Meal Planning Monday

It definitely feels like fall around here.  This week, forecasted highs are in the 8 to 13 degrees Celcius (46 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit) range.  Brrrr!  If I had the time, I’d be baking some cranberry or pumpkin muffins.  Maybe another week.

My schedule this week is a little different.  Instead of going to my dental classes, I’m doing a hospital roster, which involves watching some oral surgeries and shadowing other medical residents for most of the week.  Should be interesting, but two things make me nervous: 1) I’m afraid I won’t know the answers to any questions they ask, and 2) I’m missing a lot of classes this week, and I’ll need to catch up!  Plus, mornings will be earlier, and I’m already starting to feel a little run down due to my busy schedule.

What does that have to do with meals?  Well, I’m trying to keep meals quick, easy, and familiar.  Some of the main courses are in the freezer, waiting to be cooked or heated, and I plan to use the slow cooker a couple of times.

Meal Planning Monday

Whoa, where did the weekend go?  Saturday I did some studying, organizing, and reading, but I feel like I accomplished very little.  Yesterday, I spent half the day with my daughter – she was supposed to go over to my husband’s cousins’ place so I could study, but their little boy was sick, so it was a no-go.  So, my girl and I went to McDonald’s for breakfast (hotcakes for her, a muffin and apple slices for me), hit the bookstore for a new addition to her reading collection, did some shopping at SportChek (I picked up a new red Under Armour racerback tank), and bought her some new inside shoes for school at the Adidas Outlet store.  My daughter is cute as all get-out and I love her beyond reason, but she DOES NOT SHUT UP!  Like, EVER!  And she’s ridiculously stubborn.  Needless to say, I was tired by the time we got home, so we put on some Dora and cuddled on the couch, where I promptly fell asleep.

When my husband got home from his golf tourney and my son returned from his playdate, we watched the Riders defeat the Bluebombers on TV (that’s CFL football, for those of you wondering what I’m talking about).  It was a close game and worth watching to the end.  After the football game and once we could drag my son away from the game he was playing on my husband’s iTouch, we headed outside, with the kids and my husband on their bikes and me running.  I ran for 18 minutes without any knee pain, so I was really happy.  After quickly getting ready, we went out to a movie and watched The Karate Kid.  While I love Jackie Chan, remaking The Karate Kid was plain wrong.  The original is a classic from my youth, and I tend to think movies like that should be left alone (regardless of how cheesy they are – hahaha!)  And it’s not even about karate – it’s kung fu!  [shaking her head]

It turned out to be a BIT better than I expected, though, so that was good.  However, we usually only take our kids to kid movie matinees, so this was sort of a new experience for them.  I will just say that they were not particularly well-behaved, and each of them received a stern talking to about having respect for the other people in the movie theatre.  They were better after that, but it was not the most relaxing movie experience ever.

Today, I dropped off my kids at their auntie’s house to play with their cousins, caught up on e-mails, and did a little grocery shopping.  Next up: meal planning for the week.

  • Monday: shepherd’s pie (using leftover pot roast from last night); spinach salad with feta, Craisins, and raspberry vinaigrette
  • Tuesday: lasagna; spinach salad with grape tomatoes, cucumbers, and sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
  • Wednesday: leftover lasagna, sauteed zucchini
  • Thursday: Multigrain Fish Fillets, steamed broccoli, Smart Pasta rotini with garlic and olive oil
  • Friday: Sticky Sesame Chicken Thighs, rice (brown or basmati), spinach salad with feta and dried cranberries, peas
  • Saturday: sausages in whole wheat buns, Maple Dill Carrots
  • Sunday: marinated chicken breasts, roasted cauliflower, quinoa

Since we’re getting a babysitter a couple of times this week and I know it will be extra-busy since the kids start school tomorrow, I’ve got a plan to do as much ahead as I can.  This means that today I’m going to:

  • make the shepherd’s pie and package any leftovers for lunches
  • pre-make the lasagna so it can be reheated tomorrow
  • portion out the salad ingredients so that they just need to be tossed together
  • put together the Sticky Sesame Chicken Thighs and freeze
  • put the chicken breasts in the marinade and freeze
  • cut up the broccoli, cauliflower, and zucchini

Do you have any favourite make-ahead meals or strategies?

Meal Planning Monday

Here’s this week’s meal plan.  You’ll notice it’s a little “heavier” than the summer menus I’ve been building.  It’s already getting cold here and feels like fall, so I’m seeking comfort in mashed potatoes and pot roast.

