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!

That Girl Who Orders Salad

Looks tasty, right?  Er, not so much.You know the one.  You go to a nice restaurant with good food, or McDonald’s with not-so-good food, and she orders a salad.  Seriously?  Not french fries.  Not a burger.  Not a steak.  Salad.

I used to wonder at that girl.  Why would you order salad when you could order something better, something delicious, and fatty, and worth the price?  Please, I totally agreed with Homer Simpson when he chanted, ” You don’t win friends with salad.  You don’t win friends with salad.”  Heck, there’s even a book called Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salad.  (Not dissing the book, ’cause I haven’t read it.  Just sayin’.)

Now, I know why she does it.  I have become that girl (well, woman).

Don’t get me wrong.  I will not order a side salad or a salad with just greens.  Uh-uh.  It must follow my normal eating guidelines.  What does this translate to?

  • at least 2 cups of veggies (not usually a problem – it’s a salad)
  • 3 oz or so of meat, preferably lean (grilled chicken, grilled shrimp, and sirloin steak are what I usually choose)
  • dressing on the side, so that I can limit it to 1/2 to 1 tbsp
  • 1 to 2 servings of starch

Getting a healthy starch is the tricky part of the salad order, because from what I’ve seen, it’s usually garlic bread or cheese toast or, with my favourite salad, banana bread.  Sometimes you can get rice, whole wheat pasta, corn, or beans, but not that often.  I try not to get hung up on this, though, because my diet is healthy enough that it can absorb the occasional piece of garlic bread.  Don’t they say it’s all about moderation?

Restaurant Salads I Seem to Order A Lot:

Why I’ve Become That Girl:

Oh, I totally get why you don’t order salad when you go out.  I don’t order salad all the time, either.  If I go to The Keg, it seems wrong to order anything but steak (although I did order some fish there last time I went, and it was pretty good).  I will also order fish fairly often, depending on how it’s prepared, partly because it’s healthy and partly because I can’t seem to make good fish at home.  Plus, I don’t enjoy it when the house smells like fish.

Salad is one of the few things you can order that can pretty much guarantee that you’ll get a few servings of veggies at a meal.  Why is that important to me?

  • Because veggies are good for you (vitamins, minerals, fibre, water, etc.)
  • Because I need to eat lots of veggies to feel full and not want to gnaw at my arm later
  • Because I try to eat healthfully most of the time, and that means I need to make healthy choices most of the time when I eat out, too
  • Because veggies are low-calorie and filling, and I want to lose weight
  • Because I feel superior to you when I eat lots of veggies and you order a clubhouse and fries (I’m only partly kidding)

I’ve had a fantasy for the past fifteen years that I could eat all the chocolate and bread I wanted and lose weight.  Not gonna happen.  Isn’t it Einstein who said that the definition of insanity was “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?”  Well, I’ve made major changes to how I eat and how much I exercise, and it’s working.  If that means I order a salad when everyone else order lasagna, so be it.  You can be sure I won’t be the one at the table regretting my order later.

School Year Fear, & a Giveaway at Couch Potato Athlete

Every time I write down the date, I am absolutely shocked that it’s the middle of August.  This may be due, in part, to the miserable weather we’ve been having this summer (cool and wet), but probably also due to the fact that I go back to school in less than a week.  I’m sad to say that I’m not looking forward to the start of the school year, as I have pretty much always done in the past. In fact, this year, I’m dreading it.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m really looking forward to seeing all of my classmates (there are 27 of us, so we’re a fairly close bunch), but the volume of work I’m expecting this year is frightening.  I kind of want to throw up a little when I think about it.  Officially our school day starts at 8:30am and ends at 5:00pm, with an hour for lunch.  The reality, from what I’ve heard from upper years, is that we have to be there by 8:00am (at least) to set-up so that we’re ready to treat our patients, and then we will often have stay late to clean up afterward.  On top of that, our lunch hour gets eaten up (no pun intended) by having to set up for our afternoon patients, and then we will often have lab work plus studying to do in the evenings.

We’re also putting our kids in activities this fall/winter.  Both my son and daughter will be starting hockey this year.  My 4 year old will only have a half hour or so on Saturday morning, but my 6 year old will likely have a more extensive schedule.  Unfortunately we don’t have any idea what that schedule will be like at this point, because it doesn’t come out until after all of the kids register and get placed on teams.  Huh?  Doesn’t make me happy to not be able to plan ahead.

We’re also planning to put them both in one session of Canskate.  They’ll both be skating at the same time, which is nice and one less hassle.  The tricky part is that registration for Canskate is next week, while hockey registration isn’t until the following week.  So, how do we decide what session to put our 6 year old in when we don’t know when hockey will be?  So frustrated about this.

