Mages, ten-man raiding, and other things that are awesome.

Housekeeping for Cataclysm

I’m not the neatest person in the world. It’s true, I’ll admit it. You’ll just have to take my word for it. I consider myself mostly in the category of “messy.” When I clean things, they will be spotless (this is a legacy of my mother’s neat freak tendencies) but sometimes it’s…finding the things underneath other things in order to clean them that is my issue.

There’ve been plenty of great posts about getting your finances, guild bank, and gear list in order for the launch of Cataclysm. What about your real-life environment and your food list? Most WoW players like to have some time to focus on the game to the exclusion of all else, at least initially. No, you don’t need a catheter at your desk – but if you take care of your environment beforehand, you can focus on the game in comfort and (relative) cleanliness! Here’s my plan.

I do wield a broom like this.

 

The White Glove Test

  • Set a time-frame. Last week I made sure the main floor of the house was spotless. This week I’m setting my sights on the upstairs – office and bedrooms, which are really the hardest parts. I am going to declutter these over the weekend before Monday and get them pretty clean.
  • Clean a little beyond your usual standards. If you’re pretty sure you’ll be occupied with Cataclysm for awhile, clean a bit more than you usually do. It doesn’t have to be spotless (unless your Mom is my Mom and let’s be honest, what are the odds of that?) but the cleaner it is, the less you’ll have to worry about for the next week or so.
  • Keep your goals reasonable. If your apartment or house looks like ground zero right now – it’s probably not going to be spotless in a week. Don’t sweat it. But put some time into it if you want – you’d be surprised what a difference even an hour of decluttering and cleaning can do!
  • Think how awesome this will be when you’re leveling and you’ve got everything to hand – No, “Aggh where is my authenticator?” or scribbling on the backs of receipts and things to jot down a note (not that I’ve done that…)

Sustenance

If, like me, you’d like to not weigh twenty pounds more by January, it behooves you to think about this. That’s why this list is going to focus on ideas for healthy meals and snacks to prepare. It’s both Cataclysm AND the holiday season. If you plan or at least think about this in advance, you’ll be thankful you did later.

You aren’t going to want to cook. No, really, you aren’t. You may still want to stop and cook, or you may not, or you may order pizza. Make it so that you don’t have to – pre-cook and freeze some meals! I’ve used this trick to help with exam times when I was still in school, or other busy life periods (not pregnancy, but I did help fill a friend’s freezer for when she was pregnant). Things that freeze well include:

  • Hearty meals like chili, spaghetti sauce, and stew (only if the stew doesn’t contain potatoes, as their texture is drastically altered by freezing)
  • Homemade soups
  • Pasta dishes, most rice dishes, most meat dishes
  • Things that don’t freeze well include: potatoes, eggs, anything that includes milk – they will tend to separate – Not very tasty.
  • If you’re not big into cooking, you could still secure some frozen meals from the grocery store. It’s more expensive to do it that way but definitely a viable option. I’ve had some “pasta dishes in a bag” that were reasonably low-fat and basically just get tossed into a frying pan and heated. They tasted fine! Also frozen fish and instant rice packages with frozen vegetables makes an easy and fast meal – it’s actually my meal of choice for raid nights when I don’t have much time. I tell Voss, “Well, there’s always Emergency Fish.”

In-between actual meals, you are still going to want to snack on things. I plan on having many easy things on hand – and when I say “easy things” I’m not talking bags of chips. Here are some of my snack ideas (I use these for raiding, too, but you bet they’ll apply to Cataclysm). I’ll be stocking my fridge and pantry with these!

  • Cherry tomatoes, baby carrots, snap peas, mushrooms, cucumber, sliced sweet peppers, broccoli florets
  • Low-sugar cereals
  • Small containers of yogurt
  • Cheese sticks or individually wrapped low-fat cheeses, with or without crackers
  • Small cans of flavoured tuna (preferably not packed in oil), these are awesome on crackers!
  • Low-fat pepperoni sticks, lunch meat
  • Apples, many apples – I usually eat one with a bit of peanut butter on it, they are also good sliced with cheese and eaten on toast
  • Nuts, nut mixes – I like roasted soy nuts and also these nuts I’ve been eating recently- Almonds with a bit of cayenne? Note, nuts are higher in fat, but it’s unsaturated (“good” fat) so long as you don’t overdo it
  • If you must have sweets, consider baking your own cookies or other treat. Homemade is usually much better for you than store bought.
  • Pitas/tortillas
  • Low-fat herbed cream cheese spread, hummus
  • The two items above are great with vegetables – you can toss some veg into a pita with hummus and you have a snack, or spread cream cheese on a tortilla, cover with lettuce and add low-fat meat and you have a wrap!
  • Low-sodium canned soups and other easy-to-prepare meals
  • Bread for sandwiches – you can even freeze a loaf or too if you’d like.
  • Canned beans – tomato based, I don’t like the really sweet kinds. I eat them on toast.
  • Baked tortillas and salsa make for another easy snack.

Of course this depends on your tastes and things you like to eat generally – you’ll notice I didn’t put “three bags of chips” on my list, or any pop/soda. I might have a few fruit juices, but generally I drink water and milk and that’s it. Even if you like to have these other drinks consider that you’re probably playing more than you usually do – things that are just “sometimes” might become more like “all the time” right after Cataclysm hits. Not loading your body with sugar and caffeine will help you play longer because you won’t crash after they wear off! You probably won’t feel like you’ve gone on a bender, either.

