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3/31/14 4:35 A

I did an internship at the CA state capitol for two semesters and never took the elevator. I always took the stairs. I was in great shape by the end of my internship. Taking the stairs all the time in college should help you keep fit. Walk to class too whenever you can. Or ride your bike. Take public transportation and get off a stop early.

Edited by: WOODSYLIBERAL at: 3/31/2014 (04:37)
CAMEOSUN SparkPoints: (86,617)
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3/30/14 10:09 P

Agree. Even only 10 min. of exercise can help - maybe squats? They really work a lot of the body. Then some push ups. But mostly !! Get enough rest !! Our eldest son burnt out with the college-work combo and is still paying for at age 28 w/ several healthy issues.

METAMORPH2010 Posts: 141
3/30/14 4:55 P


You probably don't want to hear what I'm going to say...

As a 55-year-old who was very driven in my 20s and 30s and who crashed and burned really bad, my advice to you is to learn to take care of yourself while you're young and your body is more cooperative -- don't wait until your cholesterol, blood sugars, and blood pressure are way out of whack, you have sleep apnea, you're beyond tired for no reason at all except that you're out of shape, and everything is difficult.

You've gotten some great advice about handy things, and I'll add some more once I get off my soapbox. You might want to have a good hard look at your priorities and put your physical health closer to the top of the list. If it means taking longer to do all the learning you're so passionate about, so be it. You don't have to do it all right now. I don't know if you can hear this, but I hope this at least gives you pause for thought.

I'm reading this thread because I'm looking for similar ideas -- not because I'm so busy but because I have so little energy and food prep is difficult for me. You don't want to be in my shoes. Believe me.

Anyway, to answer the question you asked, here are some more ideas:
* packaged, prewashed salads -- these are easy to find nowadays, not always as good as preparing greens yourself (they tend to use hardier, more bitter lettuces), but fabulously convenient
* use a food processor to grate carrots, cabbage, and beets in batches. Spend 10 minutes at this, and you've got veggies for a week. These veggies are great in salads, sandwiches, stews, stir-fries, and soups (cheap, too)
* frozen veggies. Take some out the evening before to thaw, or just toss frozen into soups and stir fries.
* frozen berries. Delicious for a sweet treat! I add these to oatmeal just as it is done cooking, and they help cool the oatmeal as they thaw. They also thaw very quickly if placed in a covered saucepan on low heat. You can throw them in a blender with yogurt and other goodies for a quick smoothie. Or take some out the evening before.
* batch cook grains such as rice, millet, and quinoa and either heat in the microwave or add to stir fries or soups. Can pre-cook oatmeal as well.
* stir fries. I cut up fresh or thawed meat into bite-sized pieces, add frozen or previously prepared veggies, and a bit of soy sauce and/or rice vinegar. If I'm feeling ambitious, I add some fresh garlic and ginger. Delicious, and it takes about 5 minutes.
* as a last resort, since it is highly processed, whey protein powders are a very quick fix when on the run.

Hope this helps.

KARENSMITH32 SparkPoints: (0)
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3/28/14 6:49 P

Just plan everything ahead of time and schedule each meal for the week. Chop and prep all of your food 2 times each week, then when you come home all you will have to do is prepare the meals, which won't take long. Preparation is the longest step! Leave dirty dishes in the sink if you need to, the time is better spent preparing healthy food.
Make lunches ahead of time as well. Carry protein bars for snacks on the go, and you won't be tempted by foods you don't want to eat.
Oatmeal preparation in the am takes 1 minute 30 seconds, it will keep you full all morning, especially if you add a banana or some raisins.
It's hard when you're busy!

GZELLEFRO SparkPoints: (88,142)
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3/28/14 1:55 P

Try to squeak in 10 min bursts of exercise when you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, ride your bike to school if you can. Maybe try to cut back on your schedule if you can. Sit back and prioritize your life. We all only have a set number of minutes in our life. What's the most important to you? emoticon

3/26/14 2:07 P

I'm an MSW student -- which means three days in field, two days in class, and homework whenever I can find the time, plus I volunteer. So I'm not rolling in free time either! Pre-portioned meals are saving me -- you have to take time out every few days to get it together, cook, and divide things into containers to grab and go later, but it's worth it. Get into a rhythm and you'll see how well it works.

Edited by: NEWYORKCHICK at: 3/26/2014 (14:08)
LOTUS737 Posts: 3,650
3/26/14 10:57 A

egg 'muffins' are easy and quick for breakfast- make a whole tray at once and add in different veggies/cheese/meat. microwave for 30 seconds in the morning and you're good to go (you can put them in a sandwich/wrap too if you like)

bake off a bunch of chicken breast one day each week- it takes the same amount of time and you can study while you do it. you can choose to season simply with salt and pepper, or add different spice mixes to different ones. you can then have it plain with steamfresh veggies, make sandwiches or wraps, cook it with sauces like bbq, toss with pasta and veggies, top salad, etc.

at the same time you cold roast a bunch of veggies at the same time too- leftover veg are great in sandwiches, tossed in pasta, pureed into soup or sauces, or used in the egg muffins i described above.

one pot meals like beans and rice are awesome. i also like to do couscous since it cooks so quickly- i usually add a drained can of beans and some veggies (you don't even have to cook them all the time and the varieties are endless- black beans, corn and bell peppers- add salsa to the couscous while it cooks, or add tomato paste to the couscous and toss in garbanzo beans, cucumber, tomato/sundried tomato, basil, mozzarella. you can really theme it any way you want, and you can buy seasoned couscous in boxes (near east brand). you should get four portions out of a box if you add what i suggested).

finally, portion out your meals when you cook them and life will be much easier for you!

and when in doubt, store-bought hummus wrapped up with fresh veggies is always tasty, and frozen stir fry noodles + meat or tofu + sauce is always a good bet!

K-DAWG29 Posts: 319
3/25/14 10:38 P

great ideas here. As we have adjusted to having our daughters away at school, we have learned to cook all the meat for the week at one time (sunday afternoon or during an evening when we are at home) the slow cooker is our best friend and makes a big batch for eatiing through the week. We usually cook two days worth of veggies at once.
I thought you might ask about exercise when a student, too. My best advice is to find something on/near campus and to schedule it in like a gym class between your other classes. For me, it became just part of the daily routine that way.

KIMDAWNC SparkPoints: (12,662)
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3/25/14 10:38 P

I am also a busy student, worker, wife, mom. I just try to plan ahead. I by veggies that I like to munch on like cucumber and I cut them up and bring them with me. I will also keep things like sugar free jello in my cupboards for a quick sweet snack. It is little changes that make a big difference. Try doing reps of squats while you are doing dishes or get up and jog in place for 2-5 min while you are doing homework. you can do it, just stick to it

GADGETCC SparkPoints: (115,503)
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3/25/14 10:30 A

A new lesson for me is...

Frozen veggies. Grilled meat.

I found that it is good to grill and freeze chicken and other meats and that there is a large variety of frozen veggies from mixed to oriental! I heat those up and mix it. Or use lettuce, throw some ground beef, chili, salsa and nacho shells on it and it is quick salad. You can also throw some of this into a tortilla and make a wrap out of it.

Breakfast, throw an English Muffin into the toaster, nuke an egg into a small round container for 30 seconds then put your toppings like cheese on the egg and nuke for another 30 seconds. Put it all together and you have a hot breakfast!

This is new stuff that I just learned since I was having the same problem.

DAVINAJM SparkPoints: (9,274)
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3/22/14 2:19 P

Some great advice everyone! I have to agree that planning ahead (and educating yourself) is your best bet. Find out what you consider healthy snacks and meals and take the time (I know you are short on time, but "a stitch in time saves nine") to find a handful of quick healthy meals and snacks to prepare for yourself and grab and go throughout the week, it will save you time in the long run, save you a lot of money, and save your health.

