So what did we do? We turned to the good ol' Food Network for inspiration. We watched this (short) video, and we learned what a healthy diet really consists of...
Daily: fruit, whole grains, leafy greens, nuts, carrots
3x Week: fish, yogurt, broccoli, sweet po, avacado
1x Week: red meat, pasta, dessert, alcohol
NEVER: fast food, soda, processed food, canned soup, "diet" anything
This gave us the framework for our meal plan. But we still needed actual recipes and a rotation schedule....
My first attempt at meal planning meant designating a type of meat per night (Monday: chicken, Tuesday: fish, etc.), and then choosing an actual recipe when that day came. This system was short lived (read: three days). There were still too many variables for my indecisive brain.
My second attempt was a little more adventurous....monthly rotations. I thought by rotating 30 different recipes, we'd know exactly what to cook each night AND we would never get sick of the same old recipe. This plan, however, was even more short lived than the first. Since I couldn't come up with 30+ recipes, I never actually implemented this plan.
Then it hit me. Each night would have a designated meat AND we would rotate the same recipes every week. Seven recipes. Thats it. I know seven recipes! This may come off as somewhat anti-climatic, maybe even lazy, BUT it works for us! So, without further adieu...here is our meal plan:
Monday: turkey burgers, sweet po fries, veg or salad
Tuesday: baked chicken tenders (breaded or naked), couscous, veg or salad
Wednesday: chicken caesar salad and cornbread
Thursday: grilled salmon or shrimp skewers, couscous, veg or salad
Friday: freezer choice
Saturday: Ethnic night!
Sunday: whole roasted turkey or ham, mashed sweet po, veg or salad
Is that appetizing or what?! I didn't go so far as to plan out vegetable side dishes, because we try to buy whatever is in season and/or on sale (the same principle applies to the protein in Thursday and Sunday dinners).
The logic behind roasting a giant turkey, ham, or whatever, is to have lunch meat for the rest of the week. You see, we have a dietician in the family, and she recently turned me off to storebought lunchmeat. Sodium, and nitrates, and preservatives, oh my! And my momma bear taught me a nifty trick for storing this lunch meat: individual size portions...kept in the freezer. Genius, I tell you!
And for breakfast, Casey and I eat oatmeal with flaxseed. Everyday. I have heard so many great things about oatmeal. Both oatmeal and flaxseed help with milk production, and oatmeal is a natural fat burner. What more do you need?
So there you have it. A plan for every meal in the week. I fully expect us to get sick of these same seven meals sometime in the future, and when that happens, we'll certainly make some changes. Until then, we're lovin' our meal plan! Our diets are back on track, dinner is no longer a mystery, AND grocery shopping is way easy now! Most importantly, meal planning is a HUGE time saver, which ultimately means more time with Goose. Double yay!
I hope everyone will consider giving meal planning a try. If you're interested, this website is a great resource for organizing your meal plan and recipe inspiration.
In order to avoid a picture-less post, here is a picture of Goosey and Daddy exploring in the kitchen: