Weekly meal plan #19 (June 26 – July 2)

Meal plans are back! The past couple weeks I’ve been traveling, and when I wasn’t traveling, I was eating at restaurants or throwing together random meals using food I had in the house, with no real plan. My body image has been struggling for it, so I wanted to get back on track this week before leaving town AGAIN for a long weekend at my in-laws’ house. The good part about going there is we’ll eat in while we’re there instead of going out.

Here’s what I have planned for the portion of the week we’ll be at home. Of course everything is grilled.

Monday

Grilled steak nachos. It’s really simple – just steak grilled with spices (chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, chipotle powder) – on top of tortilla chips and whatever toppings we feel like – lettuce, onions, diced peppers, jalapeños, shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

Tuesday

BBQ chicken, pineapple and pepper kabobs with grilled asparagus. This is literally as easy as it sounds. Skewer cubed chicken, pineapple and bell peppers and grill it.

Wednesday

Honey chipotle tacos with BLT slaw

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Credit: Carlsbad Cravings

Thursday

Grilled chicken sausages (from Trader Joe’s) with canned beans on the grill and grilled asparagus.

Friday – Sunday

Out of town, hopefully cooking on the grill at my in-laws’ house.

Stay fit,

Marisa

Weekly meal plan #18 (June 5-11)

Big news! We got a concrete patio poured! It cost us all of our adult money dollars, but we’re very excited to have a real patio to grill, drink and relax. Not a narrow space between the garage and the house that’s really an extension of the driveway and right next to the trash cans. To celebrate, I have a few grilled meals on the menu this week.

Monday

Pulled pork ragu over butternut squash noodles. I got the noodles pre-spiralized at the grocery store.

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Credit: Skinnytaste

Tuesday

Buffalo ranch chicken tacos with lettuce and blue cheese dressing

Buffalo Ranch Slow Cooker Chicken
Credit: Sweet Little Bluebird

Wednesday

Pesto stuffed pork chops, sweet potato, broccoli

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Credit: allrecipes

Thursday

Chicken and veggie skewers with peanut sauce over rice

Friday

I’ll be running Ragnar Chicago and eating whatever food we have in our van! Blog post about Ragnar coming next week.

Saturday

Grilled steak, oven fries, salad

Sunday

Chili pineapple grilled chicken, sweet potato, grilled eggplant

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Credit: Plain Chicken

Do you have a lot of patio meals in the summer? What about patio drinks?

Stay fit,

Marisa

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

FullSizeRender
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