Menu Plan Monday

Whew – Monday again!? Crazy because that this means I only have two more weekends in my current apartment, one of which is this coming weekend when I’ll actually be in Philly for the Healthy Living Summit!! The actual move is two weeks from Friday – September 2nd. Guess I should probably start packing… Yikes.

So with just under three weeks left in my apartment, I have to say that I am still going strong with the pantry/freezer/fridge clean out challenge. I’ve been spending less than $35 per week on groceries (even at places like Whole Foods!) and am really focusing on cleaning out everything in my freezer, everything OPEN in my pantry (I don’t mind transporting sealed pantry items), and everything in my fridge.

Since I’m heading to Philly on Thursday after work and have a lot to do before then, I decided to make a big batch of tempeh chili yesterday to help make quick meals throughout the week. I know chili is traditionally a winter comfort food, but a coworker (hi Kelly!) made some last week and was having leftovers for lunch, and I’ve been craving it ever since. I also like cold chili (weird, I know) so I can pretty much eat it year-round. I’ll be sharing the recipe with you guys on Thursday..

To get ready for the week (and prepared to make the chili), I headed to The Teet to pick up a few things:


    • Baby Spinach
    • Bananas
    • Mango
    • Sliced Mushrooms
    • Bell Pepper
    • 2 Pears
    • 2 Peaches
    • Celery
    • RF Mexican Cheese
    • Diced Canned Tomatoes
    • Canned Kidney Beans
    • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
    • Smoked Salmon
    • Whipped Peanut Butter

I’d seen this kind before but never looked at it twice before yesterday. I tend to buy RF Peanut Butter because its 2 pts+ per tablespoon rather than 3 pts+ for regular, but it turns out the whipped kind has the same PointsPlus value as reduced fat, just 2 per tablespoon. I haven’t tried it yet but will let you guys know how it is!

The grand total for this shopping trip? $25.07!! So cheap considering I can easily spend that much if I buy out breakfast, lunch, and a snack in any given day.

Here’s what I came up with for a meal plan:

Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Overnight Oats in a Jar Tempeh Chili w/cheddar Loaded Baked Potato w/frozen chik’n, cheese + sour cream w/salad
Tuesday Bagel thin w/PB + Banana Leftover Chili over Baked Potato Buffalo Tofu w/Crumbled blue cheese
Wednesday Greek yogurt w/frozen blueberries + cereal Leftover buffalo tofu over salad Smoked Salmon on an everything bagel thin w/greek yogurt
Thursday Toasted Waffle pb + banana sandwich Tempeh Chili w/cheddar Dinner in Philly!

I especially like the sound of Thursday night’s dinner – I can’t believe the Healthy Living Summit is THIS week!!

I’m curious about your take on nut butter (peanut, almond, etc). Do you eat the regular stuff or use a reduced fat/powdered kind? What’s your favorite? Do you measure it out and how much will you have in any given time? If you’ve lost weight, did your nut butter habits change before/during/after the weight loss?

The only time I eat regular nut butter is before a run. I look at it as a treat on those days when I’m pushing myself hard with a run, and then if I have peanut butter other days, 99% of the time its peanut flour mixed with water and a touch of salt or stevia. You get a big amount (more than 2 tablespoons) for 2 pts+, plus it’s over 10 grams of protein. I ALWAYS measure out nut butter, regardless of which kind I’m using. I actually never was much into nut butter pre-weight loss, but during and after the weight loss my habits have pretty much stayed the same.

38 Comments on Menu Plan Monday

  1. Lydia (@InhabitBeauty)
    August 15, 2011 at 8:51 am (9 years ago)

    i love me some peanut butter, but I’ll only use the natural kind. I’ve been buying Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter. I don’t follow Points+, but there are 200 calories for 2 T. I love that there are two ingredients: Peanuts & Salt.

    A lot of people don’t like the separation that occurs with natural peanut butter, but I find if I stir it up really well during the first use and then refrigerate, the separation isn’t an issue. Normally, I zap it for about 10 seconds in the microwave to promote easy spreading on my toast or English muffin.

    With a little local honey drizzled over it – perfection!

    • Beth
      August 15, 2011 at 9:29 am (9 years ago)

      I’ve seen some of the natural kinds where it’s pre-stirred, so for those people skeptical of the separation, that’s an option. And pb and honey are SUCH a good combo!

  2. Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me
    August 15, 2011 at 8:57 am (9 years ago)

    I eat the regular kind. It’s just so yummy! I don’t really measure it out either…I just eat it the way I always have.

    • Beth
      August 15, 2011 at 9:30 am (9 years ago)

      I’m impressed you have the self control I don’t! =) If I don’t measure it, I would eat way more than I should.