LAWLI56 Posts: 1,524
3/22/14 4:42 A

One weekend a month I take the time to get organised, cook 4 different meals in my slow cooker, then freeze them in individual portions. Along with chicken breasts and fish portions that I can steam or stir fry with vegetables I then have no excuse to go off track for dinner as it only takes about 5 minutes to have a meal ready no matter how tired I am when I get home.

The series of skinny slow cooker cookbooks by cooknation are great. I especially like the curries.

Some of my favourites: chick pea and butternut squash tagine, garam masala chicken curry, pork and black bean casserole, spicy turkey meatballs with peppers.

I also carry healthy snacks to keep me away from the cookies and chocolate in the office and take a sandwich or salad and fruit for lunch.

Edited by: LAWLI56 at: 3/22/2014 (04:51)
BEULAH45 Posts: 779
3/17/14 3:17 P

Great ideas, use some already. Thanks.

CAH-RD Posts: 1,056
3/17/14 9:54 A

For me, it's planning. I also LOVE Pinterest. I have a recipe board and every week I select 7 recipes i want to make. All vary in length, but many are just 20-30 minutes! Every weekend i shop for what I'll need the next week. Then I adjust based on our schedules. On our busy days I make the shorter recipes. On the weekends and the evenings my husband doesn't have to work that night, I'll make some of the longer ones. I pin ANY recipe and adjust on my own. I use whole foods - no artificial ingredients or low-fat / fat-free products. I also will use whole wheat vs. white and maybe add more veggies...things like that. Works well and we have wonderful, fun meals for our dinners!

MARAGENT SparkPoints: (58)
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3/16/14 3:17 P

Hi, I looked you up on pinterest, but couldn't find you. I'd love to take a look at your recipes because my goal is similar to yours and you seem to be doing a great job!!

KKLENNERT809 Posts: 10,742
3/15/14 2:39 P

Always keep healthy snacks with you wherever you go so that when hunger strikes, you will eat well and stay away from junk

3/15/14 1:35 P

Deep cleaning and batch cooking was reserved for school breaks. I'd give myself a couple of days to just rest and decompress and then I'd clean and cook and fill the freezer. I always had a meal I could make strictly from cans in the pantry. Turkey chili, canned beans, tomatoes and chicken broth made a simple soup supper in minutes. Going out to eat is a time gobbler and an energy drain when you need to study in the evening. I always made lunch the night before because I'm not a morning person. On days where I went from work to class, I often brought frozen meals in a cooler that thawed in my car during the day. I'd reheat them in a microwave in the cafeteria with add fruit or veggies and a cold drink. On a nice day, I always ate outside to get my solar energy refilled.

3/14/14 11:35 A

I work full time and go to law school part time, so I'm in the same boat. A couple things that help me are:

- Loving leftovers. When I cook, I pack up the leftovers in individual tupperware right away. So in the morning I can grab one to bring for lunch.
- Cooking ahead on the weekends. I especially have these breakfast muffins that I make - a dozen of them usually last my boyfriend and I through the week and they're a quick, healthy breakfast.
- Make sure I have lots of grab-and-go healthy food like yogurt, cheese sticks, fresh fruit, granola bars. If you end up in front of the vending machine you're going to be making a bad choice.
- Planning several times a day to work out. Such as, I could go to the gym on my lunch break, but if that gets interrupted, I'll do my workout DVD tonight before I leave for class.

DOITALLMOM SparkPoints: (89,452)
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3/14/14 9:31 A

Plan, plan, plan... If I don't take the time to plan ahead I don't succeed. Even though I'm tired at night, I spend a few minutes prepping my food for the next day. I truly appreciate it as I have healthy choices ready and waiting!

TIMEHASCOME56 SparkPoints: (112,323)
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3/14/14 7:48 A

I like that MINI01

MOODYKEYS SparkPoints: (26,689)
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3/12/14 6:59 P

EXCELLENT ADVICE for all. thanks.

