To Junk Food or Not To Junk Food: The NaNoWriMo Question

Time is a precious commodity for all of us, but when NaNoWriMo rolls around, those of us participating are faced with a time budgeting issue. This time issue can affect us in many ways, and one of the most profound I find, at least as a gal living on my own, really challenges me at dinner time.

I work and I go to school on top of participating in NaNoWriMo, so I don’t get substantial meals throughout the day. Breakfast usually consists of a smoothie or a scrambled egg on my way out the door. Lunch can range from a bag of chips and a soda (terrible, I know) to some tofu eggplant from Panda Express. Dinner is really the main meal of the day where I get a substantial amount of my daily nutrients. But developing a good, hearty, healthy meal takes time.

Time becomes an issue when I have homework and a NaNoWriMo project, and I bet I’m not the only one with this problem. It’s easy to order a pizza or microwave some sodium-rich hungry-person type meal, and I’m here to stop you from doing that. Love yourself while you write and take care of your body. It will not only keep your mind sharper when it comes time to write, but it’ll also give you more energy from a healthy source that’ll keep you going longer than those sugary, heart-unhealthy energy drinks.

Please step away from the pizza and read the rest of this blog post.

Speaking of sugary, heart-unhealthy energy drinks, here’s the first pro-tip for eating and drinking healthy during NaNoWriMo: trade in your energy drinks and coffee for black tea and green tea. If you’re not a big tea drinker, pick up some green tea pills at your local health market or order some off of Amazon.Com. Now, please note I am not avdocating these like Dr. Oz does for weight loss, but for their energizing effect (as noted on the WebMD link above).

Pro-tip number two: Invest in a slow cooker. I know what you’re thinking – slow cookers are BIG and make a lot of food, but that’s not always true. It’s easy to find a two quart slow cooker for under $15 bucks.

As seen here!

Having the right cooking device is step one, next is finding some handy dandy slow cooker recipes. Allrecipes.Com has a huge collection of recipes for the slow cooker, and to boot, the website easily scales down large recipes so you can make one or two servings of a dish instead of ten.

So, instead of calling out for pizza or other forms of junk food, you can start a tasty warm stew in the morning and come back to a complete, healthy, hearty, and warming meal. I guess it’s a good thing NaNoWriMo happens in November – the perfect month to start cooking stews. And even if you aren’t a big stew eater (or meat eater, in my case) there are many other awesome recipes to make in a slow cooker, such as slow cooker taco meat or a vegetarian slow cooker tomato sauce for pastas.

And now it’s time for pro-tip number three: make fast meals. I think I’m safe when I say that most of us can find 30 minutes in a day to make a meal. Allrecipes.Com, again, has a wonderful collection of 30 minute meals for us that are super busy, including specific 30 minute meal sections like (and I love this section personally) 30 minute vegetarian meals which include this awesome recipe for Sukhothai Pad Thai.

Don’t have 30 minutes? Really? I find that hard to believe, but fear not, for Allrecipes.Com also has a 15 minute meal section. The recipes aren’t too fancy like the Eggplant Burger or Vietnamese Sandwich, but you know what, for 15 minutes, they’re filling and they take less time than ordering out and their healthier than a bag of chips and a soda.

Food Network also has a show called 30 Minute Meals, hosted by Rachel Ray. While you might not have time to watch the show, it takes no time at all to flip through the show’s recipe collection and pull out a good meal or two for dinner before going to the grocery store.

So, no excuses writers! Step away from the junk food and don’t use NaNoWriMo as an excuse for running out of time for a little self care at the end of the day in the way of a delicious dinner.

About ThePandaBard

Amanda is the Managing Editor at The Poetics Project and is on the editorial board of The Socialist Magazine, the national magazine of The Socialist Party USA. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a BA in English Education with a minor in Political Science. She is currently enrolled in Cal Poly Pomona's English MA program with an emphasis in Literature. During her free time, Amanda enjoys writing poetry, reading, traveling, crocheting, watching entire seasons of campy shows on Netflix, and, of course, writing blogs. You can follow Amanda on Twitter @ThePandaBard, on Pinterest @ThePandaBard, or on Medium @ThePandaBard. You can also find her research on Academia.Edu at Cpp.Academia.Edu/MandaRiggle.
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