General Diet Plans and Questions - planning meals, need shopping help !!




blueballerina
02-09-2011, 08:30 PM
i'm trying to plan all of my meals for the week and i am having a hard time putting something together that will have some ingredients overlap into several meals throughout the week to save money and make things more simple to follow

this is what i have for set when i next go grocery shopping...but that's only one day ! ....how do i plan this with better ease ? i know i need to plan my meals and workouts or i will get off track way fast...this is a plan for eating 6 small meals a day

1st meal-eggs (whites w/ 1yolk) w/ veggies and fruit
2nd meal-(pre workout mini meal) two of the following: mango,watermelon, nuts, oatmeal, hummus and carrots, hard boiled egg
~WORKOUT~
3rd meal-whey protein smoothie
4th meal-tuna w/ greens & dried cranberries
5th meal-sweet potato w/ natural peanut butter + cup of milk (dairy, almond, or rice) OR apples slices w/ peanut butter
6th meal-spaghetti squash w/ tomato sauce and ground turkey

SHOPPING AND MEAL PLANNING TIPS ANYONE ?? should i just eat the same basic things the entire week, and then have a plan for the next week and so on and so on ?

thanks :p


indiblue
02-10-2011, 10:06 AM
I tend to buy super healthy foods and then just figure out what to do with it throughout the week. For me this is less stressful than meal planning and making sure I get everything on the list. There are some staples I usually keep around- brown rice, spinach, loads of fresh fruit, fat-free yogurt, eggs, etc- and then use those as the "building blocks" for my meals throughout the week. I use websites where you can type in the ingredients you have to generate yummy meals you can make out of it. If everything in your fridge is healthy and clean it makes planning and eating healthy meals much easier.

The thread Food > Whole Foods Lifestyle > The superfoods list with sidekicks (from Superfoods RX by Pratt - books 1 & 2) on 3FC has a great list of building block foods with which to build a solid diet.

Either way you choose- meals first or ingredients first- good luck. Your meal plan for day 1 looks delish!

DianaG
02-10-2011, 10:21 AM
Indiblue has good advice. I also tend to buy frozen fruit and veggies because I have a separate freezer in the garage. Frozen fruit works great for smoothies and thaws quickly for snacks and I don't have to worry about them going bad. I do buy several days of fresh fruit at a time, but find if I buy for a week that sometimes the fruit gets over ripe. By having frozen on hand I am sure to get my fruits and veggies in all week since fresh produce does not have as long a fridge life.

If I can go to the market several times a week, I prefer the fresh, but frozen is a great back-up or way to go if I can only get there once a week.

As Indiblue said, keep stuff like yogurt (low-fat and greek), steel cut oats, brown rice, cous cous, beans and diced tomatoes on hand for quick easy meals. Then you just have to add a few items to your list when making a week's worth of menus.


katy trail
02-10-2011, 10:29 AM
try making some meat or soup for several days in the week. ex: chicken. then alter it by adding some seasonings for the dish you are having. or make a really filling soup/stew/chilli. i suggest veggie or some type of bean soup. lentills take less time to cook if you don't have a slow cooker. then portion it out for the week.

rachael ray has lots of ideas about using overlapping ingredients. she gives several pasta examples in her first cook book. 30 min. meals. you may be able to find info on her website, or other websites.

there's lots of recipes for make ahead and freezing. recipe zaar used to have lots of recipes and info. i think they are food.com now.

blueballerina
02-10-2011, 12:10 PM
thanks for all the tips guys :)

from here i am going straight to that superfoods list to check out !

i think that's a good idea to have some basic things.....my problem is that i will write out a list..and it all ends up being pretty pricey and with not a whole lot organized ...i guess that's why i was wanting to have everything planned out, so i could just get only what i need....but i do think it would be less stressful if i can just get used to buying the staples that i want (whatever they may be) and get other various things to go with the staples

i think getting a costco membership would be a good idea so i could buy some of this stuff in bulk, like the frozen fruit especially.....do any of you shop at costco/sam's or another bulk food type store ?

and a week's worth of veggie chili in my slow-cooker would be AWESOME.....i don't know why i couldn't think of any of this, glad i have this support to get my wheels turning !! :D

Sea
02-10-2011, 01:02 PM
I do oatmeal for breakfast 6 days a week, and the same lunch (no, not oatmeal) 5 days a week. This helps me keep on plan, as I don't have to think about food choices as a decision. My variety comes from my dinners.

