Archive of ‘Menu Plan’ category

A Peek Inside My Food Bag

Oh, hi! I have a lot to update you all on, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to come back when you’ve been away for a while without some grand gesture (post?) and I realized I can’t let that stop me, because I have to start somewhere.

Yesterday I got back from a four night trip to Hilton Head Health and I cannot tell you how serendipitous the timing of that trip was for me. I got invited to check out the facility with a group of other bloggers, and here’s a photo of the six of us who went, courtesy of the Hilton Head Health Facebook Page.

Bloggers

Andi, Monique, Sarah, Nicole, Lisa, …and Me

I’m still gathering my thoughts on the trip to share with you, but I will say that I left feeling very refreshed, excited, and recommitted to being healthy, losing weight, and getting myself back on track!

When I got back yesterday, I really wanted to cook for the first time in a while. It helped that I had also promised my friend Stacy, who watched Stella while I was gone, dinner, so I decided to sketch out a meal plan and then go to the grocery store.

Usually when I make a meal plan, I map out what meals I’ll be eating when, but I rarely stick exactly to it. So this time, I decided to just come up with a couple meal ideas for breakfast and then lunch/dinner, without plugging them into specific days/meals. This way I have the ingredients and ideas ready to go, but I’m not tied to having a certain meal at a certain time if I don’t feel like it.

So here’s what I came up with to carry me through most of the week:

Breakfast:

  • Steel cut oatmeal (I made 3 servings)
  • English muffin w/egg, spinach, and cheese
  • Smoothie w/banana, berries, spinach, skim milk, and almonds

Lunch/Dinner:

  • Chicken chili (just made this up as I went and this is what I made for dinner last night for Stacy, but I have two servings leftover)
  • Skinnytaste Creamy Lentil Soup (this is amaaaaazing. I made it last night for the first time and it’s so, so good.)
  • Chicken breast with cranberries and butternut squash (inspired by this recipe, but I’m too lazy to go through the whole process there)

And then, to satisfy your voyeuristic tendencies (trust me, I have ‘em too), I wanted to give you a peek inside my food bag that I’m bringing to work today.

Lunch Bag

Keep in mind that I am in my office only Monday through Wednesday, and I’m lucky to have a fridge there I can leave things in overnight.

Closed Contents

I’m trying to get back into the habit of bringing in a few extra things at the beginning of the week, and then just supplementing as needed the next couple days.

Contents

Clockwise starting with: Honeycrisp apple, steelcut oats with pumpkin and cottage cheese, creamy lentil soup, chicken chili, raspberries, vanilla Chobani yogurt, Cilantro (garnish for both soups), Banana, Babybel cheese, reduced-fat sour cream (garnish for both soups), shredded cheddar (garnish for chili).

Are you more of a map every meal to every day, or just plan a couple meals for the week and make them as you feel like it? Any fun recipes you’ve tried lately and/or are looking forward to making soon?

Whole 30: Day 24 + Meal Ideas

You guys! I can’t even believe I’m writing in on day 24 and I’ve made it this far. I feel good. My skin has cleared up times a million, and I am definitely feeling less lethargic and more energetic than before. That said, I definitely don’t feel any miracles, but I still do have a week left, and I am very glad I’m doing this as a reset. I really needed something that would help me take pause and evaluate everything I was putting into my body, because I was slipping into some bad habits that I needed to kick to the curb (especially diet soda and processed foods in general). When I posted after one week on the Whole30 and admitted to stepping on the scale, a few people suggested that I really not weigh myself because it would make me focus on the wrong things, so I did actually put my scale away and haven’t weighed myself since. Just wanted to share that side note.

