My Weekly Meal Plan

It seems like I’m always talking about my meals, but I don’t think I’ve fully talked about my meal planning.

So here it is!

A little more about my weekly meal planning:

First, I start my week on Monday, so in my brain Monday is the first day of the week. Towards the end of my week, usually on Thursday night or Friday, I’m brainstorming about what I’d like to eat for the following week.

Once I decide on what to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner Monday through Friday, I make a grocery list. That way, I don’t forget anything and I don’t end up buying extra, unneeded stuff.

I usually go to the grocery store on Saturday or Sunday, depending on what my schedule is like. On Sunday evenings, I start prepping for the next 5 days.

Here’s a look at what my meal plan is for this week.

Monday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Tuna salad salad with celery, walnuts, apples, and fat free mayo served with a side of my homemade healthy honey mustard dressing and homemade chips and salsa.

Snack-Wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks, Veggie Krunch, pecan nut butter.

Dinner-BBQ chicken foil packet w/ purple potatoes, red and green bell pepper, squash, and green onion topped w/ a little cheddar cheese and boiled cabbage on the side.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Tuesday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Tuna salad salad with celery, walnuts, apples, and fat free mayo served with a side of my homemade healthy honey mustard dressing and homemade chips and salsa.

Snack-Veggie Krunch, zucchini pizza bites, wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks.

Dinner-Honey mustard chicken foil packet w/ red potatoes, green and red bell pepper, squash, and green onion served with a side of boiled cabbage.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Wednesday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Chicken deli meat sandwich w/ pepper jack cheese, can of low sodium tomato juice, cutie mandarin orange.

Snack-Wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks, chips and salsa, Veggie Krunch.

Before workout snack-Tablespoon of nut butter.

After workout snack-Tablespoon of nut butter.

Dinner-BBQ chicken foil packet w/ purple potatoes, red and green bell pepper, squash, and green onion topped w/ a little cheddar cheese and boiled cabbage on the side.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Thursday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Chicken deli meat sandwich w/ pepper jack cheese, can of low sodium tomato juice, cutie mandarin orange.

Snack-Wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks, chips and salsa, zucchini pizza bites.

Before workout snack-Tablespoon of nut butter.

After workout snack-Tablespoon of nut butter.

Dinner-Honey mustard chicken foil packet w/ red potatoes, green and red bell pepper, squash, and green onion served with a side of boiled cabbage.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Friday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Chicken deli meat sandwich w/ pepper jack cheese, can of low sodium tomato juice, cutie mandarin orange.

Snack-Wonton wrapped mozzarella cheese sticks, chips and salsa, zucchini pizza bites.

Dinner-BBQ chicken foil packet w/ purple potatoes, red and green bell pepper, squash, and green onion topped w/ a little cheddar cheese and boiled cabbage on the side.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

As for Saturday and Sunday, I try to use my leftovers from the week.

Saturday

Breakfast-Toast with either a vegetable egg scramble or maybe breakfast chicken sausage and skim milk.

Lunch-Leftover chicken and vegetables from the week made into something delicious such as a stir fry served with brown rice.

Dinner-Going out to dinner.

Sunday

Breakfast-Cheerios w/ skim milk.

Lunch-Leftover chicken sausage from a couple weeks ago that I put in the freezer served with leftover lettuce to make a salad and whatever vegetables I have still left in my fridge.

Dinner-I usually pick up a pre-made meal or salad from the grocery store and eat it for dinner on Sunday night.

Evening snack-Small bowl of Cheerios.

Then I just start it all over again!

I have found that meal planning has been extremely beneficial for me. I always know what I’m going to eat so there are no surprises and I don’t have to make last minute, unhealthy decisions.

As always though, things do come up and my meal plan might change slightly. Either way, I make the most of it and still strive for pretty healthy choices if I am put in a situation where I can’t eat my chosen meals.

I’ve also found that I LOVE meal planning. I could do it all day. It’s exciting to me to get everything structured out to make at least the food part of my life easier.

I’ve also found that my meal planning has gotten better over time. I’ve learned what works for me, what doesn’t, what keeps me full, what doesn’t, etc. I’ve learned how to utilize what I’m buying at the grocery store so I don’t waste food. I don’t let vegetables or meats or really anything expire because I have found ways to overlap the same foods for different purposes. It’s become sort of a game to me and like I said, I simply love it. 🙂

My Weekend Eats

I love cooking on the weekends. When I cook during the week, it’s more about convenience. On the weekends though, I get to be more creative and cook what I’m currently craving.

My typical Saturday is to exercise early and then do a late breakfast or aka brunch. This Saturday’s brunch was a Cajun chicken sausage scramble of deliciousness. As always, I utilize whatever veggies I have left from the week and throw them into my brunch on Saturdays. This week I had asparagus, broccoli, onion, tomato, zucchini, and green bell pepper left over.

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I also had a Cajun chicken sausage leftover from a couple weeks ago that I had to freeze because I had extra.

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I boiled the sausage first, then I browned it on both sides until it was cooked through.

I sautéed all my veggies…

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Then added the chopped Cajun chicken sausage…

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Then poured in my eggs. I used one whole egg plus two egg whites.

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I scrambled it all up until the eggs were done. Last, I added a sprinkling of low fat Mexican cheese.

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Yummy in my tummy! I served the Cajun egg scramble with a piece of toast and a cup of skim milk for a total of 570 calories. It was very filling and lasted me until dinner 6 hours later. I didn’t even need a snack in between!

On Sunday, I had my dad and step-mom over for exercise and lunch at my place.

As far as exercise, I must catch you up on my current exercise of choice. I have recently started to enjoy short distance running. Every time I run, I usually run a mile or just over a mile. I’ve been really trying to beat my last run time every time I run.

The first couple of times I ran, my time was just under 18 minutes because I was running and walking. Then slowly, I got my time to about 15 minutes and 30 seconds per mile. On Wednesday, I went running at the BFFs gym with her and my time was 15 minutes and 25 seconds.

I’m happy to say that I beat my time! Yesterday, not only did I run a 14 minute and 27 second mile, but I RAN the whole time! I didn’t stop once to walk. I was soooo proud of myself for that! I have definitely come a LONG way in just a short amount of time. It feels great!

After the great workout, we made a healthy and filling lunch.

Last weekend, I bought this molé simmer (pronounced MO-lay).

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We love our Mexican food so I was looking forward to trying this delicious sauce.

The instructions were simple. Brown your chicken (I used 18 ounces of chicken tenders) and then add the summer sauce, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

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After 15 minutes, I shredded the chicken so it could soak up all the wonderful sauce.

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We served our chicken molé in warm corn tortillas with shredded mozzarella cheese, just a touch of cool guacamole, and a squirt of lemon juice.

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We added Mexican rice as a side dish and I also roasted up some kabocha squash. Not sure what kabocha squash is? No problem. I didn’t even know what it was when I bought it. I just saw that it was a squash and I got excited and knew I had to try it.

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I did a little google-ing (that’s a word, right?) and I found out that kabocha squash is an Asian winter squash, often referred to as a Japanese pumpkin. That seems pretty fitting as it looks and smells like a cross between a pumpkin and a sweet potato. But, I found that it tasted very similar to an acorn squash, which I love!

To cook this kabocha squash, I cut it in half, scooped out all the seeds in the center, sliced it into thin slices, and then sprayed it with my coconut oil spray. I sprinkled the squash with a spice seasoning mix and pepper. I roasted it in a 375-400 degree oven until it was done, maybe 30 minutes.

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It came out soft but with a roasted crunch to it, kind of like roasted potatoes. The skin was even edible, so I loved that and not having to peel it. 🙂

You should go out and try this wonderful squash for yourself. Be adventurous! Let me know how it goes!

Eat This, Not That

So I went to Sonic last weekend and I was going to order a tea to drink, but when I saw all of their shake flavors I instantly wanted their peanut butter and jelly shake. I mean, how good does that sound?! Trust me, it was heaven in a styrofoam cup.

When I got home from work last night, I was craving another peanut butter and jelly shake. Luckily, before I decided to go get one at Sonic, I looked up the nutritional info. The mini has 700 calories! That’s insane! The mini is soooo small. It was good, but geez, I don’t think it’s worth 700 calories.

I knew I had to come up with an alternative so that is why I came up with an “Eat This, Not That.”

Eat This

My PB&J Chia Seed Pudding-292 Calories

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Not That

Sonics PB&J Milkshake-700 Calories

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Of course, it’s nowhere near tasting like ice cream, but the chia seed pudding still has the same delicious flavor of peanut butter and jelly that I was looking for. And although it’s far from actual ice cream, the pudding is seriously delicious!