I also mustn’t forget that I start school on August 23rd, but my kids don’t start until September 7th.  Luckily, my parents are awesome and taking the kids all next week, but we’re still finalizing childcare for the following week.  I’m sure it’ll work out, though.  My fingers are crossed.

In anticipation of the upcoming craziness, I’ve put a few meals away in the freezer.  But what else am I going to do so that I maintain my sanity, you ask?

  1. I’m going to set up four weeks worth of meal plans and shopping lists, to be rotated until Christmas.
  2. My husband and I are going to finish organizing the office, because I have piles of stuff from last year still hanging around.
  3. I’m going to keep working out, because it makes a huge difference in terms of my energy level and how stressed out I feel.  Oh yeah, and there’s half marathon I’m doing next month, so I should probably stay on top of training.
  4. After the office, I’ll be tackling our mudroom/laundry room, because it’s a huge mess in there and it’s time consuming to have to look for shoes, bags, and jackets every time we want to go out.  I hope to hit Home Depot and find some locker-style units that will help manage the chaos.
  5. A lot of the kids clothes are getting too small, or just worn out, so it’s time to go through those, too.  And maybe order them some new dressers from Ikea, because the drawers on theirs are starting to fall apart.
  6. It’s also time to buy the kids some new shoes and probably some cool-weather gear.
  7. Hallowe’en costumes might be a good idea, too, because it’ll be here before you know it!
  8. I picked up a “Happy & Healthy Meals” all-in-one pack from my dietitian.  It’s a binder with great info on balanced, healthy eating and meal planning, plus it has sections for me to record my quick meal ideas, meals I make regularly, and new recipes I want to try.  I want to fill those in this week, so that my meal planning is easier.

That’s probably more than enough.  I guess we’ll see how much I accomplish from that list!

GIVEAWAY!

Holly over at The Couch Potato Athlete is giving away Raw Crunch bars, and they look really tasty.  Click here for the details.

Also in the same post, she discusses her struggle? decision? to find her blogging voice and post about her interests, rather than writing about the “popular” topics.  Something to think about, especially for us new bloggers.

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

Food Journal for Sunday, August 15, 2010


  • Breakfast (9am): oatmeal, apple, Source vanilla yogurt
  • Snack (11am): watermelon
  • Lunch (12:30pm): 2 eggs, goat cheese, turkey, whole wheat hamburger bun (toasted) with margarine, spinach (sauteed with olive oil, garlic)
  • Snack (5pm): strawberries, low sodium V8
  • Supper (6:45pm): cheesy chicken casserole (light cheddar, lowfat cream of chicken soup, skim milk, chicken), whole wheat hamburger bun, sauteed zucchini (with olive oil, garlic), cucumber slices
  • Snack (11pm): skim milk

Food Journal for Saturday, August 14th, 2010

Was so darn hungry today!  Perhaps due to yesterday’s 21k long run?  My Garmin says I burned over 1,600 calories yesterday, so maybe that explains the arm-gnawing hunger today.

  • Breakfast (9am) : oatmeal, skim milk, sliced strawberries
  • Snack (11am): strawberries
  • Lunch (12:30pm): Blue Menu lean hamburger, whole wheat hamburger bun, ketchup and mustard, cucumbers, dill butter carrots
  • Snack (2pm): watermelon
  • Snack (3pm): low sodium V8, fat free chocolate pudding, banana
  • Snack (4:30pm): 30g serving of Mini Wheats, a few potato chips, fat-free vanilla yogurt
  • Supper (6:30pm): potatoes roasted in olive oil, sauteed mushrooms and red onion with butter, multigrain tilapia fillet

So, you’ll probably notice a few things about my eating today:

  • a LOT of snacks – I was SO hungry, but mostly made good choices
  • how did those chips get in there?!? I blame my husband for bringing them into the house and leaving a partly eaten bag lying around (if only I could blame him for my decision to eat them!)
  • yes, there were some MiniWheats in my day, but I cut back my servings of starches at supper to balance them out
  • mmm, butter with sauteed mushrooms – a small but delicious indulgence

Very little exercise for me today, after yesterday’s long run.  Just a quick, easy bike ride.  Took the kids to the park, despite the wind and not-very-warm weather.  Tuckered my 4 year-old daughter out – she fell asleep in the couch at 6:30pm and I ended up putting her to bed a couple of hours later!  I predict more bike rides in her future…LOL  A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do (to get kids to bed early).