Free Menu Plan is Here

So many of you have asked for it. You’ve said real food is too difficult without it. So, as promised, it is finally here! A menu plan, and it’s free.

Features:

  • A low-cook Sunday to give you a break or a chance to prepare for the busy week ahead.
  • A variety of lean proteins, 100% whole grains and fresh produce. See About and the Challenges for more information on what does or doesn’t count as real food.
  • Makes use of leftovers.
  • Recipes for 2 adults and 2 kids. Make a little extra and save yourself cooking a future meal.

Speaking of preparing ahead:

  • Items that can be made ahead and frozen include egg muffins, pancakes, banana muffins, spaghetti sauce, pizza dough and chicken stock. Make a double batch or just a little extra and freeze to use another time. These can also be made ahead and refrigerated for this week.
  • Items that can be made ahead and refrigerated include tuna salad, egg salad, hummus, rice and chopped vegetables. Do this on a day that’s not so busy, if you have one of those. 🙂
  • Remember to take your meat out of the freezer in time for it to thaw. This is mostly a reminder to myself. 🙂

If you still find this to be an overwhelming task:

  • Choose one breakfast, one lunch and one dinner from the menu and make those this week. Doesn’t even have to be all on the same day.
  • Limit options by cooking more of an item on the menu so that it will last for 2-3 meals. You will still be eating real healthy food, just with less variety for now.
  • Don’t forget a few grab and go real food snacks like fresh fruit and vegetables, popcorn with a small amount of real butter or only sea salt, some of those extra yummy muffins or granola, cheese and 100% whole grain crackers, mixed nuts and dried fruit, real fruit leather strips or Larabar.

Any step in the right direction is progress. Make a little progress but don’t defeat yourself.
I really hope to hear from you on how this works out for you. I plan to post a couple of menu plans each season and want them to be helpful for everyone so that all my readers can eat real healthy food. Or give those already eating mostly real food a few new ideas.

This post shared at:

http://www.commonsensehome.com/living-well-blog-hop-26/

and

Menu Plan Monday

The Oats Have It

We all know that we should consume our grains as whole grains. We’ve been hearing that for years. While finding whole grain products, even 100% whole grain, is fairly easy these days, for most of us, whole grain is equivalent with whole wheat. Some people say wheat is what is making people fat. In the book Wheat Belly:…by William Davis, he notices that the wheat we eat these days is not the wheat our ancestors ate. He also decides it is the consuming of this wheat that is making people fat. While I believe it is moderation that is key to keeping us healthy, I do believe we, as a population, have come to rely too heavily on wheat as our whole grain. Not to mention all the extra ingredients added to those whole wheat products.

So what do we do? That’s what is available at the store. One thing I have done over the last six months is to put more oats into our diets.

Pros of oats: awesome source of fiber, increase metabolism, reduce cholesterol, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, boost immune response, good source of selenium which is necessary for some antioxidant actions, protection against breast cancer for pre-menopausal women, reduces risk of Type 2 diabetes, reduce risk of childhood asthma, contain a legume like protein equal in quality to soy, meat, milk and egg, able to be eaten by many with celiac disease, if a product contains oats they are most likely whole grain

Cons of oats: “extravagant ability” to increase blood sugar levels, contain purines though they are plant based, I am not a doctor so those with blood sugar issues or kidney issues should decide with their doctor if oats are a good choice for them

How to enjoy oats: (besides the packet of instant)

Steel cut oatmeal — my picky kid’s favorite breakfast. Great texture, minimally processed. This one takes a while to make, but so worth it. We like it with maple syrup, cinnamon, raisins and nuts. Certain foods like cinnamon and nuts help control insulin levels.

Overnight oatmeal — soak oats overnight and you have a great quick breakfast

Biscuits — though the original recipe for these calls for whole wheat flour, they are at least as delicious with oat flour. My kids love these for breakfast, snack, lunch…

Honey granola or Chocolate nut granola — great with milk for breakfast or as a yummy snack anytime

Banana muffins, blueberry muffins (recipe to come), pumpkin muffins, fresh apple cake, carrot cake muffins — replacing some of the wheat flour with oat flour makes a tender, moist pastry

Meatloaf and casseroles — use rolled oats instead of bread or cracker crumbs

Add some oats to your diet not only for variety and all the health benefits they provide, but also because they are delicious!