menu plan monday: 07.30.12

This Sunday, my husband officially becomes the pastor of two congregations.

The kids go back to school here in two and a half weeks.

If everything works out, I go back to school the week after that to pursue a degree in nutrition.

And I can’t figure out where the heck summer has disappeared to.

This week’s menu plan is a little bit all over the place. It’s the end of what seems like a really long month when it comes to budget. It’s going to be busy and we’re going to be out of town a few days. Some of these meals might be dependent on when I can sneak in Costco and grocery trips.

So…this is probably more of a loose goal than an actual menu plan. As in the past, our meals are predominantly paleo or primal in nature (come back tomorrow if you want to know a bit more about what I’m eating now and why). We do, on occassion, enjoy sweet or red potatoes, sometimes white rice in small amounts and corn when it’s fresh and extra yummy. And I generally double the amount of meat I cook for each dinner in order to have leftovers for lunches.

Monday
Grilled Chicken
Corn on the cob
Zucchini
Watermelon

Tuesday
Mushroom Gravy Slow Cooker Roast
Mashed Cauliflower
Roasted Potatoes (for the kids)
Kale

Wednesday
Lemon Herb Rubbed Chicken
Cucumber Salad
Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Thursday
Doctor’s appointment an hour away – either eating out or all beef hotdogs

Friday
Red Curry Glazed Chicken Skewers
Roasted Cauliflower (drizzling with coconut oil and my favorite vadouvan spice mix )
White Rice (for the kiddos)

Saturday
Lime and Basil Beef Kabobs
Salad
Whatever fruit we have on hand

Sunday
Mom’s Night Off/Leftovers

What’s on your meal plan for this week?

eats.

It’s been nearly two years since I cut gluten out of my diet as an experiment, hoping it would alleviate some of my fibromyalgia symptoms.

The result? After just a few days of my gluten-free diet, I was convinced I was never actually suffering from fibromyalgia – just a severe gluten intolerance.

Two years later, I still am.

Ten months ago, I went paleo after six months of vegeterianism/veganism and the results have been even better than I’d hoped. My energy levels – always iffy at best – are constant and high, my emotions are under control for the first time in my life, I’m actually present in my own life and I haven’t had anything resembling a fibromyalgia symptom in a really, really long time. I’m working out harder now than I ever have before and I’m seeing results.

But I’m not sure what to call my diet anymore.

I’m not strictly paleo or primal. With these harder workouts, I’ve felt the need for more protein – but just can’t stand to eat more meat. I’ve been adding in small amounts of cultured dairy, and my body is responding just fine to it. That puts me in the primal camp, but I’ve also been playing around a bit with occasional white rice and as a once in a long while food, it’s been okay and adds a bit of variety.

I am constantly tinkering and experimenting, trying to find where I feel my absolute best, and I think that’s been the biggest benefit of this past year. In a sense, I’ve reset my body – I’ve learned what foods I do well with and which ones I don’t, and I’ve learned to recognize them pretty quickly.

I still don’t know what to call it.

I’ve begun telling people I follow an anti-inflammatory, nutrient dense diet. It’s not about eating just what hunter-gatherer’s ate and it’s not dogmatic – for me it’s really been about eliminating inflammatory foods, focusing on good fats and properly raised produce and meats as our budget an afford them…but ultimately, it’s about discovering how foods affect me personally.

I agree with Dallas and Melissa Hartwig of whole9life.com (please, please, please read their new book, It Starts with Food) – all food has either a positive or negative effect on our bodies…and there’s really no in-between. We’re either helping or hurting with every bite we take. Rather than taking part in the science experiment that is the standard American diet full of foods that are created to sit on wharehouse shelves and not to nourish our bodies, I’m experimenting on myself with real food.

It’s working.

Most days, I eat eggs for breakfast, along with a little fruit and sometimes a little meat. Lunch lately has been a sandwich wrap with good quality lunch meat, avocado, and tomatoes with some string cheese or a salad topped with the dinner before’s meat and a little olive oil and balsamic. I’ve been having a mid-afternoon snack if I’m hungry – usually cottage cheese or greek yogurt with a small serving of fruit. Dinner is protein and vegetables.

For the past month, I’ve been logging my meals in at My Fitness Pal under the username skwidlund, and my food diary is open for public view if you’re interested in what that looks like day after day. My whole purpose in logging was to keep an eye on exactly how much protein I was getting a day, but it’s turned into a great tool to keep me accountable and has jump-started my weightloss again. If you’re a member, I’d love for you to send me a friend request.

