Weekly meal plan #17 (May 22-28)

This week’s meal plan is a little short because we’re going out of town for a wedding next weekend. I hope you get to do something fun Memorial Day weekend, too!

Monday

Sriracha burgers (pre-made from the grocery store meat counter), grilled eggplant, fries (I’m using the Alexia Foods Rosemary Fries with Sea Salt from the freezer section)

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Credit: The Spruce

Tuesday

Greek chicken and lemon rice, broccoli

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Credit: RecipeTin Eats

Wednesday

Buffalo chicken bacon ranch casserole (yes, again, because we love this meal)

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Credit: Civilized Caveman

Thursday

Spicy southwestern salad with avocado dressing (I’ll be adding chicken)

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Credit: Pinch of Yum

Friday

Honey chipotle pork chops and baked potato with broccoli and cheese sauce (I bought the broccoli and cheese sauce from the frozen section)

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Credit: Publix

Saturday – Sunday

We’re headed out of town for a wedding! If the weather is nice where you live, I suggest making simple grilled meat and veggies on the grill with potato salad, like the one I made last week.

Stay fit,

Marisa

Should I diet before vacation?

If you mean, “Should I continue an existing diet/healthy habits I had for several weeks or months prior to vacation?” by all means, continue!

If you mean, “Will crash dieting and exercising like a maniac make me look lean for vacation?” then the answer is probably not.

Here’s why: A one or two week diet before vacation will cause you to shed mostly water weight and MAYBE a pound or two of actual body mass. You’ll look lean for your first day of vacation and by day two, after you’ve traveled, eaten a burger and poured back a margarita, you’ll be wondering why you’re bloated again. It’s just a given with extra salt and carbs in your diet and the change in your routine.

Personally I don’t think two weeks of starving and crazy workouts are worth it for one day of results and no long-term benefit. I wouldn’t do a two-week diet for the sole purpose of going on vacation.

If I happened to start a diet shortly before but unrelated to vacation, I would ease my way in and keep in mind that my results would be delayed because of my vacation.

When you return from vacation and notice bloating or a higher weight on the scale, don’t panic, don’t starve yourself, and don’t spend hours doing cardio. Your best bet is to drink a lot of water and get back to a healthy routine.

How do you prepare for vacation?

Stay fit,

Marisa

Weekly meal plan #16 (May 15-21)

The weather is finally supposed to get warmer this week (fingers crossed), so I planned three meals on the grill! Here’s to hoping my propane tank isn’t empty.

Monday

Leftovers: Instant Pot chicken tikka masala from Sunday

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Credit: Kitchn

Tuesday

Grilled pork chips with garlic-lime mojo, foil pack asparagus, baked potato

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Credit: The Optimalist Kitchen

Wednesday

Grilled burgers, roasted potato salad with dill-scallion vinaigrette, kale salad

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Credit: Perry’s Plate

Thursday

Venison steak and kale tacos with garlic cream sauce

I’m using the same recipe as last week’s shrimp tacos except I’m substituting venison for the shrimp and kale for the shredded cabbage.

Friday

Pesto stuffed chicken, broccoli, rice

I’m using last week’s pesto-stuffed pork chops recipe but converting it to chicken. I’ll cook the chicken breasts at 375 degrees F for about 25 minutes plus 5 more minutes with the glaze.

Saturday

Grilled bratwursts, leftover potato salad, asparagus

Sunday

BBQ chicken pizza with sweet potato crust

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Credit: The Soccer Mom Blog

What do you like to cook when the weather gets warmer?

Stay fit,

Marisa

Weekly meal plan #15 (May 8-14)

A few updates before I get into the meal plan.

I’ve been gone. I took a break from blogging this week to care for a sick kitty who was also having some behavioral problems. Call it a lame excuse, but my attention was fully occupied between her, work, housekeeping and traveling. Kitty is better and now I’m back.

I’m still dieting. Honestly I haven’t been that strict lately and don’t think I’ve made much more progress in the past two weeks, but I’m 100 percent committed to getting back on track.

I shopped at a new grocery store today. So it was just Trader Joe’s, which is not a completely new grocery store for me, but I’ve never shopped for all or the majority of my groceries there. I only intended to pick up a few things but decided to go all out today after I saw the selection and prices of my favorite items. I only needed to get a few things at my regular grocery store.

Okay. Finally. The meal plan.

Monday

Pesto stuffed pork chops, broccoli, jasmine rice

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Credit: allrecipes

Tuesday

Gluten free ravioli (from the freezer section) with pasta sauce (from a jar) and steamed asparagus, red peppers and yellow squash

Wednesday

Air fryer chicken wings with Thai peanut sauce, sweet potato fries and salad

I’ll season the wings with salt, pepper, cumin and curry powder before I put them in the air fryer.

