I’m starting a new series to blog about my journey with food and rethinking the way I eat, via the book Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett. I’ll post a review soon (as soon as my mother gives me the book back so I can skim to refresh my memory), but because I know the basics I want to get started ASAP with the meal plans.
A while back, I created a full month’s meal plan complete with 4 weeks’ worth of dinners and lunches. I used our most frequently eaten meals, our favorites, and tried to think ahead for healthier meals. Since then, I’ve decided to “THM-ify” the meal plan, but I thought you might want to see what the original looks like. Today I’ll start with the first week’s worth of dinners.
The way I use my meal plan is simply to plan out meals for the week with a variety of foods. I have too many people to try and cook enough to make sure there are enough for two meals, but there’s often a smidgen of each item left when we finish – possibly enough for a single person to eat that meal again. So we will do a leftover night once a week most weeks to clean out the refrigerator before we go grocery shopping again.
I don’t designate which DAY we eat the meals; I just prepare whatever is thawed out, needs to be eaten first, is quickest, or strikes my fancy that night. (And this is exactly why I need a meal plan!) Having the plan helps me know what’s available to fix, but at the same time keeps me from buying frozen pizza for three nights in a single week. Wednesdays we eat a pot luck meal at church, so I only need 6 meals each week.
Here are the dinner meals for Week 1:
- Pork chops and sauerkraut; veggies
- Roast, potatoes, carrots
- home church meeting – we prepare meat and others bring sides
- fajitas or burritos
- Chicken Fried Steaks
The point of the Trim Healthy Mama style of eating is largely to separate your fats from your carbs and not eat them in the same meal. It’s low carb and low glycemic, focused on protein and veggies, and can go either way on food purity or “whole food” schools of thought. I’m counting net carbs, not calories. For the meals where I eat fats, I need to stay under 5g of net carbs; if I have as many as 15g that works for a tweaked style of that meal, but no more than the 15g. If I want to leave out the fat (less than 5g), then I can have up to 45g of net carbs. That’s carbs minus fiber. Most of the time, in order to fill out a meal, more veggies are needed, often using a salad to help with that.
At first glance at this meal plan is that it’s still high in carbs. Pork chops and sauerkraut is okay, but needs veggies. As long as I don’t serve (or eat) carbs with it, I can prepare veggies in butter or with rich sauces. I’ll probably eat a healthy sized salad with this meal.
For the roast meal, potatoes are completely out and not on-plan at all. I’ll definitely serve a salad with this one, and I might can get away with just serving myself a sweet potato instead of the white potatoes with it. That’ll be hard for me, because roast-juice infused potatoes with lots of butter is one of my favorite side dishes ever! I’m not entirely sure about the carrots; from what I vaguely remember, the carrots are okay. A roast might be too fatty to actually do the sweet potato with it, though. I’ll have to check on that. I might just need to do meat and salad.
For our home group, we prepare a meat and ask everyone else to bring sides to go with it. I can easily pick and choose what to put on my plate with this, and the others in our group are pretty food-conscious as well. Wednesday isn’t as easy; there are MANY carbs and I will almost always have to use this as my weekly crossover meal. It’s either that or bring my own, or come AFTER the meal, and since I’m the teacher on Wednesday nights I don’t feel that would be appropriate. It’s all good though!
Fajitas are my favorite! These I can still do with low-carb tortillas, or -because I like all the extra fatty stuff to go on it – I might just skip the tortilla altogether and eat it from a bowl or as a salad. Avacado, sour cream (or probably a non-dairy substitute), picante sauce, CHEESE! Yum! And lots of bell pepper and onion, fried in oil to almost burnt. That’s the stuff right there!
Breakfast is pretty easy, but I’m going to start doing without the cheese. I think dairy is tearing up my stomach so I’m going to test that theory. Eggs, sausage and/or bacon, a myriad of veggies for the eggs (I’m thinking spinach and mushroom for this round), and maybe some berries on the side. Yum!
Chicken Fried Steaks… there’s no way around it; this is a crossover meal. The breading of almost any sort plus the fried style of cooking means it has both carbs and fat. Besides – I like my white potatoes and gravy with this one. Since this week has two crossover meals (because of church, but maybe I can be careful?), I’ll try to not do any next week. I might need to save the CFS meals for after church so I can be certain to have it when I was able to eat properly at church. We’ll see how this ends up working.
What I’d like to do is ask you, my friends, if you have suggestions on how to THM-ify these meals. Or maybe you have a suggestion for a substitute for one of the meals that isn’t quite close enough to continue doing the way I’m doing it. Will you share your recipes with me? I’ll offer this every week, and would love recipes specific to my meal plan. I won’t go grocery shopping until Saturday, and I will leave the linky open, so I’d love to see your suggestions! Thank you!
ETA: I decided to leave the linky open indefinitely, because just because someone with a great recipe doesn’t find my request THIS week, doesn’t mean they won’t find this NEXT week to help me with next month’s meal plan.