Tag Archives: healthy eating

Diet Blues and Meal Planning

And by diet, I mean what I eat. I don’t do actual “diets.” Only before our wedding did I actually restrict certain kinds of foods. And I was quite successful in dropping a few pounds so that I could feel light and confident in my beautiful James Clifford wedding gown. (SEE!)

How’s that for a cheese?! That’s what you get when you don’t eat any for a month! Or junk food, or sugar.

Anyway, since we had a pretty big and quite successful Superbowl party here on Sunday, I didn’t have the time nor the energy to food shop or even cook actual meals this week. With all the leftovers in the fridge we’ve certainly had enough to eat, it’s just been potato salad for dinner and 7-layer dip for lunch. Uh. My intestines are frowning just thinking about it.

SO, now that this week is finally over, it’s back to my meal planning and back to eating healthy.

Last month, I mentioned that I was starting to meal plan and the first four weeks went smashingly! Never did I have to wonder what we were going to have for dinner come meal time, and we hardly ate out unless it was scheduled which means more money in our pockets and less calories in our bellies! Two weeks ago I even managed to only spend $75 for the week of groceries. That included clothes detergent and a few other cooking staples we were out of. I’d call that a success!

I thought I’d give you the run down of how I do my meal planning and show you an example.

First I open my spreadsheet where I keep everything neat and tidy.

meal plan

On the left I have each day of the week and what we’re having. On the right I list what we have in the pantry and what we need. (As I mentioned in my previous post, I copied another blogger’s template but I have no idea who that was anymore. I’m so so sorry to whoever you are but if you ever do venture upon my blog, thank you and welcome!)

Under each recipe title I link to where that recipe is located so I can easily jump to it when I’m ready to cook. These fish taco and pot pie recipes both came from Allrecipes.com.

Meal_plan_link

I save every week on a separate sheet and title it with the date of the Monday of that week. This is so helpful when deciding what to cook. I can easily go back and see what we’ve already had and the link to the recipe is already there! I also keep an empty copy of the template down there.

Meal_plan_2

I think I’m going to start adding notes under each recipe as well so we can remember if something was good or not. A simple “Woohoo!” or “never again” should do it.

Finally I write the week’s meals on a white board I have on our fridge. The All-Star says he likes this because he can glance at it while he makes his coffee and get excited about what he’s going to eat later on. He’s such a cutey! ♥

meal plan white board

Next weekend we’re going to Arnold so there won’t be any cooking on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. At least not in this house. That does remind me though, I should probably get the following week started. And I want to call my Aunt Linda. 🙂

So there you have it. It’s not rocket science. I actually really enjoy doing it. I find most of my recipes on Pinterest or AllRecipes. I also have several cookbooks. This system allows for us more time to relax as well as have a little more variety in our diet. It also makes food shopping a breeze. I downloaded an app called Out of Milk which I’m so far finding pretty helpful but I’m not quite sure it’s for me yet so I’ll save that for another post.

What’s your strategy for meal time? Do you meal plan like me or just wing it??

Laura

Slow Cooked Weekdays are Back!

When we were living in SoCal and I had a wonderful kitchen to spend time in, we very often we had Crockpot Tuesdays. I worked late on Tuesday nights and wanted nothing more than a warm home-cooked meal when I returned from my commute and Crockpot Tuesdays was the perfect solution. Since resettling here in the Bay Area, I for a while found myself resisting the kitchen. I wasn’t in the mood to cook. I didn’t enjoy the space I had to work with. I was working a lot and not doing the food shopping. Excuses, excuses, excuses. But now that I have a lovely large kitchen and my meal planning is in full effect (it’s coming along smashingly by the way), I have no reason not to have warm home cooked meals everyday day of the week.

That's The All-Star cooking breakfast!

That’s The All-Star cooking breakfast!

The only problem is that now it’s not just Tuesdays that I’m working late. Monday, Wednesdays and often Fridays are turning into 8 or even 8:30pm quitting times so the crockpot is getting a lot of use over here. It’s great though. Simple, warm, perfect for winter, and waiting for me when I get home!

Most of my recipes are soups and stews, although I will throw in the occasional whole chicken and veggies. I like making whole chickens because the remains make for awesome chicken soups, but who has the time to wait and make sure it’s cooked. I let the slow-cooker do that for me. Set it and forget, baby!

I usually prepare my meals before I leave for work. They don’t require much prep so it’s easy to just throw it all in! Tonight we’re having No Hurry Curry from Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker.  I’ve made it before. I even blogged about it (the recipe is in the post I linked above.) I’m not vegetarian but I really love this book. It’s nice to have meatless meals sometimes and the recipes are creative and healthy!

Here are my ingredients all ready to go…

Looks good already!

Looks good already!

The recipe doesn’t call for it but I’m adding cauliflower. I actually bought it by mistake because I thought it was in the recipe. It’s not but I’m keeping it in there anyway. I’m in the mood for cauliflower. I’m also using chicken broth because that’s what I have. Like I said, I’m not vegetarian so chicken broth is what I use.

I wasn’t ready to cook yet and I didn’t like all the ingredients on the counter so I put them in a basket where they will wait. I would like a different basket but this is what I had.

no hurry curry ingredients

Baskets make everything better!

Goodness, I feel ready to eat this right now! Alas, I will have to wait 10 hours. I’m sure it will be worth it. What’s your late work-night solution for dinner??

 

Laura