Meal Planning: What I Eat in A Week – Part II
Meal Planning Check in time…how is everyone doing so far? If you didn’t jump on board with my first blog post, it’s never too late to start today. Click here to download our free meal planning guide too!
For those of you who did kick off the new year by challenging yourself to meal plan, kudos! (Yes, the first few weeks it may seem like it’s a part-time job to plan food for the week…hang in there, trust me, it will become automated and much easier the more you go on!)
This week I’m sharing straight off my meal planning what will be cooked in my house. Like I mentioned in my first blog post, working at The Breast Cancer Charities of America and focusing on eating a balanced and healthy diet to prevent diseases such as breast cancer (and other cancers) is VERY important to me. We choose natural, organic and whole grain items as much as possible. But note those last words, as much as possible. I am human too and sometimes need my piece of chocolate or treat.
So what’s on the menu this week? Read below…and feel free to copy and paste for your family!
(I keep all these on hand, so we don’t get bored/have options as we please):
- Whole Wheat Toast or Whole Grain English Muffins with avocado, hard boiled egg, organic almond butter/honey, whipped Greek cream cheese (hard to find but delish!)
- Protein shakes: frozen fruit (from prior week that was ripe but didn’t want to waste so cleaned and froze it), almond milk, organic protein powder, chia seeds/almond or peanut butter
- Cottage Cheese, Greek Yogurt & Fresh Fruit (mix and match together)
- Organic oats made with almond milk and mixed with organic peanut butter and a dash of organic local honey (helps with our allergies)
(As I mentioned last week, I pre-make all of our family lunches the night before…including my 1-year old daughters for during the day with her caretakers. This helps us all not run to grab fast food at lunch, keeps our food bills down and keeps us on a healthy track). This week’s options:
- Frozen soup (during the winter I make fresh homemade soup once a week…and make enough so that I have at least 4 meals left over=2 lunches)
- Whole Wheat Bread with fresh meat from the deli and/or grilled chicken. Top with avocado, mustards, pickles, organic cheese. Great tip…if you’re grilling chicken for dinner the night before, throw on an extra chicken breast and slice it up thinly for sandwiches the next day. Pack this with carrots/hummus (or this week I made a homemade Greek dill dip for veggies and have a ton of different clean/cut up veggies ready to go). A piece of fruit and typically a ‘nut’ or protein bar (I love some of the organic ones you can find in your health section of the grocery store.)
- Lunch at home with hubby: grilled veggie burgers or chicken. My husband’s schedule puts him at our home office once a week, so I make it a ‘lunch date’ by going home and he will have grilled us up lunch…typically a lean meat or veggie burger with grilled veggies on the side or sometimes grill fruit (which is AMAZING!)
- Leftovers! See my dinner outlines below; always cook more than you need at dinner time! Makes for a healthy and quick go-to for lunch the next week.
Here is where many struggle…you’re a working mom, busy, trying to stay healthy. All of these are fixed in that exact situation. I ALWAYS make more than what is needed too=pre-made lunches for the following week.
Sunday– Homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup. Broth-based (8 cups of broth) with shredded chicken, black beans, hominy, corn, can of diced ‘hot’ tomatoes, can of tomato sauce, onions, 1 package of dried ranch dressing mix, garlic, cayenne, paprika, salt, pepper and red pepper. Can spice this up or down however you like. I let simmer all afternoon (flavors get better as they cook) and serve with shredded cheddar on top…but this is why I make it on Sunday’s. And tons of left
Monday– PF Chang’s Lettuce Wraps (view my prior blog recipe here!) Quick, easy and lean. The leftover meat is great warmed on top of shredded lettuce—easier to transport to work for lunch! Meal prep and cook time: less than 30 minutes.
Tuesday– “Awesome Chicken” (again, another one I’ve shared before on the blog). This one is SO good as leftovers with wild rice and black refried beans. The entire meal from prep to finish takes under 30 minutes!
Wednesday- Family Grill Night. Wednesday’s are when my hubby grills. So this week we’re doing a new raspberry chipotle marinade I found in the organic section of our grocery store on chicken with grilled onions, bell peppers and grilled pineapple for dessert. (Making double the chicken so we have it for sandwiches)
Thursday- Crunchy ‘Fried’ Chicken with Edamame. My hubs fav…pound out chicken breasts, cover each with 1 Tbsp of organic mayonnaise mixed with shredded parmesan cheese. Cover in 3 Tbsp each of Panko bread crumbs and sprinkle with either a herb mix or we like spicy (cayenne pepper, salt & pepper). The panko makes it crunchy and ‘fried-like’. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve with a side of steamed edamame beans (which I buy from the frozen veggie section).
Friday- Homemade BBQ Chicken pizza night. Yes, you can be healthy and eat pizza too (in moderation). But making it at home will cut back on all the extra fats! Grilled BBQ chicken shredded (which I will cook in the oven the night prior when I’m making the crunchy chicken so I omit an extra cooking step tonight); organic store purchased pizza crust or cauliflower crust; BBQ sauce on the bottom, shredded chicken, onions, red peppers, feta cheese, mozzarella cheese and topped with cilantro. Your family will go crazy on this one!
Saturday- Taco Bar Night. GREAT for entertaining (which we are)…make a line-up for everyone to serve themselves. Included in ours is: fresh organic whole wheat tortillas, grilled chicken, sautéed ground turkey in spices (for a meat option), sautéed onions/peppers/jalapeños, Greek sour cream, fresh salsa, avocado slices, shredded cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, homemade ranch dressing and hot sauce
So there you have it. If you were needing a ‘jump start’ for meal planning, just copy and paste and you’re set for the next week! All of these meals are easy, quick and even more fun when you get the family involved with the prep work or helping assemble lunches for the next day. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore, but a choice! Bon Appetite!