Sharing a combination of weekly menu’s and a few of my recent meal diaries because it seems everyone (myself included) could use a little inspiration when it comes to healthy eating and meal planning!
Each week I post a new weekly menu in our house starting on Friday (because that’s when I do most of my grocery shopping). If you don’t currently meal plan for the week I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE you to start NOW! It helps me tremendously with meal prep, planning lunches for the week based on leftovers, and silencing the cries of “what’s for dinnerrrr?!”
It’s no secret that I’ve been striving to eat as healthy and unprocessed as possible (past recipes may not exactly reflect this but I stand by their deliciousness!) This particular week, shown above, we had two separate date nights that required eating out. I try to limit my unhealthy indulgences or #treatmeals to once or twice a week. This includes beer, dessert, eating out, etc. It’s about creating balance NOT dieting. Balance looks different for everyone depending on your starting point or particular goals.
Those teriyaki kabobs listed on the menu turned into just marinated grilled chicken for simplicity and we still had leftovers for paninis!
When it comes to planning lunch for the week I stick with rotating 2 protein sources and account for any day that might lend leftovers. This particular week was a rotation of baked cod (the same kind I used in my fish taco recipe) and rotisserie chicken.
Breakfast staples include eggs, roasted sweet potatoes, lean turkey breakfast sausage (I get mine from Costco, see below), fresh fruit, wheat toast, avocados, and greek yogurt.
I also adore steel cut oats but MUST include a heavy dose of protein alongside. My body tends to process carbs fairly quickly and without an adequate supply of protein my blood sugar drops leaving me needing food sooner than later.
More often than not I eat my meals slightly different than the rest of the family. Same basic meal but with a few adjustments. For example, instead of a big plate of nachos, as listed on the menu, I had mine on an Italian flat out wrap with lettuce, tomato, 1/4 avocado and a dollop of greek yogurt mixed with sriracha sauce. Very filling and a great balance of protein, fats, carbs and fiber from the wrap!
Menu planning also helps break up serving the same thing over and over again. Chicken never gets old to me, but my family frowns upon it if I serve it too much! LOL.
You may recall seeing my recipes for Italian Sausage Stuffed Peppers (I make mine without stove top and sub in roasted sweet potatoes instead) or one of our family favorites Italian Egg Sandwiches (I often just eat mine without the hoagie or use Trader Joe’s sprouted wheat bread in place). And you can’t beat my #1 Homemade Sloppy Joes, but I’m looking forward to trying a new twist.
And ALWAYS make room for pizza…and cookies and ice cream…but in this case, pizza!
Now, let’s talk snack time!
Breakfast-SNACK-lunch-SNACK-dinner-SNACK! You know the drill…
Rarely do I go between meals without a snack and almost NEVER go to bed without something in my belly. Snacks should be a mix of protein, carbs, and/or healthy fats. My carb heavier snacks are generally in the daytime but lately I’ve been breaking my 4×4 “diet” and incorporating a few more healthy/complex carbs in the evening.
One of my all-time favorite go-to snacks is protein pancakes using Kodiak Cakes Mix! They’re always on hand in my fridge to pull out and spread with either almond butter or a little whipped berry cream cheese as seen in the photo above. Each pancake (made with 1/2 egg white and 1/2 water) is only 56 calories, .6grams fat, 7.7 carbs and 5 grams protein!
Have you jumped on the powdered peanut butter wagon yet? I adore it and get a big organic bag at Costco. It’s fabulous mixed in greek yogurt, tossed in smoothies or made slightly thinner and poured over pancakes to name a few! 2 Tablespoons is only 45 calories, 1.5 grams of fat!!, 5 grams of carbs and 5 grams of protein!
Other favorite snacks include: avocado on toast, veggies and hummus (I love Trader Joe’s cilantro jalapeño), cottage cheese, light cheese sticks, apples sprinkled with cinnamon, almonds, mini peppers with laughing cow cheese, greek yogurt, and protein bars like these from Costco (again).