Meal prepping is more than filling containers with single servings and posting them on Instagram.

Row of meals in glass containers, all ready to be eaten throughout the week.
Row of meals in glass containers, all ready to be eaten throughout the week.
Photo: Ella Olsson on Unsplash

Meal prepping has been all the rage the past couple of years, and for a good reason: It’s a great way to organize your life around how you prepare your food, save money, and stay healthy.

As most people quickly find out, it takes some work. But if you take a little time to reflect on your own situation, you can customize meal planning to fit your needs. Here are a few helpful tips to guide you in that process:

Are you aspiring to eat more vegetarian meals? Have you decided to cut back on how much you spend on groceries each month so you can have more money to pay off your loan faster? Maybe you’re trying not to eat out as much and want to invest in quality ingredients, so you don’t feel deprived and have something delicious made from fresh vegetables. …

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Like most people who are divorced, I’m constantly negotiating my budget between celebratory autonomy and common sense, something that is reflected in how I spend money. The purchases I’ve made since leaving my ex include everything from a restorative trip to Tulum to renting a decent apartment where I live alone. But I’m also working on paying off debt I accrued through lawyer fees and from random retail therapy I did when I first moved to Washington, D.C. …

Some suggestions for anyone about to start over …

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Image by Pexels from Pixabay

It’s a statistic that’s not easy to think about: January is supposedly what legal advisors have dubbed “Divorce Month.”

Couples who survived the holidays with each other and sheltered their kids from the news are now ready to call it quits. The new year is also a powerful reminder that it’s time to change things, including saying goodbye to marriages that make us unhappy. As a result, the number of people filing for divorce surges in January.

Whether you’ve wanted out and are finally ending it or are mourning the unexpected end of your relationship, it’s an uncertain and often vulnerable experience when you have to redefine how you want to live your life. I’ve been there … in fact, I’ve been sorting things out in my heart and head for a while now after an ugly ending to my own marriage. To get to where I am today, I had to try different things, make some dumb mistakes and master new skills to establish a better life. In the spirit of supporting other people going through the same thing, I wanted to pass along some ideas about how to move forward. …

No one can tell you how it will happen; suddenly you’ll just know it’s time to end it …

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Photo by Zoltan Tasi on Unsplash

Shortly after I started writing this blog, I got a direct message from one of my followers on Twitter, someone who knew me from when I worked in higher education.

It caught me off guard at first, as it was just four words without any context, a tiny, pull-aside whisper in the noisy social media universe:

“How did you know?”

How did I know what?” I wrote back, cautious and curious at the same time.

“How did you know when it was time to end it?” the person responded.

We direct messaged a little, me confirming the person wasn’t a troll and actually someone I knew from a conference. She had been following my blog for a while and volunteered information about her life: She was deeply unhappy with her relationship and in counseling with her husband, but didn’t think she would stay with him. She wanted to know what all of us want to know when we’re slogging through that time: When do you decide to call it quits and end it?

The future is on the tip of my tongue, and I am creating what I hope will be a decidedly delicious life

A halved pomegranate sitting on a marble surface, pips scattered around it.
A halved pomegranate sitting on a marble surface, pips scattered around it.
Photo: Clique Images via Unsplash

It happened while I was loading the dishwasher, a tiny, foot-wide appliance squeezed inside the equally tiny kitchen of my first apartment in Washington, D.C. Prying the top off of my favorite to-go coffee mug, I placed it next to the mug on the upper rack. Looking down, I noticed that I hadn’t opened the sipping part of the lid to ensure the whole thing would get clean, and froze.

I used to stand on the cheap linoleum next to a much bigger dishwasher in the kitchen of my old house in Western Maryland, bracing myself for the fit of rage my ex-husband had whenever I did something that didn’t meet his standards. The unopened lid of my coffee mug in our dishwasher was a serious offense that typically led to his relentless criticism for at least 20 minutes afterward. …

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Photo by Jeremiah Lawrence on Unsplash

As most of you know, my philosophy is when the going gets tough, the tough get creative and resilient, and ultimately pull themselves out of the hell they’re in.

And this, my friends, is exactly how I’m approaching the holiday season.

I managed to fly home and spend two weeks with my family over Thanksgiving. It was lovely and life-giving, and it made up for not having spent any time with them for almost a year.

But now … sigh. Hunkering down for Christmas as coronavirus cases spike and doing the holiday season on my own! Staying put and hopefully staying safe and keeping everyone else, safe. …

Make it special, anyway.

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Photo by Chase Fade on Unsplash

‘Tis the season to miss our friends and loved ones — with a pandemic, many of us are opting to skip travel this year and stay at home rather than spend the holidays with them.

This is all well and good if you’ve got a partner or a cool roommate, maybe some kids. You may not get to see your extended family, but at least you’ll have other human beings in your immediate vicinity to appreciate a meal and open some presents together.

But if you live by yourself, you may be worried about how you will make it through what will feel like a more silent night than usual. …

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Photo of me by my friend Banafsheh Ghassemi


Or should I say, salut!

My French is a bit rusty, but my hope is it won’t be after this winter, when I plan to study it again so I’m ready to live and work in a Francophone city eventually, like Montreal or Paris.

Or even Marrakesh.

Most people are understandably anxious about this winter, and with good reason. If you live in a place that gets cold weather, limited time outside means less access to friends and family, provided you’ve been following pandemic protocol to meet in small gatherings outdoors (I have).

Instead of freaking out about shorter, darker, colder days, I’ve decided to embrace the next few months as a much-needed time to take on a some new projects. In addition to working on my French, here’s what I’m…

How to feel nourished during the long, cold months ahead

A bowl of soup with a fresh sprig of rosemary and a wooden spoon.
A bowl of soup with a fresh sprig of rosemary and a wooden spoon.
Photo: Tina Vanhove on Unsplash

I like to think I’ve been fairly resilient during the pandemic.

I take long walks, sometimes socially distanced with friends. I have a virtual personal trainer who nearly kills me twice a week with intense workouts. I call my family and friends often, sometimes even the old-fashioned way so we can just listen to each other’s voices and feel close to one another, instead of looking at each other on screens like animals at a digital zoo.

Winter may throw a wrench into the mix, though.

I grew up in the South, specifically Atlanta, where winter is nothing more than throwing on a heavier coat a few days out of the year. Then I ended up moving to and living in cold places where it snowed sideways and you had to scrape ice off your windshield until your arms ached and people wear things like Cuddl Duds. …


Becca Bycott

Writer, strategic comms consultant and original Bride in Reverse. I blog about relationships, cooking, digital marketing and whatever else strikes my fancy.

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