Cooking Despite a Hectic Schedule

I’ve been getting a lot of comments about cooking despite my hectic schedule.  If you’ve read through some of my posts, you’ll see that my schedule is crazy.  I’m up at 4:30 in the morning, getting ready and finally making lattes for the Mr. and I before we leave the house everyday.  From now until mid-March, I have classes Monday & Wednesday until 8:10.  On Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays I am in the school library studying from 3:30 until about 5:30 or 6.   I can’t study at home because my husband and kids jump all over me the second I walk through the doors, so I have to devote that time to get my studies/reading done.

On my library days, I run after I study.  I try to fit in a 3-5 mile run because I love it and I can’t imagine not running.  I could probably use that hour to do something else but this makes me calm, clears my thoughts and relieves a lot of stress! I shower at the gym and by the time I walk through the doors, I’m feeling normal and unstressed!

I’m digressing and rambling about my day when I really want to talk about cooking!  My babies have severe food allergies and this is a key reason why we seem to struggle in lowering our monthly grocery bill.  The two older kids are allergic to corn, wheat, soy, nuts but deathly allergic to peanuts.  My youngest has the worst allergies – she’s allergic to all of the above plus milk, actually all dairy,  and soy. My hubby and I are not allergic to anything but we have to cater our meals to the kids or else it wouldn’t be fair to them.  We eat a pretty clean diet – meaning not a lot of packaged, preservative laden foods.  I shop at several stores all within a 2 mile radius of each other – the Asian grocer, Costco, Trader Joes & Fred Meyers (equivalent to a Kroeger, I think).  Below is a snap shop of my grocery list every other week:

Asian Grocer:

  • Chines broccoli
  • Radish
  • Okra
  • Bok Choy
  • Ong Choy
  • Ginger
  • Cilantro
  • Onions
  • Green Onions
  • Green Papaya
  • Beef Bones
  • Soy Sauce
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Hoisin Sauce
  • Siracha Sauce
  • Fish Sauce
  • Oyster Sauce
  • Rice noodles


  • Frozen boneless chicken
  • Chicken thighs
  • Talapia
  • Salmon
  • Turkey Burgers
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Ground Turkey
  • Red Bell Peppers
  • Spinach
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Avocados
  • Oranges
  • Soy Milk (for me as I’m lactose intolerant)
  • 2% milk for the two older babies
  • 5 dozen eggs
  • Pam cooking spray
  • Turkey ham
  • 100% wheat sandwich thins
  • Olive Oil
  • Baby carrots

Trader Joes

  • Rice milk for my little one
  • Dried cranberries
  • Slivered almonds
  • Almond butter
  • Gluten free bread
  • Squash
  • Asparagas
  • Persian cucumbers
  • Morning Star sausage patties
  • Gluten free Apple Sausages

Fred Meyers

  • Collard greens
  • Mustard Greens
  • Celery
  • Sausage Links
  • whatever other veggies I can’t buy at Costco or Trader Joes

I cook breakfast, lunch and dinner almost daily for my family.  The key for me is to keep everything I cook easy and fast.  I also like to prep my veggies ahead of time according to what I have on the menu.  For example, I chop up the veggies and if I know I’m going to do stir fry one week, I slice up the chicken and put it in a zip lock bag.  That way when I’m ready to cook there is minimal prep time.

We generally eat the following:

  • egg white scramble or a omelet.
  • My little one gets apple sausage and fruit.
  • Lunch for me is whatever we have for dinner or a salad.
  • My little ones only want sandwiches – we only use mustard, and we pile it high with veggies.
  • Fresh fruit and veggies as snacks.
  • For dinner, we always have a some sort of protein (fish, chicken, etc) and at least 2 vegetable sides.
  • I make a lot of stir fries.
  • I make pho from scratch on the weekends.
  • I make turkey meatballs in large quantities & freeze half.
  • Soups
  •  Chili

5 thoughts on “Cooking Despite a Hectic Schedule

  1. Holy Hades, that’s a lot. I don’t blame you for running or getting good shoes to run at all! I never you’re super skinny! Who watches the babIes while you are both working and in school? Sounds like a lot of teamwork is involved with raising your family.

    • I’m not skinny at all! I fell in love with running when I was in the 6th grade and I’ve just kept it up. I really love it and get so excited when I hear about people looking to start running! If I could make any money at it, I would run for a living 🙂 There is a tremendous amount of teamwork required in order for me to be able to go to school. My husband is awesome in that respect. We also live really close to my parents and they help out a ton! My kids are all in elementary school/middle school. My mom comes over in the morning to help me get them ready for school and then puts them on the bus to school. She comes over in the afternoon around 2:30 to make sure someone’s there to pick them up from the bus stop. I give her money every month to do that and also try to do nice stuff for her and my dad all the time because I appreciate them helping us so much!

  2. I must say: I came over here from Andrea @ SoOverDebt’s post and I really enjoyed your blog! I’m going to add you to my rss feed and will definitely enjoy reading about your goals and your accomplishments!

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