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.
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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!

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.

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!