Menu Planning 101

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Here’s a simple secret to healthier living: make time to cook.  I’ve got a pretty busy schedule.  I generally wake up at 5 a.m., see clients at 6 a.m. (or do my own workout), head to school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until 4:30 and then see clients after school.  It is not unusual for me to leave the house before 6 a.m. and not get home until past 8 p.m.  Thankfully, my husband cooks for me, but he was gone last week and I was determined to eat well!

Here’s my meal plan for the week.  You will note, I stayed away from complicated recipes.  All the prep work was done Sunday afternoon and it went fairly quickly as I Stayed Away From Complicated Recipes.

Grocery Shopping

  • Lots of organic greens (spinach, kale, argula, etc.)
  • Other veges (peppers, jicama, butternut squash etc.)
  • Avocados (because)
  • Seasonal Fruits (tend to be the tastiest)
  • Meats (I tend to buy in bulk and freeze)
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Healthy Startches and Legumes (Barley, Quinoa, Lentils, black beans, etc.)
  • Snacks (nuts, dried figs, dates, etc.)

Sunday Meal Prep

Made Lentils, Barley, Roasted Butternut Squash, Chopped up Peppers and Jicama, Boiled Eggs.  Took me about 90 minutes total, with about 45 of that active and the remainder cooking time.

Weekly Menu

Breakfast

For me this is always a smoothie or plain full fat yogurt with fruit and nuts.  I don’t have a set smoothie recipe, but always include a large quantity of greens such as kale, chard and spinach; one serving of fruit, a cup of plain whole fat yogurt or Kefier and some avocado.   If something is about to go bad, e.g. lettuce or tomato, it goes into the smoothie.  As a result, my smoothie might not always be the tastiest.  For that reason, I like a product called Organifi Green Juice Powder.  It is an organic, gently dried greens powder with lots of healthy ingredients, such as ashwaganda and moranga that I normally would not get in my smoothie.  It is also happens to be absolutely delicious and makes even my “bad” smoothies taste good. I use Almond Milk and maybe some Coconut Water to liquify.  Finally, I add five grams of creatine to help me maintain muscle and memory; and a tablespoon of Great Lakes Gelatin for the amino acids and to maintain my strong bones, healthy skin, nails and hair.

Lunch

I eat lunch at school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and have decided that tapas style is best.  A typical lunch is some of the following:  cut up vegetables (carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes, jicama etc.);  sliced meat (turkey, liverwurst, etc.); a few slices hard cheese (cheddar, gouda, etc.); olives; crackers(made without vegetable oil) and maybe some cherries or other seasonal fruit.   My school mates often compliment my lunch, but most still head over to a fast food restaurant or bring a frozen Lean Cuisine style entry.  I’ve explained how easy the process is, but they aren’t ready to make the change.  Don’t be that person, make the change.

If I’m home for lunch, I like making scrambled eggs (I cook the whites first than add the yolks at the end to keep the cholesterol from oxidizing)  with lots of vegetables and bacon. Bacon is delicious and I once heard a nutritionist state it is one of the most nutrient dense foods we can eat.  My gut feeling is that liver is probably more nutrient dense than bacon, but sometimes we just have to believe the experts.

Dinner

This is specific to the week my husband was gone.

Monday:

I got home shortly before 8 and quickly grilled about four ounces of steak on the stove in my cast iron skillet, served it with greens and butternut squash. Dressing was olive oil and balsamic vinegar with some Pink Himalayan sea salt.  It paired nicely with a glass of red wine.

Tuesday:

This was a late night.  I didn’t get home until 8:45.  Dinner was a quick stir fry of  pre-made barley, lentils, butternut squash, greens and some sliced chicken apple sausages from TJ’s . I used olive oil and butter to grease the skillet and seasoned everything with ground black pepper and Pink Himalayan sea salt.  It tasted delicious with a glass of Chardonnay.

Wednesday:

Made it home before 7:30. I made the same dinner as Tuesday, but I also roasted some marrow bones and chicken necks for 20 minutes and then placed them in a slow cooker, along with some sliced onions, for bone broth which would serve the basis of my dinner for Thursday night.

Thursday:

Made it home shortly before 9.  My bone broth was ready.  I removed the bones and  seasoned the broth with salt andpepper; added barley, greens and sausage.  Turned heat on to “high” and then took a shower.  The barley, sausage and greens were heated through by the time I finished my shower.  It was a late meal, but not very heavy.  Wine of choice: Pinot Noir.

Friday:

Went out with girlfriends. TGIF

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