Prepping for 21 meals a week

So I’ve figured out that when you are dairy-free, gluten/grain-free, legume free, and low sugar…what you are really doing is following a Paleo diet.  I like that frame of mind because it’s about what we are doing vs a list of things we aren’t doing.

Regardless of what you call it, there is a ton of meal prep involved.  We’re too new in the process to have the kids self-sufficient for breakfast – so that means mom is planning for 21 meals (ok maybe 20) a week. Of course Nom-Nom Paleo has a brilliant schedule worked out for meal prep.  Can you find this kind of time?  Not me.  Containers

That said , you can’t just start chopping veggies on a Sunday night – you need to plan to plan.  Without it you have cranky kids in the AM or when they get home from school and no one’s day gets better with that:

  • What kitchen tools do you need? Because I’m living in a furnished rental 6 months, I’ve been quick to identify what’s an absolute must have to get started with Paleo.  All the equipment here is complete rubbish – here’s the short list of what I’ve bought to make the 6 months manageable:
    • Baking Sheet & muffin tins
    • Vitamix
    • Cast iron pan
    • Chef’s knife
    • Sturdy cutting board
    • Kitchen grill – this was probably not necessary, but it’s fun
    • More glass containers than you ever thought you would buy

Stupid Easy Paleo – Meal Planning has some good tips on how to structure your time to the through week, so you aren’t cooking every day.  She also recommends a slowcooker as a must have.  I don’t think so – I’m making due with the oven.  When we were still eating beans – the slow cooker was huge.

  • When do you have time to grocery shop, that is followed by time to prep?  For me that’s usually Saturday shopping and Sunday afternoon prep.  I don’t schedule anything for Sundays – we get home from Church and the kids have free time until dinner.  I try to have some relax time, some time walking the dogs and my afternoons are spent getting the lunches, breakfasts and 1-2 dinners organized.  If you don’t have a specific list of what you need for the week, Paleo Leap has a great set of all purpose suggestions for things to get ready, so you’re not scrambling every day.  Of course, you can’t chop everything on Sunday or it gets squishy.  I try to carve out a little time Wednesday to get through what’s required for Thursday and Friday.  And Saturday’s is simply cobbling together the odds and end we didn’t get to or didn’t quite finish.

Don’t underestimate the value of your containers.  It’s an investment – but there’s value to being able to put together 10 little packs of olives, 10 little packs of chia pudding, and other additions to packed lunches in advance.

 

 

We canceled our CSA service

I was sad to do this.  I was more sad as I was picking through moldy beets at the grocery store, trying to find something edible.  The produce we’ve been getting from Bryson Farms has been outstanding.  It tastes fantastic, it’s colourful, it looks fantastic, it lasts a long time, etc.

Canceling the service is part of our ‘simplification plan’.  The challenge with a basket of produce that gets delivered, is that it arrives mid-week and then I have to plan my meals around what’s in the box.   This is more time consuming that going through my recipe binder and picking out the first  6 meals that look interesting to me.

Always an evolution here at the house.  It will only take a couple of weeks of moldy, wilted produce for me to go back to the CSA.

Menu Plan | August 10

Ok, so I haven’t been posting menu’s lately.  It’s not just the posting part I’ve been ignoring, it’s the whole planning part.  I’d like to say that it’s because I didn’t know what was coming in my weekly farmers basket, but that’s not the case.  It’s sheer disorganization – from menu planning, to grocery shopping, to scrambling every night to figure out what to put on the table.

It’s so much easier with a plan (at least for me).  Accordingly, I’m back at it this week. 

Monday – Zucchini Hummus, Tabouleh & Veggies with Pita
Tuesday – Roast chicken, steamed veggies, turnip and tomatoes
Wednesday – Greek Salad with Chickpeas
Thursday – Easy Trout Panini’s with cut up veggies
Friday – Stir-fry with left over vegetables & tofu and brown basmati rice
Saturday – Leftovers

All my recipes this week are from this new magazine I found: Clean Eating.  We’ll find out if the magazine is worth getting again after a week or two of recipes from it.

Weekend Menu UpdateThere are only so many days in a row that I can eat cereal, so on the wekeend, I’ve been trying to come up with some new alternatives.  I think I now have our family pancake recipe to the point where I don’t consider them junk food.  I use 1/2 whole wheat flour, 1/2 chickpea flour and I sprinkle them with blueberries, walnuts and flax seed while they are cooking.  In the same way I can’t have cereal everyday, I’m not up for making pancakes every weekend.  Have any suggestions?

Menu For The Week – Feb 21

Since I have to go through the trouble of planning our menu for the week and then heading out to the grocery store armed with a list, I thought I’d start sharing it with the world, and perhaps save someone some time.

Here’s what we have planned for this week:

 

Menu 

Saturday – Leftovers
Sunday – Persian Soup with Beans and Spinach
Monday – Leftovers
Tuesday – Lemon Parsley Sole with Asparagus and Cauliflower
Wednesday – Fattoush Salad
Thursday – Birthday Dinner: Roast Beef, Baked Potato, Green Beans, Roast Tomatoes,  Flourless Chocolate cake
Friday – Roast Beef Salad

Groceries
potatoes
green Beans
tomatoes
spinach
2 red onion
2 onions
garlic
mint
basil
lemons
greens (salad stuff) 

sour cream
16 oz bitter sweet chocolate
butter
eggs

pita chips
bread crumbs
whole wheat linguini
kidney beans
canneli beans
chickpeas 

Roast Beef
Sole (400g) 

Staples & Other Groceries:
Frozen Orange Juice 
Bread
Milk
Tonic Water

October is no sugar month (at least for me)

In thinking about a month where I exercized likely more than I have at any other point in time, and was nursing, it seemed strange to me that my weight remained the same.  When I think about what I inhaled over the course of the past month, it’s not as surprising.  

What to change this month, so that I not only build muscle, but also shed some of the extra pounds?

I’ve decided it’s going to be sugar.  Sugar’s a huge danger food for me. It will start off with a couple of low fat ginger cookies to go with a cup of tea, but then sugar slowly creeps in everywhere and eventually takes over.  From the cookies, I’ll add a spoonful to a cup of coffee, or I’ll order a cookie from Starbucks (think I’ve mentioned that one before… it’s the size of 4-5 regular cookies, nothing good can come from that).  From there in the cereal aisle, I’ll venture out of the organic, bran buds section and start looking at frosted mini wheats or honey nut cheerios (equally bad ideas).  

So with two planned exceptions: my birthday and pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving, I’m off added sugar for the month.  The fact that ‘All Bran Flakes’ have some sugar added I’m going to let slide.  In turn, if I find out that my whole grain, organic flax bread has some sugar added, it also gets a pass.  But there will be no sugar/maple syrup/honey in: yogurt, tea, cereal, pancakes, nor will there be more obvious sources: cookies, cakes, candy (doh… I forgot about Halloween when I first wrote my 2 exceptions).  It will also mean no more chai lates, or hot chocolate…. those are big empt calories that I will strive to eliminate this month.  

Here’s hoping that when I log in for my November 1  measurement check that I’ll be under ABC!  Yay…