Good Monday morning! I hope you had a wonderful weekend and are starting this week with a refreshed spirit, ready to tackle this week ahead! I’m excited about a fresh week and a clean slate to get all the things done and to continue on the healthy food journey I started. I thought I’d share what I eat in a week since eliminating meat in my diet to help you come up with healthy meal options or put together your own meal plan!
Eating Less Meat
After two weeks of totally being off my game- just busy with work and life and not consistently working out, I needed a reset. Then, I caught a stomach bug and couldn’t really eat much for two days. Coming off of that, I felt very inspired to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, along with less meat. I’m not against eating meat, and usually do eat it, but this week I wanted to try something different.
Also, we went to the farmer’s market last weekend, and that prompted me to realize just how many varieties of fruits and veggies I could incorporate into my diet. Everything feels so vibrant and alive at the farmer’s market and I wanted that to carry over into my meals.
I know when we start eating less meat, a concern is always how are we going to get enough protein? We need protein to build and maintain the tissues in our body. Your muscles, organs and immune system are mostly made of protein.
But, you can get protein through lots of other sources: beans, legumes, chickpeas, nuts, peanut butter, Greek yogurt, milk, quinoa, and eggs. Even veggies like broccoli have a lot of protein in them.
Let’s start with breakfast. I’m the girl that doesn’t go more than 10 minutes from waking up before she needs something in her tummy. Traditionally, if I’m waking up early to workout, I’ll have a cup of Muscle Egg- chocolate flavored egg whites. It’s enough to give me a little bit of energy to get me through a class, but won’t weigh me down.
Otherwise, I still ate my STEEL CUT OATMEAL. I always add raisins, sliced almonds, cinnamon, and almond milk, but this week, I added fresh peaches to it.
I also started drinking a small amount of a JUICE SMOOTHIE. I know these can have a high amount of calories and sugar, but I’m just dipping my toe in and I love the flavor of this one. I only drink about a half a cup at a time, and consider it a sweet treat, along with getting fruit juices in. I’d love to hear your fruit/veggie smoothie recommendations.
When we were at the farmer’s market, we bought PEACHES AND WATERMELON. We kept the watermelon cut into chunks in the fridge, so throughout the day, starting in the morning, I’d make sure to eat a few. This is probably something simple for most people, but for me it’s really different. I normally would leave this kind of fruit for my kids only. I don’t know why I did that, but now I’m partaking too and it’s delicious!
I may have mentioned in other posts, my ‘go to’ snacks are:
- Hummus and carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers
- Apples and peanut butter
- Bliss balls
- A piece of fruit or piece of gum after a meal if I’m craving (but trying to avoid) dessert
Apples & Peanut Butter
My very favorite afternoon snack is APPLES AND PEANUT BUTTER. This is what we’ve been eating lately every day around 3:00. It’s actually a great break in the day because it gets everyone together to reconnect after I’ve been working in my office and the kids have been playing. For me and the kids, I typically slice two apples (thinly) and spoon about 3 tablespoons of peanut butter and we all get to dipping.
GREEK YOGURT WITH BERRIES AND SLICED ALMONDS is another filling and yummy snack that has a good amount of protein.
HUMMUS and CARROTS/BELL PEPPERS is another snack I ate and shared with Jordan. She only likes dipping carrots in and eating the hummus part.
Healthy Bean Dip
WHITE BEAN DIP is meant as a snack/appetizer, but I also ate a large portion for dinner one night with pita chips. It’s from the cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food.
I’m crazy for ROASTED KALE CHIPS. As long as you don’t overcook them, they are light, flakey chips with a zesty kick.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Drizzle clean, chopped kale with a little olive oil, salt and (optional) chili powder (I used the Shichimi spice below).
Spread kale onto single layer on a baking sheet and cook for about 12 minutes, until the edges begin to brown.
At our nephew’s 2nd birthday party this weekend, I made sure to skip the Doritos and head for the FRUIT SALAD. It was scorching outside (102 degrees!), and the fruit bowl was sitting on ice and so refreshingly good. A simple combo of watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and purple grapes is so easy to assemble in our own kitchens and keep on hand.
A simple combo of watermelon, strawberries, raspberries and purple grapes is so easy to assemble in our own kitchens and keep on hand.
LUNCH & DINNER
So, for my main meals, I thought about trying to incorporate VEGGIES, QUINOA OR POTATOES, and some HEALTHY FAT like olive oil, nuts or avocado. Many of these dishes are just assembled rather than following a certain recipe. But, there were a few meals here and there where I just ate a plate of veggies. This requires a shift in my thinking from my upbringing. My Dad didn’t consider dinner made unless there was meat on the plate.
Turning a “side” into a main meal doesn’t come naturally to me, but I actually really enjoy it. And come to think of it, the sides are what I really enjoy the most when we have a big meal like at Thanksgiving or Christmas! And I often serve Jordan just veggies for a meal with a ‘side’ of fruit, so why can’t I eat that way too??