This is what’s working for me. I do think it’s important to remember that  while our bodies may have many similarities, when it comes to food we are all individuals. A whole grain, low fat diet makes me physically ill. Processed foods make me bloat and dull my senses. The vegan diet that friends thrive on left me in pain, unable to think clearly and barely able to get through the day. A super strict paleo diet is something I can thrive on, but I do just as well with a few additions. It’s taken work to get here, but I think I’ve finally found where I need to be in order to be optimally healthy physically and emotionally.

It’s a good place to be, and a great place to continue moving forward from as life is going to start getting crazier next month.

Where are you on your journey to health and wellness? Have you tried eliminating any foods that have helped or hurt you? Are you just starting our or are you an old pro?

menu plan monday: 07.16.22

It’s been over a month since I’ve committed to a menu plan, and – amazingly – the world hasn’t stopped spinning.

And we’ve eaten pretty well and usually at home.

It’s the time of year I can do that. We picked up a new grill a few months ago and, as long as we have some veggies for the side, it’s been okay. We’re finally to a week that’s going to be a little bit quieter, and I have a feeling a bit more structure will help.

As in the past, our meals are predominantly paleo or primal in nature (come back tomorrow if you want to know a bit more about what I’m eating now and why). We do, on occassion, enjoy sweet or red potatoes and sometimes white rice in small amounts. And I generally double the amount of meat I cook for each dinner in order to have leftovers for lunches.

Monday
Grilled Chicken, seasoned with Magic Mushroom powder from the Nom Nom Paleo app
Grilled Veggies (squash, onions and maybe an eggplant – all gifted from a friend’s garden)
Mushroom skewers (marinated in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, and a dash of balsamic)

Tuesday
Skirt Steak with Chive Butter (from Make It Paleo)
Steamed Broccoli
Green Salad

Wednesday
Red Curry Glazed Chicken Skewers
Roasted Cauliflower (drizzling with coconut oil and my favorite vadouvan spice mix )
White Rice (for the kiddos)

Thursday
Rosemary Pot Roast with Cauliflower Butter Rice
Green Salad

Friday
Lemon Herb Rubbed Chicken
Cucumber Salad
Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Saturday
Pineapple Bacon Burgers
Whatever vegetables are left in the fridge

Sunday
Mom’s night off/leftovers

I’m excited – there are a few new recipes in there for the week. Anything new in your kitchen?

Menu Plan Monday: 05.21.12

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve gotten a menu plan together and, as always, we’ve paid for it. In the past 3 weeks, we’ve had three houseguests and enjoyed a short vacation, and have had just a whole lot of running around going on. With only three more weeks until summer break and the start of our No Excuses Summer, I’m working hard to get my own daily schedule in place and some bad habits taken care of before the kids are home all day.

A menu plan is always one of the best places to start.

I’m also working on keeping meals a little simpler – we were able to pick up a new barbecue, which will help immensely, and I’m starting to see farm stands pop up with awesome (and cheap!) vegetables. As I always do at the beginning of summer, I’m craving simple and fresh meals.

Monday
Fajitas (just dumped on a big salad for me, with corn tortillas for the kids)
Guacamole
Tossed Green Salad

Tuesday
Grilled Chicken, seasoned with Magic Mushroom powder from the Nom Nom Paleo app (which is brilliant, by the way)
Grilled Squash – I have a bit of a glut already and summer isn’t even here yet!
Grilled Sweet Potatoes

Wednesday
All beef, no weird stuff hot dogs
Carrot sticks

Thursday
Skirt Steak with Chive Butter (from Make It Paleo)
Steamed Broccoli
Green Salad

Friday
Red Curry Glazed Chicken Skewers
Roasted Cauliflower (drizzling with coconut oil and my favorite vadouvan spice mix )
White Rice (for the kiddos)

Saturday
Easy Chicken Cacciatore
Quinoa pasta for the kids
Spaghetti Squash for me

Sunday
Mom’s Night Off – leftovers or whatever you’re capable of making on you’re own

What’s your plan for this week?

menu plan monday: 01.23.12

Another week of meal planning…made a little bit easier by the fact – yet again – that I threw half of last week’s plans out the window for ones that worked better for time constraints I didn’t expect.

I’m rather excited, though, to have found a non-egg breakfast – those little tasties up there we’re calling muffin tops. It’s a recipe from an awesome paleo food blogger I made a few little tweaks to, and we’re all in love with them…even our pickiest eater!

