My Time Crunch Meal Plan
My total cooking time: 11 minutes, 40 seconds.
Total cost: $5.13. This saves for eating out once a week, where I usually do eat more meat, I enjoy a plant-based diet, but not a meat-free or vegan diet.
Health effect: good. I’m not catching sick more than anyone else and have an average recovery time when the family does catch sick. I feel well and have energy for the day. I’m not getting any bloating or digestive trouble. I’m enjoying the meals, not living for them, but these things are things I don’t have to force myself to eat.
Weight effect: loss, so that I’m five pounds under target right now and can eat anything on the weekend. But this is a diet that compensates for 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise, not my diet for a non-exercise day.
I don’t intend to be on this diet forever, and I sometimes do frozen fruit + spinach, flaxseed oil from the spoon for omega 3 and nutrition. Still, this diet is surprisingly healthy for being so fast and cheap. I would enjoy cooking more if I didn’t have to feed the baby and clean the table and floor after the two kids eat. Hence, it’s a diet I wouldn’t choose if I wasn’t exercising or if I wanted to spend more time cooking. Someday I will cook more soulfully (actually today I helped my daughter cook waffles and chicken for her lunch), but I don’t want to wait to eat until I’m done cooking with a four-year-old… I want something fast so I’m full and then we can take our time cooking her food as slowly as it takes to cook with a child.
For a long time, I didn’t eat processed food, and my health was worse, not better. It really depends “what” processed food you are or are not eating more than just the “processed” scare tactic.
For a long time, I didn’t eat noodles or many carbs, but when I noticed Bruce Lee was a huge fan of carbs I decided to rethink my ideas about it. Sure, if I am losing weight, I don’t do a lot of carbs, but if I am maintaining or gaining and exercising, I need the carbs (in balance).
I was really inspired by Lovie Price’s food tips, which are much more “real world” than most online food tips. I was going to ask what her weekday meal plan looks like meal by meal (because I know people who would love to eat bread in moderation while losing weight), but instead, I decided to make a note of my diet. Not really so people can go on this diet, but more to shatter the illusion that it’s impossible to eat at home, eat within a budget or cook in a time efficient way with a focus on health.
If you have more time to cook something better, that’s great, I hope that is me in a few months. But I found something that works for me, and I thought I would note it, I have had a lot of other good daily diet plans, for allergies, for weight loss, for work with no refrigerator, but I didn’t keep the notes of what they were and I kind of wish I would have, so here’s this one now.
I know I’m producing breast milk without any digestion problems or supply problems, that’s sometimes helpful for other moms to know. My baby is probably lactose and gluten tolerant (I know the average baby in the world is not going to be as lactose tolerant).
Beef Flavor Ramen Noodle Nutrition
- Calories 380 Kcal “22%”
- Total Fat 14 g “22%”
- Trans Fat 0 g 0%
- Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
- Sodium 1.460 g “64%”
- Total Carbohydrate 54 g “22%”
- Dietary Fiber 2g “8%”
- Sugars 2g “2%”
- Protein 8g “16%”
- Iron 1.3 mg “14%”
When I read the nutrition facts, I was surprised there are fiber and protein in noodles, as well as iron which is very important for babies brain health for memory formation, as well as my health as a female especially, with a family history of anemia.
Usually, my yellow flags are over 10g of sugar or over 30g of carbohydrates per meal, but I noticed I needed more energy on a daily basis before I added this high carb meal into my exercise days and found that it helped provide a lot of energy to replace what I lose exercising. I know exercise is supposed to create energy, but haven’t noticed it actually doing that yet this year, what it does is help my mood, my health, my mental outlook, my physical strength, and tone, so I am committed to doing it despite that it hasn’t provided any extra energy lately.
I don’t enjoy cooking, so although I will cook with a positive attitude as much as needed, I enjoy reducing the time spend doing that, in order to spend more time doing things I either do enjoy, have to get done or think are worthwhile.
“There is nothing the busy man is less busied with than living; there is nothing harder to learn.”– Seneca
It’s mostly about time.
I do enjoy going outside for about an hour every day. I think my two kids really benefit from outdoor play. According to John Medina’s “Brain Rules,” the human mind evolved over most of human history and before, to solve problems in an outdoor environment on the go.
Meaning sitting down isn’t good for the brain.
Being inside isn’t good for the brain.