  • Monday: leftover meatloaf and mashed potatoes, carrots
  • Tuesday: multigrain fish fillets, brown rice, peas, cucumbers
  • Wednesday: Shake & Bake chicken (haven’t made this FOREVER!!!), Smart Pasta rotini with olive oil and garlic, steamed broccoli
  • Thursday: Cheesy Chicken Casserole (a recipe from Cooking for the Rushed Healthy Family – it’s already in the freezer), leftover pasta, steamed broccoli
  • Friday: sausages, pork and beans (my husband’s words and his request – actually Heinz Brown Beans; think these are a Canadian thing), carrots
  • Saturday: Curried Chicken with Harvest Fruit (an old recipe from Chatelaine), rice (brown or basmati), spinach salad with feta and dried cranberries
  • Sunday: Awesome Slow Cooker Pot Roast, mashed potatoes (my husband nearly weeps with happiness when I make mashed potatoes), green beans

Alright, now that that’s all planned, I need to buy a few things:

  • Heinz Brown Beans (2 cans)
  • chicken thighs (8)
  • 3 lb beef roast
  • potatoes (russet – they’re better for mashing; 5 lb bag)
  • pears (need at least 1, but might as well get a few)
  • green beans

I think I pretty much have everything else.  Thought I’d post this here so that I can access it from my Blackberry when I hit the grocery store!

Happy Monday!

Meal Planning Monday

I think my husband could eat these everyday and be happy.

Here’s this week’s delicious (hopefully) line-up:

Monday:

  • Lunch: eggs, toast, chopped tomato, baby carrots
  • Supper: beef tenderloin; spinach salad with feta, tomato, and vinaigrette; baked potato with chives, artificial bacon bits, margarine (my husband requested this meal)

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

  • Lunch: leftover chicken cacciatore and spaghetti; sliced cucumbers and baby carrots
  • Supper: Five Layer Dinner (double the recipe); mixed greens with Craisin, feta, and raspberry vinaigrette

Thursday:

  • Lunch: leftover Five Layer Dinner; spinach salad with raisins, sunflower seeds, and vinaigrette
  • Supper: Cheesy Tomato Barley Bake (quadruple recipe, freeze half); pan-seared chicken thighs; steamed green beans

Friday:

Saturday:

  • Lunch: leftover Marmalade Pork Tenderloin, leftover Ginger Infused Mushroom Quinoa, steamed broccoli
  • Supper: The Loaded Bowl (a quinoa recipe from Clean Eating magazine, pg 58 of the September/October 2010 issue) with chopped chicken (from Friday); spinach salad with feta, Craisins, and vinaigrette

Sunday:

  • Lunch: eggs, toast, chopped tomatoes, sliced cucumbers
  • Supper: Piquant Meatloaf (my grandma’s recipe – I’ll post sometime!), mashed potatoes, cooked carrots and celery

Meal Planning Monday

Whew!  Last week flew by.  We ended up eating out more than planned due to schedule changes and my lack of desire to cook:)  So, I think I’ll take this as a sign that I need to simplify a little more, as we’re definitely in summer mode.  Here’s what I’ve come up with:

Monday:

  • Lunch: spinach, roma tomato, cucumber, pork tenderloin, vinaigrette, whole wheat bread
  • Supper: beef tenderloin (grilled), cucumber and tomato with oregano, leftover roasted potatoes, sauteed spinach

Tuesday:

Wednesday:

Thursday:

  • Lunch: leftover chicken; leftover quinoa; spinach salad with feta, tomatoes, vinaigrette; baby carrots
  • Supper: Cheesy Tomato Barley Bake (going to quadruple the recipe and freeze half), deli chicken, cooked carrots with dill and butter

Friday:

  • Lunch: leftover barley bake, leftover cooked carrots, leftover chicken
  • Supper: lean hamburgers on whole wheat buns, cucumbers, baby carrots

Saturday:

  • Lunch: eggs, whole wheat toast, chopped tomatoes with oregano
  • Supper: Multigrain Fish Fillets, roasted potatoes, steamed broccoli

Sunday:

  • Lunch: chicken quesadillas (from leftover deli chicken) with whole wheat tortillas, low fat cheddar, salsa, black beans; spinach salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, vinaigrette
  • Supper: Smart Pasta spaghetti, Blue Menu Italian Chicken Meatballs, spaghetti sauce, sauteed zucchini with olive oil and garlic

Lots of grilling, lots of leftovers for lunch.  I’m vowing no McDonald’s drive thru this week – always tempting when my husband is busy and I’m running around a lot with the kids.  The kids will eat it, it doesn’t require cooking, and it’s close by – but SO not healthy.  Grocery shopping tomorrow afternoon!

