I’m so excited to introduce a new series on my blog called “Med School Meals” in which I’ll be posting quick and easy recipes that anyone with an extremely busy lifestyle (e.g. medical students) should always have in their back pocket.
My first 3 months (omg has it already been 3 months?!) of school have proven to be the busiest time of my life. Between a full day of classes and labs, commuting back and forth to campus, and non-stop studying, I have little time to grocery shop and cook for myself. That being said, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet remains at the top of my priority list. Many medical students find themselves eating fast food and take-out on a regular basis simply because they don’t have enough time to shop and cook. Why waste precious hours in the day cooking, when you can be studying anatomy or biochemistry?! Although it may seem logical, fast-food is not the answer. Medical students shouldn’t have to sacrifice their own health in their endeavors to one day better the health of others. You can have your cake, and eat it too! I promise!
Before I start posting recipes, I want to share a few tips on preparing food for the week. The number one advice I can give is to plan ahead. Planning is a major key (*DJ Khaled voice*) in preparing healthy and efficient med school meals.
I usually do all of my grocery shopping on the weekend. Before I head out to the store, I make sure I do 4 things:
- First, I look at my local grocery store’s weekly circular to see what’s on sale and make a list of those items I want.
- Second, I plan out my meals for the week based on those sale items. For example, now that it’s fall, my grocery store has all kinds of squash on sale for a great price. Last week, I picked up a couple butternut squashes for $0.49/lb and made a delicious butternut squash soup in my crockpot. Not only was it delicious, but it was also budget friendly!
- Third, I make a shopping list that includes all the sale items and all the additional items I need for the week. Making a list really helps me save time at the store. I can get in and out without wasting time trying to figure out what to buy for the week. It also prevents me from just throwing everything that looks good into my cart and making impulse purchases (I’m talking to you cookie dough ice cream).
- Finally, I set a reasonable budget for myself because student loans… *sigh*
Once you’ve gotten your shopping out of the way, the cooking part is easy. You’ve already planned out your meals for the week, so all you have to do is follow the recipe. Minimal brain power required. Save that for memorizing your biochem enzymes. Some people like to meal-prep on Sundays for their entire week, but I find that doing so takes a little too much effort. I’m also not a fan of eating the same thing for 5 days in a row. Instead, I usually throw something together in my crockpot on Sunday that will last me until Tuesday or Wednesday. Then, I cook my Med School Meals for the rest of the week. I’ve been doing this since school started, and it’s been working really well for me. I’m able to eat healthy, home-cooked meals without it interfering with my study time. No need to pollute my body with over-processed junk that may or may not even be real food.
Stay tuned for my first recipe in the Med School Meals series, my favorite turkey bolognese. Let me know in the comments below if you have any go-to recipes for those days when you don’t even have time to breathe. (Let’s be real. That’s basically every day when you’re a med student.)