The Whole30 has truly helped reinspire me in the kitchen, too. Prior to Whole30, I was eating out A LOT (bad for the waistline and the wallet), not cooking very much, and eating a lot of convenient, packaged foods. Since Whole30, I’ve been diligently grocery shopping every week and doing a ton more cooking in my kitchen. I’ve gotten excited about my weekly grocery trip, gotten back into meal planning, and have ventured to the farmer’s market, Wegman’s and Aldi (first time ever). It’s been pretty awesome! Also, Whole30 helped me to make homemade mayo for the first time ever (using this recipe and because most store bought mayo contains soybean oil) and also purchased a spiralizer (this one) that I am obsessed with and use all the time.

A lot of my meals have been simple and straightforward, and looked something like this:

photo 2

2 eggs fried in coconut oil, sugar free bacon, 1/2 avocado, 1 sliced bell pepper, 1 sliced kiwi, seltzer water, and coffee with coconut milk

But I have come up with a couple more exciting meal ideas, and while I haven’t done up detailed recipes and taken step by step photos, I wanted to share anyway.

Slowcooker Mexican Shredded Beef

This is probably my favorite creation from all of Whole30. I purchased grass fed beef chuck from Whole Foods (it was on sale!), and then I did a simple prep and cooked it in the slower cooker. I chopped up an onion to throw at the bottom, and then seasoned both sides of the meat with cumin, corriander, chili powder, and a little salt, and put the seasoned beef on top of the onion. I added a little pico de gallo on top of the meat, and turned it on low and left for work. When I got back 9 hours later, my apartment smelled amazing and I had the most flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth shredded beef that I’ve ever had. I had Shredded Beef Lettuce Wraps, and stuffed butter lettuce with the beef, bell pepper, pico de gallo, guac, and mango salsa. If I could eat like that every day, Whole30 would be a breeze.

photo 4

Shredded beef, homemade pico de gallo, guac, mango salsa, red peppers, and butter lettuce leaves

Sweet Potato Egg Bake

This is a dish I’ve made a couple different times, and is perfect for bringing to work for breakfast. I shredded a sweet potato in the food processor, then added in scallions, eggs, and sausage from the farmer’s market that I cooked in a pan first. You could throw in any veggies you like to this, but the sweet potato was AWESOME and made it unlike any egg dish I’ve ever had. It almost tasted cheese-like, and added a very stick-to-your-ribs element that helped me stay full for hours. This will be in the regular breakfast rotation for sure.

Shredded Brussels with Bacon

photo 1

The picture here does the dish no justice, but this was probably my favorite veggie side dish. I mean it’s probably not a big surprise since there’s bacon, but only a few slices! I cooked 3 slices of (sugar-free) bacon in a pan, and then put the cooked pieces on a paper towel. In the same pan with the bacon fat still in there, I added a bag of shredded brussels sprouts from Trader Joe’s, and cooked those for a few minutes until they softened a bit. I crumbled up the bacon and tossed it back in, and voila! I had this with a few eggs on top, and also as a side with meat a few times. Delish.

Chicken Salad

Boring, I know. But eggs can get kind of tiring if you have them for breakfast every day, and I still have trouble wanting to eat something more lunch/dinner-y first thing in the morning. Chicken salad turned out to be a good middle ground, because it was light enough for breakfast, but substantial enough to keep me full for hours. I poached chicken breast (first time ever!), and then sliced it up and tossed it with some grapes, celery, and bell pepper. I mixed some curry spice into the homemade mayo, and then tossed the chicken salad with the mayo. I served it over a bed of greens to get a little more veggies in there, or else just ate it as is.

Egg Salad

This is not the most exciting thing on the list either, but I feel like it deserves a shout out because it’s a meal i’ve eaten several times a week all along the Whole30. Just like chicken salad, it’s something that I can eat for breakfast if I don’t want regular eggs, and it’s really easy to throw together. My favorite combination to date is 2 hardboiled eggs, 1 red bell pepper, 2 stalks celery, 1 dollop homemade mayo, and 1/2 avocado. So delicious and something I haven’t gotten bored of yet!

