How I Meal Plan | Morefitme

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I wanted to share how I go about meal planning each month, mainly because seeing others posts on the subject helps me come up with new ideas. I plan monthly and make adjustments throughout the month based on my taste buds. Everything is explained in the accompanying video:

This method actually saves me money! In addition to planning one meat meal, one seafood meal, and one vegetarian meal a week. Each week, one of those meals is made in my crockpot. Usually toward the end of the week, I do not feel like cooking, and so I bust out the crock pot. I find it fun to create crockpot meals and the ease of it allows me to feel unburdened by healthy eating.

Please share your meal planning secrets with me, I love learning new approaches to healthy eating! Also, let me know if you have any questions.

My Weekly Meal Plan + First Quarter Races

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I have decided to begin sharing my weekly meal plan. It is undeniable that food is a major part of staying healthy and in shape. Accordingly, I take a day each week to plan meals for the week, grocery shop and prep. Last weeks meal plan turned into these 4 delicious meals and two snacks:

Meal Plan

Smoothie Bowl
Base: 1/2 banana, water, oj, cup mixed fruit   Toppings: 1/2 banana, granola, chia seeds, almonds

Chicken Salad w/Mixed Fruit
Simple chicken salad: Canned chicken (in water), greek yogurt, mustard, adobo seasoning, pepper, salt, avocado (lime juice squeezed over top), roma tomato

Indian Curry Chicken w/veggies and brown rice
Check the favorite recipes tab for a look at my favorite Indian Curry Chicken video. For veggies I used broccoli and bell pepper.

Mahi Mahi over quinoa w/veggies
My favorite Mahi Mahi recipe (also under favorite recipes tab) is simply seasoned with a butter sauce over top. I like to use Rosemary as my main herb, comes out perfect every time.

Protein Snack Pack
Boiled eggs, beef jerky, Kind bar

I did not take a picture of my cheat meal for the week, which was a couple of delicious sushi rolls. Dessert was a small butter pecan ice cream cone (yummy!!!) This week I have the same number of meals planned, different deserts, plus my cheat meal will be my birthday dinner.

written meal plan

For those interested, I posted a video on my Youtube channel in which I talk about the races I have completed so far this year along with a look at each medal and my medal rack:

Check out my Instagram for pics of the races and more food stuffs.

Meal Planning | May 2014

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This month I want to try some new dinner ideas, so this menu branches out a little more. I will be sure to review the recipes I try and post pics on Instagram as well. I also plan to grill at least once this month, so I have taken that into account. This list also includes some left over meals from last month:

1. Mango Peach Chicken Lettuce Wraps
2. Spicy Grilled Shrimp w/veggies
3. Southern Barbecue Sliders
4. Red Pepper and Chicken Salad
5. Asian Chicken Bowl
6. Herbed Cod w/veggies
7. Vegetable Stir Fry
8. Chicken Quesadilla
9. Crispy Baked Wings w/veggies
10.Stuffed Peppers
11.Mahi w/veggies
12.Chicken Alfredo
13.Chickpea Tacos
14.Shrimp and Noodles
15.Cornish Hen w/veggies
16.Baked chicken w/red potatoes and veggies

This months soups include Lentil, Seafood, and Roasted Vegetable. I also plan to make “ice cream sandwiches” with graham crackers, chocolate chips and my lovely Blendtec (have I expressed lately what a fantastic purchase my blender is). Otherwise, I will continue with my usual smoothies, lunches, and snacks. I am thinking about trying NatureBox for snacks, any of you guys try that service?

Freezer Staples | Making Healthy Eating Easy and Cheaper

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I have come to realize that the most practical way to purchase healthy food on a budget is by purchasing items that will be held in my freezer. This also makes cooking for one easy as well.

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In my last post I spoke about my soup files, which have really made lunch easy. With the remainder of my freezer staples I kept that same meal portions concept in mind.

First up, Chicken Breast. I eat chicken every week in soups, curries, wraps, etc, so I wanted to find a good economical frozen bag of breast fillets. However, I still wanted hormone free, organic chicken packaged with as few preservatives as possible. I went to my three favorite stores for purchasing meat, perused their selection, and chose the best option.
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Of the options, Trader Joe’s won, hands down. This 2lb bag of frozen breast meat is hormone free , there are no preservatives, and is individually frozen (meaning I don’t have to pry stuck pieces of chicken apart. Each breast is 4oz., which for me is a perfect portion. Continuing with meat, seafood and beef.

