Sunday, May 08, 2016

Meal Plan • 5/8/16

All weekend, I have stared suspiciously at next week's schedule, hoping for some insight on how to Make It Work.  I gave the calendar the side-eye this morning (in fear), went over the details with the kids at lunch (in horror), and gave it a glance again a few minutes ago (this time, with dogged determination, because it doesn't matter how many activities we are juggling or how many work deadlines are looming, life is always a little bit off the rails and it's my job to make it work).

So that's what I plan to do: make it work.  And as we all know, making it work means sucking it up and just doing the work.  And doing the work, as I think we all know, includes making a meal plan to avoid the oh-crap-we're-starving-what-are-we-going-to-eat scramble.  Breakfasts will be green smoothies or whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter, sliced apples, and cinnamon.  Lunches will be Rainbow Bowls (I often post pictures of my weekly lunch bowls on my Instagram feed) or leftovers from the previous night's dinner.  Dinners will be idiot-proofed: healthy-enough, easy, and fast.

MONDAY: Kale & Cannellini Bean Risotto & Spicy Corn on the Cob
This risotto is a long-time family favorite, and it is a recipe I can throw together in my sleep.  Bonus: it's a one-pot meal, and if I double it, the kids and I will have leftovers for lunch.

TUESDAY: Slow-Cooker Spinach Lasagna
This miracle meal is another family favorite, and since we have afternoon appointments that day, I can throw everything together in the crockpot after lunch so that we arrive home to a dinner that is hot and ready to be served.  To make it more nutritious, I usually double or even triple the amount of spinach called for.

WEDNESDAY: Crispy Black Bean Tacos
Another family favorite - I'm starting to see a pattern here.  This one comes together in minutes so long as pre-cooked beans are available (canned beans are even easier - there's no need to be a purist here, especially in a pinch).

THURSDAY: Coconut Curried Cauliflower Soup
I'm excited to try this recipe for the first time.   If it turns out to not be filling enough, we can always make popcorn for a snack before bedtime.

FRIDAY: Hungarian Noodles & Cabbage
This is another new-to-us recipe.  We have evening plans, and this looks like it will come together relatively quickly (I can finish up my work while it cooks) and we can scarf it down before heading out.

SATURDAY: Pear & Gorgonzola Flatbread, mixed green salad
Another new recipe.  Another evening when we need to eat and run.  I will buy whole-wheat flatbread from Trader Joe's to up the nutrition factor.

SUNDAY: I dunno, man.  Snacks?  Restaurant?  Starve to death?  Doesn't matter.  I don't cook on Sundays.

In other news, after years of using my smartphone as my planner/calendar/to-do list, I recently went back to using an actual-factual paper planner, and my productivity has shot through the roof.  A client & friend turned me on to Self Journal, and I am really digging the focus on short-term goals.  It's good stuff, friends, and it's free if you print the PDF yourself (I loved using the PDF for a short while, so I went ahead and bought a paper copy).  The goal-setting instructions and guidance in the first few pages of the journal (which you can also access for free) are super inspiring and it gave me the kick-in-the-butt I needed to get over the mid-year slump.

I would love to know if you still use a paper planner, or if you are thinking of returning to one.

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