Why I Meal Plan + Dinners from This Week

Hi everyone!

I hope you had a great week. Somehow this was my last full week of class. We have our last day of class on Tuesday, then finals, then it is time for Christmas break! Since this was my “normal” week for a while, I want to share what we had for dinner this week. I love seeing what other people have for dinner and how they make it happen.

I really enjoy cooking and trying new recipes. Most nights of the week, we eat at home. By we, I mean my boyfriend Chip and me. We have been together 7 years and he lives right down the road, so we alternate who cooks during the week.

We are both in grad school, so we usually choose meals that are not too complicated or expensive. When I browse recipes to make, I think about what will taste good and make me feel good. Although “meal planning” might sound stressful, it’s the opposite for me. Meal planning helps me visualize my week and plan ahead so that I can prepare delicious meals at home most nights. If I had to think of something to cook each night and scramble for ingredients, I would never cook what I truly wanted, and I would be sad.

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On Sunday we look at our schedules for the week and decide who should cook each day. Ok, I look at our schedules then ask Chip if he can cook certain days 🙂 I plan what I’ll cook and buy everything when I grocery shop on Sunday. If I don’t, I’ll keep coming back to Super Target for ingredients and leave with a new candle every time. Chip usually decides what to make the same day he is cooking and gets groceries then.

Sunday

On Sunday, I got back in town from Thanksgiving at my grandma’s. After a grocery trip, I made this recipe and added shrimp. I used a grain mix from Trader Joe’s instead of rice because that’s what I had on hand. I ate on my own this night, so I had plenty of leftovers for lunch!

sunday

Monday

Monday was my day to cook! I made my go-to chili recipe which you can find here. It’s one of my favorite meals, and the leftovers are even better. I changed it a little by using ground beef (it was on sale and sounded good), nixing one can of soup, adding a can of white beans, a can of diced tomatoes with green chiles, and another small can of green chiles. You could easily add more beans if you don’t eat meat! Topped with cheese and served with chips for dipping.

chili

Tuesday

I had a group project meeting at a group mate’s house, and she cooked for us! I didn’t take a picture, but she made a creamy pasta with bacon and zucchini and a seaweed, tofu, and fish ball soup. I’m sort of picky, so I’m glad she made the soup. It’s not something I would have tried on my own, and I really liked it!

Wednesday

This evening, I was at work. I took leftovers, and I think we can all agree- day 3 chili is the best kind of chili.

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Thursday

This was Chip’s day to cook! He made tacos- one of his favorites to make, and one of my favorites to eat. Maybe one day I’ll figure out how to make homemade tacos look nice on camera.  tacos2

Friday

On Friday, we ate at Village Deli in Cameron Village in Raleigh. I was here visiting my sister, so Chip came to meet me for dinner. I had a cajun chicken sandwich and a salad and Chip had a burger and fries. Nothing fancy but just what we wanted!

village-deli

Saturday

That’s today! I’m babysitting this evening and plan on making some type of pasta to take over there.

There you have it- a week of dinners in my world.

Do you meal plan or fly by the seat of your pants? Where do you find your recipes?

I get about 80% of mine from budgetbytes.com (she’s the best) and the other 20% from allrecipes.com, random Google searches, or throwing things together at home.

My Journey with Food

I became interested in nutrition when I was 16. At the time, my diet consisted mostly of Pop Tarts, Doritos, hot dogs, and a copious amount of Mountain Dew. At the same time, I was suffering from chronic migraines. My migraines would last for days, even weeks.  I went through 3 series of about 20 injections to my head to alleviate my pain. My doctor explained that this was one piece of the puzzle, but that I also needed to take care of myself mentally and physically. He explained that adding more fruits and vegetables to my diet and cutting back on the soda may help lessen my exposure to things that triggered my headaches.

I can’t say what it was in particular, but I finally got better and was able to come off medication for migraines. I became very interested in nutrition and eating ALL the healthy things. I’m so thankful that for me, it was never an obsession or disorder. I was like “Wow! How cool that we can eat healthy foods and feel better. I should eat everything healthy!”

I vividly remember trying to make black bean brownies one summer at home and they straight up tasted like dirt. My dad suggested that perhaps beans don’t have a place in brownies, and I think he was right. We threw the whole batch away and concluded that you sometimes you just need to eat a dang brownie.

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My thoughts on health have changed a lot over the years. I believe in Intuitive Eating, Health at Every Size, and body positivity. I’ll get to all those things in later posts, I’m sure. I obviously believe it is important to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and all the rest of the foods that give us important nutrients and help prevent chronic disease. I’ll also acknowledge that health looks different for everyone-the best way to eat and live for me may not be the best way for someone else. But for me, no foods are off limits. Sometimes I crave beans, rice, and fish for dinner, and sometimes I crave a bowl of mac and cheese. Neither one is better than the other. ALL foods can be nourishing and have a place in my overall eating pattern.

Yesterday, I ate two plates of Thanksgiving food. I had my grandmother’s wonderful homemade sourdough bread for breakfast today. It all tasted so much better without guilt. I believe that it’s important to honor your body and your cravings. When you do that, food becomes less of an obsession and more of a way to nourish yourself and enjoy life fully.

If you’re still reading, thanks for hanging in with my rambling. I hope that yesterday you enjoyed all that Thanksgiving has to offer and spent the day with ones you love. I hope you made wonderful memories, enjoyed delicious food, and felt thankful-not guilty.

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Welcome!

Welcome to SoontobeRD.com, my corner of the Internet that I have dreamed of creating for quite some time. My name is Lindsay, and I’m so glad you’re here.

I am wrapping up my first semester in the UNC MPH/RD program. I often say that and get confused looks, then realize I just said 8 letters really quickly, and it means nothing to most people. To clarify, in December 2018 I will graduate with my Masters of Public Health in Nutrition from UNC and be eligible to sit for the Registered Dietitian exam. This is something I’ve dreamed about and worked toward for a long time, so I am really excited to be on this journey.

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I believe that food should be satisfying and nourishing, and that the only time you should feel guilty about eating something is if you stole it. You can expect to read more about my food philosophy, adventures in grad school, my dog (everyone who knows me is rolling their eyes at this point), and the occasional recipe. Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll see you soon!