Here We Go [Again]

Soooo that whole thing didn’t last long. I stayed off the carbs for about two weeks, but then I decided to have a cheat day, which turned into a cheat two days… into a week… into, ever since that cheat “day”. I went away to New York to visit my sister this past week, and then car camping over the weekend, and while it was SO fun, I left there feeling pretty gross. Bloated, overfed, over boozed, under exercised, and just… blah. So, on the drive home, I strategized and you’ll never believe what I ended up deciding.

Back to Weight Watchers.

I know it works. I know I can do it. I know it’s sustainable. And I know I can’t do something that restricts entire food groups for long, so here I am. I’m considering actually returning to meetings as a member for extra motivation, and will keep you guys posted with what I decide. But for now, I wanted to share my menu plan for the week. Since I got back yesterday evening, I headed right to the grocery store to stock up on fruit, veggies, lean protein, skim milk, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc… aka everything I haven’t been eating for the last little while. I didn’t feel like cooking when I got back, so things are pretty simple for the week. The main things I’m cooking are salsa chicken and baked potatoes, and neither of those are too labor intensive. Without further ado, I’m feeling ready to do this!

Dinner

Breakfast Lunch Snacks
Tuesday Greek yogurt w/banana + shredded wheat Turkey sandwich w/sliced apple, cheese + mixed lettuce, carrots w/salsa, air popped popcorn cottage cheese w/berries Salsa chicken over salad w/corn, black beans, + peppers
Wednesday Overnight oats with greek yogurt, skim milk, cinnamon, chopped apple Leftover salsa chicken salad English muffin toasted with tomato and cottage cheese Loaded baked potato w/broccoli, cheese + black beans
Thursday Veggie omelet with cheese + veggies, english muffin Leftover loaded baked potato w/side salad greek yogurt w/berries + raw oats Poached eggs over brown rice + spinach
Friday Green smoothie w/skim milk, banana, spinach, berries, greek yogurt, frozen berries Leftovers turned into fried brown rice w/egg + veggies cottage cheese w/apple Out!

Outside of sticking to my meal plan and detoxing, some of the goals I want to focus on this week are:

  1. Exercising 3x before Monday.
  2. Drinking 6 cups of water during the work day.
  3. Eating all my meals at home or prepared from my kitchen (to save $$ too!) for the rest of the work week.
  4. Getting enough rest and shooting to be in bed by 11 most nights.

Here we go!

Weight Watchers Simple Start

In case you missed it, the Beth’s Journey DietBet starts today and it’s not too late to sign up!

Every January, Weight Watchers releases a new innovation on the program and for January 2014, it’s called, “Simple Start”. The way Simple Start works is it’s a two week program designed to get you eating the right foods without having to weigh or measure everything you eat. There are a list of allowable Power Foods that you can pick and choose from, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nonfat dairy, lean proteins, and some extras. If you stick to picking foods from that list and pay attention to your hunger signals, you don’t have to portion everything out. On top of those “safe” foods that you can eat from, you get 7 extra points per day for treats (aka 2 <tiny> glasses of wine if you’re me). I love that you don’t have to weight and measure everything because it’s a great way to get back into the swing of things and not feel too overwhelmed, especially if you’re new to the program.

You’ll notice this sounds veeeeery similar to the Simply Filling Technique, and it is. The main difference is, instead of using the 49 weekly points however you want (all at once, divided between a few events during a given week, or spread out however you like), they recommend spreading them out evenly during the two week Simple Start program and using 7 per day.

Since the Beth’s Journey DietBet starts today, I decided to give it a try this week (and maybe next) to see how it goes, though I’ve not been able to stick with the Simply Filling Technique before, so we’ll see what happens!

