How to avoid the Take-Out Monster

It’s no secret that we are all busy, overbooked, over scheduled and sometimes dinner is the last thing on our minds.  We all want to feed our kids delicious and healthy meals, but time is a problem, so many of us just decide that fast food is okay….just this once. But it’s never just this once, is it?

With a little organization and planning, homemade dinner can be an option no matter how crazy life is getting. Here are some tips:

1. Pre-plan your dinners according to the time you have. 

On a night that you only have 30 minutes between coming home from work then taking the kids to an activity, have a pre-made freezer meal defrosted and ready to warm up

When you have 45 minutes, make a stir fry.

When you have 10 minutes, warm up some soup from the big pot you made on grocery day. You can even pack it in a thermos and drink it in the car as you drive to your next activity.

2. When you grocery shop, do it on the day when you have the most time. 

First, you can make a weekly menu, and, from that, a grocery list. 

After you do your shopping, leave out the ingredients that you will pre-prep for your dinners.  If fajitas are on the menu for Tuesday night and you only have 30 minutes to make and eat dinner, pre-cut your onions, peppers and meat (don’t forget to preseason the meat too).  Keep your veggies in one container and your meat in another.  When you come home on Tuesday, all you have to do is sauté the ingredients and your prep time and cooking are done in 10 minutes. 

3. Pre-chop all vegetables for each meal ahead of time. 

If on Monday, you only have 15 minutes to eat, spend time the night before preparing your slow cooker meal. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker, leave in the fridge overnight, turn on the slow cooker in the morning, and dinner will be hot and ready to eat when you come home. 

4. On grocery day, cook a meal double portion that you can freeze and warm up on a very busy day. 

5. On grocery day, make one big pot of soup and keep it in the fridge for the week. 

This way when there is only 5 minutes to prep and cook, you can pour a few ladles of soup in a thermos and take it with you in the car to your next destination.

Pre-planning does take a few extra hours out of one day, but you will get that time back during the week, on your busiest days, by having everything ready to go while providing delicious and homemade meals for your family.

Photo Credit: Amanda Gobatto of Digital Girl Consulting.

* EDITOR’S NOTE: By clicking the hyperlinked words within this post, as well as the photo above, you will be shown some of Sandra’s favourite (and easiest) recipes. If you want more meal options, purchase a copy of Sandra’s cookbook on Amazon by clicking here.

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Overwhelmed by the transition to entrepreneurship?

I’ve been there. When I left the corporate and small business worlds to start my own business, I didn’t know what I was in for. I saw other women living lives that I wanted to be mine, and wondered, “How are they doing it?” Knowing something had to give, I totally changed the way I’m running and building my business.

As a mother, blogger, mentor, speaker and business owner, I am used to balancing the demands of many roles. It is hard to “do it all,” and I have learned how to adjust to those expectations. Stick with me and you’ll be diving into your business with fresh eyes and a growth-centered mindset faster than you ever imagined!

It all came to a head in the Fall of 2015. With my daughter’s autism diagnosis and my postpartum depression following my son’s birth, my Spring/Summer that year had been pretty rough. I was feeling pretty kicked around — to say the least. As I was crawling out of the dark and twisty places life had cornered me in that year, I knew that everything had changed.

For many reasons, I couldn’t go back to my corporate life. One of the biggest reasons was that my perspective on how I was going to live my life had changed. A shift had happened. My time away from my children was going to be spent doing things that I was passionate about. Doing things that got me pumped about life. In May of 2016, I went out on my own and started my business. It was great. I was finally doing things that had me pumped about my time away from my kids. I had the flexibility to spend more time with them. At the end of the day, I had the energy to work in my household and my marriage.

But, while I was living my passion and excited about my life again, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Previously, I was a teacher, a sales professional, marketing leader and client services manager. By setting clear objectives, I succeeded in each role, even though they were in different industries.

But being an entrepreneur was a whole new world. I felt the loneliness. I had self-doubt. I didn’t know where to start…and I wasn’t the only one in this boat.

Whether I’m out speaking to a room full of female entrepreneurs or leading a workshop, one of the things that I hear over and over again from these amazing women is how great it is to be out from behind their desks and surrounded by a group of like-minded women. And as our conversation continues, it becomes clear that they are looking for a tribe of women that they can connect and collaborate with regularly in an environment that is welcoming, encouraging and safe enough to let their walls down and share. I needed a community like this too. One that encourages fellow members as they conquer fears, overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams. A tribe that leaves me with a new comfort level and the confidence I’m craving to expand my growth and limits — both personally and professionally.

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You see, it’s not just me. And it’s not just you. We are not alone. And when we come together, it’s a powerful thing. With the Fempire Builders community supporting me and holding me accountable, I have experienced the business growth that previously I had only dreamed about.

Just as it has been for other Fempire Builders, it will be the same for you, too. Wait and see!