  3. Jennifer
    August 15, 2011 at 9:03 am (9 years ago)

    I eat natural peanut butter as it has less sugar (right now I have Smuckers Natural, which I believe has just 2 grams of sugar). I measure out and eat 1 or 2 tbsp depending on how many points I want to spend. The other reason I switched to natural is being it isn’t as sweet. Honestly, the “regular” PB is so sweet it makes me want to keep digging my spoon the jar. I do not do that with the natural. I have used the powdered kind but it just doesn’t do it for me if I want PB.

    What is the Buffalo Tofu? Have you shown us that before?

    Happy Monday!

    • Beth
      August 15, 2011 at 9:41 am (9 years ago)

      The whipped kind I just bought has only 2 grams of sugar too, and only 4 ingredients, so its not TOO bad.

      Buffalo Tofu – – I have showed it with avocado fries. Basically I just cook it in a pan and toss it with some frank’s red hot, then top it with crumbled blue cheese. SO good!

      • Jennifer
        August 15, 2011 at 10:01 am (9 years ago)

        Interesting, I’ll have to check it out! Strangely enough, I work for the company that makes Peter Pan, so it’s kind of funny that I never looked at it LOL. I’m sure I can get it for a discount in the company store. I will try the buffalo tofu, I like all things buffalo. Thanks!

  4. Emily
    August 15, 2011 at 9:51 am (9 years ago)

    I’m glad that you asked about nut butters- I’m curious to read the responses! I have to ban it from my house, at least for now. It is a trigger food for me. As much as I like to think that I have self control, I somehow always end up on the couch with a spoon and the jar of peanut butter. Sad, but true. For now, I’ve had to eliminate PB and all nuts from my house. I hope to one day gain some control over it, but if I want to see a loss….it has to go.

    • Beth
      August 15, 2011 at 9:53 am (9 years ago)

      The thing I can’t have in my house is dark chocolate peanut butter. I’ve had two jars, and both of them were gone in 4-5 days mostly spoon to jar to mouth style. I LOVE it, but seriously cannot even have it around. Regular peanut butter isn’t as bad for me, but I do have to be careful.

      • Emily
        August 15, 2011 at 10:04 am (9 years ago)

        Omg, dark chocolate peanut butter would surely be the death of me. If I got some of that, I would likely turn into a TLC special: Half Ton Woman with PB Addiction. 🙂

        • Beth
          August 15, 2011 at 10:04 am (9 years ago)

          hahaa. it could be a double feature with you and me. 🙂

      • Kerry
        August 15, 2011 at 11:00 am (9 years ago)

        Dark chocolate peanut butter……! Sometimes I’m glad I live in the UK where food manufacturers are A BIT more restrained!

  5. Melissa
    August 15, 2011 at 9:58 am (9 years ago)

    That Peter Pan whipped pb is yummy! I usually buy Skippy Natural Creamy pb because it has no hydrogenated oils in it. If my grocery budget allowed I’d probably branch out into almond butter and/or more natural/organic peanut butter as well.

    I found that I actually eat more nut butter while losing weight. It’s an easy and delicious way to get in protein and healthy fats. I don’t usually measure with a measuring spoon, I just use a regular spoon and mix it in whatever I’m eating.

    Good luck with the move!

  6. Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio
    August 15, 2011 at 10:19 am (9 years ago)

    YAY!! I’m so glad you’re going to HLS! I can’t wait to meet you in person. I’m so glad I found a ticket.

  7. Cait @ Beyond Bananas
    August 15, 2011 at 10:31 am (9 years ago)

    Nut butters are an addiction of mine. When I have it – I will make PB with peanut flour. Otherwise I use regular stuff. I eat copious amounts of it too. Probably too much. I eat at least 2 tbsp every day. It has never caused any change in weight – and there was a time when it was on my “bad food” list and I would never touch it because of the calories.. fats… etc.

    I’ve also used Better ‘N Butter – but it has an odd taste and is a little too sweet for me. But it has like 100 cal for 2 tbsp and 3 grams of fat

  8. Jodie
    August 15, 2011 at 10:36 am (9 years ago)

    Hey Beth! I can’t wait for you too post your Buffalo Tofu recipe with crumbled blue cheese..I’ve never tried Tofu before but need to get more protein in my diet and this sounds awesome!

  9. Christine
    August 15, 2011 at 10:40 am (9 years ago)

    I make my own peanut butter at home. I get a large container of lightly salted peanuts from costco, put some in the food processor, and ass just a touch of peanut oil while the blade is spinning. Then a little agave nectar and voila!