This week’s menu plan:

Monday
Southwestern Flank Steak
Chipotle Lime Roasted Delicata Squash
Guacamole (mashed avocado, diced onion, lime juice, salt, pepper, a bit of garlic, maybe some tomatoes – super easy!)

Tuesday
Quick and Easy Crock Pot Brisket
Roasted Potatoes (red for the family, sweet for me)
Roasted Broccoli
Kale sauteed with Bacon

Wednesday
Grilled Chicken with Rosemary and Bacon
Roasted Baby Carrots
Salad Greens

Thursday
Beef with Broccoli
Cauliflower Rice (both from Make It Paleo)

Friday
Primal Philly Cheesteak Bowl (with about a quarter of the cheese called for)
Salad Greens

Saturday
Pulled Pork BBQ (with Paleo BBQ Sauce)
Cajun Sweet Potato Fries
Salad Greens
(all from Make It Paleo)

Sunday
Elana’s Pantry Pancakes (replacing the agave with half the amount of maple syrup and cooking in coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil)
Scrambled Eggs
Bacon

Shared at Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday and the Gluten Free Menu Swap at Angela’s Kitchen (and check out the pomegranate recipes while you’re there – I know I will!).

menu plan monday: 01.15.12

Lots of meals pushed from last week to this week and another recipe I want to try again and adjust seasonings on. I honestly can’t figure out what happened to last week’s meal plan – I don’t always follow it perfectly, but we actually only ate one of the meals on it and we didn’t eat out more than planned. It’s a mystery…

For the gluten-free menu swap, I’m sharing a smoothie I’m looking forward to trying. I’m trying to stay away from too much fruit while I’m on my Whole30…but as soon as I’m done I’m making this blueberry coconut one from Paleo Parents.

This week’s menu plan:

Monday
Chipotle Beef Chili
Savory Almond Muffins

Tuesday
Quick and Easy Crock Pot Brisket
Roasted Broccoli

Wednesday
Pineapple Glazed Chicken Skewers (Make It Paleo)
Chipotle Lime Roasted Delicata Squash

Thursday
Southwestern Flank Steak
Guacamole (mashed avocado, diced onion, lime juice, salt, pepper, a bit of garlic, maybe some tomatoes – super easy!)
Baby Mixed Greens

Friday
Red Curry Glazed Chicken Skewers (from Make It Paleo, but double the red curry paste)
Cauliflower Rice

Saturday
Grilled Chicken
Paleo Zucchini Alfredo-ish (dairy free, grain free and super yummy! recipe coming to the blog tomorrow – my absolute new favorite…we ate it two days in a row this past week)

Sunday
Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Soup (sooo good! made it as directed the first time, but this time I’ll replace the cream with coconut milk)

Shared at Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday and the Gluten Free Menu Swap at Celiac Family.

menu plan monday: 01.09.12

Long time, no plan!

With the holidays and an extra long Christmas break, we’ve been eating out more than usual (never good) and I’ve been doing a lot of day to day planning (also never good). We’ve still got one more week of vacation, but meal planning is back in progress.

I’ll probably add in some salads with most of these meals – I’m craving mixed greens right now. Lunches tend to be leftovers. I’m starting to feel a bit desperate for new grain and dairy free breakfast ideas…eggs are starting to get a bit old. Any ideas?

Monday
Red Curry Glazed Chicken Skewers (from Make It Paleo)
Cauliflower Rice

Tuesday
Hanna’s birthday – dinner out with her friends

Wednesday
Quick and Easy Crock Pot Brisket
Roasted Broccoli

Thursday
Southwestern Flank Steak
Guacamole (mashed avocado, diced onion, lime juice, salt, pepper, a bit of garlic, maybe some tomatoes – super easy!)
Baby Mixed Greens

Friday
Pineapple Glazed Chicken Skewers (Make It Paleo, again)
Sauteed Kale with Bacon

Saturday
Bacon, Red Pepper and Onion Frittata
Elana’s Pantry Pancakes (replacing the agave with half the amount of maple syrup and cooking in coconut oil instead of grapeseed oil)

Sunday
Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Soup (sooo good! made it as directed the first time, but this time I’ll replace the cream with coconut milk)

A few new recipes and a few old favorites – my favorite sort of week.

menu plan monday: it’s Christmas!

I  have one goal for this week’s meals:

easy!

We’re still in school until the 22nd (seriously nuts). Tom’s heading to San Francisco on Tuesday for a check-in with his cardiologist. We’re heading to Grandma’s house Thursday to celebrate with his side of the family and it’s just going to get crazier after that. I’m thinking soups, crock pot and maybe even soups mader earlier in the day staying warm in the crock pot. Anything to bring a little sanity to this week.

