Monday, February 18

Eat: Meal Plan Monday: Guest Post

Trying to keep up with Meal Plan Monday has proved to be quite the challenge during this season of transition for my family. We are not in our own home yet and so therefore not in my own kitchen. I thought it would be easier to have a Guest Blogger post for me instead this week.
I found Holly's blog one day while searching for new recipes for my family. I instantly fell in love with her blog and I have tried several of her recipes and they are AMAZING! So without further adieu I would like to introduce to you my new friend Holly.
Who blogs over at  My Plant Based Family.
She is a woman after my own heart.

When Jenna asked me to guest post I was honored. She is fabulous and I could see us hanging out and bragging about our kids while they make a huge mess just out of sight.
We first transitioned to a plant-based diet in October 2011. I had been suffering with chronic bladder problems without any hope for healing for quite some time. You can read more about that here but I will say that since going plant-based my husband and I have both lost weight and we feel much better. We no longer require any medication and my bladder problems are gone. We are convinced that eating a whole food, plant-based diet will allow us to honor God and be good stewards of the bodies He gave us.
I usually post a weekly meal and focus on feeding my family nutritious, whole food that isn’t too expensive. We spend between $50 and $100 a week for a family of four. My 2 year old has a peanut allergy and a gluten allergy. I stock up on sale items and buy some things, like gluten-free flours and nuts in bulk. Real food is a wise investment that will save countless dollars down the road. We save money by eating lots of beans, whole grains, and seasonal produce.

Meal Plan
Breakfast is usually oatmeal with a generous topping of walnuts, ground flax or chia seeds, cinnamon and fresh or dried fruit. If I’m in a hurry I may have toast with almond butter and sliced apples.  My husband will often take a baked sweet potato to work for breakfast.

Lunch is usually leftovers or something quick and easy. My kids like sandwiches with almond butter and apple butter with a side of fruit, they love apples. Baked Sweet Potatoes are easy, my boys have been begging for them lately. I LOVE to eat pita’s stuffed with veggies like spinach, bell pepper slices, onions, tomatoes, carrots and hummus. It is much more fun than eating the same veggies in a salad. I also love mixing and matching leftover beans, grains, and veggies to create a unique lunch based on what I have available. My husband takes his lunch to work and will take leftovers along with raw spinach, broccoli, and carrots.

Snack at our house is usually fruit. I’ll also leave thinly sliced raw veggies on the table with hummus, my kids can’t resist a dip. Sometimes we will have green smoothies made with spinach, bananas and berries. Sometimes we will have chips and salsa with guacamole.

Dinner is my biggest investment both in time and money. Of course we eat dinner leftovers for lunch most days. This week I’m hosting a Healthy Cravings group at my house. Healthy Cravings is a group for women where they can learn about a plant-based diet while enjoying lots of great food. This month’s theme is Italian food so I’ll be making a lot of extra food on Thursday to accommodate about a dozen ladies.

Monday: Easy Mexican Casserole with salsa and guacamole
Tuesday: Very Vegan Chili, this chili is Texas Style and taste great on a baked potato or with corn bread.
Wednesday: Minestrone Soup
Thursday (Healthy Cravings Meeting): Bruschetta, Minestrone Soup, Salad, Plant-Based Lasagna, Baked Mac & Faux Cheese, Fettuccine Alfredo (I’ll adapt it to make it gluten-free), and dessert.
Friday: Leftovers
I don’t plan our weekend meals because we focus on leftovers and using up produce that needs to be eaten.

Writing out a meal plan is a great way to save money and be intentional about making healthy choices. Often we plan our meals around seasonal produce. We look at the ads and plan our list. For example when avocados are .50 each I’ll buy several, when they are $1.99 each I don’t purchase them. Likewise with red bell peppers, when they are 3 for $1 I’ll buy them but not when they are over $1. Some items like carrots, broccoli, and potatoes don’t vary much in price throughout the year so we can depend on them to be available at a reasonable price.
I hope you enjoyed this meal plan. 
You can find more at My Plant-Based Family 

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