MINI01 SparkPoints: (13,626)
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3/12/14 6:22 P

I can relate! I am no longer a student but work very long hours, volunteer many hours a week in my community, and have learned to be very good at time management so I can have time for social/personal things and always get between 6-8 hours of sleep. I use Sunday mornings as cooking day and make things for the week that will hold up well or freeze: hummus, soups, lentils, kale chips for a snack, etc. For exercise, if I'm lucky and the weather is nice, I make time for a day hike and at the moment am taking a weekly tap class. Otherwise, I walk to as many places as I can, take ten minute breaks for yoga/dancing at home/exercise youtube videos/etc. (some days I can only find time for 1 ten minute break). And muffins from Tim Horton are fine on occasion :) (you're lucky you are in Canada- you have some better food options than the U.S.) You could also make your own muffins, substituting apple sauce and honey to make a healthier option. I'd post recipes more often for things I make regularly, but I'm too busy ;) Maybe one day...

STITCH4EVER SparkPoints: (37,673)
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3/12/14 2:53 P


TIMEHASCOME56 SparkPoints: (112,323)
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3/12/14 9:39 A

good point Genre

GENRE009 SparkPoints: (33,687)
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3/11/14 8:50 P

Always pack healthy snacks, so you don't bing in between your meals. Have nuts, and fruirt, and a yogurt on you.

TIMEHASCOME56 SparkPoints: (112,323)
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3/11/14 7:59 A

Smoothies, I make in advance and take to school

EGRAMMY Posts: 13,491
3/9/14 2:36 P

I worry bout my granddaughter student/workers and nutrition. Smoothies and cooking in quantity seem to be of help.

SERDECZNA Posts: 2,919
3/9/14 2:06 P

I follow the SparkPeople food plan while working full-time and going to college at night.
1. **Leftovers** When I don't use a full can of beans in a recipe, I spread the remainder on plastic wrap on a lunch tray and put in freezer. Then, I put the frozen beans in a ZipLock bag for use another day. Today, I measured already-cooked lentils out for lunch, defrosted in microwave, and proceeded. I do this with a leftover half banana and other foods, too.
2. **On the go** I pack lunch, dinner, and snack in a soft-sided lunch cooler. I freeze water in leftover Nestle Quick chocolate milk small size plastic bottles to insert between items (2 bottles usually work) to keep it all cool. The cold water is great for afternoon water at my desk!
3. **Drive-Thrus** I save a milk from my menu for a drive-through nonfat latte without any sweeteners. This is my treat on a stressful day of Michigan winter commuting!
4. **Planning** On Sundays, I print the grocery list that comes with the FREE SparkPeople menu and get what I need for the week ahead.
5. **SparkPeople Menu** I rarely deviate from the menu. If I don't like a certain food, I try it anyway. This is weirdly becoming a big part of training my mind away from the stubbornly fat person I was.
6. **Eating with others** Someone close to me is recovering from anorexia and brings her food pak with her wherever she goes... for the next meal, snack, whatever. Inspired by her teachability and her courage, I am doing likewise. Even if this doesn't work for the rest of my life, I reassure myself that it is OK to do it "just for today," as alcoholics tell themselves in recovery. "Just for today" has been working for 4 weeks now.
7. **Drinking water** I make sure I have a teabag or two and some water flavoring in the pocket of my lunchpack. I don't usually use them-- plain water is fine-- they are for an emergency sweet tooth or need of the comfort I feel from hot tea.
8. **Dealing with the unexpected** If I'm out of bananas, I take one of my frozen half bananas and blend it with yogurt or milk I'm allowed that day. If lunch that day is not a convenient one to carry, I may have it for breakfast or dinner and carry one of those meals for lunch.
9. **Recycled, hinged container** I have recycled a small, hinged lidded plastic container in which were packed a sugar-free baked treat I bought for my husband. I use this to pack salad greens in my lunch cooler!
10. **Corningware glass microwaveable bowls** These things are so awesome they are worth the extra weight in the lunch pack. One version has a handle and is shaped like an oversized coffee cup. This is how I cook in microwaves at my various client sites and school buildings (I do not have a consistent schedule). I love not microwave cooking in plastic. There is a vented lid to prevent overspill, too.
11. **Extra ice bag** I fill a small Ziplock bag (quart size) with ice. It keeps my lunch extra cold and in the late afternoon I love that ice in my water at my desk!

