As you might already know, I am a big meal planner. Typically, throughout the week I peruse websites and magazines (like Taste of Home and Cooking Light), and bookmark and pin dishes that interest me on my Recipes to Try board on Pinterest. (Similarly I have a Recipes I Have Tried board serving as an archive, as well as, obviously, this blog.) Usually on Thursday and Friday I start putting together a meal plan for the upcoming week.
Calorie Counting has become a lifestyle for me, after over two years of doing so (and I’ve managed to lose and keep off over 30 pounds.) Now that I am in the Maintenance Phase of my weight loss (wanting to stay where I am at!), I am much more laid-back about it than previously, when I was in the very strict Loss Phase (actively trying to lose weight). Having become familiar with the calorie counts of foods I commonly consume, I am able to easily assemble a meal within my calorie goal without much effort or thought, because I have learned what type of foods I should (and should not!) keep on hand.
- Breakfast is always iced coffee, and maybe one-third of the time I will have a morning snack, usually a banana, handful of trail mix, or a low-calorie bar. I am not that hungry when I wake up early.
- Lunches are assembled on the fly based on what is on hand. I tend to frequently eat one high protein dairy (often Greek yogurt with honey or cottage cheese), something sweet (almost always berries on my yogurt or a piece of fruit), and a savory item (often frozen Amy’s entrees/burritos, baby greens salads with tuna and/or avocado, or frozen Indian entrees). I try to shy away from carbs at lunch as well, and my lunch calorie goal is 500-600.
- Afternoon Treat: Almost every day I eat a square of chocolate around 3:00 PM at work! Ghiradelli squares are my favorite, though I am currently savoring a pretty awesome Godiva bar. (40-60 calories)
- Dinner: see meal plan below. My calorie target is 700-800 calories, and I sometimes have dessert (goal: 150 calories or less, such as an ice cream sandwich or three Oreos).
- Evening Snack: I cut this out of my diet for a long time (this was a bad habit of mine), but have been starting to occasionally reintroduce a small evening snack back into my diet – often a reward if I worked out after dinner! It could be a pickle, small measured bowl of salty snacky things, or a fruit bowl.
- Weekends: Friday dinner and all day Saturday are rule-free when it comes to food! There is also flexibility within the week. If something fun comes up, I do not deprive myself. I will indulge, and then balance it out with healthier choices later in the week.
Weekly Meal Plan:
- Saturday: Out (Maize & Blue Deli)
- Sunday: Grilled Biercamp Brats, Grilled Corn, Watermelon Feta Salad
- Monday: Honey Chipotle Chicken, Crispy Crowns, Baby Greens with Sliced Peach
- Tuesday: Beef & Cabbage Stew
- Wednesday: Bacon Corn Chowder with Shrimp, Biscuits
- Thursday: Chicken Curry with Rice
- Friday: Out
Here is what I needed at the store this week. The list doesn’t include many items that I already had on hand and did not need to purchase. My weekly goal is to spend under $80 on groceries but often my bill falls in the $80-$100 range. This week I shopped at Meijer.
- limes (2)
- corn on cob (5)
- fresh mint
- romaine [organic]
- peach [organic]
- raspberries [organic]
- cherries [organic]
- feta cheese
- Yoplait yogurts (4)
- Fage yogurt tub
- fat-free half and half
- boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins (1 lb)
- mesquite albacore tuna steaks (2)
- brats (from Biercamp)
- Pantry Staples:
- cider vinegar
- chipotles in adobo
- tomato sauce
- biscuit mix
- tater tots
- frozen entrees (3 Lean Cuisines for huz, 2 Amy’s bowls for me)
- Diet Mountain Dew (for huz)
- Powerade Zero (8 bottles)
- toilet paper
- soap bars
Am I the only one who finds it really interesting to see what others buy at the grocery store? I guess that’s why I am a food blogger. I love learning about others’ habits when it comes to shopping for, eating, and cooking food.