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Anyone still here?

I'm going to try to start meal planning again, so I thought I'd dust off this old community. I hope I'm not all alone in here!

I'm still trying to eat healthy, and I'm trying out the Mediterranean Diet for a bit. If anyone has any good recipes to share, I'd be much appreciative.



Meal Plan Wk of Dec. 9 – 15

Breakfasts:

Mediterranean Breakfast Pizza

Rice Bowl w/Fried Egg & Avocado

Avocado & Tomato Flatbread


Lunches:

Smoked Salmon Sandwich

Salmon & Vegetable Frittata



Dinners:

Chicken Fajita Burritos w/Feta Crema

Paleo Turkey Sweet Potato Patties

Moroccan-Style Winter Vegetable Stew

Tuna steak & sautéed veggies

Menu Plan

I am by necessity needing to be more frugal and return to a low-sodium diet, so I must get back in the habit of menu planning.

I've also really been struggling with my depression lately, and cooking has somehow become the single most daunting task in my life. Not sure what it is, but I've had no appetite either, so I just stopped bothering. However, I think a healthy diet would certainly help, and even if it didn't, I have a family I should be cooking for, so I'm going to get back at it. I tend to go far too ambitious with these even when I'm feeling well, so I'm going to know my limits and ease in. I'll cook large batches on days I have good energy, and I need to seriously start re-using my crockpot.

I'm not going to plot out every day, but here is my rough plan of what to make this week (freezing extra batches or eating leftovers for breakfast):

Slow Cooker Braised Rabbit - I'm going to modify this into a much heartier stew. And hopefully if there are bones, I can make some stock since I don't have the chicken stock I thought I had.

French Country Chicken Soup - One of my favorites.

Roast Pork Loin w/Garlic & Rosemary - Less garlic here, since hubby doesn't like it, but I have fresh rosemary in the garden and the loin is the very last of our first homestead pig. I plan on serving this with mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes.

Experiment with creating a healthy ramen recipe. My oldest is ramen-crazy, and I really want to find healthier versions than the cheap, sodium-laden packets.

Ceasar Salad

Make homemade ricotta with the goat's milk that Karen GoatKeeper so generously gave me. Use that for Egg White & Sun-dried Tomato Frittata, but I'll probably add mushrooms or spinach or something.

Salmon and Vegetable Frittata

Whole30 Planning (3rd round)

x-posted from my journal


This Friday, 6/12, I'll be starting the Whole30 Elimination diet. I've done this twice before, with life changing results! Not only did I learn a lot about nutrition and my body in particular, it also helped me get several health issues under control. I lost 30 pounds the first time, got off both my blood pressure and thyroid medicines, and kicked my sugar & pepsi habits. With the second one, I lost about 15 pounds, but some of that I had gained back. I did a really detailed food journal the first time but fudged the reintroduction stage, and I didn't keep a food journal the second time but did somewhat better on reintroduction. This time I want to really focus on both, noting how specific foods affect me and continuing to avoid bad ones after the program.

I'd love to have some accountability buddies if anyone would like to do this with me! For 30 days, you focus on eating healthy whole foods. The program rules can be found here, and you stick to the meal template found here. It's very strict, but totally worth it, imo. The foods that you eliminate completely for the 30 days are:


  • Sugar/sugar substitutes of any kind

  • Alcohol

  • Grains

  • Legumes (Soy is off-limits!)

  • Dairy

  • Carrageenan, MSG or sulfites

  • No “Sex With Your Pants On” (SWYPO): recreated 'whole foods/paleo' baked goods or snacks. While some things are across the board off-limits (egg/banana 'pancakes', grainless muffins and wraps, etc.), I think SWYPO foods are highly individual. Cauliflower 'rice' or 'tortillas' aren't going to be a problem/trigger food for me, whereas veggie 'chips' or trying to replicate anything cheesey absolutely would be.




My garden was started late, but I'm hoping that it will help provide healthy fresh veggies this summer. We are getting eggs regularly, but they are phoenix eggs and very small. 4 would probably be one serving. Still, I'll use those farm-fresh eggs when I can. We have a freezer full of deer meat that I plan to take full advantage of, and we even have a bit of our harvested pig left (though not much). I hope to find a local source to buy a couple of rabbits.

I'm always so surprised by how much I eat while I'm on the program. Cooking gets very hot – and so does Missouri – so I plan to cook large batches of things on rainy days and maybe some late nights. I'm doing as much prep work ahead of time, including freezer meals, so that I have things ready should we have a busy day or if I get sick again. The meal plans never work out quite like I hope, so this time I'm just going to list things I plan to make over the next week or two. I'll fix them as time allows.

Meal Planning (w/recipes)Collapse )

Ultra-Nutritious Comfort Food Week

I stayed mostly on track with my last meal plan until a plague fell upon my house. My tooth extraction pain & swelling lasted much longer than anticipated (I lived on weightloss shakes), one daughter fell and got progressively worse, and then everyone fell sick one after another, leading to three ER visits and one regular old doctor visit in the span of one week. I did not keep up well with cooking. My own sickness is still lingering, but I have to pump some good, healthy nutrients back into my family ASAP.

We also butchered a surprise deer that we were given this morning, and I had to cook up an obscene amount of chicken to make room for it all in the freezer. Some kind of plan is definitely in order! I'm only focusing on dinners and lunch for myself, since the kids all prefer to default to cereal in the morning and sandwiches, ramen, or oatmeal for lunch despite all of my efforts.



