Tag Archives: what do you eat

Weekly Eating #3 – 7/2

 

 

Hey y’all! Welcome to the series Weekly Eating.

Here is where I’ll talk about the week’s meal plan versus reality, what we ate for the week, and how we did budget-wise. I hope it gives readers a behind-the-scenes look into our life through the lens of food, and it’s also a way to keep us on track with meal planning and grocery budgeting.

Feel free to share your wins and lessons in the comments below!

Monday:

Breakfast – microwaved 2 scrambled eggs on top of an everything Bagel Thin and slice of cheddar cheese. Homemade “mocha latte” (coffee + hot cocoa mix + milk, blended)

Lunch – leftover stir fry

Dinner – BBQ pulled pork mac-n-chili (?) This was a weird idea I had to use up several leftovers. 1/2 lb cooked penne, 1 cup bbq pulled pork, 1 cup pinto beans, 1 whole shredded yellow squash, 1 cup shredded cheddar, 2 tbsp butter and a splash of milk. Luckily for us, it turned out really delicious!

Snack – fresh cherries, hummus + cucumber/carrots

Tuesday: Fourth of July!

Breakfast – kind of slept in and skipped this part, mostly just had coffee, and then early lunch

Lunch – chicken, broccoli, rice casserole: this is ridiculously simple, and came out amazingly delicious! Layer chopped broccoli, mushrooms, 1/2 cup rice, and shredded chicken. Add 1/2 cup stock and 1/2 cup milk, and cheddar cheese. Top with some more broccoli, cover in foil and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Done!

Dinner – leftover buffet

The holiday was nice and relaxing, we got some laundry done, played some games and I finished a book. I did also bake up some red velvet cupcakes with blueberry cream cheese frosting! I made way too many, so I took a few plates to our neighbors ¬†ūüôā

Wednesday:

Breakfast – peach smoothie: 2 peaches, 2 bananas, 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup orange juice

Lunch – out with a work colleague; rosemary chicken panini

Dinner – chicken and dumplings with some of my homemade foccacia

Snacks – brown rice cakes

Thursday:

Breakfast – homemade yogurt with peaches and granola

Lunch – slow cooker “refrigerator soup”. Basically I chopped up all the veggies about to spoil, added some lentils & quinoa, salsa and homemade chicken stock in a small slow cooker on high all day in my cube. By noon, the whole office smells AMAZING and I get a nice hot, filling, super healthy and super frugal lunch.

Dinner – ravioli per hubby’s request

Friday:

Breakfast – parfait with fresh peaches, yogurt, and 1 smashed up Nature Valley Oats & Honey bar

Lunch – pasta salad

Dinner – stir friday: pork! You may wonder, why stir-Friday every week? Doesn’t that get boring? Well, no definitely not because there are so many options! And the reason is simple: it’s delicious and super frugal. It gives me the chance to use up whatever bits of veggies are in the fridge, so that I don’t throw them out.

The Weekend:

On Saturday we just hung out, cleaned inside and outside a bit, and then hosted a dinner party.

I made a recipe from my sister-in-law for a knock-your-socks-off delicious summer salad with arugula, cheese, macademia nuts (from a friend’s family farm in S America!), corn, craisins, and baked salmon. I’m drooling just thinking about it! I made some lime-ade for the drivers, and some tropical rum punch for whoever wanted it. ¬†ūüôā

Total:  $116.91

My goal is to keep this number under $100 all the time, and eventually get down to $75/week for food.

Oops… This is why I’m not allowed to go to grocery stores by myself anymore…

In my defense, I did stock up on several staples I will not use this week alone, like pasta, lentils, pearled couscous, 3 loaves of multigrain bread for 0.99 that I will freeze, brown rice, sliced cheese. We also were running low on doggy teeth-cleaning treats for the pups, and that is included in the total.

Lessons Learned

I did a pretty good job of using up weird bits of leftovers and creating new meals, so that was a definite plus! But, I also let the grocery gremlin get me, and tell me that “these sales are way too good, you definitely need to stock up on 5 kinds of pasta, more salad than you can actually eat in one week, $10 of beer, and the pups are so cute they totally deserve $20 worth of treats!” All we can do is learn from it, and do better next week.

How about you guys, did you have a great week or a learning week?

Weekly Eating #1: 6/19

 

Hey y’all! Welcome to the first edition of the new series Weekly Eating. Here is where I’ll talk about the week’s meal plan versus reality, what we ate for the week, and how we did budget-wise.

