Soup
- Crockpot Pork Tenderloin (from Easy Recipe Depot)
- Seasoned Chicken, Potatoes, and Green Beans (from The Magical Slow Cooker)
- Sweet Potato, Chicken (optional), and Quinoa Soup (from Chelsea’s Messy Apron)
- Creamy Crockpot Chicken (from Lovely Little Kitchen) – just grab some rice out of the freezer when you get home and voila!
I could literally go on and on for several pages…but you get the gist. For slow cooker recipes, I’m telling you…Pinterest is my jam for Slow Cooker recipes.
Want to know my go-to meal for myself and Mountain Man, when it takes everything in me to muster up enough energy to get the kiddos fed?
Salad and baked potatoes.
Yes, it’s that simple. I always keep an easy and amazingly delicious oil and vinegar salad dressing on hand. Grate a little fresh Parmesan over the lettuce, top with whatever other toppings you enjoy, salad dressing it up, and you have yourself a filling and healthy salad. For the bakes potatoes, we love that micro-cooker from Pampered Chef…it makes those bad boys in less than 10 minutes, so it’s ready to go by the time I’m done making my salad. Can’t get any easier than that!
For those of you who may struggle with a physical condition, I hope you will find some hope in these tips and meal ideas helpful. I’ve heard from several people that standing for long periods of time is not possible…you were the ones I had in mind with my recommended meals. Many of the “food prep” for the meals can be done in less than 10 minutes, or even done while sitting at the kitchen table (ie: chopping vegetables, etc)…OR delegated to an older child or spouse! 😉
I hope I’ve given you some things to think about, and the encouragement to know that you can do this!