Here’s the menu plan I came up with for the week:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snack
Monday Eggs sandwich with ham on a sandwich thin English muffin w/turkey + cheese, broiled with grapefruit on the side Turkey chili w/sour cream + radishes for crunch shredded wheat w/banana + skim milk
Tuesday Greek yogurt w/shredded wheat + blueberries turkey chili w/sour cream + radishes Grilled chicken thighs w/homemade tzatziki + roasted sweet potato cottage cheese + grapefruit
Wednesday English muffin w/ cottage cheese + grapefruit chicken thighs w/tzatziki over salad with cucumbers + tomatoes Roasted chickpeas + eggplant w/brown rice greek yogurt w/mashed banana
Thursday Veggie egg scramble w/toasted english muffin roasted chickpeas + eggplant over greens turkey chili w/radishes + cheese air popped popcorn + grapefruit
Friday Cottage Cheese w/blueberries + shredded wheat turkey sandwich on sandwich thin with sprouts, popcorn + blueberries TBD smoothie w/skim milk, banana, berries, and raw oatmeal

And, in looking back at last week’s goals:

  1. Workout 3x+ this week. I only went back to the gym twice, and my goal was to go for 20+ minutes because right now I’m focusing on getting back into the habit of working out. I went twice, and ran for 25 and 30 minutes each time. I also did a walk outside on Saturday for 2.5 miles, but I really wanted to get to the gym 3x, so I’m going to make this another goal.
  2. Eat out only once this week. Done! I ate out Thursday Night for restaurant week, and then managed to bring breakfast and lunch to work, and make dinner every other night. Woohoo!
  3. Limit to 2 glasses of wine. I had a few more than two one night of the weekend, but other than that I limited drinking to twice a week.
  4. Drink 3+ glasses of water during the day. Nope. I definitely drank more water than normal, but I need to keep working on it.
  5. Get in bed by 11pm every day. I was in bed by 11pm a few nights last week, but this is another thing I need to focus on.

So, with that said, here are my goals for this week:

  1. Workout 3x+ this week. I went on a 4.5 mile walk yesterday, so one down already!
  2. Drink 3+ glasses of water during the day.
  3. Get to bed by 11pm during the work week.
  4. Stick to Simply Filling Technique each day during the work week.

And that’s it!

What’s one thing you want to focus on this week?

Back At It: Menu Plan + Weekly Goals

Helloooo!! Rather than apologize for my absence (minus my little pop in last week to share my US News + World Report Video), let me share some random updates about what’s been going on in my life lately.

After preaching about trying to break free from the power food has held over me all my life, I’ve started struggling again. The scale has been moving in the wrong direction (though I honestly haven’t weighed myself in a while and am going more by clothes/looking in the mirror) and I’ve been eating out way too much, not exercising enough, and not prioritizing my health. This has got to stop before it gets too out of hand.

I have a DietBet starting one week from today – here is the link. It’s a $25 buy in, and everyone who hits the 4% goal will split the pot. I’ve signed up and paid to play and am hoping the extra motivation ($$$) helps me stick with it! Who wants to join me?!

To help get myself back on track, I started this week with a meal plan for the first time in months, and it feels really good to be back in the kitchen. Here’s the plan:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks
Monday Toasted english muffin w/cottage cheese + an apple Turkey Chili with cheese + sour cream (made on Sunday) Crockpot salsa chicken (made Sunday) over a salad with spinach, tomatoes, corn, cheese, tortillas Shredded wheat w/skim milk + a banana
Tuesday Toasted English muffin w/peanut butter and banana Turkey Chili with cheese + sour cream (made on Sunday) Chicken tacos in corn tortillas with side salad String Cheese + apple
Wednesday Grapefruit with greek yogurt + shredded wheat Salsa Chicken Tacos Sesame Tofu (homemade) with brown rice + veggies cottage cheese + banana
Thursday Egg + veggie scramble with whole wheat toast Turkey Chili with cheese + sour cream (made on Sunday) Out for Restaurant Week Green Smoothie
Friday soft boiled eggs with english muffin Leftover sesame tofu over greens  TBD  Shredded wheat w/skim milk

Besides getting back to the kitchen, I also rejoined the gym this weekend and plan to get back into exercise and specifically the classes offered through my membership!

This week’s goals:

  1. Workout 3x+ this week
  2. Eat out only once this week
  3. Limit to 2 glasses of wine
  4. Drink 3+ glasses of water during the day
  5. Get in bed by 11pm every day.

