Each Sunday, Mike and I sit down and plan out our meals for the week. We've been doing this for awhile now. We do it for a couple of reasons. Mike does all the major (read: elaborate, yummy cooking) cooking in our home. I don't like to cook, but he does ... so this works out perfectly. He likes to have a plan, so he can prepare accordingly. Mike also does all the grocery shopping. I don't mind grocery shopping, but I have a tendency to overspend and my accountant husband does not like that at all! With work, school, after-school activities and homework it's necessary we have a plan, otherwise we'll eat crap or go out to dinner (and waste money). With my restrictive diet, we can't just make meals on the fly. We have to be thoughtful, which is another reason meal planning is so important.
Once we come up with our meal plan for the week, we write it down on our large family calendar in the kitchen. This helps us not only stick to the plan, but it gives me an idea of any prep work (cleaning and cutting broccoli for instance) I might be able to do before Mike gets home each night. We print out any new recipes we might be trying. Then we check our panty, Fridge and freezer to see what we have on hand. Finally we make our grocery list for the week. We have a shared Google document for our grocery list. When we need items, as we add them to the list. Then Mike prints out the list when he shops, which is normally on Sunday afternoons.
This system has made us more efficient (we save time) and less wasteful (we save money). It's also made school night meal preparation less chaotic, since we know exactly what we're eating and what needs to be done. Best of all, it's helped us make healthier choices.
Now that I'm on this doctor-prescribed diet (no gluten, no dairy, and no processed sugar), it's even more important to create weekly meal plans. Just a week into this new way of eating and I can tell you that being prepared is the key to success. You have to have the right foods on hand. You have to have know what you can eat and when + what you'll be eating.
Last week my best friend suggested I posted here what I'm eating, so she could follow along and eat the same things. Last week, I texted her the different recipes we'd be using as I picked them. Since it was our first week with my new dietary restrictions, we were a little less prepared. I liked her idea of sharing on the blog, it will help me stay on track and possibly motivate others to plan their meals and eat healthier.
So here's what we'll be eating this week:
- Monday: Coconut Chicken Satay
- Tuesday: One Pot Kale and Quinoa Pilaf (minus the cheese) with a fried egg (I'm allowed to have eggs)
- Wednesday: Spaghetti Squash Enchilada Boats (minus the cheese) with grilled chicken
- Thursday: Leftovers (Shelby has a cookie booth for Girl Scouts, so having sit-down family dinner together won't work this night)
- Friday: Grilled salmon on top of Heidi Swanson's Pan-Fried Giant White Beans with Kale
- Saturday: Easy Coconut Curry with grilled chicken
- Sunday: Super Bowl Party .... so I have no idea what we're going to make and eat! Maybe naked chicken wings, along with chips and guacamole?
We all eat the same things at our house, kids and parents a like. For the kids, I do let them have dairy and they sprinkled cheese on top of a lot of last week's meals. For now, that's what we'll continue to do.
Check back next Sunday for another meal plan, as well as my thoughts on the recipes we going to try this week.
And a friendly reminder: the Ultimate DIY Bundle is still on sale through Monday.