Peanut Butter And Jelly Chia Seed Pudding

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 and 1/2 tablespoons almond butter
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup (not pictured)
Stevia (sweeten to taste)
1 and 1/2 tablespoons jelly or jam of choice

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Mix the almond milk, chia seeds, peanut butter, maple syrup, and stevia together in a small bowl with a lid.

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Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, but preferably overnight. It may need to be stirred again after the first hour of refrigeration. When ready to eat, add jelly and stir. Then eat.

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I used a local wine fruit spread, Toasted, which you can get here. It’s amazing because it’s got a great wine flavor with real chunks of fruit in it!

This pudding is awesome! It’s definitely something I’m going to make again. The flavor possibilities are endless, kind of like the milkshake combinations at Sonic. 🙂

You can easily cut out some calories by using PB2 instead of almond butter. I would have done that, but I’m out of PB2. You can also skip on the maple syrup and just use stevia to sweeten it. So this pudding could easily be dropped to only 180 calories depending on what ingredients you use.

I’m sure you’ll be seeing other chia seed pudding recipes in the future. I’m thinking about making a coconut mango pudding tomorrow. Yum yum!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I’ve got some fun plans made so I’m excited for the weekend to get here! As always, I’m sure there will be some delicious, blog-able foods eaten over the weekend as well!

Life

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” – Allen Saunders

Life has been kinda crazy lately and I’m sorry I haven’t really been posting as often as I have in the past.

I have several excuses (good ones!). I took a short trip to Dallas to visit my sister this past weekend and to watch baby Ethan. I brought along the BFF and we had a great trip. We ate some delicious food, drank some of my favorite matcha tea from White Rock Coffee, and just had a really great time.

Immediately when I got back to Tulsa, things began to fall apart. First, I got in a wreck on my way home from picking up my dog at my dads, then the nice police man (sarcasm!) gave me a ticket for inattentive driving, then I called to see how much the ticket would be and I was told it was mandatory court for that type of ticket.

It’s going to cost me $250 to fix my car (thank God for great insurance and a SMALL deductible). I’m not sure how much the ticket will be but I’m budgeting $250 for it just in case. Who knows, it could be more! And now I’m also sitting here worried about having to go to court, something I’ve never done before, and I’m just stressed.

Ah, stressed, the key word there. I have been stressed a lot recently because of my job. Some extremely unfair things have been going on, causing my paychecks to be affected and it just seems completely unnecessary that it’s even happening. Nevertheless, it’s been the root of a lot of my stress. Add in all the other car stuff, and you end up eating chicken fried steak with mashed potatoes and gravy on your day off and completely forgetting about doing anything healthy, all because of stress.

Don’t fear though because today things are MUCH better! Yeah, I still have all that other stuff to deal with, but I’m feeling positive and I’m out of that small rut I got into. I hate to use the phrase “fell off the wagon” but I did indeed “fall off the wagon” for a few short days (5 to be exact.)

Today though, is a new day. I may have gained 4 pounds back, but I’m still extremely focused on losing weight and I have even set a new goal for myself. I’d love to see myself under 250 pounds, so I need to lose almost 50 pounds to reach my new goal.

Even though this past weekend was full of unhealthy delicious food, I’m still going to tell you about it. Trust me, it’s worthy of sharing!

On Saturday night, my sister paid for dinner for Megan and I since I was watching Ethan over night for her. She didn’t have to do that, I would have done it for free, but it was so nice of her to do that for us. Since we’d be in Plano, my sister suggested a few places and Meg and I decided on a place called Zanata.

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We both had a glass of red wine to start. Then, we shared the brussels sprouts hot appetizer which also had cauliflower, sweet potato, and bacon in it.

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It came with a delicious sauce we both loved and couldn’t figure out what it was. We asked and the waitress told us it was caesar dressing. Sounds weird but it was great on the brussels sprouts!

I ordered the Happy Hour pizza for my entree which had tequila pineapple, spec ham, bourbon onion, mozzarella, arugula, and crushed black pepper.

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I ate most of it (we shared) and this was all that remained.

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Sad little pizza slice sitting all by himself. 😦

Megan ordered one of their specials. It was a beef tri-tip with some fancy named noodles and a spinach pesto with some kind of cream sauce. It was also very delicious.

