[Meatless March] Week 2

My secret weapon to eating healthy and mostly at home during the week is meal planning! I literally take my grocery store receipt every week and write what we are having for dinner on the back of it every Sunday (saving paper!).

Although, typically I start the process before going shopping for the week by looking at what we already have (i.e. red lentils) to narrow down my options. This also helps ensure I’m not wasting food.

Meal planning is great because I don’t have to go rummaging through my refrigerator and cabinets at the end of the workday, trying to figure out what we have to throw together. Which would probably result in frustration and a lot more eating out.

Already knowing what we are going to have for dinner also helps me eat a balanced diet. For example, if we’re having tacos for dinner, I’ll probably skip the burrito bar at work and stick with something like a salad.

Aside from taking inventory of what I already have to help me plan weeknight dinners, I also try to generally stick to the following guidelines:

  • I typically start thinking about what grain or starch we are going to have each night (i.e.: brown rice, quinoa pasta, corn tortillas, or sourdough bread)
  • Next I figure out the vegetable – the standard lineup in our house is organic peas (my favorite!),  green beans, broccoli, some kind of lettuce, and mushrooms (and occasionally peppers)
    • More often than not, I buy peas, green beans, and broccoli frozen because they last basically forever (even though we use them up pretty fast) and Trader Joe’s has relatively cheap, organic offerings
  • Last I decide what protein and fat I’ll use – mostly this is some kind of bean or lentil with cheese or avocado
  • I’m big on variety so I rarely repeat the same meal – or kind of meal (i.e.: pasta with tomato sauce and mac n cheese) in a week*
  • I also find it helpful to account for flexibility in your plan – I usually leave Fridays as a “date night” or “order in” night but if last minute dinner plan come up during the week, I can change our “out” meal to that day; eating what we would have had that night on Friday instead
  • It’s also helpful to always have one go-to healthy meal ready to whip up quickly
    • For us, this is usually quinoa pasta with some veg + olive oil and garlic
    • I saw in the documentary series Cooked that Michael Pollan has canned salmon, frozen spinach, and whole wheat pasta on hand to make a quick, healthy meal if need be
    • Some other options could include pre-made and frozen quesadillas with hummus (makes for such a creamy, yummy quesadilla!) and a can of pinto beans or even a simple veggie frozen pizza is a good option

This week our menu looks like this:

Monday: avocado toast with sliced tomato + a spinach and mushroom salad
Tuesday: potato tacos with guac and salsa verde + chopped tomatoes and pinto beans
Wednesday: mushroom ravioli with green beans
Thursday: veggie (onion, peas, peppers, and spinach) fried rice 
Friday: out or order in

Monday

  • We had some sliced sourdough in the freezer that I need to use
  • I bought avocado and was sure to incorporate it in two dinners (Monday and Tuesday) so nothing was wasted 

Tuesday

  • I’m using the last of the tomato from Monday on our tacos

Wednesday

  • I’m actually going to dinner with a friend but we have both the mushroom ravioli (already made from TJs) and green beans frozen and ready for Mike to easily prepare 

Thursday

  • Veg fired rice is a regular contender in our house because you can use whatever veggies you have leftover or on hand, which makes for a great end of the week meal

Friday

  • Breakfast for dinner is always another great option for Fridays as it is quick, easy, and flexible 

Whats Up Moms recently made a video about meal planning that is worth checking out for some more tips. 🙂

*this is just my preference though! I’m sure repeat meals work great for other people, particularly families with busy mamas and dads.

The light in me sees the light in …honey and coconut granola!

“It’s supposed to throw you off balance. It’s yoga.” The instructor told the class as I clumsy struggled to stay in half moon. While trying to focus my attention on an imperfection in the hardwood (a yogi trick to help with balance, picking one spot and starring at it), I  couldn’t help but relate the instructor’s words about yoga to life.

It’s supposed to throw you off balance…

Thinking about it more as we transitioned into warrior III, I realized this actually happens a lot: the overlap from my yoga practice to my life. (…Maybe my next book will be titled From My Yoga Mat to My Life.) It’s actually one of the things I love about yoga;  how my practice isn’t only beneficial for my body but for my mind and spirit as well. Yoga allows me to disconnect with life off of the mat and reconnect with myself. Plus, the skills I learn on the mat are transferable to everyday life. I like to remember that in yoga, and in life, we are going to be thrown off balance occasionally.  I’m trying hard to remind myself that a little instability is okay and normal.  It helps us stretch (and wiggle) in new ways and also helps us get stronger.