I hope my experiences are useful for someone else. Best wishes to all.

Edited by: SERDECZNA at: 3/9/2014 (14:24)
TIMEHASCOME56 SparkPoints: (112,323)
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3/9/14 12:46 P

I have recently returned to school. I am glad for this conversation, some days I am ...........

3/7/14 11:26 A

Taking the time to plan saves you time in the long run.
Plan for easy to-go meals, some crock-pot meals, meals that can be great as leftovers, consider investing in a pressure cooker (this is the best thing I've done meal wise, because even if you didn't get something in the slow-cooker, you can cook something in 30 min. or less in the pressure cooker) Also, get your exercise in FIRST thing on as many mornings as you can. It will energize your day if you pack a good recovery meal for after. Last, but not least...make SLEEP a priority!

GORDON66 Posts: 1,610
3/5/14 9:35 A

Get to know and love your slow cooker. Often you can do your preparations the night before and plut it in before leaving in the morning. Most recipes are large enough that you'll have extras to freeze. Put the extras in individual containers, and you'll have quick dinners all the time.

MICHELLE73101 Posts: 317
3/4/14 5:47 P

Meal planning is definitely important. You don't want to get caught STARVING and reach for something that you will regret later.

I developed a few recipes that are really helpful for this. Basically - they take advantage of servings per container. So you buy the ingredients at the beginning of the week, then just toss them together at work or when you come home after a long day.

Try my Easy Green Salad with Chicken and Avocado:

or Cucumber Avocado Pita Pocket with Sesame Oil and Hummus:

I've also developed some recipes that you can make in bulk that taste AMAZING even when reheated, so you can portion them for each day.

Try Turkey & Red Beans with Greek Yogurt "Sour Cream"

It's all about planning - so the healthy choice is the EASY choice.

ANGELA3511 Posts: 152
3/4/14 2:44 P

Like everyone said, planning is key. I recently finished my doctorate, but while working on my dissertation and completing course work, I was also working about 50-60 hours per well. So I understand how busy it can be!

Eating breakfast is vitally important. I usually don't, but the times when I've been able to lose the weight, I was eating breakfast. I generally eat a non-fat no sugar added Greek yogurt, a Fiber One protein bar, no sugar added Carnation breakfast essentials with skim milk, etc. I need least 10 g of protein to really stave off hunger once I've eaten. Otherwise, I'm ravenous come lunch time and I'll eat anything and everything in sight.

I also try to keep fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, Fiber one bars, low fat cheese and whole wheat crackers, etc. available for snacks. If I have healthier options around, I'm far less likely to succumb to the lure of the junk food machine.

I tend to do a lot of cooking on the weekends to make my weeknights less chaotic. So I'll fix up a 5 pound pack of boneless skinless chicken breasts a couple of ways so my husband and I have options throughout the week. I always keep instant brown rice and whole grain pasta around to while up a quick meal. I also like bagged salads for a quick meal or side. Keep lots of frozen veggies in the freezer that you can steam in the microwave or throw in with the boiling pasta.

I have a 7 qt. Crock Pot and use it most every weekend to make pot roast, low fat chili, stews, etc. There are a number of great recipes on here!

Some canned soups aren't that high in sodium, so I keep those around for a hot lunch on chilly days. Sandwiches on whole grain sandwich thins with lower-sodium lunch meat, reduced fat cheese, veggies and light condiments are also great.

If you don't cook, now might be a good time to learn at least the basics. It's much healthier and almost always much cheaper too! I've also built a decent list of recipes on Spark Recipes if you want to look there for ideas.

Good luck. I survived it, and you will too!

