Sunday, October 30, 2011

Busy Vegan Mom

The last month has been very busy for me and has made it difficult to blog. The start of the new school year brought many changes and turned my world upside down…the kids went back to school, my youngest began Pre-K, I went back to work, and I began graduate school.

With all these things happening at once, it left me no time at all to even open my blog. Now that I am back in a routine (sort of), I am ready to get back to my veggie blogging. Hopefully even with my busy schedule, I can find the time to do at least one blog per week and be able catch up on all the wonderful blogs I read and follow.

Being a busy vegan is definitely a challenge! I have learned that the best thing is to try to be prepared. Since I work as a substitute teacher, I never know where I might end up working each day. And let’s face it, school cafeteria food is not exactly created for the meat-free kind. So I have learned to try to plan my lunch each night, even if I don’t know if I will be called in to work the next day. I have found peanut butter and banana sandwiches to be a great go-to lunch if nothing else is available.  Also having things like baby carrots and grapes are a great snack to have in my luch bag for when I can't leave the classroom but I need something to eat.

My new role as a graduate student has also challenged my vegan diet. My school schedule is crazy. It’s only one weekend a month, but I have class almost the entire weekend…Friday 6-10pm, Saturday 8:30am-6pm, and Sunday 8:30am-5:30pm. Given the fact that my campus is forty-five minutes away, I spend most of the day away from home. This means that I must plan for dinner on Fridays and lunch and snacks for the rest of the weekend. I quickly found that the university campus is also not thinking much about meat-free kind. Although I’m sure I could find something if I looked hard enough, I’m not going to spend all of my lunch time running all over campus to find something to eat. So once again, planning is necessary for me to get through the weakened successfully. I have found that preparing on Friday for the weekend has been very helpful.

With life taking such a hectic turn, I have not had time to do a planned weekly shopping trip. I have gone back to picking up just enough items at a time to get through the next few days. This of course has taken a toll on the food budget! It is not easy after a day of work, then picking up kids, rushing home to cook and do homework, to fit in a few hours of shopping. But this is something that I must work on. It is taking up too much time and money running back and forth to the store. So yesterday, I sat and clipped my coupons and I will be making my first planned weekly shopping trip in a few months. Again, the key here is planning, planning and planning.

Living a busy life is never easy, and adding a vegan diet to the mix makes it even more challenging. But I have learned that being prepared is the most important thing you can do to make things go smoother. It’s is definitely worth the extra planning and time. Sure it would be so easy to just give up and grab a cheeseburger on the go, but I’m not willing to compromise. I have made it this far and I don’t plan on going back. I just need to keep things organized and well planned!