The three o’clock slump can put a major kink in getting a healthy dinner on the table. So can the post-school game, unexpected company, the project creating overtime you didn’t want, the sick kid… the list goes on and on. Here are three strategies I use to get dinner on the table when life goes nuts.
If you work inside the home, cook dinner early in the day. Cook after breakfast before the slump hits. When I was at my worst with adrenal fatigue, I’d cook dinner as soon as I had enough energy to do so. Never wait until 5pm to start cooking if you have afternoon slumps.
If you work outside of the home, this means starting the crock-pot or using planned leftovers. Cook on the weekends or batch cook in the evenings and stock the freezer with the parts and pieces or full meals you need to get dinner on the table fast. Make a list and don’t forget to thaw things by popping the already cooked pieces in the fridge the night before so they’re easier to deal with once you get home.
If you’re having a good day, fix extra in case you have a bad day tomorrow. Chopped veggies will keep a few days in the fridge, no problem.
If you’re really in a pickle, double the meal and eat the leftovers the next night.
If you work inside the home and you have enough energy in the afternoon, do your prep work ahead. Chop the veggies in advance and store them in the fridge. Make any needed sauces or sides.
If you work outside the home, prepping ahead can be a boon to getting dinner on the table faster. Chop all the veggies and make all the sauces you’ll need for the week on the weekend.
It’s also a good idea to chop up a bunch of onion, celery and carrot and cook it ahead. Portion it out into containers and freeze. Use it when you need it. Roast chickens and freeze the meat, make stock and freeze that, too. If you’re suffering from adrenal fatigue, cook parts and pieces whenever you’re up to it and use them when you have to.
Back Up Plan
ALWAYS have a back-up plan. Always keep a meal in the freezer in case things really go South and you have to choose between a freezer meal and calling for a pizza delivery. Always assume there will be days you burn dinner, hit a wall. Keep your freezer stocked for those days. A meal with unsoaked grain or grocery store meat is better than fast food or a pizza.