How to Get Through a Work Week (Food Edition) with Bipolar

How to Get Through a Work Week (Food Edition) with Bipolar

I don’t know about you, but I don’t handle stress very well. When I am stressed, I make poor decisions, I am irrational as a rule, I binge eat or eat to appease my emotions, and just feel drained and exhausted. And I seem to have a relatively low threshold for stress. That’s why I have built a life that keeps stress at a low, and immediately take action when feelings of stress and  panic have repeatedly occurred.

I have been called into work for the next two weeks straight, which means there’s going to have to be a change in how we do things at home. Usually, when I work (which has been one or two days a week), we eat out for dinner. But doing that 5 days in a row for two weeks is impossible for us, financially speaking. Likewise, after working 8 hours in as physically a demanding job as Canada Post, I won’t want to spend an hour like I usually do to make dinner during the work week. So here are the things that I have done to make my life easier during this coming week.

Buy groceries according do what is on the flyer

Because I want to maximize the amount of take home money I make, it was fruitful to look at the flyers this week. I bought according to what was on sale, and what happened was we had the equivalent of $300 of groceries, but we only spent $189! That was with snacks, fruits and vegetables, frozen pizzas, meats, cheeses, milk, 24 case of gatorade, etc. It was a good shop.

Make a meal plan for the week

Especially for families with young children, it’s important to have a clear plan as to what the child will be eating. And you can also see if there are going to be nutritional holes when you write a plan down. My mother-in-law will be forever grateful this week that I have carefully laid out a plan for her. But this also helps my husband and I because there’s no need for the agonizing decision making that comes from every meal. This way, there’s less fuss, and we know what to expect. I usually would make the meal plan after buying the groceries, that way I form a plan based on seasonal vegetables and cheaper foods. If you don’t know how to make a meal plan, you can easily google search for one that you like and start from there.

Prepare fresh vegetables and other perishable foods on the weekend

I have planned to make my ratatouille dish Sunday because it’s a longer prep dish that I won’t have the energy for during the work week. This also uses 2 zucchinis, 1 eggplant, 4 tomatoes, and 2 onions that I would have had to worry about mid-week if I didn’t cook it today. And I have also plans to make ribs for today in order to have yummy leftover meals for the early part of the work week.

Use an Instapot pressure cooker for preparing food during week

We also have planned dishes using the Instapot, which is low-fuss. All you have to do is set it, put water in and lid on, and forget until it beeps. I plan on steaming some broccoli and cauliflower as a snack for my daughter during the week. And my husband plans to make pasta that way as well.

Plan to use convenience meals (ex. frozen pizza) for later in the week

As the week winds down, saving easy-peasy ready-made meals like frozen pizza helps encourage morale and adds fun to the already-busy work week.

Set lunches aside the night before to grab-and-go before heading to work

Unlike many people, I am not a morning person. I would rather get everything done in the evening before the next day to help with my energy in the mornings. So having things ready proactively has been my go-to to handle stress.

Make overnight oats the night before for breakfast

I love overnight oats. They are so tasty and so easy to make. Just add all ingredients in a mason jar and let it soak overnight. They last for several days, too, so you can make several servings all at once. Saves the hassle of having to clean pots as well. For recipes, I google them. I usually make a muesli.

Get healthy snacks during work

I love my sweet and salty nut bars from Nature Valley: they may not be the most healthy, but the extra salts really help me replenish with all the sweat I pour out non-stop all day long. I also can’t work my way through an entire neighborhood without the help of gatorade replenishing me (some at Canada Post people like Coconut Water for hydration, but I just can’t stand the taste). And I always love fruits for on-the-go snacks. Apples, bananas, grapes, and clementines are my go-to.

Plan to bring leftovers for lunch

Overall, it’s a good idea to eat leftovers. Studies show that warmed up leftovers creates less of a spike of insuling than does originally cooked foods, which means it is more friendly on your body. The problem with working for Canada Post is there is no microwave when you are on the road, which was why I was using fast food during my lunches. These next two weeks, however, I plan to return to the depot and warm up my lunch. Even if it means I have a longer day, I will retain the value of my earnings and also eat healthier if I reheat my dinner from night before

If you have to eat out, go to the deli section of the grocery store

The convenience of hot, ready-made food is unquestionable. Sometimes, you just need a break from cooking. This week, we decided that if we are going to eat out, we would grab healthy ready-made food at the grocery store deli. It is cheaper than going out often, and far more healthier. We will stick to rotisserie chicken and potatoes and a side salad.

Overall, these are some of the many tips and tricks I use to get through a work week (food-wise) with minimal fuss. If you have any of your own ideas, please feel free to comment below!