I also found out recently that I got selected to speak for FitBloggin’ 14! I have been so busy that I totally forgot I even submitted a proposal, so it was a surprise to get the approval email! I’ll be leading a small group discussion called “Breaking Free: Life After Goal” to talk about moving into the world of maintenance, how it affects your blog writing and relationship with your readers, how your approach to writing/eating/etc changes. I’m really excited to talk about my own experience and help facilitate other people sharing their own!

What is one goal you have for this week?

Time to Stop Making Excuses

Yesterday Beth’s Journey DietBet: Take 3 started, and it’s not too late to sign up if you’re still interested!

Recently I came across this quote that really struck a cord with me.

“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” – Jim Rohn

I am a champion at coming up with excuses. I’ve been traveling to different states weekly for the last several weeks; work has been crazy recently; and I’ve just had a lot going on outside of work too. I know we can all fill our own blanks in with what’s going in our lives and why we can’t make time to prioritize healthy eating and exercising.

Sunday night I got home late from Woodstock with my fam, so I basically melted into the couch upon my return and didn’t do much else. Enter Monday, and I looked at all my suitcases, bags, and the cooler from the weekend (you would have thought I was gone for weeks) on my way out the door to work, but grabbed my gym bag anyway just in case.

After work, all I could think about was needing to come home, unpack, do laundry, go grocery shopping, figure out what to eat this week, and plan my Weight Watchers meeting for this morning. It would have been easy to just head home and start tackling that to-do list, but instead I made myself get on the treadmill and run, and I ended up busting out 4.14 miles in 40 minutes (very good for me lately!) and feeling SO great during the run.

run

I came home, unpacked, and decided to make do with what was in my kitchen for food for the next day or so and hold off on laundry until tonight. After a quick (very random) dinner, I sat down to plan my WW meeting and write this post, and realized how proud I was of myself for prioritizing exercise today over the many other things I could have let myself get into post work.

I even managed to come up with a decent meal plan, though most of that is because I ordered a Blue Apron box that comes on Wednesday so takes care of the latter half of the week…

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks
Monday English muffin w/PB + raisins, 1/2 banana carrots and pita chips w/hummus, honey greek yogurt english muffin w/cottage cheese + banana berry smoothie apple with string cheese
Tuesday English muffin w/ cottage cheese + apple Butter lettuce salad w/tuna, craisins, mozz, and pistachios tofu (defrosting) fajitas with peppers and onions and rice and beans orange + strawberry greek yogurt
Wednesday English muffin w/egg whites + cheese + spinach Tofu fajita salad over butter lettuce Roast Cornish Hen w/Mini Baked Potatoes and Spring Veg Sauté (Blue Apron) Blueberry greek yogurt + banana
Thursday Banana Berry Smoothie + toasted english muffin Salmon Roll Sandwich w/Baby Beet + Pea Tendril Salad (Blue Apron) Soft Boiled Eggs w/toasted english muffin String Cheese + fruit
Friday veggie omelet with cheese + toast tofu fajita salad over butter lettuce Flank Steak au Jus w/ Creamy Dijon Cauliflower, Pickled baby turnips, & Watercress (Blue Apron) Banana Berry Smoothie

What I need to get from the grocery store (tonight!):

    • Eggs
    • English Muffins
    • Bananas
    • Fruit (whatever is on sale)
    • Skim Milk

That’s it! It feels so good to have a plan in place and be done with making excuses, for now at least.

March Menu Plan #1

Why not get started plugging away at March goals straight away, right? I know when I put a weekly meal plan in place, it helps me tremendously to stay on track and to spend less money eating out. I actually went grocery shopping on Saturday this past weekend since my fridge was so bare after my Philly trip, and then spent a little time on Sunday preparing some things for the week. Breaking these tasks up definitely made it feel less daunting and only took a little time out of each day of the weekend.

