Want to have more time to enjoy your evening? This is what we are doing and it is working!
We work hard. We have hobbies. We have chores. We chase passions. We try to always improve ourselves. In short, like you, we are busy. Even though we have no TV, no video games, not even a lot of furniture (1 couch, 1 bed, 1 desk, 2 end tables, 1 dining table), we still struggle to find time just for us, just to relax each day.
I think 2 and a half hours of completely open leisure time is a good amount to have, but after work, making and eating dinner, taking out the trash, feeding the cat, getting ready for bed, prepping for tomorrow, etc… we typically have 45-minutes to an hour to do whatever we want.
If you know me, then you know I love efficiency and I am always seeking ways to do things smarter, faster, or with less effort (I like to automate tasks and create habits). Nicole and I realized dinner is a huge time-suck for us, so we are trying something new and so far, it is showing great results.
We eat cereal for dinner.
It is not, admittedly, the best dinner but cereal–even junk food cereal–is still full of vitamins, easy to prepare, and tastes delicious. We typically avoid highly processed “food” but for a quick meal, cereal is tough to beat. We still want to be sure we are eating fresh foods and veggies, though (which we would normally have prepared for dinner), so we changed our breakfast routine, too.
Instead of cereal for breakfast, we make smoothies, but with a twist. We prepare our smoothies for the week on Sunday and freeze the ingredients in single-serve baggies (1-quart size). In each bag, we have broken or chopped 3 fruits, 3 vegetables, 3 nuts, 3 grains, and a scoop of brown rice protein powder–more than enough actual nutrition to make up for cereal dinners. In the morning, I drop a frozen bag of smoothie ingredients into the Vitamix, pour in about 3 cups of unsweetened milk of my choice (usually Flax or Almond-Coconut) and blend it up. I drink it before I head to work and it tides me over most of the morning.
The best part is, we have added around an hour to each evening, allowing us to walk, talk, watch Netflix, read, meditate, or whatever we want! Can’t beat that.
If you want to try this crazy experiment, here is what a couple of our smoothies might look like:
Always start with 1 banana and 1 carrot. It is hard to screw up the taste after that, and you get lots of great vitamins between those two alone, like Potassium, Fiber, and Vitamins A and C.
Smoothie 1 (everything chopped and placed in a 1-quart bag, to be frozen):
6 strawberries (whole, with greens)
1 handful of parsley
1 handful of spinach
A palm’s worth of sunflower seeds
A palm’s worth of raw pecans
1 teaspoon of chunky peanut butter
A palm’s worth of raw oats
A palm’s worth of chia seeds
Scoop of brown rice protein powder (or vegan protein powder of choice)
3 cups of unsweetened Flax milk (this does not go in the baggie–pour this in the blender in the morning)
Handful of basil
Handful of blueberries
Handful of kale
5 Mango slices (half a mango)
A palm’s worth of raw cashews
A palm’s worth of raw walnuts
A palm’s worth of flax seeds
A palm’s worth of hemp seeds
Scoop of brown rice protein powder
3 cups unsweetened Almond Coconut milk (don’t put this in the bag, obviously–pour this in the blender, in the morning)
Mix and match any of the ingredients. Trade spinach for a cucumber, or blueberries for beets, or parsley for cilantro. Experimenting with the flavors is half the fun. Each morning, I just grab a bag, the milk, toss it in the blender and I’m good to go. That night, a quick bowl of cereal (or sometimes, a bagel with vegan cream cheese–any quick breakfast really) will hit the spot and free up time.
Have fun with that life-hack. If you have more, comment on FaceBook, Twitter, Tumblr, or wherever you read this blog. Don’t forget you can subscribe to have each post delivered right to your inbox so you can archive and save it for reading later. Whatever works for you. I’m flexible.
Enjoy your breakfast dinner!