  10. ashleigh
    August 15, 2011 at 11:18 am (9 years ago)

    I eat TJ’s or WF peanut butter. I won’t do the reduced fat kind because I dont think that they nutritionals are that different. Since I don’t buy RF i don’t know what’s in it but the PB I eat is only peanuts and salt. Weight loss wise.. I did ww and lost 40 lbs eating PB every day.. I always measure it though. I keep a TBS in the kitchen at work and I try to only have 1 TBS a day. I did do the peanut flour for a while but ran out. I’d usually eat the peanut flour at night if I was having an extra serving for the day.

  11. Lisa
    August 15, 2011 at 11:52 am (9 years ago)

    I tried to like almond butter but I just don’t. I prefer peanut butter, creamy or cashew butter (which is almost never on sale so I rarely buy it).

  12. Courtney
    August 15, 2011 at 11:56 am (9 years ago)

    Nut butters have been a staple for me AS I’ve been losing weight. I found a great little bulk store that makes nut butters on-site using only the nuts. They put them in this soft serve ice cream-like machine and I get to watch it being made. I love that there are no added oils or sugars and the nut butter tastes so much better. Favourite so far is definitely almond butter. It has perfected my overnight oats recipe!

  13. Roz
    August 15, 2011 at 1:13 pm (9 years ago)

    Hi Beth! Your budget for groceries is VERY impressive!!! And I’m a big fan of almond butter and hazelnut butter. When I eat it though, I make sure I measure it carefully, because it would be REALLY easy to have more than a tablespoon full! Have a good Monday!!!!

  14. Mary
    August 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm (9 years ago)

    I buy Trader Joe’s unsalted creamy peanut butter (white lid, green label)…Peanuts are the only ingredient and it is $1.79. I made the switch to natural peanut butter a while back and now the regular stuff just tastes too sweet.

  15. Stacy @ Every Little Thing
    August 15, 2011 at 2:36 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve definitely found that with all natural peanut butter (peanuts + salt ONLY), it’s SO rich that it’s truly difficult to eat more than two tablespoons. This is coming from someone that used to eat Lowfat Jif for an hour straight. Keeping it in the fridge helps too (also helps with seperation), as it’s thick and harder to eat but literally tastes like PB candy.

    PB was hard for me to switch from Jif to the all natural kind but once I did, I’ll never go back!

  16. Kim @ Imperfectly Perfect
    August 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm (9 years ago)

    Wow, I need to get tips from you in grocery buying. Great job sticking under $26! I agree that Thursday’s dinner looks fantastic. Wish I was going this year.

    After my initial weight loss, in high school, I was completely fat-phobic. I wouldn’t add any type of fat to my meals, which obviously isn’t good because it’s important to have (healthy) fat in our diets. Over the past few years I’ve been adding fat back in and noticed a difference in my skin, hair and hunger levels. I used to have an out of control sweet tooth, but once I ate a normal amount of fat those urges went away. Now, I eat full fat, natural peanut butter/almond butter. I’ll usually eat up to a tablespoon at a time. This morning a teaspoon of it was swirled into my oats. Mmmmm!

  17. Jill
    August 15, 2011 at 3:27 pm (9 years ago)

    I like regular, natural, peanut butter. I buy it from WF or T.J’s. I like to but the stuff that only has peanuts in the ingredient list. I do “nut” measure it.

  18. Rebecca
    August 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm (9 years ago)

    Before WW, I used to go through peanut butter by the jar! Sufficed to say, I liked it quite a lot. Since starting, I haven’t eaten it that much at all, and if I do it’s a tablespoon of regular Skippy’s every now and then (and it’s usually stirred into my oatmeal). If I’m going to have it, it’s going to be the real thing!

    But that whipped peanut butter…sounds really intriguing!

  19. Julia
    August 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm (9 years ago)

    I have about 10 open jars of almond butter, peanut butter, and sunflower seed butter! Nuts are whole foods and so good for the body!- I do eat them in moderation (2 T per day, sometimes more, sometimes less) I eat the natural stuff since the RF stuff has processed stuff. Plus the natural nut butters taste so good!

  20. amanda june
    August 15, 2011 at 4:32 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve always been a peanut butter fan. Pre-weight loss (I’ve lost 82 & counting with WW), I almost never measured! Now, I almost always use PB2 (the powdered stuff — 1P+ for 2 tablespoons!!!) or, if I can’t get that, Better’n PB (in a jar, stickier more like regular PB, 2 P+ for 2 tablespoons).

