Teachers have a handful of weird problems that would never cross the mind of most normal human adults. I’ll never forget the look of confusion the first time I explained to a non-teacher friend that I didn’t know when I could head to the bathroom during my morning of classes. Then when you consider the craziness that is teaching during a pandemic, you wonder what sane person would choose to do this job (the answer: no truly sane person would).
While pandemic teaching brought with it numerous frustrations, it also taught me some valuable lessons, not the least of which was how to stay full until lunch time without feeling like I was either overeating or relying solely on willpower to get to noon.
One of the weird things about being a teacher is that we – technically – have breaks, but we don’t really have breaks. If you’re not moving to a different classroom, five minute passing periods between classes are taken up by one on one student time, check-ins with other staff members, or hurried bathroom breaks. If you’re lucky enough to have a morning prep period (non-teaching periods of the day), they’re often filled with meetings, planning, grading, student makeup work, and yes… hurried bathroom breaks. There’s very little time to fit in snacks or meals, unless you’re eating while teaching your students, which I’ve unfortunately resorted to.
I know, I know. I can hear you saying “just eat before you leave”. That’s all well and good, but it means I’m shoveling food at 6:30 or 7:00, giving me a 5 hour window until the lunch bell rings.
See, during the pandemic, I was teaching online from around 8:00 am until about noon time. That meant that I could have something right before class, and then have lunch at a normal hour, giving me just about 4 hours in there. I started the pandemic by overcompensating; I’d make toast and eggs, and then feel like it was time for a nap by the 2nd period of the day. Then I swung the other direction when I resorted to a bowl of cereal.
Side rant: I’m convinced cereal is a marketing scheme, because I’m not convinced that it’s ever actually kept anybody full until lunch, since it was invented.
Ingredients (for a serving in a 16 oz. jar):
- 3/4 Cup Rolled Oats
- 3/4 Cup Frozen Blueberries
- 1 scoop (31 grams) Vanilla protein powder
- 3/4 cup milk-like beverage of your choice (I use almond milk here, but I’ve used regular milk before as well)
- 1 cup Coconut water (you’ll use a bit less than that)
- At least 8-10 hours before you want to eat, combine the oats, protein powder, and almond milk in your vessel of choice. I use a 16 oz. jar which is perfectly sized for this total amount of food.
- Cover the container and shake to combine.
- Add the blueberries, and then top with coconut water.
- Again, cover the container, and shake to combine.
- Place the sealed containers in the refrigerator, and let them sit overnight.
- In my experience, it’s best to prep these up to three days in advance, any longer than that and the texture gets a bit strange (or stranger than it already is).
- Consume and enjoy!