With my impending return to work my mind is a whirlwind of thoughts. The main thought being: How will I balance life while working full time?
I know that it’s going to take time. I realize that it’s going to be difficult, on everyone, but I am determined to make one small (or large to us) part a little more simple.
Food is a passion for myself and my husband. We LOVE food. We are very particular about our food as well, eating mostly fresh produce with grain fed and finished meat that has been ethically butchered (if you believe in such a thing). My goal when I go back to work is to have a freezer full of food.
Frozen breakfasts that are convenient to grab and go as we run out the door.
Frozen lunches that will be simple for me to pull out of the freezer and pack for all of us the night before.
Frozen meals that will be simple to pull out, defrost, and bake, or cook accordingly so that when my husband picks up Ezekiel from daycare and comes home, it’s a simple and quick way for them to eat before Ezekiel goes to bed.
Frozen baked goods so that I’m not tempted to spend money at the coffee shop at work.
One thing I’m aiming for is making food that both my husband and I enjoy, and that we are ok with feeding to Ezekiel. For the baked goods that means making them all refined sugar free and also gluten free.
I’ve been brainstorming and list making for a few weeks. This week I started on the actual making food process and it has been so therapeutic. If I’m stressed or worried put me in the kitchen to cook, or give me some cleaning supplies and all my problems seem to melt away. I’ll be documenting my process in parts for the next 6 weeks and then updating on how it’s going and what could be improved once we’ve implemented it.
So here’s the first step: Planning!
In the picture at the top of this post you’ll see my “Kitchen Book.” I’ve recently implemented it to document all things food for us. I’m famous in my house for making an incredible meal, not writing down the recipe and not remembering how I made it. It drives my husband crazy so I’m hoping this resolves the problem! I now jot down the recipes that I make and that we like, and add notes each time I make it if I’ve tweaked anything in the recipe. I am also using this book for all my back to work meal prepping.
To start I’ve made a freezer inventory that I’ll add to as I stockpile the freezer, as well as cross off items once they’ve been used. You’ll notice that our meat selection is pretty slim, but all that ground meat is going to be great for some freezer meals! We order bulk from an incredible ranch that has won awards for the ethical treatment of animals, and if we want something else before another bulk order we just buy specifics at the Farmers Market. I’m trying to stretch out our meat until I return to work and can afford to place another bulk order. Anyways, let’s get on to the next list.
This is my brainstorming list of meals that can be easily frozen. Most of these we’ve tried and enjoy, but I’m adding more and more to the list that we haven’t tried. If there’s a recipe we’ve never tried, I’ll be testing it first before making it for the freezer. The breakfast sandwiches and burritos will be for us to grab on our way out the door in the morning. My goal is to have at least a months worth of meals frozen (that means a month of my work days-so 14), hopefully more but I’ll aim for a month to start with and see where we go from there.
This is my list of baking that I want to make and freeze. I’ve already crossed quite a few off of this list! The problem with that is, I’m already dipping into my stash!
So there you have it. My back to work meal prep AKA my back to work stress relief.
Any advice for a first time momma going back to work full time? I listened to a Podcast this week from Elise Blaha called Elise Gets Crafty: Finding A Happy Balance that was all about a full time working momma. It was really encouraging for me and put my heart at ease, so if you find yourself in the same boat as me I suggest giving it a listen!