Meal planning made easy

Good morning!¬† Hope your week is fabulous so far ūüôā

I’ve had a couple of questions about meal planning and how I eat.¬† I like to create a meal plan every week, and have posted mine on this page if you’re interested in seeing them (and if you can read my chicken scratch handwriting).¬† The print-outs are courtesy of Artsy Fartsy Mama (aren’t they cute and isn’t that the cutest name for a blog?).

So – here’s how I plan my meals:

1.  Survey your fridge and pantry:

Each week, I take a look at what I have in my fridge.  This week, we just returned from vacation and our fridge was totally empty with the exception of some mustard and hot sauce, haha!  However, we have a ton of stuff in our freezer that I want to eat before buying a lot of new groceries.  In our freezer, we have turkey burgers, frozen shrimp, and some steaks and salmon.  (We tend to buy a lot of our meats from Costco, then portion them and freeze them.)

2.  Start with planning your dinners and lunches first:

I always plan our dinners first, then I usually like to make enough dinner each night¬†to have leftovers for the next day for lunch.¬† I won’t eat leftovers for more than one day, so I don’t like to make huge meals and eat them all week – some people do, though!

Our dinners are usually pretty simple – a protein and a veggie.¬† Because it’s finally summer, we are using our grill more and more!¬† So this week, dinners look like this:

Sunday – Bunless turkey burgers on the grill with quinoa salad (recipe to come soon!)
Monday – Cedar plank salmon with veggies on the grill
Tuesday – Bunless turkey burgers with grilled asparagus
Wednesday – Baked shrimp and tomatoes with feta cheese
Thursday РSteak on the grill and salad with homemade balsamic dressing
Friday – TREAT MEAL!!
Saturday – Will probably eat dinner out

Trever and I avoid eating starches with our dinner, so I’ll make a big batch of something like quinoa or brown rice and eat that with my lunches during the week.

3.  Next, plan your breakfasts:

Right now, I’m eating the same breakfast over and over:¬† egg whites with broccoli and steelcut oatmeal with berries.¬† I’m sure I’ll get sick of it eventually, but it makes my breakfast meal planning pretty easy ūüôā¬† When I’m not stuck in the pattern of eating the same thing every day, I like to plan a few breakfast meals and rotate them.¬† For example, I might have the following for breakfast on any given day:

– Egg whites scrambled with spinach and feta cheese and a slice of Ezekiel toast
– Steelcut oatmeal with a 1/2 scoop of protein powder mixed in and some mixed berries
– A whole wheat wrap with a banana, almond butter, and sprinkled with cinnamon
– A protein smoothie made with a 1/2 of a frozen banana, frozen berries, unsweetened almond milk, protein powder, and ground flax seeds

4.  Plan your snacks:

I eat 5 Р6 small meals per day.  I am currently using Isagenix products as a supplement for my 2nd and 4th meal, so I simply have an Isagenix shake for each of those meals.  Here are some other ideas for snacks:

– An apple and a handful of raw almonds
– Cucumber and tomato salad drizzled with balsamic and olive oil
– Steamed edamame sprinkled with salt
– Greek yogurt with mixed berries and a small handful of granola
– A couple of slices of low-sodium turkey and a piece of string cheese rolled up together
– Your favorite raw veggies dipped in hummus

At night, if I’m still hungry after dinner, I’ll have a little bit of cottage cheese sprinkled with cinnamon and Truvia or with a spoonful of sugar-free jam.¬† Cottage cheese contains casein, a slow-digesting protein, which helps with growing muscles while you sleep ūüėȬ† This is an optional meal that I only have if I am still hungry.

5.  Plan your treats!

This is so important!¬† My goal is to eat “clean” about 90% of the time.¬† When you do the math, that means that out of all the meals I have in a week, 3 of them can be “treats.”¬† This gives so much flexibility!

If I know I have something planned during the week – like dinner with a girlfriend, or a happy hour at work – I’ll plan my meals to include those as my “treat meals.”¬† I don’t go super crazy with treat¬†meals, but I’ll eat what I want and have a glass or two of wine and not make a big deal about it!

6.  Stick to your plan!

Make up your grocery list according to what’s on your meal plan for the week, and only buy what’s on the list.¬† This will keep you from buying food that may go to waste or buying a bunch of junk that you don’t want in your kitchen anyway ūüėČ

And try to stick to your meal plan during the week – but have flexibility as well!¬† If your plans change and you have an¬†unplanned meal or if you slip up and eat¬†an unplanned treat meal,¬†it’s ok…no biggie!¬† Just get back on your plan and move on!

 

I hope this post has been helpful!¬† Thank you so much for your questions, comments, and input on the types of things you’d like to see on this blog – keep the feedback coming!!¬† xoxo

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Mexico Vacation – Part dos!

Hope you enjoyed the first barrage of photos from our vacay, because I’m about to post about a million more!¬† On our last day in Mexico, we visited Chichen Itza and it was quite an experience.

Our guide, Irving, was not only so funny, but he was incredibly polite, knowledgeable, and helpful throughout the trip:

At the entrance to Chichen Itza:

The pathways are lined with dozens of vendors.¬† It was a bit disconcerting, really, because everywhere you turn, someone is asking you for “one dollar, ten pesos!!”¬† But it was interesting to see their wares:

 

I never knew before this trip, but the Chichen Itza area is more than just the famous pyramid Рthere are dozens of ruins around this ancient Mayan city:

The architectural details are really fascinating:

…and then, of course, there is the pyramid, which is absolutely massive!

 

Unreal, right?¬† It was a once in a lifetime experience, for sure.¬† The only drawback was that it was SO incredibly hot.¬† Fortunately, our next stop was to a “cenote,” or natural swimming hole:

And then we headed to a really cool restaurant that served traditional foods of the Yucatan in a buffet style.  I was obsessed with the assortment of masks on the walls:

 

And check out this gorgeous fountain behind the restaurant:

Finally, we had time for a quick walk around Valladolid to see the town square and church:

My new obsession – day of the dead figurines!

The vendors at this shop were calling Trever “Mister Muscles” and “Arnold Schwarzenegger,” haha ūüėČ

What a fantastic way to end our trip.¬† We’re already plotting the next one!!

Mexico Vacation – Part uno!

Hola amigos!!¬† We’re back from our vacation in Mexico and had such a blasssty!

I have a ton of pics from the trip so I thought it would be fun to share a few.

We headed from Philly to Cancun on a nonstop flight, which was so easy (even though I’m a nervous flyer).¬† Obligatory plane pic:

We arrived at our resort, Secrets Capri, just a few short hours later!¬† Our room wasn’t ready for us yet, so we headed¬†straight to the outdoor bar (obvi, haha):

It was a little bit rainy and cloudy on our first day, which worried me РI wanted SUN!  But shortly after we arrived, it started to clear up.

We quickly discovered how much we loved being at an all-inclusive resort, and spent a ton of time by the pool and at the pool bar.

The staff at Secrets was so SUPER friendly and accommodating.  The food was great Рthey have 5 different restaurants to choose from, and they were all delicious!  I think my favorite meal was at the Italian restaurant called Portofino.  We asked the waiter to take a pic of us there:

Every night, there were different shows around the resort for entertainment.¬† One night was a hip hop show, one night was a “rock” show, and one night we saw a mariachi trio – they were so talented!

We also took a sushi class Рso fun!  Here is my creation (after we ate half the roll):

And Trever making his roll with the sushi chef:

The resort is beatiful Рhere are a couple of shots I took around the property:

 

One of my favorite parts of this trip was our visit to Xplor.  Such a blast!  You can ride ziplines, drive through caves and jungles on amphibious vehicles, and swim through underground caves.  We had SO much fun there!

We also visited the spa¬†at the resort, which was beautiful.¬† They have a “hydrotherapy” spa, which is a series of showers and steam rooms that are meant to¬†relax¬†and detoxify you…it.was.glorious.¬† And we also¬†enjoyed a couples massage and a facial.¬†¬†Hopefully my skin was glowing¬†after the facial!

¬†I know my hubby’s was – well, maybe it was due to the tequila shot too ūüėČ

…and now it’s back to reality.¬†¬†We’re spending the¬†day relaxing, tackling a mountain of laundry, cuddling with the furkids, and cutting our¬†grass which grew about 12 feet in 1 week!

I’ll be back tomorrow with part two of our vacation – see ya soon!