Week 1 Menu, Recipes and Grocery List

Alright, the moment we have all been waiting for! I have made up the meal plan for our first week! I will list what I am having but feel free to substitute your own choices if you have different tastes. Without further ado here she is…

MENU

Monday:

  • Lunch- Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad
  • Snack- Home-popped Popcorn*
  • Dinner- Tomato Basil Chicken Over Whole Wheat Pasta and Steamed Green Beans
  • Snack- Sliced Apple with Peanut Butter

Tuesday: 

  • Lunch- Pesto Spinach Mozzarella Quesodilla
  • Snack- Orange and Cheese Stick
  • Dinner- BLTA (Bacon Lettuce Tomato Avocado Sandwich) on Whole Wheat Bread with Broccoli and Applesauce
  • Snack- Veggies and Dip (either Hummus or Ranch)

Wednesday:

  •  Lunch- Scrambled Eggs with Fruit and Veggies with Dip (Hummus or Ranch)
  • Snack- Edamame Cucumber Salad
  • Dinner- Mexican Quinoa
  • Snack- Fruit Bowl

Thursday:

  • Lunch- Leftover Mexican Quinoa
  • Snack- Apple with Peanut Butter
  • Dinner- Taco Salad
  • Snack- Home-popped Popcorn

Friday:

  • Lunch- Hummus, Turkey, Avocado wrap on Whole Wheat Tortilla
  • Snack- Boiled egg and Veggies with Dip (Hummus or Ranch)
  • Dinner- Panini Sandwich and Chef Salad
  • Snack- Smoothie

Saturday:

  • Dinner- Turkey Burgers with Salad

*For my popcorn I buy the kernels at the store and pop 1/4 cup in a brown paper bag. This way is more cost effective and allows you to control portion and toppings (i just lightly season with salt.)

*I usually have the same thing for breakfast every day (bran flakes with a banana) but here are some good options:

-Scrambled eggs (I like to add cottage cheese to the egg before cooking it. Try to add at least one vegetable to your eggs to up your nutrient intake. Some of my favorites are: spinach, sauteed bell peppers or mushrooms, tomato, or avocado.)

– Oatmeal with fruit (try not to add too much sugar)

– Healthy Cereal with fruit (look for a cereal that has fewer than 10 grams of sugar and at least 3 grams of fiber)

– Yogurt with fruit (make sure your yogurt is not packing extra sugar, some yogurts -read yoplait- have 32 grams of sugar per serving. That is 8 teaspoons, Your entire sugar recommendation for the day! READ THOSE LABELS PEOPLE!)

* I don’t plan weekend meals because our weekends get a little crazy. Just try to limit sugar and get your vegetables and fruits in for the day. Treat yourself, but don’t go crazy!

Alright now go print your menu and hang it on your fridge

RECIPES

Chicken Chickpea Chopped Salad 

-Lettuce (green leaf or romaine)

-Spinach

-Chicken (I use canned but feel free to cook your own and chop it up)

-Chickpeas (be sure to rinse the chickpeas before you use them, this gets rid of extra sodium and the “can” taste)

-Diced cucumber

-Diced or grape tomatoes

-Corn (I use frozen and then throw it into a greased pan to grill it a bit)

-Feta cheese

-Chopped Cilantro

-Diced avocado

-Dressing of choice (I use ranch)

Throw it all together in a large bowl and dig in!

Tomato Basil Chicken

I found this little gem on pinterest, click HERE for the recipe. Be sure to use whole wheat noodles!

Pesto Spinach Mozzarella Quesodilla

-2 whole wheat tortillas

-Feta cheese

-Shredded mozzarella cheese

-Pesto

-Spinach

-Tomato

Starting with one whole wheat tortilla layer pesto, small amount of mozzarella cheese, feta cheese, thin tomato slices, big handful of spinach and another layer of mozzarella top with remaining tortilla. Place on skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes and flip and heat for an additional five minutes. Slice and enjoy!

Edamame Cucumber Salad

For this easy snack just defrost some edamame (just enough so it is not frozen), add cucumber, pecan pieces, some dried cranberries and sprinkle with feta cheese

Mexican Quinoa

Hop on over HERE to get this amazing recipe

Turkey Burgers

Try out THIS recipe or make your own

GROCERIES

Make sure to check your pantry/fridge before shopping!

Produce:

Avocado x3 (More if you have them with breakfast often. You will need them on Monday, Tuesday, and Friday so buy                               accordingly)

Variety of fruit (plan on two servings per day)

Cilantro

Basil

Lettuce (green leaf or romain, as iceberg has fewer nutrients)

Spinach

Tomato (2 or 3)

Green beans

Broccoli

Veggies for snacking (i use cucumber, snap peas and carrots)

Cucumber

Red onion (won’t be used until Saturday so might want to pick this up on a second grocery trip, same with the parsley)

Parsley

DAIRY

Eggs

Milk

Cottage Cheese

Cheese Sticks

Shredded Mozzarella

Feta Cheese

Mexican Cheese

Yogurt (remember to check sugar on the label!)

MEAT

2 (1 lb packages) ground turkey

Turkey bacon

Frozen Chicken Breast

MISC. GROCERIES

Humus

Can of chickpeas (aka garbonzo  beans)

Popcorn kernels

Frozen corn

Frozen edamame

Pesto

Whole wheat tortillas

Whole wheat bread

Applesauce (get the no sugar added)

Quinoa

Can of vegetable broth (chicken would work too)

2 Cans of black beans

Can of fire roasted tomatoes

Apple/Fruit juice for smoothie (milk works too)

Whole wheat pasta

Pecans

Dried Cranberries

Olives

Alright lets stick to the plan and have a GREAT week!

What You Need to Know

I’m going to say something crazy here. Diets don’t work. There i said it. You cannot expect long term change from a short term fix. Diets focus on foods you can’t have, caloric restrictions and some even cut out whole food groups. This type of eating is not sustainable and will not lead to lasting benefits such as increased energy, long-term fat loss and a healthy body that functions as it was created to. So what changes do you need to make to create a healthy lifestyle?

  • Avoid processed foods
  • Choose nutrient dense foods
  • Eat less sugar

Lets start with processed foods. Processed foods are not real food. They are made in a lab, contain chemicals and are highly addictive. If it has a label, comes in a box or you can find it on the inside isles of a grocery store, it is most likely a processed food. Unfortunately, while processed foods are fast, easy and cheap, they wreak havoc on your digestion. Processed foods are stripped of their natural fiber, nutrients and water content. In addition to this they are laden with salt, sugar and unnatural fat. Because of  the hyper-concentrated amounts of sugar, salt and fat, processed foods have a drug like effect on your body. They excite the pleasure seeking parts of our brains making us want to repeat the behavior. If that is not enough to get us hooked, our survival instincts wire us to conserve energy by seeking the greatest amount of calories with the least amount of effort, making processed food the ideal temptation.

On the other hand nutrient dense foods are real food. They come from nature. Just remember “if your food can go bad, its good for you. If it can’t go bad it is bad for you.” Nutrient dense means the ratio of nutrients to calories is very high. This means you are getting the best bang for your caloric buck. Fruits and vegetables and whole grains are what we will be focusing on. These foods are high in natural fiber to keep you feeling fuller longer, keep sugar spikes to a minimum and help maintain digestive health. They also contain the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive. The good news is if you focus on replacing  processed foods with more natural, nutrient dense foods you will be significantly decreasing your sugar intake. I’ll be talking about sugar in another post soon.

Now that you know the why of eating right, are you ready to start the week off with your new healthy lifestyle? Get ready for the how in my next post with a week full of delicious recipes and healthy snacks!