Meal Plan Monday 9.18.17

I had every intention of putting up a kick-ass Meal Plan Monday post, including actual pictures of deliciousness (or deliciousness in progress).  I had gathered all my links from Skinnytaste and Budget Bytes by last Thursday, ready to take on this week like a boss.

Flash forward to the weekend: I came, I saw, I conquered the Rock & Roll 10K, as well as a post race brunch, a cupcake from Cake Life (just like Beyonce would do), some pizza and wings.  I laid on the couch like a log, watching episode after episode of Crossing Jordan and to be honest, I regret nothing.  Sunday was a full day with an early morning Spin & Sculpt session at The Wall, a wonderful baby shower with friends from high school, and more pizza and wings for dinner with the BF’s brother, sister-in-law and kids.  All in all, a truly wonderful weekend.
Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, people standing and indoor
I highly recommend A Taste of Britain in Wayne for your bridal or baby shower!
Notice what didn’t get done: a grocery list.
We headed to Wegman’s after our second pizza and wings binge of the weekend, totally unprepared to grocery shop but 100% committed to getting back on our healthy-eating wagon.  And you know what? We did wonderfully.
1. Get in the right mindset before you go inside. Just because you overindulged for a few days and probably feel bloated, don’t think “Oh, it’s time for a juice cleanse.” It’s not.  It’s just time to recommit to your goals.
2. Shop realistically. Yes, I’d like to plan to eat only veggies for 3 meals a day until you feel normal again, but that has never really worked for me.  I like a well-rounded meal of vegetables, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates.  Plan accordingly so you won’t feel deprived, which could lead to more indulgences that you don’t actually enjoy.
3. Keep a list of stand-by recipes in your head.  It makes shopping without a true list much more manageable.  We picked up salmon and broccoli to make our favorite Maple Soy Glazed Salmon and roasted veggies, as well as pre-marinated steaks and a new pack of chicken to grill for salads and lunches.  Nothing fancy, complicated, or new but all very satisfying and delicious!
4. Avoid trigger aisles.  I am the WORST with buying snacks for the car ride home from the store, especially when a bulk candy section appears in front of me.  WHO DOES THAT?! It’s like a 20 minute drive and we’re not going to starve.  I get into this mentality that tomorrow is a new day, so I might as well enjoy one more treat before I refocus. Not cool.  I successfully avoided the gummi bears and jelly beans and we were both better off for it.

While it’s easy to look on Instagram or Facebook and see all of these wonderful bloggers with their pre-portioned week of meals, it’s not always feasible or necessary to work that hard at meal planning.  Knowing that life will get in the way sometimes and having a plan B will ensure that everyone starts their week off on a high and healthy note!

To the Professor!

When I moved to Manayunk a few months ago, I knew my fitness routine would have to change a little…I was no longer downtown and walking past my favorite gyms and yoga studios on the way home.  Luckily, as a runner, my favorite workout can be done anywhere with the right pair of shoes, but I knew I would crave the inspiration and motivation that I get from fitness classes.

After seeing several posts about the Manayunk Beer Runners on Facebook (you might know their older brother, the Fishtown Beer Runners), I thought “Hey, this could work.”  A group of runners, all sizes/ages/paces, who enjoy torturing themselves for a few miles before meeting at a local bar for a cold beer? THESE ARE MY TYPE OF PEOPLE!

MBR 1 Year Group
Unfortunately, this picture doesn’t feature my favorite members of MBR…the dogs.

A few months have passed since my first run with MBR, and boy…was I right.  I have never met a more supportive, encouraging, hilarious, and weird group of people who I am happy to call my friends.  Led by Dave and Sandy, each week’s run is a challenging combination of hills…and hills (we don’t really have anything else in our area) that ends with good beer and great conversation.

The MBR chapter just celebrated their first anniversary with a beer-filled bash at Manayunk Brewing Company, where we congratulated each other on our accomplishments over the past year (nine people completed a marathon or ultra…including a few who ran Boston!), planned for the future with a new logo, and enjoyed talking running and complaining about how tired our legs are with our new friends.

