Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Meal Plans: Incorporating plant-based and SAD for family

My primary reason for eating a plant-based diet right now is to lose weight. Secondary is the health. The other members of my family eat meat/dairy and I encourage lots of fruits/veggies! I think my kids in general eat pretty healthy. This blog inspired me to start a "Monday Meal Plan" post each week. As you can see, we don't all eat the same thing! Pretty typical of a family with little ones and different tastes, in my opinion. Things don't always go as planned either, but this will be a rough guide.

kids- honey nut cheerios w/milk and fruit (youngest eats baby food)
mom- Cinnamon Bun Smoothie (I added several handfuls of spinach and 1 T of chia that I ground up first. My 2 y.o. always love to sample the smoothies I make)

Snacks: (throughout day for kids)
fruit, nuts, seeds, pretzels, cereal (they could eat it all day)

(6 y.o. eats at school and Hubby eats at work)
kids- cheese tortillas, chopped fresh fruit and veg with hummus, kale chips
baby- yogurt, fruit, breastmilk (same all week)
me- Hummus , spread on Spinach tortilla with lots of fresh assorted veggies. Kale chips (rubbed with organic apple cider vinegar instead of olive oil, then our favorite spices). Fruit for dessert, B12 vitamin

family- chicken fajitas (I add lots of veggies)
me- Hummus wrap like lunch and fresh fruit

Prep for Tuesday:
Crock-pot Lentils (cooks overnight)

kids-cereal and fruit (will encourage them to try my smoothie, sometimes they will drink them)
mom- same as Monday, b12 vitamin

Snacks: (same all week, fruits/vegs/nuts/seeds/string cheese)

kids- leftover fajitas and fresh fruit
me- lentils from crockpot over salad with Maple Tahini dressing (see dinner)

family- breakfast night: ham/veggie quiche, fruit, whole wheat banana-blueberry muffins
me- Lentil soup from crock-pot lentils and salad with Maple Tahini dressing (I'll post link later when I find it)

kids- cereal/fruit/smoothies
me- oatmeal recipe from probably! b12 vitamin

kids - veggie pizzas
me- Veggie Pizzas (use spinach torts as crust)

family- leftovers from M/T
me- Hummus wrap or lentil soup/salad

kids- scrambled eggs/fruit/smoothies
me- smoothie or oatmeal, b12 vitamin

kids- mix of leftovers/fruit/veg
me- lentils with hummus and fruit for dessert

fam- Tuna Noodle Casserole (They love it, thrifty option for large family. I throw in extra veggies)
me- leftover lentil/salad/hummus

kids-cinnamon toast and fruit
me- smoothie, b12 vitamin

kids and I: leftovers from week. I love to put their food in an ice cube tray..great way to make a "rainbow" of healthy food and they enjoy it.

fam- leftover casserole
me- leftovers

kids/I: donuts at the park :)

kids- Veggie tortilla pizzas
me - same

I need to get better at planning out lunch/dinner for Saturday/Sunday. Hubby likes to cook and will often make something if he is home. I continue with salads/lentil leftovers. I also love to drink coffee (with coconut or soy milk and cinnamon) and some sort of tea (earl gray and green) during the day.

If you are just starting out with making healthier meals for your family, make it fun. Monday can be "Meatless Mondays". Tuesday can be breakfast, Wed can be leftovers plus sandwiches to help fill the plate. Thursday make a family favorite with extra veggies and homemade as possible, and Fridays leftovers. Set out plates of fresh fruit/vegs with nuts/seeds as snacks.

Looking over this week, I don't see many grains. I love cous cous, quinoa, millet, etc and often include it. Lentils fill me up so much!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Greens/Beans/Grains Power Plate {Lunch 3/20}

One of my favorite things to eat for lunch is what I am calling a "Greens/Beans/Grains Power Plate". I use a large dinner plate and pile it high with goodies. I start with a base of greens/beans/grains and sometimes even make it a double-decker salad.

Today I had steamed quinoa (made with my new and totally fabulous microwave rice steamer I found on with diced organic (canned) tomatoes and red pepper flakes for the grain. The greens were a mix of finely chopped kale and romaine. I like to add in raw or steamed chopped broccoli too but we were out. Beans consisted of just plain (from a can) black beans mixed with canned corn (everything rinsed well). I need my food to be budget-friendly and quick! I made a simple dressing I'll share below this post. I also added a row of chopped carrots, a big plop of Aldi's brand guacamole (I'm guessing around 4 oz) and sprinkled it all with kale chips (recipe also included below) and ground flaxseed. It was delicious, huge, and very filling. I snapped a pic I"ll share later.