Prep on Sunday involved making Pulled Salsa Chicken in the crockpot:

Salsa Chicken

1 medium chopped onion, 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, and 1 cup of salsa on high for 3 hours. After 3 hours is up, take the chicken out, shred it with two forks, and then throw it back into the crockpot with the lid off for 30 minutes or so until the liquid dissolves. This made 5 servings that were just under a cup each for 4 PP per serving. I ate one serving on Sunday and then 4 left to use throughout the week. I made this at least every month, sometimes more.

I also sautéed up some fajita veggies:

fajita veggies

1 red onion, 1 yellow pepper, and 1 orange pepper.

And then I made a batch of plain steel cut oatmeal for the week. I use the heat and eat method, where you put the oats with a 1:4 ratio oats:water, bring them to a boil for 2 minutes, and then remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and leave it on the stove overnight. In the morning just mix it up and all the water will be dissolved and the oats are ready to heat and eat. I do that almost every single Sunday and it’s a lifesaver. And now I’ve managed to make myself unable to cook steel cut oats any other way because I always burn them to the bottom of the pan otherwise!

That little bit of prep went a long way for this week’s menu plan since the only active thing was the fajita veggies, and those took about 20 minutes.

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks
Monday savory oatmeal w/spinach + cheese Fajita Salad w/Salsa Chicken, fajita veggies, corn, w/salsa + greek yogurt dressing Soft boiled eggs w/english muffin + smashed avocado red peppers + cottage cheese
Tuesday oatmeal w/banana + peanut butter Chicken soft tacos w/fajita veggies Big salad w/black beans, corn, avocado, cilantro, tortilla strips vanilla greek yogurt w/frozen cherries
Wednesday savory oatmeal w/spinach + cheese Fajita Salad w/Salsa Chicken, fajita veggies, corn, w/salsa + greek yogurt dressing Dinner out at Thai Xing (!!) string cheese + grapes
Thursday Egg sandwich w/cheese + avocado Chicken burrito w/fajita veggies, black beans, corn, and guac Roasted Chickpeas and sweet potato fries green smoothie
Friday Egg white omelet w/veggies + cheese Leftover Roasted Chickpeas and sweet potatoes over greens Takeout with my sister! cottage cheese w/frozen mango

Can we just talk about last night’s dinner for a second? I tend to hate cooking extravagant meals during weeknights (read: anything that takes over 20 minutes to prepare), so eggs are one of my go-to weeknight dinners when it’s just me. This one was so simple, but SO delicious and satisfying.

Eggs   Avocado

2 soft boiled eggs (using this method), a toasted english muffin, and 30 grams of avocado mashed with a little sea salt for 8 PP total. The eggs were peeeeerfectly runny.

Runny Egg

Yum. And the second best part was I threw together my breakfast and lunch for today while the eggs were cooking and the english muffin toasting, which took no time at all since everything was prepped! Two birds.

Are you a fan of eggs? Do you like the yolks runny or cooked through?

Also, random throwback, here’s what I was doing one year ago today!

Taking the Guess Work Out

I never was a planner. Before I really committed myself to Weight Watchers, I always just kind of flew by the seat of my pants when it came to eating. I’d wait until I was extremely hungry and go out and buy something for breakfast, lunch, and dinner almost every single day. That hunger led to less than stellar decision making when it came to eating, and just perpetuated the cycle of extreme hunger, followed by extreme fullness.

People always ask me what the biggest change for me has been since really changing my life around, and I would hands down say that it’s putting more thought into planning my meals. I never had snacks on hand, and certainly never planned ahead enough to bring breakfast and lunch to work every day like I do now. When I have a plan in place, I go to the grocery store to pick up what I need, and it takes the question out of what to eat. Besides that, I feel a little guilty when I don’t eat the food that I’ve purchased, so that helps me stick with my plan even more.

The same thing goes for exercise. Not that I approached exercise without a plan before because in reality I just didn’t approach exercise at all, but I’ve found that when I have a plan in place and actually schedule it in, it makes it so much easier to stick with. This is a large part of why I continually sign up for races – having them on my calendar sort of forces me to stick with my plan so that I am not in bad shape come race day.