I've started prepping my meals as soon as I get home from the grocery store. For example, I grilled, sliced, and portioned into snack sized bags, a couple of chicken breasts to have them ready for salads, sandwiches, and mexican food meals. I also made up my chilli. I browned ground beef and drained it to toss into some options for my dh (like in the chilli, which I prefer veggie style). I chopped my veggies while all this was cooking, so that I can put the meals together easily and quickly. I know it sounds like work, but I really did find that it's a lot less work and stress to do this. One hour of this saves me three or four through the week AND helps me keep OP.

blueballerina
02-10-2011, 02:26 PM
these are great ideas ! now i can't wait to go grocery shopping in the next couple days !!

annd...i can' wait to finish up making my meal plans for the week....i'm just going to go ahead and plan every meal, except maybe for the dinners ....but i might just plan them all and make enough dinner so that i can have the leftovers for lunch or in some eggs for breakfast the next day

i don't think i could have the same breakfast everyday, but i could definitely rotate between the three things i usually have anyway : eggs w/ veggies and side of fruit, smoothie, oatmeal w/ various added ingredients like berries or peanut butter (or both ! ...mmmm)

thanks for all the help ! i have a ton of ideas now and am copying/pasting a ton of recipes i am finding on here...very exciting....almost feels like the eating aspect of my 'lifestyle change' is going to be easy once i get into the swing of things !! :carrot::broc::sunny::dancer: ....ok little overboard with the emoticons ! :o ........... :D

Prism21
02-10-2011, 03:47 PM
I also buy what fruits and veggies look good and are on sale and plan my meals around that. I never know what I will feel like cooking or eating. We have memberships to both Costco and Sams and I buy my regular stuff in bulk along with all my meats that I separate and freeze.

thanks for all the tips guys :)

....i think getting a costco membership would be a good idea so i could buy some of this stuff in bulk, like the frozen fruit especially.....do any of you shop at costco/sam's or another bulk food type store ?

indiblue
02-10-2011, 10:48 PM
Oo good idea on the frozen fruit for smoothies, DianaG! Yum, all of this talk is making me quite hungry :)

The other good thing about just going to the store and buying fruits/veggies that look good is you tend to rotate what you eat. I sometimes go without a list when it comes to fruits/veggies for that reason. I may randomly pick up swiss chard when I never would have thought to buy swiss chard when making my grocery list or picking out my meals.

If you do shop ingredients first and buy lots of fruits/veggies, some of the above posters have had good ideas on recipes that just call for putting a lot of those together in a pot. In addition to lentil/chili, these include:
- Homemade tomato sauce (lots of tomatos, a can of Hunts tomato paste, and whatever other veggies and spices you want in a frying pan, simmer, wait, enjoy!)
- Vegetable lasagna
- Homemade vegetable pizza with a little cheese
- Smoothies or homemade juice (carrot, etc)
- Hummus with veggies as dippers
- Indian curries (palak paneer, channa masala)
- Thai curries (any veggies you want + lite coconut milk + jar of premade red or green curry paste, or low-fat peanut butter with soy sauce)
- Stir fry
- Vegetable puree soup, including cauliflower soup, yum.

Those are some of my "go to" recipes because they all basically can use whatever vegetables you have around. It's an easy way to get rid of a few random ones you have around after using them for another recipe. If you keep staples like rice or whole wheat pasta around, bam, you've got yourself an easy meal!

Also, I'm a vegetarian so all my meals center around vegetables and fruits, but I'm sure some of the omnivores could toss out some good chicken or lean beef ideas. Happy dining and do share what great ideas you come up with! I'm always on the lookout for new healthy recipes.

blueballerina
02-11-2011, 10:33 PM
Thai and Indian curries :O !! ....i lovvvve mixing anything with coconut milk and peanut butter....mmmM....thanks for all this good meal ideas ! much appreciated !

there is a cauliflower soup i made a month or so ago that was probably the best recipe ever...i gotta find it.....found it ! -

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/12/curried-cauliflower-sweet-potato-soup.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FatfreeVeganBlog+%28Fatfree+V egan+Blog%29

i gotta make that one again....but actually i just remembered i used broccoli instead of cauliflower...cause i love broccoli

i've been trying to keep up with smoothies...for awhile that is what i would have in the morning for breakfast everyday...just with some frozen banana chunks, berries or peanut butter, ground flaxseed........but i haven't been making the smoothies anymore for some reason....i have still made frozen peanut butter banana "ice cream"

i don't really eat a lot of meat, but i'm definitely not a vegetarian ....when grocery shopping i maybe get some chicken or pork, or if i feel like something special, some lamb....but i really only ever use it as a condiment type of thing

and you're right !....all this food talk..gotta make me some dinner !

one last thing....do any of you follow any food blogs ? ..i've been loving http://www.foodrenegade.com/ & http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/ for awhile..and a friend of mine also has one http://www.purplebirdblog.com/ ....all of them have great recipes.....let me know of any you might read :)

indiblue
02-12-2011, 12:39 AM
there is a cauliflower soup i made a month or so ago that was probably the best recipe ever...i gotta find it.....found it ! -

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2010/12/curried-cauliflower-sweet-potato-soup.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+FatfreeVeganBlog+%28Fatfree+V egan+Blog%29

i gotta make that one again....but actually i just remembered i used broccoli instead of cauliflower...cause i love broccoli

)

That soup looks great. Here's a cauliflower soup I came across after eating it at a friend's house. It's like mashed potatoes, but packed with so many more nutrients!

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cream-of-Cauliflower-Soup-II/Detail.aspx