Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Change of Plans...

Let me preface this post by sharing my deepest sympathy with those of you who are in the "back to school" boat (or bus?) with me. Eww. I must say, I simply adored spending time with my furbabies and hubby, as well as the visits from family and just overall slower pace of Christmas break. However...this is semester of grad school and I am happy to be nearing the end.

With that said, those of you who were following my blog last semester know that I was a big fan of freezer crockpot meals. While I am still a huge advocate for crockpotting/prepping/freezing and continue to use my beautiful crockpot frequently, I have to admit that I have missed cooking!! I still have a few frozen crockpot meals in the fridge for especially busy weeks, but I have come up with a new organizational meal planning system for this semester. I am finding it very easy, financially doable, healthy, satisfying (cooking cravings), and makes for a happy hubby. Here is what I'm doing:

I have created five weeks of meal plans, 7 days a week, 5 meals a day. Keep in mind that these meals are designed for me; my size, my appetite, etc...and that obviously my husband eats the same foods, but in different quantities. Please feel free to adjust based on your necessary caloric/nutrient intake. Below is week one. On the back of the paper, I have created categories such as Poultry, Produce, Canned Goods and created a grocery list. I also used color coded posted notes to add any household items I needed to the paper, placed the list in a plastic report cover, and to the wild world of Walmart I went (my mom will LOVE the alliteration here).

M - Light cheese and Clif bar (B1); Hot green tea and snack if necessary (B2); Salad with beans, cucumbers, carrots, parm. cheese, croutons, and low-cal dressing (L); non-fat greek yogurt and a banana (S); Grilled chicken with brown rice and steamed veggies (D).

T - Vanilla Soy Chai Shake (B1); Hot green tea and snack if necessary (B2); Salad with leftover grilled chicken and veggies (L); Kidney, garbanzo, and black beans with brown rice and fruit (D).

W - Green monster smoothie and light cheese stick (B1); Hot green tea and snack if necessary (B2); whole wheat veggie wrap with mustard and an apple (L); pistachios (S); Grilled chicken breasts, asparagus, and baked sweet potatoes (D).

Th - Non fat greek yogurt and a banana (B1); Hot green tea and snack if necessary (B2); reduced fat peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread and an apple (L); veggies (S); Chicken sausage over whole wheat penne and roasted red peppers (D).

F - Vanilla Soy Chai Shake (B1); Hot green tea and snack if necessary (B2); Three bean cold salad (L); sugar snap peas and baby carrots (S); grilled chicken with sprouts and brown rice

Sa - Oatmeal with cinnamon and honey (B1); Hot green tea and snack if necessary (B2); spinach salad with mushrooms, grilled chicken, veggies, balsamic vinegar (L); grapes, nonfat greek yogurt (S); eggs, center cut bacon, whole wheat toast with strawberry preserves (D).

S - Honey nut cheerios with reduced fat milk (B1); hot green tea and snack if necessary (B2); Moroccan chickpea salad (chickpeas, carrots, tomatoes, red peppers, feta, lemon, olive oil, spinach leaves) (L); apple and reduced fat peanut butter (S); Grilled chicken with black beans and salsa (D).

B1 = breakfast 1
B2 = breakfast 2
L = lunch
S = snack
D = dinner

So there you have it! A week of healthy food. I have night class on Monday and a long day on Tuesday, so I prep my dinners (and lunches since I eat leftovers) on Monday mornings. I also carefully plan how much of the snacky foods we are consuming as not to waste. As the week goes on, I keep adding leftover veggies, fruits, etc from meals to a basket in the fridge known as the "snack box". Hubby knows anything in there is up for grabs for snacking in between meals.

Hope this helps!


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