 

Monday:

Breakfast – 1 egg + egg whites omelet with the last 2 mini bell peppers, diced onion leftover from quesadillas & spinach

Lunch – leftover noodle stir fry with tofu & a soy sauce packet I found in my desk drawer

Dinner – 1-pan pork chops, broccoli & sweet potato fries (OMG delish! Recipe coming soon)

So simple, so delicious, and like 5 second clean up!

Snack: Popcorn! It’s no secret I’m a huge popcorn addict, but the homemade stove-top-popped stuff is WAY cheaper and (mostly) healthier¬†so I don’t feel bad about eating a giant bowl full. I make a big batch, and pack it up in Zip-locks for days of happy snacking.

Tuesday:

Breakfast – drive thru breakfast wrap. Sometimes, you just cannot morning.

Snack – coconut almond Greek yogurt flip (I know, packaged brands are WAY too expensive but guys, seriously, this is SO GOOD! My mother-in-law got me hooked. I promise, I’m gonna try to find a way to make it myself cheaper, but for now, forgive me my guilty indulgence.) ¬†UPDATE: I did it! And so can you!

Lunch Рleftover slow cooker black beans & rice & salsa from a weekend party. This was basically free because it was all bits of leftovers that ended up being amazing all together

Dinner – pasta with vodka pink sauce, leftover bread sticks, salad. The sauce was a little pizza sauce leftover from Saturday’s pizza night plus a 1/3 jar of alfredo rattling around the fridge with a tbsp of pasta cooking water to thin. I love using up all the bits of things to make something new and delicious! Plus not throwing away food makes my heart sing.

(Although, my heart later broke because I threw out a 1/2 pan of homemade tiramisu :,( We just didn’t eat it fast enough, and it got stale and dried out and gross. Mreow. Also tossed 1/2 a shortcake a friend had gotten me because strawberries aren’t green. And fuzzy.)

Wednesday:

Breakfast – everything Bagel Thin with 1 tbsp cream cheese

Lunch – miso soup. Honestly, I just had a couple chunks of tofu left from last week’s stir-Friday that I didn’t want to go to waste. And I¬†keep a tub of miso in the fridge (it lasts basically forever) so I just stirred a tbsp into some water, added the tofu and the last few sheets from a seaweed snack pack (yes I’m a weirdo but that stuff is addictive!) and called it lunch.

On a whim, I sliced a couple super thin pieces of onion to add (red, since I didn’t have green) and that was a great decision! It was warm and tasty at my desk on a rainy day.

Dinner – One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake using leftover chicken I had cooked in the crockpot on Sunday. I did half sweet potatoes and half white potatoes with a bag of frozen “California mix” veggies (cauliflower, broccoli & carrots), Ranch dressing, hot sauce, and cheddar cheese.

Guys, this stuff is so freaking good, I had to have seconds!
Sorry not sorry.

OMG. Can’t. Even.

Snacks – hummus, carrots & cucumber slices

Oh, and the hospital where I work has a Farmers Market every Wednesday! How cool is that?! I got a pint of a mixture of delicious heirloom cherry tomatoes, an itty bitty adorable cauliflower, and a big ol zucchini.

Thursday:

Brekfast – 1/2 a big homemade KIND nut bar

Lunch – leftover¬†One Pan Buffalo Chicken Potato Bake. I can’t believe we demolished a 9×13 pan in 2 days… oh wait, yes I can. There’s a reason that’s my #1 post!

Snack – other half of the KIND bar (I brought hard boiled eggs, but turns out they were so old they became mushy by noon, and smelled awful. Whoops! It made me sad but I threw them out rather than risk food poisoning.)

Dinner – Chicken enchiladas! I had some roasted cauliflower from the market yesterday, and literally microwaved a cup of spinach to have on the side. Delicious and quite filling.

Friday:

Breakfast – cherry berry smoothie: frozen cherries + strawberries, 2 bananas (about to go bad), 1 cup orange juice, 1 scoop unflavored protein powder, 1 cup spinach. Blend for a long time until smooth.

Hubby loves waking up to a smoothie beside the bed! And I love sneaking in a serving of veggies before 9am ¬†ūüėČ

Lunch – Panzanella with leftover homemade bread from last week, cucumber & cherry tomatoes from the farmer’s market.

This is a great example of a frugal use of leftovers, because who enjoys stale bread? But this way, the juices from the tomatoes and cucumber and olive oil (or Italian dressing) soaks in and mixes together with some fresh basil and spices it becomes a whole new delicious meal. I tossed in half an avocado too, because, duh.

