Friday, June 1, 2012

Day 18- Planning Meals!

Today is June 1st, which means it's the first day of the June Salad Challenge. Eat at least 1 salad a day, every day, in the month of June. If you slack and don't start till Monday, it's cool, just double up on salads for a few days to catch up. And don't forget, salads don't have to be lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and croutons. I've got 110+ ideas for salads on my Pinterest Salad Mania Board. Me, I'll be drinking my salads for the first few days, AND making up for lost time!

Day 18. Hard to believe that all I have to do is get through Saturday and Sunday and wake up to some beautiful, local produce to eat on Monday. I went to the Peach Stand today to make sure the trifecta was still available, and it is, and looks like it will be until Monday! A beautiful thing happens when the strawberry season runs long, and the peaches and blackberries come in early. Nonetheless, I went ahead and bought a gallon of strawberries and made 2 quarts of Strawberry Basil freezer jam. I read a tip (on Pinterest, where else!) that soaking berries in 1 part white vinegar/10 parts water helped the berries keep longer. I know my grandmother is a big believer in putting them in mason jars in the fridge to keep them fresh. Since every time I've bought fresh, local berries this year they're starting to turn to mush and mold within 24 hours, I figured it was worth trying both. If all goes well, I'll still have fresh strawberries for my breakfasts and several salads beginning Monday. If not I'll have lots of frozen berries for future smoothies. I'll let you know how it turns out!

A few nights ago I couldn't contain my excitement and began planning my menu for next week. I took a long time to do it because we're on a very strict budget so I need to make sure that I can continue eating healthy, organic food AND afford to pay for it. My rules for the first week of eating are, for the most part, the same as my rules leading up to the fast: plant based, whole grains, minimal processed foods, meat, and dairy. When you make double portions and repeat the same meals on different days, your bill goes down. Anytime you can cross-utilize ingredients your grocery bill goes down. I identified 5 foods that sound really good to me and are healthy to build my menu off of. And the list is: avocados, sweet potatoes, kale, quinoa, and shrimp. 

After identifying my 5 big ingredients for the week I set out to scour my Eating Clean and salad board on Pinterest. I made a list for each of my 5 ingredients, then wrote down every recipe I have my hands on that contain that ingredient. I ended up with between 15-25 recipes on each list. I then identified any recipes that showed up on more than 1 of my lists, and those are the ones I went for! Yes, doing this took forever. But I also plan on building myself a google doc for each ingredient and recipe list. So, anytime I have an avocado that needs to be used, I can look at my recipes and easily find something to use it for! A lot of work now will hopefully pay off in making eating clean easier down the road. 

I've allowed for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-day snack, and dinner, each day next week, Monday through Sunday. I also made sure to plan at least one salad each day, and I've also thrown in room for 2 dessert treats! My biggest concern right now is that I won't be hungry for so many meals, and I'll end up with a crazy amount of leftovers. I'm sure my stomach has shrunk so my normal breakfast portion now will be quite different than my breakfast portion prior to the fast. It's important to plan ahead when dedicating yourself to a healthy diet, but equally important to go with the flow and adjust through the week as needed. I might not want my snacks, or I might not want dinner, and prefer a juice instead. In all likelihood, my meals I have planned by the time next weekend rolls around will probably look nothing like what I actually end up eating, and that's ok! 

I thought ahead this past week and put in an order with my new most favorite small business (well, besides Great Grappling and Vitality Yoga, of course!) Nourish. For anyone that missed that blog, Nourish is a new company here in Charlotte that specializes in the once weekly delivery of mostly Vegan, mostly organic, and as local as possible meals. I knew that after spending 20 days essentially out of the kitchen it would be helpful to have some meals ready to go that require little effort on my part. So, when you read my menu below, if it says Nourish! before hand, that means that Laura and the lovely folks at Nourish have helped me along! (Seriously, they're amazing, but get your order in ASAP when it's posted on Monday's. They've got the greatest blessing/curse a good small business could hope for and are overwhelmed by demand. It's a great thing!)

So, without further ado, here it is. The meals I will be EATING beginning Monday (that's only 2 days!!!)


Breakfast: local peaches, blackberries, and strawberries
Snack: citrus & mint juice
Lunch: Nourish Brinner! (ordered last week & frozen- a take on eggs benedict: flax seed cakes, sweet and red potato hash, roasted asparagus, and a vegan hollandaise)
Snack: green lemonade
Dinner: sweet potato quinoa cakes with blackberry salsa, and strawberry & avocado spinach salad.
Dessert: banana slices topped with almond butter covered in organic chocolate and sprinkled with coconut. YUM. (I've already made these and frozen them and should have enough to last me a month!)


Breakfast: quinoa and almond berry salad
Snack: citrus & mint juice
Lunch: strawberry & avocado spinach salad
Snack: green lemonade
Dinner: Nourish mac & cheeze with carroty braised summer greens


Breakfast: quinoa and almond berry salad
Snack: peachy green juice
Lunch: Nourish Jambalaya salad
Snack: Nourish Vegan Pho
Dinner: sweet potato quinoa cakes with blackberry salsa, grilled Nourish veggie kebabs, Nourish vegan potato salad with lemon, green beans & basil, mixed green side salad


Breakfast: coconut breakfast quinoa
Snack: Nourish Pho
Lunch: Nourish mac & cheeze with carroty braised summer greens
Snack: peachy green juice
Dinner: grilled shrimp skewers, grilled Nourish veggie kebabs, Nourish potato salad, mixed green side salad


Breakfast: coconut breakfast quinoa
Snack: berry smoothie
Lunch: citrus shrimp salad
Snack: juice (whatever produce I have hanging out!)
Dinner: MELLOW MUSHROOM! Pizza! Yes, it might be a LITTLE early for the first cheat meal, but hell, I know the consequences and I'm willing to take the punishment with the crime. And I will have a beer with my pizza. Hell yes.


Breakfast: berry smoothie
Snack: juice
Lunch: citrus shrimp salad
Snack: kale chips, salt & vinegar roasted chickpeas
Dinner: falafel, zucchini hummus, spicy peanut & ginger kale salad
Dessert: Nutella hazelnut magic bars (I've been dreaming about Nutella!)


Breakfast: slow cooked eggs with roasted tomatoes and goat cheese
Snack: juice
Lunch: falafel, zucchini hummus, spicy peanut & ginger kale salad
Snack: kale chips, salt & vinegar roasted chickpeas
Dinner: Robin's house (which means lord knows what we'll get ourselves in to!

After listing out my menu for the week I made 2 grocery lists: one for Monday through Thursday, and one for Friday-Sunday. I also made my prep/cooking schedule which will have me in the kitchen Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Each day next week I will provide links to the recipes that I'm using as well as my shopping lists and prep lists, as well as some good photos of FOOOD again! I've missed my food photos! Taking pictures of juice isn't nearly as fun!

I hope everyone has a safe and healthy weekend, I'll check in on Sunday with some "after" (for now) photos on Day 20, and let you know how I'm feeling on the final evening of my fast. Thanks for all  of the support and encouragement, I know I wouldn't be typing this on day 18, still going strong, without you!

1 comment:

  1. Yay! So glad we get to Nourish you this coming week, Megan! Love how organized you are about all this. SUCH a key to success. Yepyep.

    And guess what? Pretty sure there's going to be a quinoa/berry salad on next week's Nourish menu. :D 'Tis the season!

    Have a *great* week, and happy noshing...when you can actually nosh!