Edited by: ANGELA3511 at: 3/4/2014 (14:47)
HEALTHY-SPARK SparkPoints: (43,082)
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3/4/14 10:51 A

Plan ahead. Plan plan plan. Everything from meals to putting together easy grab and go lunches, to getting your exercise in.

MAMA_CD Posts: 1,507
3/3/14 8:29 P

I like to prepare all of my meals M-F on Sunday, that way I only need to heat them up, or add a salad (I prepared the salad too, sometimes a second salad prep Wed evening, or else just cut up fresh veggies Thurs and Fri) Weekends are a bit more flexible. I am in school but not as a student; as the teacher.

BED0FR0SES Posts: 420
3/2/14 5:25 P

I'm in my 8th year of being a college student (ugh, it hurts to even just type that), and I've been living grad school for the past 4 years, and was also working for one of them, so I also understand.

There's recipes on here for egg cups, I highly recommend them. On busy morning I can nuke one in the microwave while I pack up my things, fold it into a napkin, and eat it in the car. I also keep a bag of some non-perishable snack in my car too, in case of snacking emergencies :)

It also helps to keep a pair of gym shoes, clothes, and mat in your car. This way if you suddenly find yourself out of class early or a meeting was cancelled, you can take advantage of that extra time. I also walk everywhere on campus, even if it means getting there a bit's easy extra cardio.

I make soups or salads to bring to campus, because I have access to a fridge. They also sell neat lunch box tupperware that has an icepack in it and a special cup for your salad dressing, that will do just fine if you don't have a fridge you can use on campus. I make my own granola bars over the weekend, and pack them with me to bring to campus because they are so easy.

Maybe most importantly- carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere! Mine has a clip so I literally just clip it to my school bag and take it everywhere. I've noticed that when I don't have a bottle of water in front of me, I'm way likely to buy a diet soda or some other nutritionless beverage while I'm on campus.

cherry tomatoes also make an excellent to-go snack that doesn't require refrigeration, as well as most fruit.

Hope this helps!

NOBLEEQUESTRIAN SparkPoints: (5,640)
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3/2/14 4:02 P

I'm a student too. 3rd year science/pre-health major with two part time jobs and sports. Here's how I manage to eat healthy:

1) Always pack your lunch the night before. Peanut Butter Sandwiches or hard boiled eggs with a side of fruit is generally what my lunch entails (they are foods that don't need a cold pack)

2) Feel free to graze. Since I can't always get in full meals i eat a lot of healthy snacks. I keep fruits and granola bars in my back-back and snack on them all day long.

3) Take the weekends to prepare for the rest of the week. Every Sunday I hard boil a dozen eggs and keep them in the fridge. Hard boiled eggs last a long time and therefore I can always just grab one from my fridge whenever I need a small meal.

4) Buy 'convenient' foods, or foods that don't require much preparation. I have plenty of yogurt and cereal in my kitchen. I also have started eating a lot of oatmeal because I can easily make it in my mug in the microwave. 30 second meals!

Edited by: NOBLEEQUESTRIAN at: 3/2/2014 (16:03)
3/2/14 1:08 P

Make use of the school gym! I've never had a more affordable gym membership than when I was in university. $15/year for quite a swanky facility.

BLUETABBY Posts: 153
3/1/14 4:29 P

Check out bento boxes and similar. They're designed for just that situation and many foods commonly packed in bentos don't need refrigerated. SP has a Bento group, too.

UOFIGIRL SparkPoints: (41,714)
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3/1/14 11:55 A

In my last semester of grad school - taking 18 hours, a teaching assistant, and also looking for a full-time job. I think I remember down time...

I try to have a combination of things that I can grab on the way out the door, and things that can quickly be packed together for a better lunch. This week, I had 2 days where I left the house with breakfast, lunch, and dinner in my backpack.

