Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chronicles #4: Planning My Food

I shopped at Whole Foods today. By the way, this is not a requirement for planning a proper healthy meal. I need a third job in order to afford Whole Foods, but there are foods I find here, that I don't find anywhere else. It also adds a ton of diversity to an otherwise fairly basic, plain food existence.

I digress.

A lady approaches me in line and, after noticing my meal planning list, asks, "do you regularly plan your meals?" I blushed a bit and told her that I was doing the best I could to plan weekly, and she replied, "wow, that is so good. I'd like to be able to do this too." I am always encouraged to press on when someone else recognizes my healthy efforts, just as I encourage and inspire people to adopt a healthy habit or two.

I have a printable page I used called The Eat Sheet, and it organizes your food choices into a box for each day, and a space to make a grocery list right next to it. I like the convenience and organization it offers. If you wanna do this too, go to for this and other organizers. This is what I need the most, is practice putting it all together and carrying out the plan.

Eating well is mostly about having an excellent plan that you don't let fail you. You use it with discipline and diligence, and you save about fifteen or so minutes to put it together before heading to the store, since it also keeps you focused. For that matter, you took a look at your finances and set aside a certain amount for shopping against what you knew you'd want to eat, so throughout the week, you looked here and there for recipes or ideas so that you knew what money you'd spend. I know for myself it is a stellar method of placing me on the correct aisles. Otherwise I have a cut-off point. When I get to this point I shut down and can no longer continue on. I need to stop shopping because I will grab a bunch of food I didn't plan on consuming. So it goes, if you didn't plan on consuming it, chances are there will be a wasted meal somewhere in there, and you will begin counting your dwindling money with a bit of frustration for what this cost you. Food is not terribly cheap when you've wasted it.

This week I planned my meals around salads. I wanted healthy salad vegetables since I've been craving this, so I began there. Then I looked to see what ingredients I'd need to complete my salads. Finally, I'd add in the protein and side grain or legume of my choice into this week. I'm looking at eating daily salads and getting legumes in at least twice, calcium and green sources daily, and high protein daily. My fiber comes from a high fruit intake as well as a quality grain, in addition to the salads. Either way, a balanced profile of colorful foods are on the agenda this week. I'm also trying to make the fruit and vegetable the highlight of every meal. The other foods I get are only to ground and round out my macronutrient needs, until it's time for my detox. Then the rules will slightly change...this is the ramp-up for success.

Here's my menu.
Monday: Raw Kale Salad with cranberries and pine nuts, hickory smoked tofu, smoked soybeans and "ham"
Tuesday: Apple lemon honeydew grape salad, veggie chipotle sausage
Wednesday: Lemon Napa cabbage, red quinoa, fried tofu
Thursday: broccoli salad with veggie bacon, maybe another veggie sausage or leftover tofu
Friday: Gluten free brown rice pasta with Quorn brand naked breasts cooked in coconut oil, veggie cobb salad
Saturday: Protein pancakes with Chia seed, watermelon mint smoothie
Sunday: Veggie turkey alfredo, mango avocado smoothie

I am keeping saturday open for shopping, sunday for prep cooking, and a few minutes during the evening to cook the protein source. Otherwise from the salad to the grains, most can be made in advance. Okay, I gotta start prepping! Lots to do! More to come.

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