Meal Planning for Success

You don’t have a lot of time. You’re studying, going to lectures and possibly doing clinicals, too. Eating healthy and eating well easily fall to the side, but the truth is, they are both an important part of being successful in school. Your body takes care of your mind when you take care of your body. So, how can you balance time and diet? Here are a few of our strategies for staying successful!

Plan Weeks, Not Meals
We’ve mentioned this before, but when you plan, think about what you can pick up in larger quantities and how you can flex that. For instance, we’ll see pork loin go on sale and pick up a goodly amount. Slice it up into serving size freezer bags and you can hold them for awhile. Pan fry them, air fry them, throw them in a slow cooker, chop it up for stir fry. It offers a tremendous amount of flexibility. The same can be done with rotisserie chicken.

Set Cooking Days
Especially during the busy life of basic sciences, set aside dedicated time for meal prep. Sunday afternoons with your favorite bad TV. Friday afternoons with a bit of rum. Whatever works for you. But do more than one dish. That way you build up enough of a stock that you can rotate your options. If you plan it out right, you can have enough variety to keep food interesting.

Buy Takeout Containers
You can purchase plastic takeout containers off of Amazon or another retailer for relatively cheap. They are one of our favorite purchases. You can freeze them, use them in the microwave and they’re pretty much single serving. At the beginning of the day, just pull one out of the freezer and its ready to go by lunch. They’re also cheap, so using them to send food home with friends is no big deal. You never worry about whether or not you’ll get it back.

Make Big Meals
Even if you’re not into the whole meal prep thing, it is still an easy jump just to make bigger meals. Some things are very easily upsized – soups, pastas, rices, most slow cooked meals, etc. Make a double batch and you can stock away half of that for a later date. You put them in your takeout containers or freeze them flat in a ziploc.

Know Your Schedule
Maybe this feels like too much work to you (which it’s actually less work when you’re in the habit). Know your schedule and do them when you need to. Got a big exam coming up? Plan at least for that. Taking the stress off of food for even a week can be a huge deal.

These are just a few of the strategies we use to keep food simple and easy. It doesn’t mean that you have to eat either less healthy or lower quality, either. You can eat well and still get your studying in with these tips.