Archive for the 'Meal Planning' Category

Healthy Meal Planning

Meal planning is not one of my favourite activities, but it’s something I’ve come to realize has to be done in order to avoid the Wednesday night “crap! I don’t have any _____ to make dinner” and to keep my wallet happy.  I live alone too, so meal planning ensures that I don’t buy too much of X and not enough of Y to get me through the week.

Oh, and did I mention I also hate going to the grocery store more than once a week.  Yep, I’ll consist on canned black beans and brown rice for 3 days if it means that I don’t have to hit up the grocery store on a weeknight after work.  And don’t even get me started on grocery shopping on “payday friday”.  It’s a small town and the 3-4 major employers all do payroll on the same day…the grocery store is a freaking zoo!  But I digress….

Here’s how my meal planning goes:

1. Look in fridge, freezer, and pantry and see what kind of protein sources are hanging out.  This week I actually have a nice variety, which rarely happens!  The freezer has a nice pork tenderloin that could stretch for 3-4 meals, a couple of small wild salmon fillets, and 2 small chicken breasts.  In the fridge I’ve got about 1/2 dozen eggs, and the pantry has 1 can of black beans and 1 can of chickpeas.

2.  Check out the crisper drawers to see what fruits/veggies are left and need to be incorporated into the first few meals.  I’ve got a few tomatoes, a couple of apples, a stalk of broccoli, one cucumber, and about 3 carrots that should be used.  Oh, and an onion and some garlic in the pantry.

3.  Make note of anything else perishable that needs to be used.  There are 2-3 servings of homemade hummus left that could be incorporated into wraps for lunch or as a snack with come cuke and carrots.

4. Think about anything I’ve been specifically craving.  This week I want to grill something, since I haven’t used my bbq since last fall.  I’m also kind of craving something mexican-inspired, maybe a taco salad or fajitas, and something with tzatziki.

5.  Start making a list.  Breakfasts and snacks at work are usually pretty similar each day (breakfast = steel-cut oats with fruit stirred in or an egg and slice of sprouted grain bread, snacks = fruit, plain yogurt, sprouted grain bread & almond butter, maybe some almonds or walnuts). I often have leftovers for lunch, so I list each day on a sheet of paper and make a note of what I’m going to have for lunch and dinner.  Sunday’s dinner usually becomes Monday’s lunch, and if there is more than one serving of leftovers it might be Tuesday’s lunch and/or dinner too.  As I go along I start listing anything extra I need to pick up at the grocery store.  Making fajitas?  Need peppers and fajita spice.  Also, if I’m picking up something perishable for a recipe that won’t be entirely used up, I try to think of other meals that would use it too.  My particular nemesis is light sour cream.  I love it on tacos, taco salads, etc. but then am left with the rest of the container that usually goes to waste.

My meal plan gets stuck to the fridge so I can see each morning what the plan for the day is.  If I get home from work and don’t feel like making what is planned for that night I’ll switch it up with another night’s meal – and know that I’ll have what I need on hand to make it.

Here’s what I’ve got on the menu this week:

Saturday Lunch: leftover stir fried veggies from last night, with a bit of hummus and cuke slices.

Saturday Dinner: ww wrap spread with hummus and stuffed with grilled veggies

Sunday Lunch: Saturday dinner leftovers

Sunday Dinner: Grilled chicken souvlaki with homemade tzatziki and a yummy greek-ish salad

Monday Lunch: Sunday dinner leftovers (probably a smaller portion though)

Monday Dinner: More leftover grilled veggies chopped up and put into a fritatta with several handfuls of spinach

Tuesday Lunch: Monday dinner leftovers

Tuesday Dinner: Salmon fillet with brown rice and steamed broccoli

Wednesday Lunch: ww wrap stuffed with chickpeas and assorted veggies, with a bit of feta cheese too.

Wednesday Dinner: Roasted pork tenderloin with roasted carrots, parsnips, and garlic.

Thursday Lunch: same as Wednesday lunch

Thursday Dinner: same as Wednesday dinner

Friday Lunch: ww wrap stuffed with pork tenderloin and assorted veggies

Friday Dinner: spinach salad topped with assorted veggies and pork tenderloin.

And there you have it!  Based on the shopping list I made it looks like it’ll be a wallet-friendly week – and I’m really looking forward to some of the yummy and healthy meals.


Tri Training Plan: Week Starting May 10th

Monday: 350m swim & 30 min walk/run session*

Tuesday: 6.5 km bike

Wednesday: 350 m swim / 30 min walk/run session

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 350 m swim / 6.5 km bike

Saturday: 30 min walk/run session

Sunday: 6.5 km bike

*walk/run sessions will be 2 min walk/3 min run this week

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