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Since we were treating ourselves, we also shared a dessert. We ordered the lemon basil cheesecake. It was sooooooo creamy and VERY yummy!

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Look at that creamy filling! It was the PERFECT balance of lemon, herb, and sweet.

If you’re ever in downtown Plano, TX, I suggest you try this place out!

The next day was filled with even more great food. We decided to start the day off right with our iced matcha green teas from White Rock Coffee and then head to Klyde Warren Park for some lunch from the food trucks.

We shared the banh mi tacos (my absolute favorite!) and 3 of the sliders from The Butchers Son food truck.

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We got the Mac-N Beefy, the Southern Hospitality, and the Dead Elvis sliders.

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These were really great! My favorite was the Dead Elvis with bacon, melted peanut butter, and melted Nutella. Mmmmm!

After the park, we went to Sprinkles to get a cupcake and we went to Dude, Sweet to get some chocolate. I heart this chocolate place so much. This time, I got a sampler box.

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Some of the chocolates tasted just like they said they would, and others fell kinda flat. Either way, it was fun trying all the cool flavors!

On our way out of town, we hit up The Container Store and drooled over all the different containers. It’s like they have containers for your containers! I could be so organized if I could afford to buy some of everything in that store. 🙂

Our last stop before leaving town was In-N-Out Burger.

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I’d never been before because we don’t have those in Tulsa so I thought I’d like to try it before we leave. I haven’t eaten red meat or burgers very often since I started losing weight. So I’m not sure if the burger was extremely delicious or if I just loved it because I hadn’t had a burger in so long! Haha, either way, it was tasty and I ate the whole thing.

Sadly, Megan and I had to come back home to Tulsa and back to reality. We really did have a great trip though and we found out that we vacation well together so we plan on vacationing together again for sure.

We’re both so addicted to matcha tea that who knows, maybe we’ll drive back down to Dallas soon for more!

The Perfect Summer Fruit Salad

Hey everybody! I hope you all had a great 4th of July! I sure did!

As far as eating healthy on the 4th, I ate mostly healthy with a little bit of splurge in there. I went over to the BFF’s and we made a plan to cook our own separate food so that we could still eat healthy and also enjoy the 4th of July without feeling guilty.

We made Gina’s healthy baked chicken nuggets (which were super delicious) and also these super yummy zucchini tots.

The BFF also had a recipe for a quinoa fruit salad so we decided to try that out too. She found the recipe here, but we (and by we, I mean I) decided to tweak it a little. I have trouble following a recipe. I think recipes are for a guideline, and they’re not meant to be exact. Change it up a little and use things you’ve got on hand or use things you love!

The gist of the quinoa fruit salad recipe is that it’s a mix of fruit, with cooked quinoa, and a super simple but delicious dressing. Here’s the recipe that we used instead!

Perfect Summer Quinoa Fruit Salad

1/2 Cup Quinoa
1 Cup Water
Pinch of Salt
Juice of One Large Lime
3 Tbs Honey
2 Tbs Chopped Mint
3/4 Cup Chopped Pineapple
3/4 Cup Green Grapes
3/4 Cup Black Grapes
1 Small Can of Mandarin Oranges, Drained
3/4 Cup Sliced Strawberries
1 and 1/2 Cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
1/4 Cup Toasted Walnuts
1/4 Cup Toasted Pecans

Add the quinoa, water, and salt to a small pan and cook over medium heat until it boils. Let boil for 5 minutes, then turn heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Let the quinoa cool to room temperature. Set aside.

For the dressing, whisk the honey, line juice, and chopped mint together until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the pineapple, both grapes, mandarin oranges, and strawberries. Add the quinoa next and then stir. Add the dressing and then stir again. Finally, add the toasted nuts and the crumbled feta cheese and stir until just combined. Serve either at room temperature or chilled.

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It may not look the prettiest in the pictures, but it looked very pretty in real life. And I thought it tasted great! I had at least a few bites right after it was done, and then had a couple servings with dinner.

It was a perfect balance of sweet, salty, crunchy, and healthy. I’d definitely make this recipe again. I think it’d be a great dish to bring to a potluck at work or something!

Well, that’s all for now. I’m going to Dallas again for the weekend, so hopefully I’ll bring back some new food/foods to blog about. Maybe some more chocolate from Dude, Sweet?! 🙂