Thursday

Nacho stuffed sweet potatoes – fixings will include taco seasoned ground venison (with salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, garlic power and onion powder), nacho cheese sauce, salsa and jalapeño rings

Friday

Shrimp tacos with cilantro garlic sauce

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Credit: The Fit Sconnie

Quick recipe:

Season shrimp with chili powder, cumin and cayenne and cook through in a pan. For the sauce, combine 3/4 cup cilantro leaves, 3 cloves garlic, juice of 2 limes, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 T olive oil and blend until smooth. Mix about half the sauce with 2-3 cups shredded green or purple cabbage to make a slaw. Fill warmed corn tortillas with slaw and shrimp. Top with more sauce, avocados, feta and cilantro.

Saturday

Butternut squash noodles with sausage and kale

I’m using pre-spiralized butternut squash noodles from the grocery store.

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Credit: The Real Food Dietitians

Sunday

Instant Pot chicken tikka masala

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Credit: kitchn

What’s for dinner at your house this week?

Stay fit,

Marisa

My favorite recipe blogs

I have an unusual bedtime tradition. A few nights a week, I like to wind down by looking for recipes. Finding a recipe that looks great is kind of like shopping online and finding a fabulous deal. At least to me. I know. I’m weird. Anyway, here are the recipe blogs I love checking regularly, in no particular order.

PaleOMG

The Girl Who Ate Everything

Skinnytaste

Carlsbad Cravings

Fed & Fit

Little Spice Jar

Two Peas & Their Pod

Iowa Girl Eats

Primal Palate

Half-Baked Harvest

The Domestic Man

What are your favorite recipe blogs?

Stay fit,

Marisa

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weekly meal plan #14 (Apr. 24-30)

Another week of hubby working nights, another week of cutting, another week of quick, simple meals.

Oh! Guys! I meal prepped today. Partially. I NEVER meal prep. I eat leftovers or I dig soup out of the freezer. But today. TODAY. I roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts and cut up strawberries and pineapples. I wanted to cook my meat, too, but it was still frozen. Minor fail. I’ll cook it tomorrow though.

Here’s whats for dinner this week.

Monday

Sweet and spicy shrimp, peppers, onions and broccoli over coconut rice

Quick recipe:

Combine 1 T olive oil, 1/2 t salt, 1/2 t brown sugar, 1/2 t paprika, 1/4 t cayenne, juice of 1 orange. Toss with peeled, deveined shrimp and chopped vegetables. Stir fry until shrimp are cooked through and vegetables are tender-crisp.

Meanwhile bring 13.5 oz. of coconut milk (1 can) to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup jasmine rice. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir rice, turn off heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.

Tuesday

Slow cooker chipotle pork with pineapple slaw tacos

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Credit: Primally Inspired

Wednesday

Basil chicken in coconut curry sauce over rice with zucchini (I’ll mix the zucchini in the chicken and rice)

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Credit: Mel’s Kitchen

Thursday

Apple venison meatloaf and roasted red potatoes

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Credit: The Hunter’s Widow

Friday

Mexican sweet potato skins (I’ll add leftover pork from Tuesday’s tacos for more protein)

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Credit: Pinch of Yum

Saturday

Out with my parents for early birthday dinner

Sunday

Freezer meal – sweet potato, poblano and chorizo chili

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Credit: Iowa Girl Eats

What are you eating this week?

Stay fit,

Marisa

How I plan my meals

One of my many alternative dream jobs is meal planner and grocery list maker. I love making my weekly meal plans, making my grocery list and grocery shopping. I know that makes me weird. Most people I know hate meal planning and feel overwhelmed by it. If you’re one of those people, here are some tips I follow when I meal plan and make my grocery list very week.

Start with dinner. Dinner is my most exciting time of the day for food because it’s different every day and I get to be creative. I get most of my recipes from Pinterest or a handful of blogs I check for new recipes each week. I’ll list my favorite recipe blogs in a different post.

Make leftovers. A few times a week I plan a meal that will have leftovers so I can eat them for lunch the rest of the week. That saves a lot of time meal prepping.

Batch cook lunches. If I don’t have enough leftovers, I’ll make a small batch of soup to eat for a few of my lunches so I only have to prepare one thing.

Eat protein, carbs and veggies with lunch and dinner. This is a good way to make sure I hit my macros (or get really close) and also get my micronutrients in.

Keep breakfast the same. Mornings are pretty boring at my house. Breakfast is the same every day of the week, sometimes for multiple weeks in a row. But consistency makes grocery shopping and macro tracking simple. Lately I eat a yogurt or cottage cheese, a waffle or raisin toast, and fruit.

Buy a variety of snacks. I buy some carby snacks (like pretzels and fruit), some fatty snacks (like string cheese and nuts) and super low-cal snacks (like cucumbers, carrots and pickles) each week. I choose my snacks for the day based on what I need to fit my macros.

Find multiple uses for different ingredients. Nothing sucks more than buying a whole bunch of cilantro only to use a few leaves and watch the rest rot. Am I right? Instead of letting it go to waste, I plan a few other meals during the week where I can use it.

Make a grocery list as I choose my recipes. I do this while I’m home if possible so I can check my fridge and pantry to see what I already have.

What’s your meal planning method? Do you have any tricks that I missed?

Stay fit,

Marisa

Photo credit: Pexels stock photo