You are What You Eat: Meal planning for the week ahead

Has anyone ever heard that obnoxious fact that your weight is 70% diet and 30% exercise?  Until I turned 26 that was not totally true for me.  My metabolism was such that so long as I was putting serious time into the gym, I could eat pretty much whatever without serious weight gain.  Sure my WWs points made me hotter, but I could exercise the booze, pizza, deliciousness away and be in my mediums and 6s.

But then at  26, that just turned off.  The weight gain was slow but steady.  I was working at firms, eating crap and eating it late.  I wasn’t exercising enough regularly either.  But when I did,  it didn’t have the same effect.  When I was 23, I could tell after a day or two of exercise that I was making progress in the right direction.  Not anymore.  When I was training for my half marathon last year, I just kept getting heavier.  Even when I could see some positive change in my fitness level, the scale went up and up.  It got so frustrating, it ultimately hurt my motivation to train, and I ended up “running” the half super slowly.  I finally hit the dreaded 40 lbs overweight and decided to start actually eating right.

Michael Bluth and I agree

Michael Bluth and I agree that totally sucked.

So a healthy diet is the answer.  Weight Watchers and Insanity got me down the first 1o lbs, but I need help to keep going and keep on plan to get rid of the extra 30 lbs still hanging around.  I’ve learned pretty quickly the best way to make the healthy diet choices is to plan ahead.  When I get too hungry and don’t have a plan, I go straight to the quickest option which tends to be the unhealthiest option.    “I’m staaaarving…oooh DONUTS!” (I basically become Homer Simpson.)

The thing about meal planning is for me it is very daunting.  1) I don’t always have time to cook elaborate healthy meals, but I also hate prepping ahead.  And sometimes, I am le tired.  2) I don’t have a ton of go to recipes.  So I sit on the internet looking for things to cook and become increasingly overwhelmed until I quit and start reading Warming Glow.  3) I am often torn between different  philosophies on eating.  Whole wheat? Skip carbs?  Should I go real butter or the spray? Fat free or sugar free?  Should I cut out meat? (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA  yeah right.)

Today, I buckled down and planned for the week with the help of Pinterest, which made it significantly easier to just browse recipes I already thought looked yummy.

Here is my meal plan for the week:

Sunday

Porterhouses & Dad’s Pan Potatoes

Tonight, the man is grilling up some porterhouses because the weather is actually not freezing.  I will also be making my Dad’s famous potatoes.  Canned potatoes, green bell peppers, and onions sauteed in some olive oil with garlic powder, pepper and salt.  DELISH

Yum.

Yum.

Breakfast Smoothie for the Week

Green Smoothie

Seems like everyone is praising green smoothies so I used the Ultimate Green Smoothie Formula to buy all the good stuff for my breakfasts/lunches.

Monday

Baked Garlic Lemon Tilapia from Skinny Taste

w/ a side of red potatoes tossed in olive oil, garlic and rosemary baked until crispy and some sauteed spinach

Tuesday

Escarole Soup with Turkey Meatballs also from Skinny Taste 

Clearly, I love Gina.

Wednesday/ Thursday

Crockpot Beer Chicken from Laa Loosh which I am doubling which means we may still have some for the weekend.

Friday

No meat on Lenten Fridays means Shrimp with Avocado Mango Salsa from Self

Saturday Brunch

The man has promised to make me a Texas brunch of  MIGAS!

Saturday Night

Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joe’s from A Taste of Home Cooking

I bought lean ground beef, whole wheat rolls, and part skim mozzarella to sub in for a slightly healthier version.

I generally don’t plan on leftovers unless I am doubling up a recipe, but more often than not, we have leftovers or we got out so my week plan actually stretches around a week and a half  to two weeks.  I plan dinners and a couple of breakfasts, but usually not lunch.  I will leftovers for lunch most of the time.

So what are some tips out there from veteran meal planners?  As a busy working lady, should I be pre-making and freezing everything?  Anyone have any great weeknight recipes?  How bout non-boring lunches? Thoughts on when fake food is okay? Share with the group. (When I say “group” I basically mean Major and me.)

The aforementioned group

The aforementioned group

2 thoughts on “You are What You Eat: Meal planning for the week ahead

  1. Just saw your facebook post about overcoming the plateau (congrats!!) and have now tuned into your blog. You’re probably way past this, since this particular post is from Feb., but still thought I’d share some helpful things I’ve found. Working long hours and eating healthy is hard- they should teach that in school instead of algebra. I’ve found what works best for me is meal planning Saturday or Sunday mornings over a cup of tea (or coffee). I assess what is in the pantry already and how I can incorporate at least some of that into the week’s meals as I do not have money trees growing outside that can support exorbitant weekly grocery bills. I’ll run at out some point that weekend to grab the rest of the items I’ll need and fresh fruits and veggies. I try to stick to meatless meals as much as I can during the week, which can be daunting but less so if you think of more than just a boring salad. I’ll make a batch of quinoa, bulgar, wheat berries, whatever on Sunday night and try to make a salad with that for Monday and Tuesday. Google is incredible for this- plug in a base grain followed by the word salad and magic! Maybe a regular salad the next day and the same, but with some new ingredients (beans, sun dried tomatoes, avocado) and dressing to make it different. I’m weird about salad dressings and try to make my own (which is WAY easier than it sounds) whenever possible. Sometimes a lemon juice and olive oil with some salt and pepper, or a lime juice and honey with some cumin, or the always pleasing balsamic with olive oil. I’ll have the occasional tuna salad (if you like avocado try mixing with it instead of mayo- life changing) or chicken salad, but try to eat it over lettuce instead of bread. Meats, fish, or pasta dishes accompanied by veggies are reserved for dinners and whenever possible I make a little bit more to last another night. My boyfriend and I don’t mind eating the same thing two nights in a row and it helps to keep my stress level down knowing I don’t have to cook 7 nights in a row. We’re also huge fans of crock pots, especially on the weekends. I’m still nervous about leaving it during a work day since I have the world’s most ghetto model and it doesn’t have a timer, but weekends are magical. I am lazy and want to keep it easy, so on Sunday’s (or Saturdays depending on your social agenda) I’ll try to make a chicken dish (BBQ beer chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Salsa-like chicken are our favs) that I can set and forget and it’ll usually make enough to support Monday’s dinner as well. I realize this comment has turned into a novella, but one last tid bit. I snack A LOT at work- fruit, veggies, yogurt. I find working out makes me ravenous and if I don’t have something accessible, I will eat a bag of candy or chips or whatever. I try to pack fruit salad and veggies for the week on Sunday. It’s a pain in the ass and I complain every time, but it is invaluable during the week when I can just grab a container and go and not have to worry about making it the morning of or the night before. I’m lucky to have a fridge at my office and you might be traveling to the court room etc. so it might be more difficult, but there are some really easy homemade no-bake granola bar recipes that you might like. If you make ahead, you can take one a day and it’s a HUGE relief to know you put healthy ingredients in and not a bunch of sugary crap (a topic for another comment). Sorry this was so long but I’ve been trying to find something that works and after much trial and error this system has helped to keep my boyfriend and I on track. Hope it helps and keep up the great work! You’ve beat the plateau and are moving full speed ahead towards your next milestone.

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