Also, this week’s plan isn’t strictly paleo – more primal. I’ll probably end up adapting the mushroom soup to be dairy free, but this cold, foggy weather has me craving broccoli cheese soup.

Here’s my plan:

Monday
Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Soup (just discovered this blog – stunning and yummy all at the same time! If I can’t find organic cream – always a possibility in my small town – I’ll use coconut milk instead. either way, I’ll halve the amount called for)
Savory Almond Flour Muffins (love these!)

Tuesday
Roast, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Onions and Mushrooms in the crockpot

Wednesday
Roasted Broccoli Cheddar Soup (same on the cream and I’ll probably halve the cheese as well)
Herbed Almond Crackers (if I get crazy)

Thursday
Christmas Dinner out with family

Friday
No idea. I’ll be helping get ready for Christmas Eve at my grandparent’s, so I’m thinking fast and easy like brinner or tomato soup.

Saturday
Christmas Eve – my grandmother assigned me a vegetable. I’m thinking roasted carrots since they’re easy and will be quick to reheat after church.

Sunday
Breakfast:  Paleo Monkey Bread, Scrambled Eggs and Bacon
Dinner: Prime Rib at my parent’s – I’m bringing roasted cauliflower and I think the carrot cake from Make It Paleo.

Have a great holiday week and a very Merry Christmas!

Oh, and if you have any favorite soup recipes – especially if they’re paleo or primal friendly – please share =)

menu plan monday: 12.12.11

Better late than never, right?

I’ve got a lot of new recipes this week – I discovered Health-Bent last week, and just happened to have lots of the needed ingredients for several of their recipes in the freezer. I’m struggling with some serious lack of wanting to cook anything at the moment, and new recipes usually get me excited again.

And I’m kind of bummed I don’t have anything planned with citrus on the menu for this week’s Gluten Free Menu Swap, but I do keep a great big bowl on the kitchen table during this time of the season. My mother-in-law grows amazing mandarin oranges and I’m anxious for my grandfather to decide it’s been cold enough for his navel oranges to taste good. I’m also looking forward to experimenting with some citrus vinaigrettes for my salads.

Here’s this week’s paleo-ish dinner plan:

Monday
Primal Philly Cheesesteak in a Bowl (lighter on the cheese)
Tossed Salad

Tuesday
Smothered Pork Chops
Mashed Potatoes
Roasted Purple Cauliflower (olive oil, salt and pepper in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes)

Wednesday
Seriously Tasty Meatloaf
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Sauteed Kale (probably with a little bacon and some beef stock)

Thursday
Balsamic and Rosemary Chicken (from the Make It Paleo cookbook)
Roasted Baby Carrots (also from Make It Paleo)
Roasted Broccoli (same as the cauliflower)

Friday
out of town for the evening to see Christmas lights – not sure what we’re eating yet

Saturday
Grandy Ky’s Chicken Soup (yep, Make It Paleo strikes again!)

Sunday
Paleo Chipotle Beef Chili
served with cheese for the kiddos and chopped avocado

Shared at Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday and the Gluten Free Menu Swap at Glutenfree Goodness.

menu plan monday: 11.07.11

I’m behind.

Sooo behind.

I normally get my week of blog posts started and mostly done Sunday afternoons.

Yesterday afternoon, I did this:

Held my brand new baby niece for a few hours.

So I am behind, but it was totally worth it and I’ll share more on my sweet Katrina.

tomorrow.

This week’s seat-of-my-pants menu plan, which includes a few hold-overs from last week and two of my favorite crock pot recipes, plus one that might become a favorite:

Monday
Steak Tips with Roasted Veggies – a marinade I’ve been working on. I’ll share it once I get it just right.

Tuesday
Slow Cooker Chicken – crockpot
Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes (so good!)
Green Salad

Wednesday – crock pot
Shredded Beef Taco Roast (served in lettuce wraps, sans cheese)
Some sort of veggie

Thursday
Leek and Sweet Potato Soup
Grilled Chicken Skewers

Friday
Firecracker chicken on zucchini noodles (hoping to share this one soon too – it’s a yummy, creamy paleo chicken and pasta type dish that is a family favorite)

Saturday
Heading to my brother’s house to snuggle the new niece some more and celebrate his birthday. The menu will probably include tri tip and a salad, but I’m not sure what else.

Sunday
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore (working to adapt it for church potlucks) – crock pot
Green Salad

Shared at Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday and the Gluten Free Menu Swap at Angela’s Kitchen this week.