Self Care Saturday: Meal Prep

The thing I have the absolute most helpful as I have transitioned into working full time as a nurse on night shift is meal prep. I know, food prep as self care seems funny. But food is meant to nourish our bodies. If we’re not putting good things into our bodies it takes a toll. I can tell a difference when I eat out and eat fast food compared to when I eat food that actually nourishes my body. It would be so easy to go get chicken fingers and fries from the cafeteria, or let the free pizza management buys us be the only meal you eat in a 12 hour shift

When I make poorer food choices I feel. I usually end up nauseous. I’m more tired. I’m more achey. I’m more prone to headaches.

It is a vital part of self care to put good food in your body. Now, that’s not saying I don’t enjoy a juicy cheeseburger from time to time. But I try to, more often that not, cook my own food. I pack my lunch, and my snacks for work. When I go to the grocery store I avoid the center aisles. Most of my food comes from the produce and meat sections.

How do I meal prep?

I usually eat eggs for breakfast, so I make sure I have plenty of eggs and then I buy veggies to cook into my eggs. I like to eat a banana when I first wake up to get my first dose of fruit. Then around 10 I usually eat a piece of fruit or a granola bar. When I’m working I like to take my lunch by 130am, usually I eat closer to midnight, and thats when I eat my big meal, and then I’ll usually end up eating a snack in the morning around 5 am. But I try to pack my snacks and my lunches. Finding an eating plan that worked for me and my life was a game changer,

For my lunches/dinners I usually make a big meal and eat that. I’m a big fan of soups and stews because they freeze really well, they’re pretty easy, and usually filling.

This week I made my turkey chili.

You need 1 lb of ground turkey (or ground meat of your choice)
1 Onion
garlic (3 cloves)
bell pepper(s) of choice (this time I put a yellow and an orange one)
beans of choice (I don’t like kidney beans so I put black and great northern beans)
one bag of frozen sweet corn (15 oz approximately)
chicken broth (1 1/4 cup, I usually eye ball it, which is why I add it last to the crockpot)
canned tomatoes (I like the hunt’s fire roasted, total of 28 oz so I usually buy 2 of the smaller cans)

chili powder (4 tbsp)
cumin (2 tsp)
oregano (1 tsp)
cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp)
or a pre made chili seasoning pack

In olive oil (or cooking oil of choice) saute onions, garlic, and peppers, add in the ground chili once fragrant then add the meat.  Add the spices to the meat and veggies. img_0126
Meanwhile, to the crockpot add the tomatoes, drained and rinsed beans, and corn. Once meat is cooked and veggies are well mixed add that to the crockpot. Lastly, add the chicken broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Top with whatever goodies you like. I have avocado.

When my chili is done I put it in pre-portioned tupperware containers so I literally just have to grab a tupperware and throw it in my lunch box. One pot gets me about 6 meals and that gets me through a stretch of work days.

I usually stick to “One pan” or “one pot” type meals or crockpots. There usually super easy and make plenty of food to make it through my work week.

Remember to take care of yourself this week so you can best take care of others! Happy Saturday friends!

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