A year ago, I was that person who only ate out once every two weeks.
I always cooked at home.
I was happy.
Everything in my life just seemed to fall into it's right place... that is, when I was healthy.
I had gestational diabetes with Jude. I got super healthy and the day I had him, I weighted the exact amount the day I found out I was pregnant. Basically I had lost somewhere in the 40lb range while being pregnant and getting healthy. My midwives joked I was the poster child for a pregnant mother with gestational diabetes, praising me and my hard efforts. I ate fruits and vegetables at every meal, carried a water bottle with me everywhere I went, and I ate two healthy snacks a day. I counted my carbs and checked my blood sugar 4x a day.
But then I pushed hard for tests to confirm if I still had diabetes after I had Jude. I had this nagging feeling that it hadn't gone away. The tests were done and advice was given to eat a different kind of diet. To add more carbs back in or I could "go the other way." This advice was not given by my midwives. And anyone who has studied nutrition knows that the diet I was on- was very healthy, diabetes or not. I took the advice and used as an excuse to go back to my old habits.
My old habits meant that I didn't have to stress at family get-togethers, I could eat that piece of cake at the wedding and I could go to my favorite restaurants with Joel again. My Dad shows his love with food, and I was happy to welcome that back into my life as well. I didn't have to plan anymore!
But with my change in lifestyle, I put the weight back on and then some. I lost all that crazy energy I had, along with a huge chunk of my happiness.
Planning your lifestyle isn't glamorous, but if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Here's my meal planning efforts for the next two weeks.
I'm going to take the new recipes slow, and stick with simple foods as much as possible.
Easy Crockpot Healthy Vegetable Soup (freeze half)
Healthy Tuna Salad (buy enough ingredient to make a batch each week)
Chicken Pot Pie x 2 (freeze one: to freeze wrap in foil, then plastic wrap, do not thaw & bake frozen)
Grilled Salmon w/mango salsa x 2 (I'm trying to get more fish into our diet)
Pineapple BBQ grilled chicken breasts, grilled asparagus & salad
Chicken Mexican Burritos, served with salsa and a dash of sour cream x 2 (we are a Mexican food loving family)
I freeze a bunch of veggies in individual baggies so when I go to make an omelet all I have to grab is the eggs and cheese.
We eat a lot of fruit for breakfast too.
I don't buy cereal, it's full of sugar, and it doesn't give my kids a good start.
Jack is only allowed to drink juice during breakfast.
Jack is also in love with Greek yogurt, sometimes I add a little granola to it.
This is where the tuna salad comes in handy with 100% whole wheat bread (if you're not buying 100%, then it's not 100% whole wheat!) and I usually eat a salad with lots of nuts. Jack loves salads so he does the same, I usually give him half a sandwich and a bit of fruit too. I'm going to try to grill a couple chicken breasts to use during the week for salads to mix it up.
I always try to have fresh fruit available for the boys- apples, bananas, grapes, etc. I also keep cheese sticks and cashews available.
Last minute meals:
I once read it's good to have a few last minute freezer meals ready for those nights when you're just too tired. For awhile, I was buying those meals, but I'm hoping to freeze a few so it's a healthy option for our family and more cost efficient. I plan to freeze half the soup above and also a pot pie, two meals for the next week that will be easy on me.
With thanksgiving next week, I've been thinking a lot about what I'm bringing. I'd like to have a salad before I dig into all the goodness, but I know it's frowned upon to be the salad bringer or raw veggie giver, ha! But I might just do it anyways. Might try to present it in a creative way and put it out early so while everyone is waiting to eat they can munch on healthy stuff.
Below is the new salmon recipe, I hope the boys like it... they're not huge fans of the current way I grill salmon, they do however love the brown sugar, walnut covered recipe I made awhile back.
Do you meal plan? What is your family's favorite?
Grilled Salmon with mango salsa
2 Tbsp truvia
1 1/2 tsp orange zest
3/4 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 1/2 pound(s) uncooked salmon fillet(s) with or without skin, four 6-oz pieces
2 small mango(es), peeled and diced (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup(s) unsweetened orange juice
2 Tbsp (chopped) uncooked red onion(s), chopped
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp ginger root, peeled and minced
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 small jalapeño pepper(s), seeded and minced
1 spray(s) cooking spray
Combine first 4 ingredients; rub mixture over salmon. Place salmon in a shallow dish; cover and marinate 8 hours or overnight.
Combine mango and next 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; cover and chill 1 hour.
Place fish on grill rack coated with cooking spray; cover and grill 4 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with mango salsa. Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet and 1⁄2 cup salsa).