Last week I told you all about how we transitioned from a Standard American Diet to the Paleo Diet. The key piece of advice I gave was to plan, plan and then plan some more.
I recognize that it is probably overwhelming for a lot of people to think about sitting down on one day and planning what you will eat for each meal for an entire week. So I thought it might help to show you what we eat in a typical week – a week that includes kids’ activities, a couple evening meetings for the adults, and an unexpected trip.
This is just how we balance things out around here. I hope you’ll find something in this post that is helpful for you, whether you’re just starting out in paleo or you’re an experienced paleo-er, but stuck in a rut.
We host Bible study at my house at 6:45 PM so dinner has to be relatively quick to clean up and not stinky (meaning no fish or lots of garlic). Maybe I’m the only one that thinks about my meals in this amount of detail, but I’m laying it all out here for you. Pick and choose what you will.
- husband: omelet and gluten free cereal
- daughter: clementine and gluten free toast with honey, milk
- son: gluten free cereal and sausage, milk
- me: Applegate Organics Chicken apple sausage with kale
**It is important to note that everyone makes their own breakfast so I’m not in the kitchen for an hour serving and cleaning up after everyone. The exception is when I make something special like pancakes or cinnamon rolls.
- husband: leftover rotisserie chicken from the night before, salad, chips
- kids: leftover gluten free pizza from the weekend (homemade), baby carrots, apple slices
- me: salad with smoked turkey, almonds, half an avocado, dried cherries, balsamic and olive oil
Dinner: Asian Stir Fry with chicken breast, white rice cooked in broth (none for me)
Tuesday has meant one thing in my house for the past six years – Boy Scouts. Dinner has to be fast and something my son will eat relatively quickly.
see Monday – we eat the same things almost every single day
- husband: leftover stir fry
- kids: turkey, slice of cheese, baby carrots, salad greens, clementine and half a banana, avocado oil potato chips (the ones I buy are in a different bag, but same company)
- me: same as Monday
Dinner: cod quickly sautéed in skillet and drizzled with fresh lemon juice, mashed sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli
Wednesdays are busy with kid activities in the afternoon that involve me as well, so dinner is usually pretty quick and easy.
- husband and kids: same as Monday
- me: ground pork, kale, half a green apple, all sautéed together
- husband: turkey breast, chips, carrots, banana (we ate all the fish the night before so no leftovers today)
- kids: turkey breast, slice of cheese, apple slices, baby carrots
- me: iceberg lettuce rollups with turkey and my dairy free ranch dressing (recipe will be in the e-book)
Dinner: Pan roasted chicken with mushroom sauce (recipe coming), root veggie puree and green beans
Thursdays are also full of kid activities, though the first part of the day does not involve me. Yippee! I get some free time. Generally, I used this free time for exciting activities such as grocery shopping or cleaning the house. This week, the weather was so beautiful that I decided to spend my time working in the yard, prepping my garden, weeding, and finishing up a couple painting projects.
We also had community group this week, which means a super quick sort of date night. The kids eat with their grandparents so my husband and I pick someplace quick that we don’t usually take the kids. Nothing fancy here, but for example, we’ll go to Five Guys Burgers because my son is allergic to peanuts and we can’t take him there.
Breakfast and Lunch on Thursday looked very much like the rest of the week. Even though the kids had packed lunches, they ate the same things. One exception was the addition of a homemade paleo gingerbread cookie. I did have this recipe up on the blog, but I’ve taken it down because we’re considering selling these. They are so good, you cannot tell they are gluten free or paleo. Have you had the gluten free cookies in the bakery at Whole Foods? They are like eating sand. In my opinion. There is a hole in the market here!
Dinner at Five Guys is a great option for me because they seem to treat gluten allergies seriously. They have a separate grill for allergy sensitive orders, which I love. On this particular visit, I had the little bacon burger with lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, pickles, mustard and mayo. And I stole about half my husband’s fries. Usually I get a double burger and forgo the fries, but I was having one of those “I must have french fries” kind of days. At least these are real, fresh potatoes and are cooked in peanut oil, which is a small notch above canola.
Watch out, it’s about to get crazy over here. We really mixed it up today.
