Thursday, March 16, 2017

Paleo Meal Plan #1

It's Thursday and that means it's grocery shopping day! I shop on Thursday nights for a few reasons:
1. It's a day of the week where we don't typically have anything else going on.
2. I HATE grocery shopping on the weekend. The stores are more crowded and it eats up a huge chunk of my day.
3. My husband is home in the evening, so I can leave my kids behind. Don't get me wrong, I love them with ALL my heart, but grocery shopping is one of those things I will always choose to do without them (why? Imagine your 3 year old yelling "HORSE HORSE POOOOOOOP! at the top of his lungs because his brother thinks it's hilarious. Then there was the time Jake loudly asked "WHY IS THAT LADY BUYING SO MUCH JUNK FOOD?" I've taught you well son, but for the love of God, SHHHH.)

I also have a strategy to my meal planning, and I'm keeping to it even through this Paleo transition. It goes like this:
Thursdays - we eat up any dinner leftovers in the fridge to make room for the incoming groceries.
Fridays - I'm always fried on Fridays so I like to keep dinner super simple.
Saturdays - when I was growing up, Saturdays were for simple, casual food like pizza and tacos, and I've kept to that my entire life.
Sundays - this is always my day to cook a really nice Sunday dinner that's more complicated and time consuming than I have time for during the week. My husband and I always look forward to Sunday dinner! Wish I could say the same for my kids.

Am I right?

Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays - these are for pretty typical weeknight dinners that can be made around our activities, sports for Jake, MOPS for me, extended hours for my husband, etc. 

Meal planning has always been something I've done and enjoyed, even back when I was single and living in a studio apartment, only cooking for me. There's just something about knowing what you're going to make every night that makes life so much easier. If I don't have a meal planned, I get stressed about it. Going Paleo has really given me a new challenge when it comes to writing my weekly menu. On one hand, I don't want to cook completely separately for me and my family. Making two meals every night when I barely have time to make one? Nope. On the other, it would be very expensive and frustrating to cook Paleo for everyone, and I don't need any more comments from my little peanut gallery about how disgusting the meal I made is. I get that often enough (Thanks kids! Love you! You're welcome for cooking healthy food from scratch every night!).

So, the end result is a kind of hybrid, where I'm cooking something we all can eat some nights, and on others, I'm just modifying my food so it's Paleo friendly. For example, on Saturday, I'll make homemade pizza for the guys, and the Paleo modification for me will be pizza stir fry, If you've never had it, it's delish! I liked to make it long before I went Paleo. You take all your fave pizza toppings - I like olives, green pepper, sausage, mushrooms, zucchini and red onion, and you saute them all up together in a pan. Top it off with some marinara and crushed red pepper - YUM. Breakfast for dinner is another super easy one that I think we'll be eating a lot more often. The kids love scrambled eggs, breakfast meat and homemade pancakes or waffles, and it's simple for me to swap in grain free recipes. 

This week's dessert is going to be Paleo apple crisp, which I am super excited about. And what's apple crisp without vanilla ice cream? I'll also be trying my hand at homemade vanilla coconut milk ice cream.

I am always up for a culinary challenge, and that's definitely the way I'm approaching the Paleo Diet. Feeling hungry and deprived makes me VERY VERY CRANKY (ask my husband), so my goal is to ensure that I am neither!

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