Dinner – Stir Friday! This week we had garlic shrimp. AND I made my own Yum Yum Sauce! Sure did. If you haven’t had it, it totally lives up to its name.

I could probably eat half my weight in stir fried rice. For reals.

Saturday:

Breakfast – microwaved some spinach & egg whites, and put it on an everything Bagel Thin for a light, healthy breakfast before I went to a really cool rooftop yoga class downtown

Brunch – after yoga I met up with some friends to wander the Durham Farmers Market, and then we got a delicious brunch at Scratch. Oh, and the bacon jam, is totally my jam!

The Duck Egg Sandwich was outta this world, and the rosemary lemonade was so tasty it inspired me to go home and create some more fruity & refreshing beverages.

Blackberry mint lemonade (with berries from the market) and rosemary lemonade (with rosemary from my front yard!)

Dinner – Tacos at a friends house! Good food, good people, wine from Unique Pairings¬†(which, if you’re ever in Myrtle Beach, definitely stop by!), and games combine for a splendid way to spend a summer evening. And all the food was provided, I just brought 2 bottles of vino!

Sunday:

To be determined, but I definitely plan to use up some of the goodies I got at the farmer’s market. Maybe a quiche or strata.

I’m also going to spend some time today making next week’s meal plan, using all the delicious fresh produce and trying to clear some space in our freezer. I’m aiming to not buy anything else food-wise this week except maybe some bananas (for the hubby’s addiction).

ALL THE PRODUCE!!! Nomnomnom

Total: ~$98

This is a rough estimate, because at markets where I use mostly cash it gets hard to keep track. Plus I buy things on sale or clearance and freeze or otherwise store for later use, so ‘weekly’ cost averaging can be tough.

For grocery stores, I only bought yogurt and milk and bananas this week, which is great. And I’m okay with spending a little more on fresh produce to support my local farmers! <3

My goal is to keep this number under $100 all the time, and eventually get down to $75/week for food.

Lessons Learned

So it seems this week was great in that we used up a lot of little bits and ends of leftovers, but we were also pretty wasteful with food. There were several things left over from parties that ended up in the trash. We aren’t big on sweets anyways, so we rarely buy or make them, and this just reinforces that knowledge.

When I make a big batch of something (like hard boiled eggs) I need to make sure I actually use it all up before it goes bad. I wouldn’t throw a $5 bill in the trash, but that’s exactly what I’m doing when I toss out old food.

 

How about you guys, did you have a great week or a learning week? Off to make a meal plan for next week!

What do you eat?

 

A question that I sometimes am asked when talking about food with people, and all the terrible things our current food system claims as “food” and poisons us with, the multitude of processed, chemical-filled, animal products, and sugary junk that I will not eat, and how I am “flexitarian*”, is what do you eat?

Good question.  Lots of things!

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I could give you the whole litany of healthy food choices, like raw vegetables, green juices, fruits, nuts, soy products, lean meat, fish and seafood, whole grains, etc.  But instead I challenged myself to record every single thing that I ate for one week.  Every.  Thing.

This is a great exercise for yourself too.

If you are struggling with symptoms of fatigue, digestive upset, migraines, depression, etc, tracking your food may allow you to see patterns.  Especially if you track for a long period of time as you withhold food types, and then reintroduce them, you may see that red wine, or chocolate, or fatty foods make your symptoms worse.

If you are struggling with weight gain or inability to lose weight, tracking your food intake may open your eyes to problem patterns you hadn’t seen before, or were in denial about.¬† Nothing quite so sobering as seeing a list of every single bit and bite to make it real.

And if you are just curious about your actual habits and want to live a more mindful way of nutritious eating, then this will force you to think about each thing you eat, whether before or after it goes into your mouth.  This exercise may shock you, because we all tend to under-estimate how many calories are in food and how much food we think we eat.

If at all possible, actually use things to measure amounts, like measuring cups and spoons or a food scale.  But be sure to measure it after you take your usual portion, no cheating just because you know this is being counted.  You are the only one who will know, and you need an accurate baseline measurement to know where you can and should improve. Find a method of tracking that works for you, whether it be an actual notebook you write in, an online program, or like me, just a list in your cell phone.