    I don’t really miss the ‘real’ stuff at all. The subs are close enough for me. Plus, PB2 is more ‘natural’ than most regular PBs (ingredients: peanuts, sugar, and salt!). I always measure (forced to with PB2)…unless, you know, I just have a little craving & eyeball a tablespoon or two of Better’n PB straight out of the jar… 😀

  21. Amanda @ Running On Waffles
    August 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm (9 years ago)

    I LOVE natural peanut butter, which has so much less sugar and tastes a million times better. I’m a big PB fan, and when I found that Ellie Krieger suggested frozen low fat waffles with a tablespoon of peanut butter on top, I knew it would become my go-to breakfast. Especially since I found it when I was starting to lose weight. I still eat that every day with a piece of fruit for breakfast, but I would love to dry a different type of nut butter at some point.

  22. Sarah
    August 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm (9 years ago)

    I typically always measure my nut butter unless it’s a binge which is why I don’t keep nut butter in my apartment often. Have you tried Better N’Peanut Butter? It’s 100 cal. for 2T but I’m not quite sure of the points value. If I don’t have Better than I have Skippy Natural.

  23. Kim @ spoonful of Sass
    August 15, 2011 at 10:21 pm (9 years ago)

    Totally thought no one else would call it the Teets! So glad I’m not alone!

    • Beth
      August 15, 2011 at 10:29 pm (9 years ago)

      We’re both obviously extremely mature. =)

  24. Deanna
    August 15, 2011 at 11:39 pm (9 years ago)

    I am obsessed with Almond butter – ingriedient list – dry roasted almonds. that’s it! I dip apples in it, grapes, put it in green monster smoothies (frozen banana, almond milk, almond butter, spinach). But I don’t like it on toast – weird right?

    Have you ever heard of PB2? I can’t get it where I live but its supposed to be great (read about it on another weight loss blog – Journey to a Healthy Berg)!

    I never measure which is probably why I’m not losing the weight. Is measuring a big part of Weight Watchers?

    P.S- Love your blog! And you look fantastic!!!

  25. Heather
    August 16, 2011 at 1:00 am (9 years ago)

    I love peanut butter, but I only buy the all natural kind. If I get the kind that has added sugar I’ll eat it all in one sitting. By sticking to the all the natural kind (which I get at Costco and it’s organic) I just measure out what I need and eat that and I’m good. Usually I have it smeared on apple slices. That way I get my sweetness need in as well, but in something healthy.
    I do have to stir it, but I only have to do it once and then it doesn’t separate again.

  26. Nikki
    August 16, 2011 at 2:16 am (9 years ago)

    I use powdered PB and reg. Regular for when I am putting it on fruit, OOIJ, toasted anything. I use my powdered PB in recipes, such as smoothies, to baking.
    If I had to pick between PB and Almond, it would be almond all the way… not sure why? I prefer natural almond butter, but “skippy style RF” PB over natural PB, not sure why? Maybe conditioning? I have had reg PB with sugar added my whole life, and Almond butter is a newer taste? Not sure, but I do know I am JEALOUS of the different types of nut butters you have in the States!
    Chocolate coconut butter is to die for… I LOVE the flavour!
    In the past I would eliminate nuts and nut butters when trying to lose weight, but I realize my body needs healthy fats, or my cholesterol ratio will be on the high side.
    Good luck packing! Some days I wish I had to move, as then I would HAVE to go through everything in my house, and get rid of stuff!

  27. Lauren
    August 16, 2011 at 6:50 am (9 years ago)

    Peanut Butter is my weakness. I am 100% JIF girl. I have tried other PB, but only love JIF. Since joining WW, I switched to reduced fat – and now, I can’t eat the regular peanut butter because I can taste the sugar and oils. I have tried organic, and the oil separation kind of creeped me out. I haven’t tried other nut butters because I do not like nuts. (I don’t even really like peanuts, but JIF PB is so processed it doesn’t count as nuts in my mind). I have been very good at limiting my PB intake until recently, when I have had an upswing of shoveling spoonfuls at work ;p. I need to get back on track and measure it and limit my intake because I notice a big difference when I measure it and don’t (especially on the scale).

    On your meal plan – what is Overnight Oats in a Jar? I am intrigued!

    Have a good one!

  28. Ed
    August 16, 2011 at 10:06 pm (9 years ago)

    I’ve discovered I love almond butter! I don’t like eating too many reduced fat foods, so I opt for the really good stuff and have less of it. I love almond butter after a workout. I usually put a tablespoon into my post-workout smoothie to make sure I’m eating enough calories and getting enough protein. Plus, it gives my smoothie a heartier taste.

  29. TracyP
    August 17, 2011 at 12:19 am (9 years ago)

    The whipped peanut butter looks yummy. I have been using powdered or Naturally More. I have to order the Naturally More on line, but I like it because it is 2 points plus per tablespoon. It also has a nice crunch to it because it has flax seed in it. I have always loved nut butters – have you tried Barney Butter? It is a delicious almond butter.


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