Back to Work Food Prep

Wow! I have been away for a while and I’ve missed you!  It’s been a busy week, and I’ve successfully completed my first day away from Ezekiel.

In short, we all had a good day – I’ll expand on my thoughts/feelings/stresses later on. For now let’s focus on how I prepared last week.

Last week my parents came to visit before their departure to the US for the winter.  It was so so so fantastic to have them here, and Ezekiel was over the moon.  He is smitten with them and that makes my heart so happy.  It goes without saying that they are equally or even more so smitten with him.  So with them being here it was easy for me to keep my promise to myself.  I did very minimal things (but I did learn how to hem pants thanks to my mom!), but the day they left I went into full fledged preparation/stress mode.

Honestly, preparing and organizing three people is like a full time job in itself! I spent the weekend doing laundry, cleaning the house, organizing meals, prepping Ezekiel’s food (in another post I’ll explain this), getting bottles ready, preparing my work bag and Ezekiel’s dayhome bag.  I thought I’d share the food portion of my organizing.

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I’ve been using my Erin Condren Life Planner to plan our suppers (this week looks like a huge mess!) we are just finishing up our last bulk order of meat so it’s been hard to plan original meals! Anyways on the days I’m working I’ve planned to use our freezer meals.

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After planning our suppers I decided I needed to plan mine and Ezekiel’s full days of meals, that way I don’t have to think about food on the days I’m working.  Since I work 12 hour days I have to plan every meal from breakfast to supper.  We’ve had to start pureeing Ezekiel’s food again so I’ve left his blank for this week as I get used to it.  For my dinners I’ll just eat what I’ve already planned for suppers at home.  Snacks at work are essential to save me money and calories, otherwise I’ll be wandering to the coffee shop on my breaks and spending too much money on unnecessary things.

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Although I didn’t plan specifics for Ezekiel’s meals I did spend Saturday morning prepping all this food for him.  I mix and match for his lunches and suppers.  So far he’s enjoyed each of my concoctions. It’s been great to be able to just grab the containers, and throw some stuff into the blender.

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I reorganized our fridge to help with the planning.  The top left shelf is all of Ezekiel’s food.  the top right is beverages and dairy.  The middle left is yogurt and fruit.  Middle right is leftovers and miscellaneous.  The bottom shelf I’ve placed our planned food.

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The left is a bin for my lunches. All previously frozen into individual portions, I just pull them out of the freezer and put them in the bin.  The middle is a bin for snacks I’ve prepared and frozen (granola bars/scones etc.) again I just have to pull them out of the freezer and place them in the bin.  On the right is the meats I’ll be using for the week when I’m not working.  I take them out of the freezer and put them in the bowl to thaw.

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Behind the bowl I put the freezer meals that Carlos can grab and heat for suppers when I’m working.

I’ve only been back to work for a day but so far I’m loving this planning and prepping.  It’s taken a lot of stress off of going back to work.

What’s Up

 

 

Here’s what’s been up this week.

What's Up Oct 9/14

Getting fancy with my hair.

What's Up Oct 9/14

Experimenting with homemade chalk paint.

What's Up Oct 9/14

Then realizing my mistake.

What's Up Oct 9/14

Still obsessing over Harry Potter, and drinking a lot of latte’s trying to learn how to do latte art.

What's Up Oct 9/14

Getting somewhere with my freezer meals.

What's Up Oct 9/14

Finally getting bigger diapers for Ezekiel (he’s been in infant size about 10 lbs to long).

What's Up Oct 9/14

I was tempted to buy all 8 covers in this print.

Here’s to another week of enjoying the moments and finding simplicity.

Back To Work Meal Prep: Planning

Back To Work Meal Prep

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.

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.

Back To Work Meal Prep

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.

Back To Work Meal Prep

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.

Back To Work Meal Prep

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!