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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

January Meal Planning

January's meal planning was a bit different simply because I'm not only planning my dinner meals any longer but also 2 rounds of breakfast, prepared lunch meals for a week at a time, and in between meal snacks.  I am also changing up the way I grocery shop to help sustain our clean eating lifestyle better. 

Like I've said before I love organizing and meal planning really helps me concentrate on other to dos rather than what I need to fix for supper tonight.  I also have been going on one big grocery shopping trip a month my entire adult life.  I just love that big trip to get everything I'm going to need to restock and also while I have that fresh paycheck.  I hate those little pesky trips to grab this and grab that.  It seems that when I do that I end up spending more money so if I can get by with one big in and out trip then that is really best for our budget.  Since I've cleaned up our eating even more than usual, over the past few months, the need to go a couple times a month is necessary just to keep all the fresh produce like fruits and vegetables in the frig stocked.

Below you will see FIVE sections of meal planning now instead of the normal one section of dinners.  Besides the dinners I am also planning my weekly lunch, breakfast menu X2, and snacks.  You might be getting confused here like what is breakfast menu X2 mean.... let me explain.

On my breakfast menu I have a before the gym breakfast menu that is strictly for Hendrik. This is mainly small items like pigs-n-the-blanket or muffins.  I have been doing this for quite a while now but I never had it planned into my meal planning I would just cook breakfast on Sunday for the entire week.  He gets nauseous if he doesn't eat before we workout so that is that...Then the second menu of breakfasts is my breakfast and also Hendrik's second breakfast after the gym before we head out on our day. 

Also added to this monthly planning is my lunch planning.  In the past I have had leftovers to take in my lunch and for Hendrik to eat but with the new year comes a new workout plan and also a new and improved me that needs to really clean up and watch everything big and small that I take in.  With that attitude and motivation to get my body where I want it I am starting a weekly plan of lunches that, like the first breakfast, I will prepare on Sunday.  Each week, like the breakfasts, will be the same for every day and then the next Sunday I will start with a new meal for that week.  Not only do I get variety, I get stability, measured out food that I know I cooked.  Snacks are just a way to keep me stabilized between meals so I don't binge on sugar or cheese! :) Nothing is really effecting our dinner menu except I might cook a bit less to only allow for Hendrik leftovers but none for myself. 

Here is January:

First Breakfast
Week 1- Pigs
Week 2- Muffins
Week 3- Pigs
Week 4- Muffins

Second Breakfast
Week 1- Breakfast bowls
Week 2- Oatmeal
Week 3- Breakfast tacos
Week 4- Oatmeal

Week 1- Fish filet, quinoa, green beans
Week 2- Chicken, broccoli, brown rice
Week 3- Fish filet, quinoa, salad
Week 4- Chicken burrito bowl

Snacks for in between meals
Week 1 & 3- Boiled eggs and carrots
Week 2 & 4- rice cakes and almond butter

Vegetable noodle soup
American Chinese
Hamburger with sweet potato fries
Fish, broccoli, and brown rice
Pork chops, corn, sweet potato
Creamy shrimp pasta
Beef stir fry with cauliflower rice
Homemade pizza
Steak, baked potato, salad
Tuna noodle casserole
Baked chicken breast, mashed potato, corn on the cob
Salmon patties, macaroni and cheese, peas
Tomato soup and grilled cheese
Pork chops, scallop potatoes, and peas
Hamburgers with sweet potato fries
Beans and cornbread
Fish, quinoa, corn
Chicken strips, baked beans, and mashed potatoes
Steak, baked potato, corn on the cop
Pork tenderloin, green beans, sweet potato
Chicken fried steak, macaroni and cheese, beans
Oven baked chicken, okra, mashed potato
Fish, cauliflower, and brown rice

A few new found items and tips I'll be trying:

  • Flavor of God seasoning- this is Paleo and vegan friendly with no preservatives like MSG or added salt.  I have a friend that uses this and I see it all over the fitness world.  I ordered the four top flavors and all are in their own 5 oz bottle for $27 from Amazon.  You can check out the website HERE!
  • Extra storage ware- I finally broke down and organized my Tupperware cabinet.  I threw away I bet 20 lids that didn't have a mate and I ordered 10 lunch packs to help with my meal prep.
  • Shop the outside of your grocery store- I read this little tip in one of my magazines a couple weeks back and it just hit me....duh! I had never thought of shopping that way but obviously anything on the outside perimeter of the grocery store is going to be fresh and perishable with all the fatty, loaded with preservative items in the isles. So long canned goods! Come Summer I really am putting this to the test as I plan on having a huge garden...big enough to have vegetables for my own use for a year long supply 
  • In love with sweet potatoes- I don't know if I have touched on this in prior months but until recently sweet potatoes have had a very negative connotation in my mind.  I decided that since I hadn't had any in years because "I didn't like them" I would grab some at the grocery store and use them to make fries on Sunday hamburger nights.  I figured it would be a good way to test the waters.  Well the waters were smooth and the fries tasted awesome.  So good that we have sweet potatoes at least twice a week now and Hendrik even prefers them over white or red potatoes.  WIN- for complex carbs, low calorie, and awesome taste
  • Moved to all wheat pasta, bread, and brown rice- also over the past few months we have completely made the switch to whole wheat grains from pasta to bread...next is flour as soon as I find it.  We have always done whole wheat bread I just prefer it over white but also the brown rice took some getting use to just because it isn't as accessible at our grocery stores in large quantities but now that I have my stock we are good to go.  The pasta is just as cheap as white pasta the only thing is the packages are smaller.
  • Almond butter- If you saw my snack section then you saw where 2 weeks worth of snacks is a rice cake with almond butter.  Over the past month and a half my workouts and eating habits have amped up and with it my hunger pains come about every 2 hours.  I saw this little snack in one of my muscle mags and tried it out.  It is so good especially since I don't like peanut butter almond butter is a great way to get that good fat I need to fuel my day in between meals.
Well I think I've worn out this post so until next month.....Check our prior months meal planning HERE for new ideas to cook up in your kitchen!

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