So for me, I think the bottom line is that planning really helps take the guess work out of being healthy and helps me keep it together during the week.

Without further ado, here is what’s in store for my week food wise:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks
Monday english muffin w/cottage cheese fajita chicken with peppers and onions whole wheat egg noodles w/goat cheese, pistachios, & craisins (YUM!) Greek yogurt, frozen grapes, chocolate chip cookie
Tuesday oatmeal w/pumpkin + cottage Cheese Out for Peruvian Lunch tofu w/soba noodles + veggies greek yogurt + banana
Wednesday Savory Oats w/spinach + cheese tofu w/soba noodles + veggies + ginger sauce Fajita Chicken Salad cottage cheese w/frozen cherries
Thursday Egg sandwich w/avocado + cheese tofu w/soba noodles + veggies + ginger sauce farro salad w/chickpeas, roasted red peppers, feta apple w/string cheese
Friday Egg white veggie omelet w/toast farro salad w/chickpeas, roasted red peppers, feta soft boiled eggs w/english muffin cottage cheese w/grapefruit

 

To help make this easier, I grilled chicken breasts and cooked the fajita veggies on Sunday, and then Monday went grocery shopping and made a batch of plain oatmeal to carry me through some breakfasts this week. I also pressed the tofu yesterday (with this thing which I LOVE) so that tonight’s dinner (and the next two lunches) are easy peasy. Spreading out the work over the weekend also helps it not feel that overwhelming.

Exercise-wise, here’s what my plan is for the week:

    • Sunday: Rest (not hard)
    • Monday: 4 miles + weights (afternoon)
    • Tuesday: Rest
    • Wednesday: 45 min tempo run (before work)
    • Thursday: 3 mile run + weights (before work)
    • Friday: rest
    • Saturday: 10 miles

Are you good about planning ahead? Do you find it easier to plan meals or exercise?

Trends in my Menu Plan

As you may or may not know, with my current job, I am able to work from home on Thursdays and Fridays. It’s pretty glorious because I love being in the office a couple days and then home for two – it really is a great balance. This also means that Thursdays and Fridays I don’t have to pack breakfast/lunch/snacks, and can actually cook my meals at home. Because of this, I’ve been having eggs in some form almost every Thursday and Friday for breakfast, and then sticking with oats for most of the days that I’m eating at work since those are easier to transport.

This weekend, I made a big batch of tempeh fajitas with green peppers, red onion, corn, and lots of spices. It was enough for one big serving on Sunday with two servings for the week to use for fajita salads. I made dressing for the salads is greek yogurt mixed with salsa – which tastes wayyyy better than it looks in pictures.

Tempeh Fajita Mix

I also made a big batch of oats to carry me through the first couple days of the week, and then this meal plan was born:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner Snacks
Monday Pumpkin Cottage cheese Oats Tempeh Taco Salad 2 TJ’s Smoked Chardonnay Chicken Apple Sausages w/veggies Greek yogurt w/Very Cherry Blend
Tuesday Savory Oats w/spinach Chicken Apple Sausage w/veggies over greens Breakfast Burrito w/eggs, refried beans, avocado Cottage cheese w/pineapple
Wednesday Pumpkin cottage cheese oats Tempeh Taco Salad Chicken Apple Sausage w/Eggs Apple w/string cheese
Thursday Soft boiled eggs w/english muffin + fruit Chicken Apple Sausage w/veggies over greens Zaytinya for Restaurant Week!! Green smoothie
Friday Egg and Cheese Sandwich, fruit Sweet potato with black beans and salsa TBD Greek yogurt w/very cherry blend

 

In looking through my menu for the week, there are a couple trends that I notice:

    • I eat a lot of eggs. Pretty much every day because I even put an egg white in my oats.
    • I tend to have meat once a day at the most.
    • I don’t mind repeating things a few times a week, but not within the same day.
    • My snacks are always protein (cottage cheese, greek yogurt, cheese, milk, etc) paired with fruit. And boring. But that’s OK.
    • I go through phases with food, and a toasted English muffin with smashed avocado and a touch of sea salt has been high on my list lately. Even though you see it on this menu plan only once, that’s because I had about 5 of them over the weekend. Yum. Before this newest phase, it was refried beans and cheese. I could not get enough!
    • I like easy things during the week nights. Aka, cooks in less than 15 minutes. Those chicken apple sausages come in a pack of 4 and sometimes if I’m feeling super lazy, I just microwave them in a paper towel for one minute and they’re still so good.
    • I probably need to eat more veggies. I am really good about eating a ton of fruit, but I should focus on having veggies as part of my snacks.

Do you go through food phases? Anything that you’ve been loving lately?

Some Firsts and a Menu Plan

What an awesome weekend! Friday night I laid low and just watched TV and slept, and then Saturday night I went for dinner then out on the town with a bunch of my girlfriends and had a blast. My favorite kind of weekend! And, I stayed in DC, which is the only weekend in May where that is the case.

There were two firsts for me this weekend.

On Saturday, I tried the 10:1 running method because I was having trouble getting myself out the door. The idea behind this is you run for 10 minutes, then walk for 1, and the 1 minute gives you a small break and brings your heart rate down. The idea of running 12 miles was extremely daunting, so thinking about just 10 minute segments was much better in comparison. In general, I don’t do well taking walking breaks, but I thought the structure would help me.

I was wrong.

The 1 minute break felt so short and not like a break at all, and the 10 minutes of running felt like an eternity. I think having that system in place made me so focused on the time that was passing rather than the scenery or just thinking through life happenings, and it really backfired. I ended up walk/running the entire time and after the first 3 10:1’s, I started walking more than I was running. In the end, I did 7.2 miles at a 10:39 pace, which is obviously not 12 miles but is better than nothing. I won’t be trying that method again!

The second first was far more exciting – I roasted a whole chicken for the first time!

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I’m not quite sure WHY I thought cooking the whole bird was so intimidating, because it honestly was so easy and pretty foolproof! I rinsed the chicken, dried it with paper towels, then stuffed it with a quartered onion and three large cloves of garlic. I seasoned it with salt and pepper on the outside, and then cooked it for 1 hour 50 minutes (it was a 5.5 pound chicken) at 375º. It turned out PERFECT and so juicy!

I went really basic with the flavors because I plan to use it in a lot of different ways this week for meals, but I will definitely be doing this again. After I pulled all the meat off, I made some stock with the bones, and it turned out awesome.

The last random mention is that I have been eating soft boiled eggs several times a week for the last few months and I am obsessed.

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I have been using Jenna’s method where you boil water, add the eggs, reduce the heat and cover it for 5 minutes. Then you run the eggs under cool water before peeling them. I have been having them on a toasted English muffin and then smashing the eggs and they turn out perfect every time! The meal is also super filling, especially with some fruit on the side, for just 7 pts+.

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Yum.

And here’s the plan for the week:

Breakfast Lunch Snack Dinner
Monday Savory Oatmeal Simple Curried Chicken Salad Greek Yogurt w/Banana Soft Boiled Eggs
Tuesday English Muffin w/Egg Whites and Cheese Simple Curried Chicken Salad over greens Popcorn + Chopped Mango Homemade Veggie Burgers
Wednesday Oatmeal w/PB + Banana Leftover veggie burger w/salad Grapes + Greek Yogurt Chicken w/ Tzatziki + Baked Sweet Potato
Thursday Greek Yogurt w/fruit + cereal Leftover Chicken Tzatziki + Baked Potato Cottage Cheese w/Berries Chicken Tortilla Soup
Friday English Muffin w/Egg Whites + Cheese Chicken Tortilla Soup w/greens Greek Yogurt + banana TBD

What meal are you most looking forward to this week?

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