Emergency fish are for before. Not after.

All Good Things

Although I fully intend to play the heck out of Cataclysm when it hits (see: food and house preparation plans) I also know that it’s important to have a break from it. Rest your eyes, take your dog for a walk and peel yourself away from the screen for a minute. It’ll be there when you get back, I promise. In a few years it will be old news and we’ll be hoping for the next expansion, so why not savour it a bit? Moreover, if it starts to feel like a job and you aren’t having fun – turn it off. I know some folks have big plans to get server firsts, fair enough – planning these things will help and not hinder you! But once you’ve achieved a milestone, make sure to get some sleep. You’ll have fun and be rested for any holiday celebrations you’ve got planned later in the month.

Do you have any ideas for snacks or things I didn’t mention? How are you preparing yourself for Cataclysm?

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Comments on: "Housekeeping for Cataclysm" (14)

  1. My spouse feels very uneasy if there isn’t spaghetti sauce in the freezer. Like, it bugs her for DAYS if she doesn’t have some ready to go, just in case.

    Good advice!

    • Haha. Spaghetti sauce is the cornerstone of Food. If you have spaghetti sauce, you will not go hungry! I’ve converted it to chili when I didn’t feel like pasta, or made it into a lasagna. It could also be sloppy joes! …Although I don’t like foods that drip. Your wife is a wise woman!

  2. CONJURED water and milk, right?

    I am a big fan of dried fruit while playing. All the deliciousness of fresh fruit but without the stickiness or mess! And they go great with small salty snacks like pretzels or peanuts! Small bite-sized cheese cubes/pieces are also fantastic. YOU ARE MAKING ME HUNGRY NOW.

    • Oh this reminds me – one of my friends in high school was SO EXCITED for some new game he cemented himself on the couch with his drink of choice at his side, iced tea. The problem? It was in one of those GIANT BLUE WATER JUGS for water dispensers with like a 4-foot straw poking out so he could slurp it down. It was absurd. :D

  3. I have already taken two days off work for the release of Cataclysm (all of my friends tease me on it) but I have premade some homemade fiber bars and i made a huge mixture of dried fruits and nuts to nibble on. I also have a Lazagna premade with meatloaf and a Beef Potroast that just needs the potatoes cut up and added so that there is always good healthy yummy food for the push to 85 in 30 hours with no sleep. :p

  4. unless your Mom is my Mom and let’s be honest, what are the odds of that?

    Ya know, your mom isn’t the only one who’s a neat freak.

    TRUST ME.

    I think my mom must die a little whenever she comes over to our house, because my wife is a packrat and I just live with it. Plus, a house filled with five bookworms = more books than you can shake a wand at. (Okay, we’re not talking about the >5,000 that SFF author Patricia Bray is slowly thinning out, but we’re doing our part to denude the forests.)

    • You know, I should have reworded that to “like my Mom,” of which I suppose the odds are pretty good…

      The book deluge is an ongoing problem. I sympathize, truly.

  5. BBBAAAAAAAACCCCCOOOOOOONNNNN!

    That is all, thank you.

  6. Lets see… I have my protein shake, my water bottle, heating pad, my music… I mean, it’s not like I’ll be chained to my desk for 20 hours a day. I’ll walk around between intense leveling and partake meals, but yes, I’ll be leveling like I’ve never level. I didn’t take my annual vacation for nothing.

    • The person who says this clearly hasn’t had to level with Voss. When Wrath launched, I swear, I was HIDING from him.

      “Are you in here…?”
      He’d find me in another room far away reading a book quietly.
      “No time for that right now! We must be LEVELING.”

  7. Apples, many apples – I usually eat one with a bit of peanut butter on it, they are also good sliced with cheese and eaten on toast

    Ahaaa!! Someone else who does this. I always get very strange looks when I eat apples like this. (The peanutbutter thing, but also apple on bread – although I’ve never tried toast).

    Although you can’t freeze potatoes, you can freeze mashed potatoes. I recommend my vegetarian cottage pie =p (http://iris-impressions.com/2009/02/vegetarian-cottage-pie-with-a-cheesy-twist/), although I never tried freezing it but you can get freezable ready meals similar to it so I would expect it to work.

    • Peanut butter and apples are meant for each other! I highly recommend it on toast – a bit of peanut butter, apple slices… It’s awesome. :D If you like toast, which I do. I’ll check out your recipe! =)

  8. ladyerinia said:

    Bleh, I just found out that I’m working for 10 hours on December 7th. I was going to make a push for Realm First 85, but that won’t happen now. As such…I’m now stress free and lax so I don’t have to go stock up on red bull and cookies. I can actually take the time to enjoy the game…and keep my house clean. Alas. Damn you work!

  9. Take your apples and chunks of mozzarella or shredded cheddar and make cheesy apple biscuits. I usually go the lazy route and use Bisquik, but any good biscuit recipe is tasty. They are tasty hot the first day, and they freeze well for rewarming whenever.

    Or, put in chunks of apple, chocolate chips, and either swirl in peanut butter or use peanut butter chips, plus a scant teaspoon of sugar.

    I’m a protein nut, so I have chicken marinating in lime juice/cilantro/garlic and a dry rub chicken with rosemary/paprika/etc in the fridge. I’ll grill them today, cut them up in chunks and freeze them. Then I can eat them as is, throw them in a hot sandwich, make a wrap… the possibilities are endless. ;)

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