MBR Logo
The artist who created this logo also made cover art for Snoop Dogg and/or Lion, which means we now have so much street cred. SO much.

It’s very rare as an adult to make new friends and I consider myself lucky to have easy access to a crew that gathers weekly to combine responsible running with responsible drinking in the interest of science, all with smiles and witty commentary as we try not to puke while running up Green Lane.

Dave
Did I mention that every run ends with a toast? I’m convinced people would be happier if they toasted more…maybe because they’d be drunk, but whatever.

To many more years of running, MBR, and most importantly…to the professor!

Join the Manayunk Beer Runners on Monday nights at 6:30 at Main Street and Green Lane. All paces welcome and drinking is obviously optional. Check the Facebook group for updates, route information, and general tomfoolery.

Well, would you look at that!

  • Maybe I’m late to the game on this one, but gym mecca Equinox serves up weekly meal plans on their blog! My favorite part: how organized the instructions are.  Prepping so many meals can be overwhelming, but with a step-by-step guide you’ll be done in no time.
  • A lot of women in Florida (and apparently around the world) are figuring out ways to get arrested in Gainesville after a pic was posted of some of their officers.  While the comments from the other users are hilarious, my favorites are the responses from the GPD itself.  Anyone else looking for a 2018 calendar?
  • Edith Windsor, LGBTQ rights pioneer, passed away this week at 88 years old. During a time when many feel as though their rights are being disrespected and threatened, I’m hoping that learning more about a woman who never gave up will inspire others to keep on keepin on. Here is a great profile written by The New Yorker in 2013.

Week in Workouts

Let me start off this post with the disclaimer that I definitely feel old after a night out.  BF and I did a mini bar crawl through Main Street Manayunk before Morgan’s Pier on Saturday night and I was definitely feeling it on Monday (and Tuesday, if we’re being honest).

Monday: I walked to and from the kitchen several times for snacks to feed my hangover, but I don’t think that counts.

Tuesday: See Monday, but with less snacks.

Wednesday: AM Spin at The Wall…and probably the most wonderful sweat I’ve had in awhile.  I felt like a new human after.

Thursday: Solidcore

Friday: Beyonce Yoga

Saturday: A 5K with BF on the Cynwyd Heritage Trail and through West Laurel Hill Cemetery…so great to change up the route!

Sunday: A sweaty 75 minute yoga session at Hotbox.

While I started out less than perfectly, I definitely finished out strong.  With the Manayunk Beer Runners 1 Year Anniversary party tonight, I know I will be motivated to keep up the momentum through this week!

Namaslay.

Beyonce

Am I a Beyonce fan?  Sure.  I like her music and she’s definitely a badass.  Do I sit at my computer and wait for her to drop a new album? No. When my friend raved about Priya Hot Yoga’s Beyonce Experience class and suggested we attend the next one together, I was definitely down but also a little nervous.  Would I be in a room filled with members of the Hive?  Would they shun me for not knowing all the words to Lemonade?

Answer: no.

Lead by Brittany Policastro, the class was a serious exercise in female empowerment (the class is open to any gender but this one was dudeless) and confidence building.  She apologized for being injured and not being able to fully participate in the class, but DAYUM.  I wish I had half the moves she does, injury or not. She gently forced us out of our comfort zone (I don’t think anyone is used to booty poppin after some sun salutations) and created a safe space for people to express themselves.  WE DANCED IN A CIRCLE! What other yoga class is going to help you do that?

It was great to spend 90 minutes in a judgment-free zone where I was free to sing off key to Irreplaceable while in pigeon pose.  I normally find that pose to be therapeutic, but who knew how much better I would feel after belting out some tunes with it?

While the next Beyonce Experience isn’t scheduled until January, Priya will be starting a series of classes with musical themes.  I can’t wait to text my friend when the schedule comes out to say “Let’s get into formation.”

Meal Plan Monday 9.11.17

I don’t know about you, but stalking Refinery 29’s Money Diaries has made me realize how much money I spend on eating out, buying coffee, and picking up random snacks during the day.  While most of my choices are nutritious, it’s not healthy for my wallet.

