Cooking During the School Year

There’s no denying that if you’re someone who loves to cook, you’re going to enjoy the process of meal planning, looking up recipes, and the actual process of assembling a meal.  And then there are people like me who really despise the whole process.

I enjoy looking at finished meals, but I don’t enjoy anything else about getting from picture to final product.  This becomes a real issue when it comes to heading back to school.  During the summer, I keep fairly busy, but I can come and go as I please in the kitchen, plopping ingredients in the crockpot with little forethought.  Going back to work on Wednesday has caused me to pause and reevaluate the way meal preparation will go heading forward.

One of my August goals was to preplan meals in advance.  I have been pretty good about this, but now that the 8:00-4:00pm schedule is about to hit my husband and I, it’s important that I change my approach.

Things to consider:

  1.  Dinner planning is easy: crockpot to the rescue
  2. I can’t really do leftovers because microwaves are not easily accessible at my school
  3. I will be the only one who is bringing a lunch because my husband’s new school provides lunches to their staff (lucky!)


An absolute MUST in planning meals is Pinterest.  I simply search “Easy” “Crockpot” “Recipes” and the rest is history.

 Crock Pot Chicken Gyros

Honey Chicken Sesame Chicken

Teriyaki Chicken

Orange Chicken

And I’m planning on A LOT of leftovers!


These meals need to be smaller, piecemeal, and require only refrigeration at most.  I’m so glad I invested in a mini fridge for my classroom!

Stock Items:

  • Yogurt
  • Kashi Granola Bars
  • Cheese Stick
  • Whole-wheat wraps
  • Whole-wheat crackers
  • Apple Slices/PB


“Bunny Veggie Wraps”


Running to the Treadmill and Hard Copies

Welcome back to yet another riveting edition of Fancy Oatmeal!

I can’t put my finger on it, but the past three runs that I’ve completed have been simply a delight.  On Saturday, Monday, and yet again today, I was able to put up higher mileage and faster splits than I have for quite some time.  It’s like I have a natural craving for it.

Not being a nutritionist, biologist, or qualified in anything more complex than making yummy noises when I eat, but I am thinking that all signs point to the raging increase in fresh fruits, veggies, and unprocessed foods I’ve been eating since Saturday afternoon.

It’s like a farmer’s market in my stomach!   I mean, take a look at the last three runs that I’ve had:

Umm..please excuse the fact that the last three runs are 6-6-6; please be more joyed that they were between 2 and 3 miles longer than my average runs throughout the month.

Here was my run from today:

I ran during Monday’s episode of the Wendy Williams Show and it really helped keep me going with a “feel good” attitude all the way through the 6th mile.

I’m doing just fine, especially because I revved up the treadmill from 6.0 to 6.5 during the commercials for an extra kick of spice to my run.

Following my cardio, I knocked out four sets of the following lower-body workout:

  • Squats with 12 lb. weights in each hand X 25
  • Knee Raise/Backward Lunge X 15 per leg
  • Side Lunge X 15 per leg
  • 1 minute Wall Sit

Afterwards, I cleaned myself up and did some housekeeping: emptied around 10 of 35,000 boxes that we’ve shipped to Michigan.  I didn’t take a picture because I was far too excited to get out of the house and into a FA REAL bookstore!!!!

You know how I love me some readin’ books!

There is a rule in my house that if there is a book that I absolutely loved reading on my Kindle, I have to have the hard copy version as well.  I spoke awhile ago about needing to bulk up my thumb muscles from getting too lax from two years of reading a feather-weight edition of novels, and I’m hoping that when I go back to reread the current love of my life, John Green, that having the tangible version will help me in that strength training endeavor.

I picked up two copies of John Green’s novels, and will probably reread them after finishing the book, When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle for my new Facebook/We Went to High School Together Book Club.

*P.S.* The “You” in the title does NOT refer to an insatiable metabolism, and if it didn’t I wouldn’t have bought the damn book as I have never possessed one that could outrun a sloth tangled in flypaper.