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I live in Florida with easily accessible, cheap seafood, so it’s a must in my life. I go to the market, buy a few large fillets, cut them into the portions I need and freeze them in water (keeps frost bite away). For example, I bought one sizeable Salmon fillet and cut it into 4 portions ($6.99/lb), a good size Mahi Mahi fillet (9.99/lb, cost $7 that day) and cut it into two portions, and a pound of Bay Scallops (5.99/pound) portioned into 4 clumps. I froze each portion separately and ended up with about a months worth of seafood. I also purchased a pound of lean ground beef from Trader Joe’s (5.99/lb), seasoned and froze it in two separate portions (spaghetti and stuffed peppers).

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Last of the seafood is frozen shrimp. I almost bought shrimp from the same seafood market, but my sister pointed out that the bag from the Publix Frozen food section is peeled and deveined, which will make those tired nights easier, so I splurged and purchased the one pound bag for $18.99. Seems expensive, but when you do the portion math, it’s not so bad, none the less it’s a splurge. Next up was Smoothie fruit:

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My sister kindly pointed out to me that I could purchase a 5 lb bag of mixed fruit from Sam’s Club for $10.98, and that was that. I make a green smoothie daily and this bag of frozen fruit is by far more economical than anything else I was purchasing. I still add a piece of fresh fruit to my smoothie (banana, mango, avocado or pear), and save lots of money. Last but not least is veggies:

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I was hesitant to purchase frozen veggies because they do not have as much flavor as the fresh variety, but the nutritional value is higher, so I decided to give it a try. Economically, Walmart wins with these three pound bags of Bird’s Eye veggies are $2.99 a piece. As you can see I am almost done with one of the bags. These are so easy to steam, throw in a stir fry, noodles or curry dish. They have cut down on cooking and prep time tremendously.

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I have to admit that while economical, they do not have as much flavor as their never frozen counterparts. Plus, pesticides and preservatives, well you decide. None the less, these freezer staples have made life sooooooo much easier. My weekly grocery spending is sooooo much cheaper and meal planning now starts with the freezer!

Meal Planning | Dinners

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I have written about trying out the meal planning idea on ourmindfulhome.com, by prepping my meals each week in the refrigerator. That worked ok for awhile, but it didn’t really allow for much variance. I decided to figure something else out by way of monthly meal planning.

As I have written for the last couple of weeks, I pretty much have breakfast, lunch and green smoothies down. They have a level of variance, but there are always options for those meals in my house, I simply replace ingredients as they run out. Plus, the ingredients for those meals tend to hold up well in the pantry or get used frequently in the refrigerator. That meant that I really just had to figure out dinner.

Accordingly, I decided to plan  my meals monthly, thus having a more global view of what I will need each month. For example, on April 1 I planned 15 meals, which will allow for leftovers, eating out once a week, or choosing soup for lunch. This month the list includes:

April
1. Chicken & Shrimp Stir Fry
2. Wings w/veggies
3. Stuffed Peppers
4. Stuffed sweet potato
5. Veggie Quesadilla
6. Shrimp Scampi or Scallops
7. Chicken and broccoli w/pasta
8. Spaghetti w/beef
9. Chicken Masala w/grains
10. Thai chicken w/grains
11.Mahi w/veggies and grains
12. Salmon w/veggies and grains
13. Tacos
14. Cornish Hen
15. Rosemary Chicken w/grains and veggies

Each week, on Sunday, I pick three meals for the week and begin making my grocery list from there. So far this month:

Week 1
Stuffed Peppers (MT)
Spaghetti (WR)
Thai Chicken (FSun)

Week 2
Salmon (MW)
Quesadilla, Tacos (TR)
Mahi (FSun)

This week will be:

Week 3
Mahi MW
Chicken Masala w/grains (TR)
Scallop & Shrimp Stir Fry (FSun)

I will write about my freezer later as it is stocked full, but this is working well for me. This plan allows for a lot of variety and allows me to use any leftover ingredients that may go bad that week. Plus, my weekly grocery bill has gone down quite a bit. At the end of the month, I think I will find that I have cut it in half! This means that this method is a win for me.