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Back on the wagon, take 2

Well, I made a meal plan last time, and that was a start, but I didn't actually utilize it. Like, at all. But I'm trying very hard to get back on track! This one starts in the middle of the week since we had an incredibly hectic couple of days, but I'm trying to get back on the healthy eating/pseudo-Whole30 track. Here goes another shot...

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Back on the wagon again

In an effort to get back to healthy eating again, I'm trying to get back in the habit of meal planning and healthy prep days again (okay, mostly just putting forth cooking effort at all).

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I've been working on meal planning, cooking from scratch, and freezer cooking so I thought I'd share my plans.

Week 1
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: Chili and Spaghetti (my chili recipe) I doubled everything up until the beans and saved half in the freezer for later.
Monday: Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole first time with this recipe so I quartered it, but we loved it so I'll make a big batch to freeze next time.
Tuesday: Baked Potato Bar - leftover chili makes an appearance here as a topping
Wednesday: Mexican Lasagna (my own take on this Rachael Ray recipe) I'd doubled the recipe a few weeks ago so this is premade and frozen.
Thursday: Crock pot Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Friday: homemade pizza - one pepperoni with red sauce, one ham and pineapple with alfredo sauce

Week 2
Saturday: "Shepherd's Pie" technically Cottage Pie. Doubling meat and veg to freeze.
Sunday: Black Bean and Bacon Quesadillas and salad
Monday: Burrito Bowls with Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie from freezer stash
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork with rice and broccoli. I always have a lot of pineapple leftover from pizza night so I make this with it.
Thursday: Mini Meatloaves with Twice Baked Potatoes and Salad
Friday: Burritos with leftover Carnitas Pork

Meal Plan w/Mexican Love

Why, oh why, do I suck so much at meal plans? I make them just fine, but I rarely stick to them. I pretty much need to accept that I won't eat breakfast if I don't have it pre-made and waiting. I don't think I stuck to any lunches I'd planned (except the leftovers), and I only did about half of my Whole30 prep. GAH. And that's with me trying to get back on track!

So, let's try this again, but maybe less stringent. Oh, and I would like to add that all the raves I heard about PaleOMG Pizza Spaghetti Pie was totally deserved. My kids went back for fourths. The hubby, who does not care much for spaghetti squash or sausage, went back for seconds. I'm going to really enjoy playing around with different 'pizza toppings'. The homemade italian sausage really made a difference for hubby's reflux problem.

Also, I have seriously been craving Mexican food lately. Now, I'm half-Mexican, but I didn't see my dad's family much after my parents divorced. I'm half-way across the country from my dad now. I miss real Mexican food. Trying to gather & learn family recipes has been my new project. I make some mean carnitas, but that's about it. I do like to believe that I have the best salsa recipe in the entire world. Close, anyway. I perfected it with store-bought food, but now that I'm staying home on my little homestead again, my goal next year is to start ordering a few heirloom varieties to play around with to really perfect it.

Anyway, my goal right now is to learn how to cook good homemade Mexican food, and in particular to hurry and eat my fill before I start Whole30 again January 1st. Whole30 eliminates grains (rice, corn, tortillas of any kind), beans, and alcohol, so that really cramps my Mexican style. I will eat up these next couple of weeks, and then I want to experiment with turning some of my favorites into Whole30-compliant versions. I've done one successful Whole30, so I want to play around with my own recipes this time. Some Whole30 purists might think that attempting compliant tacos/enchiladas/refried bean substitutes/etc. is engaging in Sex With Your Pants On behavior, but I just like what I've learned from my first Whole30 relying on other people's recipes and want to experiment with some of my own family favorites.

This week's more stream-lined approachCollapse )

Back to meal planning

Hello, mealplanning, I miss you guys!

I have stayed on a relatively healthy diet these past 6 months. I am preparing for another round of the Whole30 elimination diet, which I saw great success with last summer. I lost 28 pounds in 30 days and was able to get off of my blood pressure and thyroid medications! This time I plan to actually do real exercise with it too, so I'll be working in pre- and post-workout 1/2-meals as well.

I won't be starting that until January 1st, when I'll have some New Year's buddies to do it with. So throughout December, I'm going to be cooking healthy, Whole-30 compliant freezer meals to pack away ahead of time. I got sick on my last attempt and fell off the wagon because I was bedridden, so I'll have no excuse if I prepare ahead of time.


Mon. 12/8

B: leftovers
L: Soup
D: Crockpot rabbit stew

Tues. 12/9 – gym, pm

B: veggie egg scramble
L: leftovers
D: (Dad's choice)

pre-WO: hardboiled egg, nuts
post-WO: salmon & sweet potato fries (baked)

Wed. 12/10

B: Southern Avocado Breakfast
L: Tuna salad sandwich
D: Bacon cheeseburgers, homemade fries

Prepare chicken in marinade

Th. 12/11

B: Quinoa & sauteed veggies topped w/poached eggs
L: salmon patties
D: Chili Cilantro Lime Crockpot Chicken

(make sure italian sausage is made)
Make frittata

Fri. 12/12

B: Veggie frittata
L: Loaded baked potato
D: PaleOMG Pizza Spaghetti Pie (I've heard so much raving about this recipe)

Sat. 12/13 - bday party, 2-4 pm

B: Veggie frittata
L: Leftovers or scrounge meal
D: eat out



Whole30 Prep:

Homemade paleo chorizo & Italian sausage (minus red wine)

Homemade beef sausage

Paleo Beef “Sausage” and broccoli egg muffins

Paleo Sweet Potato Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Paleo Crockpot Meatballs