I’ve found that the easiest way to cut back on money spent on food and drink is meal planning.  Since we moved in June, Mike and I have done a great job of pulling together a loose weekly meal plan to keep our grocery list focused.  Having a plan and the food needed encourages us to pack our breakfasts (I catch the bus around 7AM so I don’t eat before I leave), lunches, and pre-workout snacks.

For breakfasts, I keep a variety of frozen things that I can quickly pop in Tupperware and throw in my lunch bag, like frozen multi-grain waffles or English Muffins.  Paired with the peanut butter I always have in my desk and a piece of fruit, it’s a super easy way to avoid the many breakfast carts scattered around campus.

Lunches lately have been sandwiches on low-carb wraps, but I made a big pot of chili yesterday for football so we portioned the rest out into single-servings for the remainder of the week.  Crock pots for the win!  I will throw in some veggies and hummus as well as some tortilla chips to keep myself satisfied.

Snacks for this week are Trader Joe’s Omega Trek Mix, which I keep in my desk 24/7.  It’s not my favorite trail mix (there’s no chocolate in it), but it keeps me from mindlessly snacking when I should just have a glass of water instead.

Dinners are a little different this week since we have zero meat in the freezer…the world was my oyster when it came to a menu!

Here’s what we decided on…

Monday: Going out to dinner…it’s my running group’s 1-year anniversary party at the local brewery!
Tuesday: Chicken Primavera & a side of pasta
Thursday: Leftover Chicken Primavera & pasta
Friday: Turkey burgers, vegetables, and potatoes on the grill (Great pre-race meal as I’m running a 10K on Saturday morning!)
Saturday: Going out to dinner
Sunday: “Make Your Own Pizza” and salads (Trader Joe’s has the BEST pre-made crust)
I try to stay on track during the week, but life happens and you might not feel like making your Chicken Primavera if you don’t get home from work until later in the evening.  In situations like that, Mike and I have some frozen pizzas in the fridge that we can quickly pop in the oven.  No, it’s not the most nutritious option, but it is important to cut yourself some slack.  Not every meal is going to be well-balanced and homemade!

Let’s get ready to rummmmble!!!

Guys.  It’s football season. That means we don’t have any more football-less weekends until FEBRUARY!

Image result for last sunday without football

With the glory of the game comes everyone’s second (some people’s first) favorite thing about the season: food.  All the glorious fall food…crock pots for everyone!

Eating your way through Sunday doesn’t necessarily have to wreck the hard work you put in Monday through Saturday.  Moderation is key, but so is finding healthier versions of your favorite recipes.  Some are so good that even your fried food loving friends will devour them!

Appetizers

Texas Caviar – Basically salsa, but with beans (I also add corn) that will add some protein and staying power!  I make this for every get-together and at least one person asks me for the recipe as they walk out the door and they’re shocked when they realize how easy it is!  Best served with pita chips or tortilla chips.

Lightened Up Buffalo Chicken Dip – A football staple that is a little more health conscious but still tastes delicious! Great with celery or tortilla chips.

Main Course

I try to keep my main dishes in the crock pot for a few reasons, namely you don’t have to spend your time cooking instead of watching the action.

I love this turkey chili recipe from Ambitious Kitchen.  Full of protein, low in fat and super delicious.  I like to put out bowls of sour cream, shredded cheddar, and green onions for toppings so people can customize it to their liking.  If you think you can control yourself and not eat the entire pan of cornbread (spoiler alert: I can’t), it’s a great addition to it as well!

Another great crock pot option is pulled beef from Skinnytaste.  Another one of my party staples!  Get some good rolls and thinly sliced provolone and let everyone have at it.

Dessert

Not every football party requires dessert, but if you know people are going to have a post-game sweet tooth, these “ice cream” sandwiches from Skinnytaste are a great option.  I love to keep the desserts limited to cookies or cupcakes so people can grab and go as opposed to waiting for the cake to be cut.

While these recipes will keep you from breaking the calorie bank all in one day, intuitive eating (Fannetastic Food goes more into it here) is still your best option…eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full, and enjoy the game!