Happy Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Our’s was pretty low key. I spent a lot of time on my new hobbies – sourdough and fermentation (sauerkraut) – and I finished The Great Alone. Now Blake and I are reading Prairie Fires which I’m loving so far! I was up bright and early this morning baking up some sourdough bagels, and I’m already ready for a second cup of coffee. By the way, if you have ever wanted to try out sourdough baking, I highly recommend The Clever Carrot. I have her sourdough cookbook and bought her sourdough starter, and I love both.
Okay, moving on I’m super excited to share with you a new feature on Choosing Balance – a weekly meal guide! I say meal guide, because meal plan connotes rigidity in my mind, which is the opposite of intuitive eating. Planning meals has a lot of benefits – it saves time, money, and mental energy, freeing you to focus on so many other things in life. When you honor flexibility and consider what your body will enjoy, meal planning can be a great ally in making peace with food.
But meal planning can go awry is when it’s too rigid and steeped in diet culture. You could spend hours trying to find the perfect meals, shopping, and prepping only to get to the middle of the week and not even want what you have planned.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to meal plan in a way that leaves room for flexibility. I plan because I can’t practically wait to go the store to get what I’m craving all the time. Plus, the more often I go to the store, the more money I spend. So, to save time, money, and mental energy, I roughly plan out what we’ll have for the week and then either move meals around based on schedule or how I’m feeling, or throw the ingredients together into a different meal. Funny story, a couple weeks ago, I planned to make a new recipe, but then I never felt like having it that week, so instead I froze the meat, and then a couple weeks later when I had time and the dish sounded good, I defrosted the meat and made the dish.
Later on I’ll share some of my tried and true tips and tricks for how to create a flexible meal plan. In the meantime, here’s what we’ll most likely be having this week for dinner. Even as I write this, I’m debating a couple of the meals, so we will see how the week pans out.
Before we dive in, I want to say that this meal plan is not for comparison, but instead to give you the freedom to listen to your body and ideas for simple, nutritious meals. Everybody has their own unique nutritional needs, and I encourage you to explore what your body needs!
SUNDAY: ROAST CHICKEN, ROASTED POTATOES, + SALAD
I have found that cooking a whole chicken or large piece of meat on Sundays is great for providing lunch elements for the week. This week I roasted a whole chicken with salt and Trader Joe’s 12 Salute seasoning at 400’F for an hour. For the potatoes, I cubed both sweet potatoes and red potatoes, coated them with avocado oil and salt and pepper, and roasted for 30 minutes at 400’F. The salad was a mix of greens, chopped veggies, and feta with a dressing made from olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, honey, and dijon. After this meal, I have plenty of chicken and roasted potatoes to put on salads for lunch.
MONDAY: BREAKFAST TACOS
This is one of our go-to meals. Simply scramble eggs and put them in tortillas. You can add whatever else you want like cheese, avocado, bacon, salsa, greens, sauteed veggies, etc. I usually serve with some chopped veggies on the side.
TUESDAY: KITCHEN SINK CURRY BOWLS
Using the leftover chicken from Sunday, this meal will come together quick. All I’ll have to do the day of is soak and cook the brown rice, roast the cauliflower and brussel sprouts, and mix up the sauce.
WEDNESDAY: CHICKPEA PESTO PASTA
Another one of our go-to meals, that I realized isn’t the cheapest, but it’s so delicious and fast. All you do is bowl chickpea pasta according to package directions, drain, and mix with pesto, crumbled feta, cherry tomatoes, and arugula. One pot meal that take 10 minutes.
THURSDAY: DATE NIGHT
We’ll go out for dinner this night
FRIDAY: OUT OF TOWN
We’ll be visiting a friend Friday and Saturday, so dinner will be there.
SATURDAY: WING IT!
I usually have one night (usually the weekends) where I leave it open for either getting takeout, having leftovers, or making a meal from the leftovers we have on hand.
What are you having for dinner this week?