Monday, February 23, 2015

Meal Planning

I've been talking for a little while about how I'm eating better and living a healthier lifestyle and all that. One thing that really helps me stay on track (as it does just about everyone) is meal planning. Now, I used to do monthly meal planning but I just found it to be a little overwhelming and hard to stick to. I try to eat minimally processed (or not processed at all) foods as much as possible. Of course, it's just about impossible to go through life without eating any processed food. (plus, who doesn't want an Oreo or some Froot Loops every now and then??)
These days, I plan for a week at a time and I find it is much better for me. I typically stick to it (although I may swap up a couple days here and there according to what I'm in the mood for) and it makes grocery shopping easier, too.

Here's what a typical week of meals looks like.**

**A few things:
1. Most days I do not have a mid-morning snack. I just don't need it. My breakfast usually keeps me full and I'll have my lunch most days around 11:15 or 11:30 while the kids are playing. That way, I can focus all my energy on them and their lunches(and pick up dropped sippy cups a minimum of 13 times per twin), and eating earlier allows me to actually sit and chew my food. ;-) 
I did put in some healthy snack options that I do or would have if needed.

2. For the 24 day challenge, I gave up coffee. It was hard but I did it. Since then, I have integrated ONE cup a day back in diet. Yes, I use Splenda & a little Coffee-mate creamer. I tried liking Stevia and Truvia but I'm just not a fan of their tastes...or price tags. Rarely, I will also have an afternoon cup, but it's usually as a treat on an extra cold day. Most days I have a Spark in the afternoon with my snack as a pick me up. Speaking of AdvoCare, I am now a distributor, so if you are looking to purchase any products or try out the 24 day challenge, feel free to contact me if you don't already have a distributor. I'm also here to help answer any questions you have. No, I won't annoy you to buy anything. That's just not my style. But I will help you in any way I can. You can follow this link to go to my personal distributor page for more info.

3. I do not cut carbs out of my diet. (and you shouldn't either!) However, I do try to keep my carbs (grains, starches, etc) mainly to breakfast and lunch meals. For dinner, I may have a small portion of brown rice or 1/2 a sweet potato. Most days, though, I have my complex carbs before dinner so I limit them at night. Just my preference.

4. I try my best to load up on lean proteins, TONS of veggies and fruits(especially berries). I can eat my weight in cheese, so I have to be careful not to add a little to everything. I do add in a small sprinkle to my taco bowls, "stuffed" BBQ chicken sweet potatoes, chili, etc. I just try to be mindful of how much I use because it adds up fast. 

5. I used to be a big night time snacker. That was where I really wrecked my healthy eating for the entire day. A couple cookies, small bowl of ice cream, some popcorn, or a bowl of cereal were my favorite late night treats. These days, I don't allow myself to eat after dinner....or at the latest, 7pm. I'll just brush my teeth to ward off the desire to snack. IF you have to have a little snack so you don't go to bed hungry, make it a smart choice. A small apple and a little PB, a slice or 2 of turkey with some Laughing Cow or mini Babybel cheese, some Greek yogurt, or some almonds.

6. Give cauliflower mash a try. I was such a skeptic for the longest time, but if done right it is so good. I use it in place of mashed potatoes at least once a week. Roasted cauliflower is another winner. Takes the nasty raw cauliflower taste away and is so simple and yummy.

7. I allow myself one "treat" meal a week. It's usually on the weekend, for breakfast or lunch, or sometimes it's just a special dessert treat or something. This weekend I had a red velvet cupcake(well, just half of it, 'cause I split it with Joseph) but I also made some whole wheat chocolate chip banana pancakes for Sunday breakfast, with some turkey bacon. It wasn't exactly a "splurge" meal but it felt decadent and it was very satisfying. It makes it much easier to be "good" throughout the week if you have that treat to look forward to. I even froze the leftover pancakes so they'll be a cinch to heat up next time I want some. ;-)

There are one or two meals we especially love and they always end up on our weekly menu. We love the taco bowls (and it's seriously the easiest thing to make and customize) and turkey burgers. I make both of these at LEAST once a week. We also love some simple grilled chicken once a week and we just switch up the veggies we have with it. Grilled chicken is so versatile and can be used in so many things.

Can you tell I like Larabars? Ha! Have you discovered them yet? Oh my goodness, they're so good. I personally prefer the blueberry muffin, apple pie, and chocolate chip brownie flavors. They're vegan, kosher, non-GMO, gluten free, etc. Such a good snack to have at home or on the go.

Do you and your family do any meal planning? Do you have any favorite healthy go-to meals?
I'm always looking for some new ideas. ;-)

Have a great week!


  1. I am so motivated by you right now sista!! Meal planning is awesome but I find myself packing a lot of Atkins frozen meals because cooking is just so time consuming. I am going to have to try some of this yummy goodness!

  2. I like to plan our meals and go grocery shopping on Sundays for each week. We do a taco bowl that is just about weekly as well! I am a big fan of the protein bars for snacks, I usually chose Quest Bars but I have done Lara before too.

    I haven't tried Advocare before, do you feel it helps with weight loss?


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