I made a yummy Veggie Tortilla Pizza for my 2 y.o. son with my Power Plate ingredients. He gobbled it up!

After lunch, the kids and I headed outside. I wore Teeny in my Boba Carrier (like this one) and pushed the other two in a jogging/biking stroller. The kids were great and we took a nice 30ish min walk and then played outside for awhile.

Orange Balsamic Dressing
very quick to make!
  • 1 T 100% orange juice concentrate
  • 1 T balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Nutritional Yeast
Combine all in small cup and mix well with a fork. Pour over dressing and enjoy. 

Flavorful Kale Chips
my kids love these!
  • couple of handfuls of washed, finely chopped kale
  • 1-2 T veggie stock
  • salt-free Lemon Pepper seasoning
  • 1 tsp (or more to taste) Nutritional Yeast
Put Kale on rimmed baking stone (or cookie sheet, whatever you have). Add stock and massage into kale with hands briefly. Sprinkle with Lemon Pepper and Nutritional Yeast. Place in oven set at 350 degrees for 15-20 min. Check on every 5ish min and move around with spatula. Chips are done when crispy.  You can eat these just as they are or sprinkle on a salad/cooked veg for crunch.

Veggie Tortilla Pizza
kid fav as well
  • 1 tortilla
  • spaghetti/pizza sauce
  • black beans
  • quinoa
  • corn
  • finely chopped kale
  • nutritional yeast
  • cheese if desired (my kids eat meat/diary)
Assemble pizza with sauce and toppings. Put on pizza stone and bake in oven at 350 degrees until cheese melts. Cut in small squares with pizza cutter and serve. 

First Postpartum Run and Blog Intro

Teeny Tot is 7 mos old and I'm finally getting my first walk/run (albeit on the treadmill) in. The weather is beautiful today but the littles are napping so I grabbed the chance to exercise. My house really needs a cleaning but that can wait. I always forget how awesome I feel after working out. Especially after a long hiatus.

My breakfast this morning was less than stellar. I'm embarrassed to even write about it.

We are all human though, and I honestly enjoyed it very much. Hubby brought me a large coffee and donuts for the kids and I of course of them happened to be one of my favorite flavors...pumpkin. As I was eating it, I imagined living in a city and visiting a vegan bakery..I bet they would have vegan donuts...

As this is my first blog post, I thought I would explain the reasoning behind it. I feel incredible when I eat healthy. I wanted a place to journal my thoughts, experiences, and resources I find that relate to a vegan plant-based diet.

I first read Dr. Fuhrman's, Eat to Live book when my third child was a baby. It resonated with me deeply, and I put his plant-based theories in action right away. I easily lost the rest of the weight from that pregnancy and felt wonderful. I wish I could say I continued eating the Nutritarian way...but I didn't. I had a surprise pregnancy with baby #4 when my son was 8 mos old and returned to eating normally. Still healthy in my opinion, but not as I had with the Eat to Live plan.

 During my 4th pregnancy, I was told my B12 was low, despite eating meat/diary again. Since then, I have made it a priority to take a B12 supplement and try to include at least 1 T of nutritional yeast (a natural source of B12) each day. I also take a calcium/vit D/magnesium supplement daily (that is one pill).

My main focus right now is losing weight. I have 10 lbs to go from baby #4. After that I have 6 lbs from pregnancy #3 (I lost then gained). Then 10ish lbs to be back where I was after my 2nd pregnancy and my dream weight. Back then I went to the gym 2x day (yes even with 2 kids). The morning time was a class with friends (they had awesome gym childcare) and the evening time was a sort-of date with hubby! We would workout together then swim. We have since moved but are current members of our local fitness center. I haven't figured out logistics of 4 kids (one in school) and trying to work-out (no childcare there) and evenings hubby and I are just exhausted...but I know it will happen. For now we have a treadmill, weight bench, various free weights, and of course the outdoors!

I also hope to meet other like-minded plant eating busy mommy's on this blog journey!

Dr. Fuhrman Resource