Meal Planning3July 24th, 2012Meal Planning
I’m not an experienced meal planner. The act of actually sitting down and planning out what I’m going to eat for the week is new to me.
In the past, my general way of choosing what I was going to eat was just showing up at the grocery store, or looking through the Schwans.com web site, ill-prepared and pick foods that looked good to me at the time without any sort of thought as to whether the foods were truly healthy or something easy enough to work into my schedule.
Obviously this got me no where since I found myself back up to 223 lbs. (only 15 lbs. below my highest ever weight) this past Spring.
Anyway…On with my story! A few weeks ago our power was out for four days, and while it was annoying and pretty untimely, it was also a blessing in disguise. We had to throw out a LOT of the food that was in our freezer and fridge, and this made me think long and hard about what we were going to stock it with again.
I decided to take the plunge and commit myself to meal planning. I started googling “how to make a meal plan?” and I ended up at all sorts of sites – paid sites that would make a meal plan for you, free meal plan sites, foodie blogs, weight loss blogs, etc.
Then I found this awesome notepad, by Knock Knock Stuff, and I have been excited ever since!
I realized that, just as it says on their website, “if you schedule the food you eat, you’ll always know what’s for dinner,” if I plan HEALTHY, easy to make meals for dinner then I will always have the possibility of eating a healthy dinner! It sounded easy enough
With my schedule I have decided that meals that can be made in advance and refrigerated, or cooked in the slow cooker while I’m sleeping are the best for now. Is this somewhat limiting? Sure. However, it is realistic. At this point in the process I’m just trying to eat healthier, so my goal is LESS eating out than I had been.
Fast forward to NOW. I have been able to plan all of my meals and snacks, I’ve purchased food based on what I NEED and I have tried all sorts of new recipes in the last couple of weeks. Something I haven’t done is eat at a single restaurant during the work week these past couple of weeks! I am SO excited to say that…this is truly an amazing feeling to have accomplished this
Here are a few of my favorite recipes so far:
Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Mac and Cheese from Iowa Girl Eats – Just a touch spicy, but just right and SOOOO delicious! I have actually never had Quinoa before, so I am very pleased to say that I like quinoa and I really really like this Buffalo Chicken Quinoa Mac and Cheese! And it’s only 296 – 445 Calories depending on if you do 4 or 6 servings!
Slow Cooker Mexican Pulled Pork via Andie over at Can you Stay for Dinner? – This was FABULOUS. I used a 1lb. Hormel brand Extra Lean Pork Tenderloin and didn’t add in the salt (there was sodium already in the tenderloin). After I put all the ingredients in to Myfitnesspal it came out to be 166 calories per serving of Pork (4 servings total) – use some healthy tortillas and you have yourself a really low calorie meal! We ate ours with 100 calorie packs of wholly guacamole, chopped roma tomatoes, and lettuce. Definitely will be making these again SOON!
Balsamic Chicken from Skinny Ms. – This was delicious! I just bought some really yummy Balsamic Vinegar from a local Vinegar & Oils Shop (Cleo’s Fine Oils & Vinegars) and I HAD to try it in this recipe right away! I ended up serving with steamed rice rather than angel hair pasta like it suggested on the web site, and it turned out absolutely yummy! At only about 260 calories per serving, this definitely gets put in the books as a healthy and delicious recipe! I highly recommend trying it sometime!
I haven’t missed a single scheduled TurboFire workout. (I actually find the workouts fun!)
I am down 7 pounds, and 3.75 inches so far. I’m feeling more strength in my legs and I have TONS of energy.
I am VERY excited about these changes to say the least.
Anyone else new at meal planning? Have any healthy recipes to share that can be made in advance, or in a slow cooker?
Leave me a comment, I would LOVE to hear from you!
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