Just like a hardy bowl of homemade granola! amiright!?

I hate how most store-bought granolas are packed with sugar so I thought I would give it a go and make my own!  (I used this video from WhatsUpMoms☀️ as a guide=)


Namaste Granola 

Prep time: 15 minutes – Cook time: 30 minutes – Serves: 4

Dry ingredients

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 shredded coconut
  • dash of cinnamon and cardamon

Wet ingredients

  • 2 heaping tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • dash of vanilla

Directions

  • Bring your wet ingredients to a boil
  • Add to the dry ingredients, mixing together
  • Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes
  • Let cool and then be super trendy and put into mason jar 😉

 


Toasted delicious-ness to demolish in the AM with some yogurt and honey or almond milk and berries!

Californians and their avocados…

It’s been gloomy in California lately and I decided to spend the afternoon at home “pampering” myself the other day. I think it’s important to realize you don’t have to spend a whole bunch of money to feel better about yourself. No matter how great I feel with fresh highlights and a new outfit, it would be a pricey habit to rely on spending all of that money to brighten my day.

Sometimes just spending a hour or so on yourself is good enough! I was feeling like a hot mess – with un-brushed hair and chipped nail polish – when I decided to go for a run/walk. (Side note: I don’t like running so “letting” myself walk for half of my workbook is a nice compromise. It also keeps me from dreading my workout which means I’m more likely to do it!).

Right when I laced up my shoes, it started raining. I could have done another workout instead but I decided just to go for it. Oddly, running in the rain makes it more pleasant for me.

  • After my workout, I had one of my favorite protein packed snacks – snap peas dipped in hummus with hot sauce and a string cheese.
  • Then I took off that chipped nail polish! Typically I think doing our nails is a way of pampering but, because of all the chemicals in nail polish, I feel better when my nails are bare. Scrubbing off my O.P.I. and cutting/filing my nails makes me feel best.
  • Next I took a hot shower and SHAVED even though it’s raining here and I won’t be wearing shorts anytime soon. Nothing gets you feeling like you brought your A game like smooth legs.
  • After I showered, I slathered myself with avocado oil – how California of me, I know.
  • I got dressed and, for once, avoided yoga pants or leggings, opting for jeans. (Full disclaimer: this was more for Mike than me;)
  • Next I dyed my  eyebrows. Some people feel best when they’re having a good hair day, for others it’s all about their outfit, but for me? when my eyebrows are – excuse my pop culture reference – #onfleek I feel best.
  • While my eyebrow dye sat and dyed, I brushed my hair (it is all too often that my hair defaults in a messy bun on top of my head) and fish tail braided it to get it out of my face. Braiding my hair is one of my favorite things to do – it’s so simple and really gives you bang for your buck because after you take it out, you’re left  with pretty waves. Two hairstyles out of one? Sold.

 

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Hair braided. Eyebrows dyed. …Chillin’ with no makeup on

 

After I felt like a human again, I hit the kitchen to try out a new recipe. I originally saw this recipe on the YouTube channel What’s Up Moms (which I am obsessed with, even though I’m not a mom yet!). In it, sliced almonds and spinach were used but I only had baby kale and didn’t feel like adding another fat to the sauce.


Creamy Avocado Pasta

Prep time: 15 minutes – Cook time: 15 minutes – Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1.5 c of your favorite pasta (I used brown rice and quinoa)
  • 1 bag baby kale
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 c basil
  • 1/2 c cherry tomatoes

Directions 

  • Cook pasta according to package
  • While pasta is cooking, add kale, pealed avocado, olive oil, garlic and basil into blender and blend until smooth
  • Strain pasta but keep some of the water to thin out sauce (if need be)
  • Pour sauce (thinned out with pasta water, if needed) over hot pasta
  • Add sliced cherry tomatoes and mix together
  • Serve and enjoy!

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So green!
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So creamy!
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So good!

#VegOut