Here’s one typical week of food for me:

Monday

12 oz water, 40 min walk
12 oz coffee + 2 tbsp creamer
Vitamins: 3 cranberry, 2 g fish oil, women’s multi, Vitamin D, Vitamin C
Breakfast: 1 wheat tortilla + 1 turkey sausage + 1/2 egg scrambled + 1/4 c peppers & onions + 1/4 c beans + 1/2 potato diced
Lunch: 1/2 c rice + 1/2 c beans + 1/4 c peppers & onions + 5 black olives + 2 roma tomatoes + 2 tbsp salsa + 3 oz chicken breast
12 oz puh-er tea + 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 Andes mint
1/2 dark chocolate coconut truffle
2 snack sized Twix
6 cups popcorn

Water intake: 6 12-oz glasses

Tuesday

12 oz water, 15 min yoga
12 oz coffee + 2 tbsp creamer
Vitamins: 3 cranberry, 2 g fish oil, women’s multi, Vitamin D, Vitamin C
Breakfast: 1 wheat tortilla + 1 turkey sausage + 1/2 egg scrambled + 1/4 c peppers & onions + 1/4 c beans + 1/2 potato diced
Lunch: 1/2 c rice + 1/2 c beans + 1/4 c peppers & onions + 5 black olives + 2 roma tomatoes + 2 tbsp salsa + 3 oz chicken breast
2 snack size Twix
12 oz BB Detox tea
Dinner: 1 1/2 c rice + 1 tbsp vinegar + 2 cups stir fry (cabbage, yellow squash, asparagus, fish sauce, soy sauce, pork)
6 oz red wine

Water intake: 10 12-oz glasses

Wednesday

12 oz coffee + 2 tbsp creamer
Vitamins: 3 cranberry, 2 g fish oil, women’s multi, Vitamin D, Vitamin C
1 slice pumpkin spice cake
1 medium apple
1 cup miso soup + 2 sheets of seaweed
Lunch: 1/2 c rice + 1/2 c beans + 1/4 c peppers & onions + 3 oz chicken breast
Pumpkin sugar cookie
6 oz Black cherry Greek yogurt
8 oz detox tea
8 oz “remember when” tea
Dinner: 3 slices whole wheat bread + 6 oz pork + 1/2 c BBQ sauce + 2 oz Colby cheese
1 1/2 c corn & potato soup
6 oz red wine
1×2 inch homemade Snickers bar

Water intake: 8 12-oz glasses

Thursday

12 oz warm water + juice of 1/2 a lemon + 1/2 tsp chipotle pepper powder
12 oz cool water, 15 push ups
12 oz coffee + 2 tbsp. hazelnut creamer
Breakfast: 1 tbsp. coconut oil + 1 large tomato + 1/2 c mixed veggies + 1/4 c mixed beans + 1 egg + 1 egg white
Vitamins: 3 cranberry + fish oil + women’s multi + Vitamin D + Vitamin C
Snack: 1/4 chocolate plain glaze donut + 12 oz pu-ehr tea + 1 tsp lemon juice
Lunch: 2 small green bell peppers + 2 oz ground turkey + 6 tbsp. couscous + 1 large tomato + 2 oz eggplant + 2 cloves garlic + s/p
Dinner: 1 1/2 c pasta + 1 cup sauce + 2 oz turkey
2 cups mixed greens + 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar + 2 tbsp. olive oil + s/p
6 oz red wine
1 oz tequila + 1 slice lemon + sea salt
5 cups oil popped popcorn
2 oz chocolate cake
Snack sized snickers

Water intake: 10 12-oz glasses

Friday – dinner party

Upon waking: 12 oz coffee + 2 tbsp. hazelnut creamer
12 oz cool water + juice of 1/2 lemon
Vitamins: 3 cranberry + women’s multi + Vitamin D
Breakfast: Croissant egg & cheese sandwich
10 oz coffee + 8 oz pumpkin spice cappuccino mixed, + 2 tbsp. amaretto creamer (free coffee Friday!)
Lunch: open-faced turkey BLT sandwich + 1/2 cup broccoli
Snack: 1 medium apple
Dinner: 1 wheat tortilla + 4 tbsp. guacamole + 1 cup beans + 1 roma tomato + 1/2 cup basmati rice + 3 oz ground turkey + 6 black olives + 2 tbsp. shredded cheese + 1 tbsp. red salsa + 1 tbsp. green tomato salsa + 2 tbsp. peppers/mushrooms/onions
1 slice spice cake
4 oz fireball whiskey + 4 oz horchata
1 snack sized snickers

Water intake: 9 12-oz glasses

Saturday

12 oz coffee + 2 tbsp. hazelnut creamer
Breakfast: 1 cup diced potato + 2 eggs scrambled + 1 tbsp. sour cream + 2 turkey sausage links + 1 slice spice cake
12 oz chai tea + 1 tsp local honey
Vitamins: 3 cranberry + fish oil + women’s multi + Vitamin D + Vitamin C
Snack: 1 piece wheat toast + 1 tbsp. country crock
Lunch: 1 slice pepperoni pizza + 1 slice cheese pizza w/peppers and mushrooms
Dinner: 2 squares homemade spinach lasagna
2 margaritas
5 cups popcorn

