I cannot "wing it" when it comes to healthy eating. If I do not have my meals planned, some food prep done, and healthy snacks - that I will actually eat - easily available I will very quickly slip up and eat a bunch of not so healthy food. This is especially true if I am tired, overly hungry or emotional for whatever reason. Recently I have seen a word to describe this phenomenon and I like it: hangry.
Since it is the first of the year and I am hitting the refresh button on my healthy habits I took some time this morning to review the contents of my fridge, freezers and pantry. I hate to waste food and what better way to use up food and plan healthy meals than by starting with what I already have on hand?
When it comes to food inventory, grocery list and meal planning I am a pen and paper kind of girl all the way. I love technology for many things, but my meal planning isn't one of them. I can't really explain why.
All of that scribble-mess is the inventory and some notes about dinner ideas based on items I already had in the house.
Next came the grocery list, which was pretty short and consisted of mostly fresh or perishable things like fruits, vegs, yogurt and cheese, with a few staple items like granola and wraps for Chris' lunch.
I hit the grocery store even though it is the first Saturday of the month (bad time to shop) but it wasn't too bad.
I've said before, one of my grocery shopping secrets is listening to my headphones. I was rocking out to Lady Gaga radio on Pandora... ooopah Gagnam Style...woot woot! Hey..whatever works, right? This is a great tool for me because I hate grocery shopping but the music helps me tune out all the other people and just focus on what I need to do.
I came home and unloaded my groceries and then sat down to write out my "official" meal list for the week based on what I actually ended up buying at the store and what I have on hand.
This week I head back to school and my one class is on Tuesday nights, so Chris will be responsible for dinner those nights.
While I call this my official menu it is pretty flexible. If we move dinners around from one night to another it is fine with me, and we do this pretty regularly based on what is looking like it needs to be used up sooner than we thought, or if Chris doesn't want to make grilled salmon on Tuesday but wants to make something else on the list. As long as I have a pretty solid starting point, I'm good.
I don't really plan breakfasts or lunches because I eat the same things so often: oatmeal with peanut butter, cranberries and chia seeds is a favorite, or granola/yogurt/fruit mess is another favorite. I like cereal for quick breakfasts, too, but I don't buy it too often because I tend to overeat it.
Lunch is frequently leftovers from dinner the night before. If there are no leftovers I'll make a sandwich with lots of veggies, or a salad, but one of my favorite lunches is a mix of cooked rice or other grain, beans (black or kidney), some seasonings like cumin and garlic, chopped fresh tomatoes, avocado and maybe some cilantro or sprouts. This is a hearty and filling lunch. I also, when I am menu planning and meal prepping, will make a pot of soup or chili and eat off that for lunches for the week. Chris doesn't really like leftovers more than one time, so it works out that a big pot of soup can feed me for a week.
Here is the menu for this week:
Saturday (today): Fried Teriyaki Chicken with roasted sweet potato wedges and steamed broccoli
Sunday: Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
Monday: Beef and Cheese Pasta with green salad
Tuesday: Grilled Salmon Steaks with roasted potato wedges and broccoli
Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash with chicken-tomato sauce and green salad
Thursday: Grilled Steak with cauliflower mash
Friday: Roasted Turkey leg with roasted butternut squash cubes and green salad
Saturday: Sun Dried Tomato and Bean Risotto with green veg/salad (whatever is left)
What is on your menu for the week?