I usually pack a Greek yogurt and a granola bar for breakfast. I do have access to hot water, so sometimes I will bring instant oatmeal with me (can be made in a coffee mug).
This can be a frozen entree, but if you don't have access to a fridge or microwave, then a sandwich with some vegetables (maybe hummus for dipping), or some grapes. I like those divided plasticware dishes that let you keep an entire lunch together, but in separate compartments.
Cereal bars, clementines (in my program, it seems like everyone is carrying around tangerines and small citrus fruits), granola bars, mini boxes of raisins, trail mix, or pretty much anything in small packages that don't need refrigeration.

I have found myself eating a turkey sandwich while running between classes, but if you have classes in the middle of the day, you might want to ask the professor if they mind if you eat quietly during class. Might help you find a little bit of time to have a meal.

The other thing is to recognize that your schedule is hectic and prepare for this, or, start figuring out if you need to stop taking on so many things, and claiming some more time for healthy habits.

SKABELS2 Posts: 77
3/1/14 10:11 A

Breakfast (or lunch) on the go smoothie:

1/2 dry oats, ground in blender
1 c. skim milk
2 tbsp. peanut butter
1/2 banana
1 tbsp. chocolate syrup, or 1/2 packet of hot chocolate mix.

Put all ingredients in blender, blend until smooth. Pour into small mason jar with a lid.

This is easy to sip on throughout the morning, and keeps you relatively satiated.

JSTEPH52 SparkPoints: (2,542)
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2/28/14 1:46 P

Hey Kristy,
I am a senior at Metro State University in Denver, Colorado, an English Major with minor in Secondary education. I am working 30 hours a week, and going to school full time, and on top of that doing field experience and preparing to student teach. I feel your pain! I am all about convenience. For dinners, I've been buying steamable veggies; they are in the frozen veggie section. You just pop them in the microwave and they're done in about 5 minutes. (I usually eat them with some kind of veggie meat substitute and bread). Breakfast is either yogurt and a banana or granola bars and fruit. Lunch varies but I toggle between sandwiches with multigrain bread, mustard, cheese and lettuce, soup or leftovers. I try to always have a salad or hummus and veggies. Snacking is my problem, so I've been trying to get a handle on that. Popcorn and nuts are amazing for that! I think the suggestions from other members are great and I will be trying some of those as well (especially the mason jar salad!). Thanks for starting this thread. I'm in a very similar situation and need to start carving out time for exercise. Hang in there lady!

2/27/14 6:37 A

hi Kristy!
It sounds like you are very busy! I too am a fellow Canadian, and I'm probably closer to your Mom's age I do have two daughters now in their twenties.

Planning is your friend. Boring I know, but creating a weekly menu by using the flyers that come on Thursdays will help you save time and money, while ensuring you eat wisely.

If mornings are rushed like mine are, you might want to try a smoothy made with sugar free greek yogourt or "overnight" oatmeal, made in the fridge.

Are you on Pintrest? I have a number of favorite recipes saved there under the username Jillian Sheedy. Feel free to browse!

it looks like you've got a good start...and lots of ideas to help you along your way

enjoy! and dont let Timmy's double roll-up sway you ;)


MICHELLEXXXX SparkPoints: (12,145)
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Posts: 3,765
2/27/14 6:06 A

I applaud your hard work so far and encourage you to continue taking care of yourself and putting time into getting healthy. I tell you out of love, honestly, 274lbs is a lot of stress on an average female's body (unless she has a very large frame with a lot of muscle). My tip is to reprioritize what is obligation.
I encourage you to make these time allotments top priority:
8 hours solid sleep
30+ minutes exercise
10+ minutes meal planning/journal

Nutrition tips are going to vary. I think the following fit in every plan: plenty of veggies, lean protein, and healthy fats.
You are worth it and you deserve it!

