Anne, how do I manage homeschooling, being a wife, a mother, etc. when I need so much rest? [How do I] not get stressed out?
Isn’t this a realistic question? I thought so, when I opened my email this past week and read this. This mom is basically saying, “It’s fine to tell me not to get stressed out, but exactly how do I keep up with things that have to be done, whether I’m tired or not? Anne, get practical!”
She’s right, and that’s why I’m going to spend the next three weeks on this topic. For today, we’re going to get practical on eating and meal planning. Next week, we’ll talk about home-management ideas that will help you out, and the third week, we’ll talk about ways that others can help out. After that, we’ll close our series with a look at what the Bible says about fatigue and what God says we can do to recover.
It’s really, really difficult to eat right when you’re tired. Honestly, it can become a vicious cycle. You’re too tired to prepare and eat good food, so you eat junk food (at home or out in a restaurant). The bad food makes you feel worse, which makes you even more tired, too tired to prepare and eat good food, so you eat more junk food. And so it goes!
Sometimes junk food gives you a momentary boost. Even though you know that you’ll pay for it later, the boost in energy is worth enough to you to make you eat it.
Sometimes healthy food takes more effort, in the form of planning, chopping, or time standing in the kitchen, which can drain your reserves of energy and make you feel worse. In addition, some healthy foods have a cleansing effect on your body, causing headaches, achy glands, or a lack of energy.
Having said that, it is impossible to recover without proper fuel for your body. It is also impossible to recover when toxins and other “junk” are continually draining your body’s resources. So let’s look at some healthy foods, some bad foods, and some ideas for making time and energy for eating right.
Let’s begin with some reading assignments for “homework”:
Good Foods to Eat for Fatigue
Bad Foods That Tear Down Your Body
>> Take my Shopping List with you to the store.
How to Really Eat Like This
>> http://anneshealthplace.com/blog/beginners-guide/step-8-make-a-weekly-menu/ — Start here… read this first!
- Choose a minimum of 7 meals that are very, very easy for you to prepare!
- Check the recipes and substitute good ingredients for bad ingredients. Are the recipes still easy to prepare? If so, keep them!
- How many of these meals could be prepared by your husband or children? On days when you feel well, take time to teach your kids!
- What about breakfasts? What about lunches? What about snacks? What about pantry staples?
- Make a shopping list that includes all the ingredients for these meals. Post this list in a handy place, so your husband could easily shop for you.
- How can you make a menu-planning “system” to eliminate having to plan each week? (Planning takes a lot of mental effort!) What other systems can you put into place? Prep work… cleaning…
- http://anneshealthplace.com/blog/beginners-guide/ – Be sure to read through this!
As An Example…
I’ve made up a “Week of Easy Menus” for you (and many of you have seen it before). If you have a minute, take a look, and we’ll use it as an example of how to manage a week of healthy eating.
- My “healthy” recipes unfortunately include improperly prepared grains. Many people can get away with this, but if you’re fighting adrenal fatigue or other chronic health problems, you have to be more careful. So what can you do? You’ll have to substitute properly-prepared grains for improperly-prepared grains. For instance, if a recipe calls for rice, you need to soak your rice for at least 7 hours before cooking it. This means you’ll have to remember to start after breakfast, not right before supper. Again, you’ll have to have a “system” in place, something that reminds you to take these extra steps in preparation. Healthy food isn’t difficult; however, it can be difficult to remember it all, especially when you’re tired.
- My healthy recipes do not include quite as many healthy fats as you need when you’re sick. How can you add more healthy fats, such as coconut oil? Can you scramble your eggs with coconut oil instead of butter? Can you add in a smoothie with coconut milk for a snack? Can you add nourishing soups and stocks to your lunches and sauces? (I highly recommend the book, Eat Fat Lose Fat, for its recipes and ideas.)
- My recipes don’t include breakfast and lunch. Again, check out easy breakfast ideas here.
At our house, I try to soak oats overnight before cooking them, because it makes them so much easier to digest. But I would forget! So I heard an idea to get a lamp timer (at Wal-mart). Then I put my oats and water in a crockpot in the afternoon, usually while I’m making supper. I just let them soak away in there (not turned on). Then my timer turns the crock-pot on low around 3 a.m. (while I’m snoozing). By 7 a.m., my oatmeal is all cooked and ready to go. I add butter and some raw sugar, maybe some raisins or dried apples (yum!), and breakfast is served.
I also like to serve some protein, usually in the form of eggs. This has become my kids’ job. They really like cooking, and it has been good training for them in how to use a stove and how to cook. They like adding cheese or salsa to the scrambled eggs.
Anyway, when I wake up, our oatmeal is basically ready. By the time I’ve made a pot of coffee for me and hubby, the eggs are ready, too. Breakfast is served!
So to summarize, you need to:
- Have good ingredients IN the house
- Have bad ingredients OUT of the house
- Have a plan (also known as a menu)
- Have systems for planning, prep work and cleaning
- Have helpers (also known as husbands and children)
P.S. Lack the motivation to eat right? Read my other post on how to make lasting changes in your health.