Coding Bootcamp — Busy, But Still Gotta Eat!

Meredith McIntosh
5 min readFeb 22, 2021


As a full-time student in Flatiron School, I have found that a fast-paced school environment does not leave a lot of extra time for anything else in life. Bootcamp is so challenging while equally fulfilling, but it really does cause many other aspects of life to be put on the back burner, for example, eating and eating well!

Now that I am finishing up my time as a Flatiron student, I’d love to share some food-related tips that have helped me get through school without eating takeout every night!

1. Recipes that are easy and DELICIOUS!

I love cooking really fun and unique meals when I have time, but when life is crazy, I like to resort to these few meals that are delicious and provide leftovers! All recipes will be linked to the recipe title!

Easy Shepherds Pie

— Who doesn’t love a hearty and savory easy meal? I have made this multiple times with no complaints! To make it even easier, I use instant potatoes! Boom! Done! Yummy!

One Dish Chicken, Veggie and Potatoes

— This really can’t get any simpler and it is delicious! And who can deny a one dish meal?!

Crockpot Tacos

— These are SO good! SO easy! And provides lots of leftovers. Super good! I also tend to add more Rotel and more seasonings than the recipe requires, but you do you!

One Dish Lemon Herb Chicken and Rice

— Not much to say, but HOLY YUM! Easy and SO GOOD!

Literally called “Best Chicken Soup You’ll Ever Eat

— This chicken soup really does live up to its name. It may be a bit more prep than the other recipes, but you will have leftovers for dayysssss.

Greek Lentil Bowl

— This is very delicious, very easy, and is great for leftovers! Such a fresh and yummy meal for lunch or dinners!

Mostly Veggie Steak Stir Fry

— This meal will be more prep up front, but is delicious, pretty healthy and can be provide many days of leftovers!

2. A grocery delivery service that is 100% worth it!

When school started, I realized I did not have time or the desire to go to the store. A ton of people suggested Instacart to me, but I delayed it for a long time because I didn’t think it was worth it. I WAS SO WRONG. Let me share a few insights about Instacart.

  • Instacart is $99 for an entire year. “But that doesn’t seem worth it!” Okay okay let me continue.
  • If you spend over $35, your delivery fee is free and you only spend a few dollars to tip the Instacart delivery person.
  • So, instead of driving to the store, spending a lot of time in crowded lines, and having a bunch of impulse purchases, I go online, add items to my cart, and then set up a delivery time and BOOM. Grocery shopping is done!
  • Out of ALL my orders, I have only had one time where I thought the vegetables were not the best quality. This can happen, but you can talk to Instacart customer service to get a refund or a duplicate item. It’s that easy!!

I think Instacart is one of my best COVID purchases. I can’t recommend it enough. I personally use Target and Aldi with Instacart, but there are a ton of places that you can order from!

3. Finally, meal delivery services!

I am including this last because I am still exploring meal delivery services. My overall opinion is they are a bit more money than grocery shopping and purchasing specific ingredients yourself, but it can be a fun change of pace when it comes to food prep. I have tried a few services since being in bootcamp and I will share my opinion on each in hopes that it will help you make a decision yourself!

  • HelloFresh — HelloFresh is my favorite. Every meal that we have prepared from HelloFresh has been SO good. All the meals are delicious and sometimes, unique and adventurous! HelloFresh does seem more pricey than some of other meal services, but it is really good! We will order some meals IF HelloFresh has a special. Sometimes they will give a few free meals per order.
  • EveryPlate — EveryPlate is the most affordable. The meals are good, but I do feel like you get a little bit less food. This is the only service we are continuing at this moment because it really is a pretty good deal and it gives us no brainer meals that we can make quickly.
  • GreenChef — GreenChef is delicious if you prefer to eat more veggies and less or no meat. The meals are very delicious! Still less affordable than EveryPlate but the meals are pretty yummy!

The interesting take on meal delivery services is they all offer specials all the time, so if you didn’t want to keep up with a service, you could just wait until they are offering a special and then place an order then!

So no matter where you are in your life journey, I hope this blog will be a helpful and quick guide to eating good, relatively healthy meals while pushing hard and following your dreams!

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