MEAL #1: HEALTHY QUINOA SALAD BOWL
- A bed of butter and Romain lettuce
- Roasted bell peppers and roasted potatoes
- Pumpkin seeds and Sesame seeds (for crunch)
I made enough to have this again the next day and ending up heating it up and eating on the road to an appointment. I hate eating in the car, but I was running late.
MEAL #2: BUTTERNUT SQUASH
- Roasted butternut squash
- Roasted carrots
- simply seasoned with salt and pepper and a little olive oil
I actually made this for Jordan for lunch one day and then just ate some of it myself.
MEAL #3: BUTTERNUT SQUASH + QUINOA SALAD
- Using leftover Roasted butternut squash & Roasted carrots
- Leftover kale chips
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dried cranberries
I like mixing all of this together into a big salad.
MEAL #4: BALSAMIC & BACON BRUSSEL SPROUTS
- Brussel Sprouts
- Crispy bacon
- Toasted Pecans
- Balsamic Reduction
One of my favorite veggie dishes this week is a recipe I followed from Joanna Gaines new cookbook, Magnolia Table. Let me tell you friends, I was skeptical about this cookbook. I mean, how many talents can one woman have?! I mean, she’s obviously a creative decorator and designer, with a flair for fashion and furniture, but gorgeous, genuine, and good cook too?! It’s just not fair! The book is full of food that I bet you and your whole family will love with beautiful stories and photos that accompany it.
I omitted the bacon this time and used a store bought balsamic.
MEAL #5: ROASTED SWEET POTATO & BUTTERNUT SQUASH BOWL
- Brussel Sprouts
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Sesame seeds
Again, I took leftovers (the Brussels spouts, roasted sweet potato and quinoa) and just added avocado and sesame seeds to it.
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MEAL #6: ROASTED POTATOES
- Roasted potatoes
I swear I could eat roasted red potatoes and crispy roasted onions everyday! I just love em! I will literally eat the onions standing at the stove, right out of the sheet pan!
MEAL #7: ROASTED CAULIFLOWER & CHICKPEA SALAD
I’m lucky I get to eat any of this dish. It’s one of Jordan’s favorites and she will practically eat the whole thing, always asking for “More, please!” It works out though, because her favorite part is the cauliflower and mine is the chickpeas. I found this recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good Cookbook!
- 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and dried
- 1 head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed and discarded, cut into bite-sized florets
- 3 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon seeded mustard (i.e., grainy mustard)
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and set the rack in the middle. Toss chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with 3 tablespoons olive oil and a big pinch of salt. Roast, stirring now and then, until everything is dark brown and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 45 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together mustards, vinegar, and 1/4 cup of olive oil with a big pinch of salt and a few healthy grinds of black pepper. While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.
GOING OUT TO EAT
On Friday night, we headed out to dinner at a super cute new restaurant, Bungalow. The place was packed with hip minglers and I’m sure a family of four with a 2 and 8 year-old wasn’t what they had in mind! #oops. The only (3) seats were at the bar, so Jordan crawled onto my lap and we bellied up.
I’m not much of a drinker, dessert is more my jam, but I do like a glass of wine here and there. Especially when I’m at a
restaurant bar with my kids and there’s only three seats for four of us. A lot of times, I don’t even finish my whole glass. #hangsheadinshame
MEAL #8: CHICKEN SALAD
There’s not many meat-free options here, so I got a CHICKEN SALAD and skipped the chicken part. I have to be honest though – I was still hungry when we got home so I ate a bowl of cereal.
It’s rare we go out two nights in a row, but we had some errands to run on Saturday evening and found ourselves out at dinnertime. This time we went to Churrosco’s, lured by the memory of fried plantains! I swear I could eat a bucket of them! Have you ever had them?! If so, you know what I mean!
MEAL #9: AHI TUNA SALAD
(not pictured: said FRIED PLANTAINS) Is it bad that I offered them to my kids and then was happy when they declined?! I really couldn’t believe Jordan passed them up!
I love a good tuna tartare, tuna sashimi/sushi, seared tuna or tuna salad. I don’t make it that often at the house, so I like to see it on a menu.
A perfect weekend day includes a hard workout (check), some pool time (check), and then relaxing back at home while Jordan naps (check).
For those who know me, you’d be surprised to hear that I passed up my poolside Piña Colada (they make the best ones!) for of a green smoothie!
This one has pineapple, spinach, kale, avocado, lemon, banana and protein. It was yummy! Maybe I should try making a smoothie at home- I hardly ever do that! It always seems like it takes so much food to make a small drink! Am I wrong??
I will mention that my husband didn’t eat every meal with me. He made a one-pot meal (rice with white beans and Italian sausage) that he and Jordan both ate sometimes if he didn’t want what I was having. James always eats the same thing for lunch and dinner, so we stuck with that.
To satisfy my sweet tooth, I had about 2-3 GHIRARDELLI DARK CHOCOLATE SQUARES a few times this week.
So did you enjoy this post? Should I write more posts like this sharing what I eat in a week or weekly meal plan? Let me know in the comments and, if you’re not already subscribed to my blog, subscribe here so you never miss a post!
AND, good news! I will be bringing back the HWH Fitness Challenge in September! I’m super excited for it! Let me know if you’re in for Round 2!
Have a great day friends!