This is the journal I am keeping about our “health(ier) eating boot camp.” Feel free to read along!
Friday, July 4
Happy 4th of July!! Week 1 is coming to a close and we are starting week 2. That means meal planning and grocery shopping time! So, the first order of business is to take an inventory of what foods need to be used up very soon. I keep some shelf-stable and frozen foods on hand all the time, so there is no pressing need to incorporate those in this week’s menu — just the perishable items.
Here is what I still have that I can use this coming week:
- Leftover cooked foods: Some sweet potatoes from dinner, mixed vegetables, and one serving of baked beans
- Fresh fruit: 3/4 of a cantaloupe, 1 whole watermelon, 2 very ripe bananas, and 2 limes
- Fresh vegetables (from the store): 2.5 lbs russet potatoes, 2 lbs honey gold potatoes, lettuce, spinach, shredded cabbage, some whole onions (1 red), green onions, radishes, a few carrots, 1 orange bell pepper, 2 green bell peppers, and 2 tomatoes
- From our garden: 1 very large zucchini, 4 tomatoes, and 2 banana peppers
- Other: partial package of flour tortillas and a whole package of corn tortillas
We still have plenty of produce leftover! Part of the reason is that I never made several of the recipes that I planned to (i.e. fresh salsa and crockpot roast beef w/ vegetables). I also over-estimated how much fruit we could eat.
I’m going to make a couple of changes to my menu-planning method this week. For one thing I am deleting “snack” from the meal plan. I really feel like it makes the meal planning process confusing and it is more work during the day to prepare it (especially with trying to make sure that a fruit or vegetable is included). So this week I’m planning the menu with the idea of getting all of the food groups into the three meals. If the kids feel like snacking in the afternoon, I can keep nuts, popcorn, Triscuits, trail mix, etc. around for them to have. I just don’t want to incorporate these into the meal plan. (As a side note, when school starts, I may want to plan for the snack again, simply because they are so hungry when they get home and because of the challenges of packing every food group into a lunch box).
The next change I’m making is to approach fruits and vegetables with the 5-a-day mentality rather than the 1.5 cups (fruits) and 2.5 cups (veggies) mentality. I do feel like the USDA is teaching the right portion sizes (or close to), but it is just so confusing for me when I’m planning meals. I like the old “5-a-day” idea that I used to think of in terms of fruits and veggies. And I’m not going to worry about how much each one of those “5” is — I just want 5 different ones with two of them being fruits and 3 being veggies.
So with this information in mind, I am ready to plan my menus for the coming week! Hooray!!
And, just for fun, what would you plan if you had the above items in your refrigerator/pantry? Feel free to share in the comments below!!