Meal Planning Monday

It’s Monday again, which means it’s time for me to post my meal plan for the week.  For brevity’s sake, I’ll sum up and say that I have oatmeal, 1 serving of dairy, and 1 serving of fruit for breakfast every day.  Yes, I actually DO eat oatmeal pretty much every day.  It may seem a little boring, but it works for me.  I have a few favourite oatmeal recipes that I use regularly.  Click here to see them.  For morning and evening snacks, I have  a piece of fruit, and in the afternoon, I’ll snack on yogurt and, you guessed it, fruit.

Lunch and supper take a little more planning, since grocery shopping and judicious thawing is required.  So, here’s what I’m eating this week:

Monday:

Lunch – Baja Salad with Shrimp from Boston Pizza

Supper – 1 hot dog on a whole wheat bun (yeah, I know, not that healthy), steamed broccoli, carrots

Tuesday:

Lunch: grilled chicken; Smart Pasta with garlic, olive oil, and parmesan; cucumbers; tomatoes

Supper: pork tenderloin, grilled potatoes, grilled carrots

Wednesday:

Lunch: leftover pork tenderloin, cucumbers, spinach, raspberry vinaigrette,  feta, 2 slices whole wheat bread

Supper: Quinoa, Chicken, and Broccoli Casserole, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, raspberry vinaigrette

Thursday:

Lunch: ham, 2 slices whole wheat bread, spinach, baby carrots, tomatoes

Supper: grilled chicken, grilled potatoes, grilled carrots and onions

Friday:

Lunch: out of town, so will be eating out – probably a salad or a sub

Supper: chicken, green beans, fresh bread

Saturday:

Lunch: chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, rice/quinoa

Supper: grilled lean steak, grilled potatoes, grilled mixed veggies (zucchini, peppers, mushrooms)

Sunday:

Lunch: 2 eggs, 2 slices whole wheat toast with margarine, chopped tomatoes with oregano

Supper: lean hamburger; whole wheat hamburger bun; spinach with cranberries, feta, raspberry vinaigrette; grilled mushrooms

NOTE: The Quinoa, Chicken, and Broccoli Casserole recipe comes from EatingRD.com.  I’ve had my eye on it for awhile, but haven’t got around to trying it out yet.  Well, this is the week!  I’ll be freezing a portion of it to see how well it freezes, as part of my quest to find recipes that I can simply thaw and heat during the busy school year.


Meal Planning Monday

As I mentioned, I’ve been working with a nutritionist since December 2009, and part of that process has involved meal planning.  This is supposed to occur on a weekly basis, but sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day/week and it just doesn’t get done.  I do find, though, that if I have a meal plan set out for the week, I have an easier time sticking to a healthy diet and not letting unhealthy snacks sneak into my mouth (okay, okay, so that doesn’t actually happen, but sometimes snacking can be so unconscious that it feels like the food sneaks in!).  I have tried 2 approaches to treats: 1) planning in a weekly treat, and 2) planning in a smaller, daily treat.  Both of these approaches have worked for me, but it’ll depend on my mindset at the time.  If I’m feeling motivated and I’m in a healthy eating groove, then a weekly treat is perfect (something along the lines of a cupcake…mmmm, cupcakes).  However, if my motivation has flagged and I find myself feeling deprived and thinking of chocolate a lot, then I plan in a daily treat – a small treat that’s individually wrapped, like a Lindt chocolate, works better for me.

Right now, I’m having trouble feeling motivated, but, at the same time, I have found it really hard to stick to just one chocolate at a time.  So, I’ve decided to go with the weekly treat this week, to break the snacking-on-chocolate-after-supper habit I seem to have developed as of late.

