Are You Exhausted With Multiple Store Runs?

5 Tips To Better Meal Planning

 

There never seems to be enough time in the day to get everything done.  You want to make healthy meals for your family, but ordering a pizza or hitting the drive-thru of your favorite fast food is really tempting.

This is where some good meal preparation tips come in handy, and with a little time set aside and organization, you can prep healthy meal ingredients ahead of time and they’re ready to go when you’re ready to cook. Here are five tips to better meal planning:

Meal Planning Time Schedule

How far in advance do you want to plan your meals? This can be weekly, or monthly. Plan for dinner or all three meals and snacks.

Once you get your scheduled meals planned, you can see how much prep work you have to do. It also eliminates daily store runs where you frantically search the aisles for something tasty for dinner.

Stock Pantry Staples

What ingredients do you already have? It’s a good idea to keep some pantry staples such as rice, pasta, tomato sauce, flour, sugar, and dried beans on hand.

Stock your favorite herbs and spices, as well as olive oil, vinegar, and soy sauce. Mustard and mayo can be used for making sandwiches or preparing salads such as macaroni, potato, or chicken.

Make Freezer Packets

There are two basic elements to meal prepping: chopping vegetables and putting ingredients for meals into containers, and actually cooking some aspects of the meal and freezing them. You can do one or both of these options depending on how much time you think you will have.

Use Correct Containers

Make sure lids are air-tight to keep food fresh. Plastic is fine to use, but you should know what type of plastic you are using. Make sure they are refrigerator-, freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe first of all. Also check that the plastic containers don’t have any BPA, which can be dangerous when adding or cooking food in these containers.

Freeze casseroles in a glass dish, but if you just ate the casserole for dinner, let it cool down first or the glass may crack.

Meal Prep Ideas

If you’re making salad, put greens and veggies together in containers, and salad toppings and cheese in a separate container.

Decide what meat you want to use for multiple meals, then bake or cook it all at the same time. Do this in the oven or your slow cooker. Meat like chicken breasts, fish filets, and strips of steak work great for this.

Use these tips to help you prepare healthier meals. Your body will thank you.

 

 

 

 

Do You Feel Like You’re Going Crazy?

5 Good Tips to Find a Self-Help Group

If you’re depressed or suffering from anxiety it isn’t always easy to talk to friends and family.  In an effort to be helpful, they may try to minimize your problems and tell you to count your blessings and get over it.

This is where a self-help support group can help you put things into perspective. You feel more at ease because everyone there needs help with something. Members are encouraged to share their stories and you might find the missing pieces in your life by listening to others.

Here are five good tips to help you find the right self-help group:

What Problems Are You Dealing With?

It seems like some self-help groups try to lump many problems together. People suffering with depression will not benefit as much from a Generalized Anxiety group, and need to join others who are depressed.

Consult Your Doctor

Ask your doctor for some support groups he may know about. Your conversation is confidential, so you won’t have to worry about the doctor blabbing all over town that you are depressed and need a self-help group.

Do Your Research

Make sure you have enough information on a support group before making a decision. You don’t want to take part in a support group that you find to be uncomfortable or not helpful. Before going to your first session, try getting in touch with the coordinator and talk to him about any questions and concerns you may have.

Location of Meeting

Is the meeting near your house, or will you have to take an extra hour up the freeway, with a handful of rude drivers getting on your last nerve? This may turn out to be a convenient excuse to skip the meeting and you may feel even more depressed.

How Do You Feel Afterwards?

Did you feel more positive and that the meeting really gave you comfort and hope? If you aren’t feeling too positive after a couple of meetings, that group isn’t for you. You’re there to get better, not to get worse.

Are your symptoms improving? If you answer yes to this question, that’s great! That means the self-help group is working for you. Keep going to meetings and continue to improve.

Once you have found the right support group for you, make a commitment to attend the meetings and participate in the process. You’ll feel better and may make some new supportive friends along the way.

 

 

 

Sleeping With 6 Cats

4 Weird Ideas to Reduce Insomnia

 

If I could pick out the most annoying problem in menopause, insomnia would win the prize. In my younger years I slept eight hours every night, and woke up feeling rested and ready to face the day.

Now, I am lucky if I sleep five hours and I find myself yawning during the day and falling asleep at my desk. Since the medical establishment put a big thumbs down on HRT, I have had to play detective in my own life and I have come up with a few tips that I’d like to pass along.

Use Your Bed for Sleeping or Sex Only

It’s comfortable to kick your shoes off and lie down on the bed to read, talk or text on your phone. This isn’t the time to watch the movie “Psycho” or your favorite TV show. This encourages alertness and you’ll wake up tired and cranky the next day.

Put Pets in Their Own Beds

I feel like an expert on this one, and I once had six cats in a one bedroom studio. Guess what? All six liked to be with us in bed and one cat in particular liked to hog the pillow on my side.

If this sounds like you, it won’t be easy to get pets to sleep in their own little space, but one nifty trick is to put catnip on their beds. Dogs like to chew on bones and that can keep them occupied for a short time. Keep reinforcing these methods and soon they will become a habit.

Set Aside Worry Time

It seems like there is never a shortage of things to worry about. The more you worry, the more you keep yourself awake.  It may be helpful to set aside some worry time before you go to sleep.

Take fifteen minutes and write down everything you’re worried about. Go down the list and think of how you can solve each one. You’ll feel less stressed just getting your worries written down, and a calm mind will help you fall asleep.

Don’t Nap

There have been so many times that I have eaten a big lunch and just wanted to do a swan dive on the bed, and sleep it off for an hour or two.  Don’t make that mistake. If you’re trying to get on a strict sleep schedule of going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, a nap will disrupt the whole process.

Don’t be afraid to consult your doctor about your sleep problems. You may need medication, or be referred for a sleep study.

Finding Your Passion

Discover a Whole New You!

I was thinking this morning about my own employment history, and I performed a variety of jobs. Most were in the clerical field as a receptionist or typist, and it was a way to keep a roof over my head and the bill collectors off my back. Most of the jobs were not that enjoyable with the exceptions of working at a mortuary and a temp job where I tied ribbons on candied apples. We dressed in Wizard of Oz costumes, carried a small dog dressed like Toto, and went from office to office passing out these Halloween treats.

I was just grateful to have a job, but now people are thinking more outside the box, and want to work at something they are passionate about.  Here are four benefits of finding your passion:

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone

You probably have a set routine every day, but now you’ll need to be open to new opportunities and possibilities that may send you in a different direction. This is a deal-breaker for some people who decide it’s easier to stay where they are instead of trying something that may not work.

Improved Mental Health

Nothing saps your energy quicker than working a soul-sucking job in which you feel trapped. However, the excitement of finding that special passion can make you feel more energetic.  You may have to continue working at your job for a while, but now you may have new opportunities on the horizon.

Learning More About Yourself

As a life coach, I am continually amazed that so many clients don’t know what they want out of life. There are many helpful tools out there such as passion quizzes, aptitude tests, and making a list of your strong interests to see what motivates you.

Meeting Others on the Same Journey

As I have pursued my passion of writing, I have connected with others who are on the same journey. There are some people who have always known what they are passionate about, but the majority are just like you and me. It takes a voyage of self-discovery which may include prayer, a willingness to experiment, and some good old-fashioned patience.

The journey to finding your passion may be a long one and you may feel like it is never going to happen, but don’t give up. What is waiting for you on the other side will be well worth it.