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Small Conveniences

January 25, 2011

It was a hectic morning for me. I was snuggling away this morning in bed with my hubby and doggie, my mind still in the fuzzy halfway awake halfway asleep, thinking to myself man I feel so rested and comfortable; I feel like I’ve been sleeping forever. I peeked my eyes open and I suspected my bedroom looked a little brighter than normal. Uh oh. I jumped up and looked at the clock, it was 7:10. Whoops.

Our alarm usually goes off at 5:45, because hubby has to be at work at 7, and I usually find my way out of bed by 6:30. Some way somehow, I managed to start the shower, pack my lunch, start my cup of coffee, shower, take the dog out, get my clothes for a run after work, load the crock pot for dinner,  and make my oatmeal in 30 minutes. I only arrived to work 10 minutes late. When I got to work I was pretty proud.

I also did not stress or freak out about it, which was one of my goals for 2011; not to sweat the small stuff. I actually looked at it as getting the luxury of nearly an extra hour of sleep.

I attribute my ability to quickly get ready this morning to some conveniences I like to set up for myself to make my life easier, and sometimes, more convenient. Don’t get me wrong, I love to take my time getting ready in the morning and enjoy my coffee instead of downing it on the way to work, but I do like for things to be convenient.

Convenience #1: The love of my Keurig. I’ve already confessed my love of the new machine, but last night before bed I filled the Keurig with enough water for hubby and me to both have a cup of coffee without having to refill it and wait for it to heat. All I had to do was turn it on, pop in a K-cup, and press go and I had a cup of coffee before the shower was even warmed up.

Convenience #2: I knew what we would be having for dinner tonight, so as I was cleaning up the kitchen from last night’s dinner I went ahead and laid out all the dry ingredients, as well as my crock pot so I could throw it together in the morning and let it cook while I was at work.

Convenience #3: I’d be lying if I said I always remember this one. Last night I actually packed all my workout gear (except my shoes). I’m usually running around last minute trying to get together an outfit to run in later. This probably explain why on numerous occasions I’ve been embarrassed by my running attire, zebra-print shorts and all. However, last night, for some reason, fate maybe? I actually packed most of my clothes so I wouldn’t have to worry about it this morning.

Convenience #4: Lunch was pretty easy to pack. I grabbed a frozen Amy’s burrito which is always good to have on hand in the freezer for moments like this when you lack time, or when your supply of fresh groceries is running low. I also quickly packed a salad, this is where premixed bagged salad comes in handy, and tossed some blue cheese on top. Snacks were very easy; I grabbed an apple, some vegetables, and a Luna bar.

At work we’ve had the conversation numerous times about why people don’t eat fruits and vegetables more often, or why the fruits and vegetables they do buy ends up in the trashcan. The conclusion is most people don’t feel like fruits and vegetables are convenient. Grabbing a bag of chips that are ready to consume is so much more convenient than washing, getting out the cutting board and slicing produce. Right? Maybe.

I do agree the hassle of produce is obviously not as convenient as popping open a bag of cheetos or m&ms, but your health is worth the small amount of time it takes to prepare nutritious snacks. If your excuse is “you don’t have time” you’re not being fair to yourself. If you don’t have time to take care of your body and health, then what’s the point of all the other things you do in life? You’ve got to devote time to your health, let’s face it, if it’s something we really want we will make time for it. After all, we have time to watch the Bachelor right?

Here’s a tip that I use to make sure I have a healthy convenience snack.

I, too, once hated the hassle of having to cut off some slices from my cucumber, carrots or apples every time I wanted to pack or enjoy them for a snack. Then one day, such a simple concept dawned on me, why can’t I just cut all the vegetables and fruits at once?

Here’s what I do now.

  • Pick a mix or fruit and/or vegetables that you enjoy. My favorite and easiest go to mix is cucumbers, carrots, and bell peppers.
  • Wash all your vegetables thoroughly. I use hand soap to wash all of my vegetables. If you can’t always buy organic (doesn’t always fit in my budget) make sure to thoroughly wash vegetables to remove any pesticides or germs that made it to the outside of the produce.
  • Slice all of your vegetables/ fruits at once.
  • Store in a Tupperware container in the refrigerator.  

This makes for very convenient snacking. In the morning when you’re packing your lunch you can bag up a handful to take with you, or even toss a handful on top of your salad. Even if you work from home it is more convenient than getting out the cutting board every time you want to enjoy a few slices of cucumbers.

You can really do this with any combination you could try apples, oranges and grapes; squash, zucchini, and carrots; broccoli, cauliflower, and celery; strawberries, peaches, and blackberries. The possibilities are endless!

I suggest doing this immediately after your grocery shopping, if you’re already putting up the groceries you might as well prep your vegetables, you’re also saving on dishwashing because you only have to wash the one cutting board and one knife for a whole week’s worth of produce.

I love conveniences and I bet you do too!

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