Since I didn’t have a chance to plan the first half of my meals for today, I’ll tell you what I have eaten so far (it does follow my rough eating guidelines, though, so I feel like I’m sticking to my overall plan):

7:15am (preworkout): a small satsuma orange and half a cup of yogurt

8:45am (postworkout): 1c of 1% chocolate milk

10am (breakfast once I got home from running a couple of errands): 3/4 c oatmeal with 1/4 c frozen blueberries

12:15pm (lunch): whole wheat hot dog bun, 2.8 oz of lean deli meat, 1 light cheese slice, 2 c of raw spinach, 2 tbsp mango, 2 tbsp avocado, 1 tsp sunflower seeds, 1/4 c mushrooms, 2 tbsp chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tbsp raspberry vinaigrette

And here’s what I’m planning for the rest of the day and week:

Snack: 1 c yogurt, 1 apple

Supper: 1 c raw spinach (plus a little mango, avocado, mushrooms, tomato, sunflower seeds thrown in), 1/2 tbsp raspberry vinaigrette, 3 oz grilled shrimp, 1 c quinoa, 1 c grape tomatoes

Snack: 3/4 c grapes

Tuesday:

Pre-workout: 1/2 c yogurt, small satsuma orange

Post-workout/Breakfast: 3/4 c oatmeal, 1/2 c frozen blueberries, 1 c skim milk

Snack: 1/2 c grapes

Lunch: 3 oz shrimp, 1 c quinoa, 1 c grape tomatoes, 1 c spinach salad with 1/2 tbsp raspberry vinaigrette

Snack: 1 c yogurt, apple

Supper: 3 oz chicken breast, 1 c roasted potatoes (with olive oil and garlic), 1 c roasted asparagus

Snack: satsuma orange

Wednesday:

Breakfast: 3/4 c oatmeal, apple, 1 c skim milk

Snack: banana

Lunch: 3 oz chicken breast, 1 tortilla (whole wheat), 1/4 c grilled pineapple, 2 tbsp salsa, 2 tbsp lowfat shredded cheese, 1/2 c grape tomatoes, 1 c cucumbers

Snack: 1 c yogurt, 1/2 c pineapple

Supper: 3 oz lean steak (sirloin or tenderloin), 1 c brown rice, 1 c steamed broccoli

Snack: satsuma orange

Thursday:

Pre-workout: 1/2 c yogurt, satsuma orange

Post-workout/Breakfast: 3/4 c oatmeal, 1/2 c yogurt, 1/4 c blueberries

Snack: apple

Lunch: 3 oz deli meat, 2 slices whole wheat bread, 1/2 c spinach, 1/2 c cucumbers, 1/2 c baby carrots

Snack: 1 c yogurt, banana

Supper: 3 oz tangy grilled pork tenderloin, 1 c green beans, 1 c corn

Snack: 1/2 c pineapple

Friday:

Breakfast: 3/4 c oatmeal, 1/2 c blueberries, 1 c skim milk

Snack: apple

Lunch: 3 oz pork tenderloin, 1 c roasted potatoes, 1/2 c grape tomatoes, 1/2 c baby carrots

Snack: 1 c yogurt, 1/2 c strawberries

Supper: 3 oz lean beef, 2 c raw spinach, 1 tbsp feta, 1 tbsp Craisins, 1/2 tbsp raspberry vinaigrette, 1/2 c grape tomatoes, whole wheat/multigrain bread (30g) with 1 tsp margarine

Snack: 30g light microwave popcorn, 1/2 c pineapple

Saturday:

Pre-workout (18k run planned): 1 slice whole wheat toast with no sugar added jam, 1/2 banana, maybe some Gatorade

Workout: 2-3 gels (depending on the length of the run), plus water and maybe some Gatorade (depending on the weather and how I feel)

Post-workout: 3/4 c oatmeal, 1/2 c blueberries, 1 c skim milk

Snack: banana

Lunch: 2 eggs, 2 slices whole wheat bread, 1 c chopped tomatoes with oregano

Snack: 1 c yogurt, apple (maybe an extra piece of fruit and veggies if I’m feeling hungry from my long run)

Supper: 3 oz grilled chicken, 1 c grilled potatoes, 1 c grilled veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, peppers with garlic and olive oil), WEEKLY TREAT: 1 serving apple blueberry crisp

Snack: 1/2 c strawberries

Sunday:

Breakfast: 3/4 c oatmeal, apple, 1 c skim milk

Snack: orange

Lunch: 3 oz chicken, 1 c peas , 1 c pasta (Catelli Smart Pasta) with olive oil and garlic

Snack: 1 c yogurt, 1/2 c grapes

Supper: 3 oz sticky sesame chicken thighs, 1 c brown rice, 1 c steamed broccoli

Snack: 1/2 c blueberries

Okay, so that’s my (really long-winded) meal plan for the week.  So far, I’ve been sticking to my plan today – my reward for today is watching The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I’m really excited to watch it.  I’ll update tomorrow on how the rest of the day’s eating goes.