- husband: omelet and cereal as usual
- daughter: gluten free Van’s waffle, honey and clementine
- son: cereal and sausage
- me: eggs with a heap of spinach (I ran out of kale 🙁 ), some raw carrots
- husband: we had two portions of the chicken with mushrooms leftover so he had that for lunch again today
- kids and I: Bacon and egg salad from Practical Paleo, plantain chips, carrots and apple slices. The bacon and egg salad is simply amazing. Put that on some freshly fried plantain chips and this is some salty, crunchy heaven. Plus paleo chocolate chip cookies. More cookie experimentation going on over here.
Super exciting stuff here. Hold onto your hats. We had Applegate Grass Fed Hotdogs, leftover mashed sweet potatoes mixed with bacon and fried up in little patties, carrots and fresh orange slices. We broke out the grill for the season on this meal. Hot dogs on the grill are just the best.
Breakfast didn’t stray much from the norm this week. I had intended to make something fancy this morning, but alas, I woke up with a headache so everyone was on their own again. I did manage to fry up some ground pork for myself and threw in some mushrooms for good measure. On a day like this, I would be content with just coffee, but my husband makes sure I eat. He will even, on occasion, cook me some eggs. He’s the best.
I had a couple hours of free time and decided to take myself to the mall for Easter shopping. I hate shopping. I really hate the mall. And on a Saturday, it’s just the worst. What was I thinking? Why did I do this with my precious free time? So lunch was portable for me today.
- husband and kids: clean out the fridge day – they ate up all the scraps of leftovers
- me: an Epic Bacon Bison Cranberry Bar and two paleo graham crackers (more recipe testing)
- Daddy/daughter camping trip tonight. Somehow this was missed in my detailed planning so we had about 24 hours notice for this trip. Who knows what they’re eating. At least they will have paleo graham crackers for their smores. I couldn’t let them just eat the chocolate and marshmallows and miss out on the graham cracker. I love them too much for that.
- Mom/Son evening: we’re going car shopping this evening because he’s my boy and we just love cars. We will be shopping for Porches, Ferraris, fancy Mercedes convertibles and the like. If you would like to send one of these my way, I would graciously accept. Not sure what we’re having for dinner, but it will likely either be burgers at home or a burger out somewhere.
Church in the morning, maybe a trip to the Y for a workout in the afternoon, but otherwise, Sunday is a lazy, family day around here. If the weather’s nice, we go for a hike or bike ride. If the weather isn’t so nice, we might play a board game or three.
Breakfast on Sunday is the same as always, except that I usually get up a little early and make bacon. If you are still pan frying your bacon, stop it right now. Here’s what you do:
- line a rimmed backing sheet, like this, with parchment paper or nonstick aluminum foil
- lay out your bacon so it does not over lap
- bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
- move bacon to paper towel-lined plate
- eat that bacon!
You get perfectly cooked bacon that lies flat and you don’t get any mess! Pour off that fat into a jar and stash it in the fridge.
This is my public service announcement for this week. You’re welcome.
Lunch will be a rotisserie chicken picked up from Whole Foods with a big salad
Dinner: one word – Spanakopita. This is by far my favorite food ever. When the Greek Festival comes to town, we go twice and I eat more of this than I care to admit. Except that now I can’t because phyllo dough is definitely not gluten free. But, if you are a spanakopita lover like me, I have a solution for you! Yes, I’m making it primal. Not paleo, but primal. What’s the difference? Primal includes dairy, paleo doesn’t. We’ll serve this with some simple grilled chicken and maybe a salad. There’s a whole bunch of spinach in the spanakopita so salad or no salad depends on my mood at the time.
So there you have it. One whole week’s worth of meals. I hope that was helpful and not dreadfully boring. I don’t have any new recipes for you this week, but there will be more soon. Don’t worry. I’m forever in the kitchen cooking something!
One last (for now) Whole 30 Day Sugar Detox Update: I am responsible for the egg hunt portion of my church’s Easter egg hunt/party so my house is filled with plastic eggs and lots and lots and lots of candy. Do I need to say anything else? I will be resuming my attempts at ignoring all things sugary and sweet come March 28th. This is called grace.