Browsed by
Tag: School Lunches

Food Stress and a Weekly Meal Plan

Food Stress and a Weekly Meal Plan

I mentioned I was doing Whole30, a diet reset to start the year out right.  I successfully got through a hard food weekend at family camp.  But the next weekend we had a crazy weekend with several parties and get togethers.  That weekend I was not as prepared…one was a pot luck and one was dinner out at a wonderful Italian restaurant.  For the pot luck I made a main dish (chicken lettuce wraps…very yummy!) and a dessert that would work for my whole family  (Thank you Detoxinista for these amazing chocolate peanut butter bars!!) But how could I pass up actually EATING one of those bars?  Yeah…that isn’t a level of will power I posses.  Needless to say 1 turned into 3 or 4. But it was worth every decadent bite!

Then at the restaurant I was all prepped with my gluten free option, only to realize, as they set my risotto in front of me, that it contained dairy.  Doh!  Then I figured why not have 1 pieces of bruschetta since I had already “blown” it. And the chopped salad had Parmesan in it.  So…weekend blown.  Not to mention the leftover risotto and, ahem, the leftover chocolate peanut butter bars.

I was feeling guilty…like failure kind of guilty.  But then I realized something.  Food is not supposed to stress us out more!!  I eat amazingly healthy compared to much of the rest of the US, which can be stressful enough at times because of the reaction my kids and I can have if we don’t eat right.  But I think because I started out from a place of eating healthy to begin with, I wasn’t feeling much different on Whole30. Well, except that I was HUNGRY, like could not consume enough food hungry.  I know that that can be a sign you are finally feeding your cells, so I rolled with it for a few days.  I also had an EXTREMELY challenging week…and I did not handle the extra stress well at all.  So, I confess now I am not sure if/what part Whole30 had to do with that.  I don’t know if going grain and sugar free was helping my body or if my body needs a little bit of properly prepared grains and real sugar.  I don’t know if the stress was really that big or if what I was (or wasn’t) eating left me unable to handle the stress that week. We know bodies needs some good carbs/sugar to survive (I was eating some fruit but maybe not enough). Hmmm…I guess that part of the puzzle is for another day.

But back to the stress…stress can be as harmful to us as a bad diet is.  So, I decided to get back to a “Regular” diet of wholesome, healthy and traditional foods….no guilt…no feelings of failure. On this food journey we have to be willing to listen to our bodies and respond, we have to be willing to try things and figure out what works for us, even if it isn’t what works for our friend or neighbor.  Once I went back to my regular diet, I immediately stopped being so hungry.  My stress reserves still don’t seem to be all the way back, but I will keep working on it.  I wish that food, diet, or anything health related was black and white…everyone eat x and don’t eat y and you will be healthy.  But that isn’t how it works.  Every person is a unique set of cells, nutrients, DNA, needs & health challenges…so we each have to figure out our own formula for what works!!  And then, we have to be willing to continue to re-evaluate because darn it if we don’t get older and our bodies change!!

To help with the stress…and some food options…here are two weeks of menus.  The first one is my last week of Whole30.  (Sorry I didn’t get that posted last week!  As I said…rough week!) Anyone not doing Whole30 could still use that menu, you just don’t have to omit the sweetener or switch out the rice for cauliflower rice (although cauliflower rice is YUMMY so don’t be afraid to try it!).  And a note to families with school aged kids, my lunch menu is “inspired” by the school lunch menu.  I use that word loosely, as our school lunch menu is pretty lacking in inspiration to begin with (Monday = pizza…EVERY. WEEK.  Bleh!).  But since my kids don’t take hot lunch, I got an idea from a brilliant friend to use that menu that generally goes into the trash to figure out what to serve for lunch a few days a week.  So, hot lunch serves nachos, my kids get 7 layer dip.  Hot lunch serves french toast, my kids get stuffed french toast sticks with sourdough GF bread.   The cool part is that my kids get real nutritious food but feel like they are getting something special!  It’s a win-win.  Thank you, Jen, for the suggestion!

Without further ado, here is the Meal Planning Calendar Weekly WHOLE30WK3Meal Planning Calendar Weekly WHOLE30WK3!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, here is the Meal Planning Calendar Weekly JANWK4!

Meal Planning Calendar Weekly JANWK4

As always, be well!

Colleen