Edited by: MICHELLEXXXX at: 2/27/2014 (07:23)
NIRERIN Posts: 14,249
2/26/14 9:33 P

muffins freeze quite well. which means on sunday make up a batch of them, keep a few in the fridge for the next few days and you have breakfast. and all you have to do is not go out of your way to tim horton's [saving gas as well].
one of my new favorite snacks is a wrap, spread with peanut butter, add sliced fruit [like banana or apple] and wrap up like a burrito. it's a variant on pbj, it's insanely portable, and when i accidentally leave it in the fridge instead of taking it with me it's still fine the next day.
cheese and crackers is another easy go to snack that takes about 30 seconds to toss in your lunchbag. a hardboiled egg goes in nicely as well. i'm a snacker, so you can combine a few of these together to make it meal sized for you. hummus and veggies is another easy one. most veggies can be cut into appropriate sized sticks and will keep in a sealed container with a little water for a few days. alternately a wrap [i like them for lunches because it just means you need them and a napkin, no special container or cutlery necessary] spread with hummus and cut up veggies. yogurt and fruit with granola is another grab and go. if you get frozen fruit it will also act as an extra ice pack and keep the yogurt cooler longer. pack the granola in a separate container if you want to make sure it doesn't get soggy. mason jar salads are becoming pretty popular now too. you plop your dressing in the bottom and then a layer of a hardy veggie like carrots [that way you don't have to have a separate container but the dressing doesn't get everything else soggy], then the less hardy veggies then the lettuce. when you're ready to eat you shake to combine and your salad is ready.

2/26/14 8:06 P

look into the virtues of a raw food diet.
healthy cock pot options.
take one day a month to shop and cook and freeze. good luck.

JENNA3 SparkPoints: (74,860)
Fitness Minutes: (53,240)
Posts: 2,704
2/26/14 9:27 A

What pp is great advice about having a bag or cooler to carry your food. In addition to that, I like to plan my meals so they don't take much time.

On Sunday, I use my slow cooker to make a big pot of something. My fav is to put a bag of chicken breasts or thighs into the slow cooker with some broth and spices (rosemary is my favorite). I'll have that with rice and vegetables Sunday night. Set some of the leftovers aside to make dinners during the week. For those dinners I'll have chicken fried rice (just throw the cooked rice and chicken in with frozen veggies and some sauce) or a casserole. For lunches, you can get a bag of shredded carrots and some hummus and make chicken wraps. They're easy to eat on the go, easy to carry, and quick. Salad in a jar travels well (you can google it) and you can eat it about anywhere. Soups are easy too, if you have a good insulated thermos.

If you need some seriously quick weeknight dinners, I recommend getting a George Foreman grill. You can grill up a chicken breast in 7 minutes. Steam some veggies in the microwave and you're ready to eat in less than ten minutes.


THARFOIR SparkPoints: (13,570)
Fitness Minutes: (6,397)
Posts: 24
2/26/14 9:20 A

I would invest in a nice Thermos and a little cooler or insulated bag you can put some icepacks in. You can make a nice, thick stew or soup on the weekends and eat it all week. With a cooler, you can carry sandwiches, yogurt, cheese, or whatever is convenient with you. Granola bars, fruit, and small portions of nuts you can just stick in your bag.

It's really all about planning. If you can take part of Sunday to have a look at your week and plan as much as possible, then cook or assemble as many meals as you can ahead of time, you're already ahead. Then the trick is remembering in the morning to take everything with you. ;)

2/26/14 8:27 A

Hello everyone.

I am a second year student at university studying an honours in applied psychology, a major in english, and a minor in creative writing/journalism. This means my schedule is pretty intense to begin with. Add to that the fact that I am extremely involved on my campus, as well in the community in regards to volunteering but I also work part-time for my town.

I have my own apartment. However, I find myself always grabbing a muffin and tea for breakfast from Tim Hortons (I'm Canadian!) and grabbing lunch either on campus or at a local cafe. Not only does this mean the food isn't always as healthy as it could be, but my wallet is also suffering!

Do any of you have any tips for eating healthy when you can barely fit in the time to eat to begin with? I really want to be healthier to have more energy to do all the things I do, but it's very hard for me to find time. Usually my only days that I take for myself are Sundays.

Thanks for any tips you can give me!

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