An alternate, although less alluring, title could have been Survival of the Most Organized, what do you think? All jokes aside, really planning and survival go hand in hand if you want a more unprocessed lifestyle. I’m not the most organized of people, but this has been an area where I have had to develop organization in order to stay committed. By planning ahead I know exactly what to buy each week, and I keep my costs down by not buying unnecessary items that end up rotting before I get to them. I mean who likes to clean the vegetable drawer after that? Yuck! I also am able to avoid situations where I’m lacking some item I need, and therefore have to sacrifice the commitment I’ve made to feeding my family real food. The moral of the story is by planning ahead, you can save time & money and your commitment goes without compromise.
Here’s how it works for me. Every weekend, or thereabouts, I start to run out of food, and then I know it’s high time to get my rear in gear (I’ll post a pic later this week). I make a list for breakfast Sunday-Friday, lunch Sunday-Friday, and dinner Sunday-Friday. This way I can ensure variety and plan out just what items I need at the store. My aim is to only go shopping once a week, which I’m usually pretty good at. Occasionally I’m in a mood and I enter into the grocery store, and even though I have a list, I manage to get distracted and forget things. Seriously it is a talent I have. I mean, I have a list! Doterra has a blend called In Tune that is supposed to help with focus, I think I need to try that next.
I realize it sounds awfully rigid to have every meal planned, but the planning just ensures I have what I need and not more. Sometimes the kids will buck my system and decide they want waffles on a Tuesday when I had planned apples and almond butter. As long as I have the time, and the ingredients I’ll switch up my plan to keep them happy, but in all honesty by the end of the week, we are usually low on choices and they get stuck with whatever I have left. Out of sight, out of mind usually holds true, thankfully!
With dinner it is easier to keep more variety. I’m not rushing kids out the door (not yet anyways), and I’m not aiming to keep meals safe to eat hours later. That my friends means flexibility. Yes! I try to balance meat based dinners and vegetarian based dinners, and more involved (although nothing I do is really that involved compared to the top chef’s of the world) versus easy-peasy dinners.
Here’s an example of one of my menu plans for the week:
Sunday: Bacon and Eggs
Monday: Grain free Granola and Yogurt
Tuesday: Green smoothie and grain free toast (I use the same bread for sandwiches and I’ll share the recipe soon)
Wednesday: Grain free Butternut Squash Waffles (you can use these for bread as well)
Thursday: Apples and Almond Butter
Friday: Eggs and Apples
Sunday: Almond Butter and Honey Sandwich & Veggies
Monday: Ants on a Log, otherwise known as celery with almond butter and raisins, peppers, and apple
Tuesday: Grilled chicken, Veggies, Nuts & Fruit
Wednesday: Yogurt and grain free granola, strawberries, sugar snap peas
Thursday: Sausage, apples, peppers, cheese
Friday: Almond butter and honey sandwich on grain free bread, sugar snap peas, strawberries
Sunday: Grilled Salmon, and sauteed green beans
Monday: Grilled Chicken and Brussels Sprout Medley ( I always make extra to send for lunch the next day)
Tuesday: Burgers with grain free buns or bunless and salad
Wednesday: Mexican-Cauliflower Rice and Navy Beans with avocado, cheese, and yogurt for sour cream
Thursday: Butternut Squash Noodles (made with my Paderno Vegetable Spiralizer) with Shrimp
Friday: Grain Free Pizza! Pizza!
In my experience it is a good idea to usually leave one day a week empty when planning, in this case I omitted Saturday, to incorporate the possibility of leftovers. If the leftovers happen to fall on Monday night, I just shift things around, or if I end up not having leftovers I usually try to have something extra in the freezer I can rely on.
I realize this is a rather lengthy explanation to a pretty logical tip, but I thought it might help get some of you get started. It really can be rather simple, if you let it, and again, with enough planning and thought, you can do this. I’d love it if you’d leave a comment on a grain based meal you think you or your kids can’t live without and I’ll see if I can come up with a great substitute for you!