Water intake: 9 12-oz glasses

Sunday – Halloween

12 oz coffee + 2 tbsp. hazelnut creamer
Breakfast: 2 pancakes + 4 tbsp maple syrup + 2 clementines
Lunch: 3 corn hard taco shells + 3 tbsp. ground turkey + 3 tbsp. black beans + 3 tbsp. guacamole + 3 tbsp. salsa + 2 tbsp. shredded cheese + 2 tbsp. lettuce
12 oz ginger tea + 1 tsp honey
Vitamins: 3 cranberry + fish oil + women’s multi + Vitamin D + Vitamin C
Dinner: 2 squares veggie pizza + 1 cup romaine + 2 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar + 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes + 1/2 c edamame
2 snack sized Twix
5 cups popcorn

Water intake: 8 12-oz glasses

 

This exercise was interesting for me, and I learned several things about myself.  First of all, I already know that I am a certified popcorn addict.  I am queen of the popcorn lovers, and everyone who knows me knows it.  And normally, popcorn is a healthy and wholesome snack choice.  However, I learned that the stove-top popcorn I make contains a lot of oil (1/2 Р1 cup per batch!) and I inhale an awful lot of it!  Regularly!

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Not to mention that corn is one of the most contaminated crops with GMOs and roundup ready genes…¬† So I need to re-think my snack of choice and come up with a better, organic, healthier option.** ¬†That may mean buying bags of organic seeds online in bulk and using an air-popper…¬† Cause there is no way I’m going cold turkey! ¬†If anyone knows of a place to get a good deal on 50 pounds of organic popcorn, please share. Not kidding.

Lesson number two: I snack at night way more than I thought I did.¬† I am not often a snacker during the day, I plan them in on purpose as part of my diet, to keep protein and carbohydrate levels constant during the day and prevent extreme hunger.¬† However, once I had to list out each and every thing, I noticed that I have more sugary cravings after dinner than at any other time during the day.¬† And I give in to them far too often. This means I need to start planning a sweet treat after dinner for myself to calm the sugar craving, and monitor more closely so that I don’t indulge afterwards too.

This is also linked to my desire to rid myself of excess processed sugar in my diet. ¬†Halloween is a dodgy time because I want to have candy for the neighborhood, yet I know when it is in the house I will probably eat some of it… (I’m sure I’m not the only one!) Perhaps next year I will be brave enough to cut the cord to Big Candy (looking at you, Mars and Hershey) and go with non-food treats.

Lesson number three: I need to be better about drinking water at home. ¬†The vast majority of my water intake is during work, when I have two reusable bottles at my desk at all times. ¬†If I don’t get my eight glasses during the day, I very rarely drink more water once I’m at home. ¬†Even if I have a cup next to me, I don’t know why…

So there you have it, one week of actual food I ate. I do find that I don’t mind eating the same thing 2 or 3 times in a row, but then I start to get bored. ¬†Making ahead a batch of breakfast burritos, for example, is a great time saver for hectic mornings. ¬†But after 2-3 days, I want something different. It helps to have several different quick options, such as burritos and/or English muffins.

Same thing for dinners, it is great to cook up a big batch of rice and beans. Then use them in several different ways so that you don’t get bored. ¬†You can make burritos or quesadillas, stir fry, put it into soups or chilies, or scrambled with eggs. Being able to re-purpose leftovers makes sure you aren’t wasting food, which is good for the Earth and good for your pocketbook.

Give this exercise a try yourself, just for a week, and see what you can learn!

 

*Note: For those who are curious and continued reading this far, flexitarian is a term I heard somewhere once and I’m pretty sure it means that you will eat just about anything, but try to go meatless often.¬† I do usually have at least one meatless dinner per week if not more, and I try to have more than 50% of the time my¬†breakfast and lunch meatless as well. But I do eat pretty much all foods when given them or craving them.

**Popcorn and sweet corn are two totally different crops.  About 90% of the sweet corn crops in the US are now GMO.  Sad face.  Luckily for me, there are as yet no GMO popcorn crops! Hooray! However, the oils it is cooked in, and the flavorings we usually top it with, are very likely genetically modified. So I need to pay attention to what oils I buy it seems. And organic is still always a good idea.