Routine living, which doesn’t involve dynamic problem-solving aren’t good for the brain.
So much of modern life is made of one or all of those three components that isn’t good for the brain, the one hour outside isn’t a compulsion, I don’t do it every day, but it feels the most worthwhile out of all the enrichment routines I do for my children and also for myself.
Outside Play Habit
My cue, routine, reward is:
Cue: after lunch.
Routine: sunscreen inside, put away the dog to chill (in a safe, shady small gated dog run), put out water play toys for the kids (cups, buckets, ext) with one big kid section and one enclosed baby section, take the kids outside, leaving the baby in the gated area until the end, then following the baby to explore safely for a bit, then cleaning up and freeing the dog.
Reward: I feel so peaceful after being outside.
Cost: It cost $30 for the outdoor pen used, it cost $8 for the toys we use outside, it cost an hour of the day I get back from doing a quick, simple lunches and dinners, it costs a bit of sunscreen, it costs the cost of kid proofing the indoor spaces $75 so that I can leave the kids inside while I do outdoor set up for 4 minutes and put the dog away.
Beliefs: I had to let go of the belief it was “more work”, it’s not really more work than watching the kids inside (for me), it may be draining to be in the heat or sun, but getting wet and providing shade areas helps both issues. It would be more work if I had to train my older child what is safe or unsafe outside, she is already trained and behaves well because she enjoys being allowed to play outside so much she doesn’t want to lose the privilege. It would be more work if I didn’t have a safe place for the baby via the playpen. Using the playpen as a safe zone, I could rescue the older one if I needed to or go for a quick bathroom break without having a safety hazard. The playpen seems like it doesn’t matter “if I am watching them,” but it really does matter. Safe zones make parenting so much easier and more enjoyable.
I was thinking a few weeks ago that the mundane parts of life were something to “get through” to the more lofty parts of life, but I no longer believe that, now I think they are interwoven, like a quilt. The everyday habits, they are the backbone that creates a base for the masterpieces, masterpieces of music and art don’t exist alone, they are a part of a life long journey of creativity, which is part of a journey of being human and alive. So the matters of life, of being human, of everyday duties, everyday choices, they are a part of holistic health that builds the more lauded human endeavors.
Thank you, any good home recipes are welcome! When I start “really” cooking
again, it would be nice to try some new things, it would be amazing to try some secret family recepies from other families, one day I’ll post my dad’s beef stew or my grandmother’s tofu pie.
6 thoughts on “Time Crunch Meal Plan 🍜”
i like your meals….probably will try that tortilla /cheese thing in the air fryer ( never thought of that!). Your situation is definitely different than mine. I have no young children ( they burn off a lot of calories just taking care of them) and i am not lactating. Plus i am about 20 years older and hormones in flux. But what is interesting is that i notice my diet , at your age, (even without the young kids or lactation) was almost identical anyway and it makes me wonder if there is a connection via age/gender, or just coincidence…. Lately though , my daily diet has just been evolving as i come to understand the things that 1. make the most sense given my time and budget, and 2. actually do not leave me feeling deprived and resentful.:) hugs!
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I’ve been beginning to think there are certain set types of gut biomes, sure everyone is different, but my sister enjoys and is healthy with the same diet as my dad with fish, nato, traditional Japanese, my daughter, her aunt, and her father enjoy the same diet with mushrooms, eggs, chicken. That’s a good gradient for food somewhere between practicality (time and budget) and enjoyment. I’m beginning to think nutrition is more complicated as to become a trial and error best fit and less of a “science” that is well established “fact”, I think I made my daughter sugar free for two years to eat veggies, but I now think she would have eaten them anyway because what I did feed her she no longer likes, but instead she likes exactly what her father likes, which she didn’t have access to before. Ex. I fed her squash, she doesn’t care for it now, but loves mushrooms same as her dad. 🍄
I’m crazy about trying out new recipes as long as I can tweak them😌.
I could share some with you. I hope you have the actual ingredients or can get good substitutes tho.
I would love to try something new, I cooked a beef curry that lasted a week and I’d love to cook something else that has carrots and potatoes (maybe in a different way though). It was so easy eating dinner that week. 🍲
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I can imagine. I made yam pepper soup this morning, and if you’re a fan of spices, you should like it. You can replace the yam with potatoes.
That sounds yamtastic, I love yams. Is that pepper as a spice or the veggie pepper? I want to make it. 🍠