I spent most of Sunday working on a more complete meal plan. I’d been planning dinners for the last few weeks, but realize that leaving lunch to chance (and rotating between two things for breakfast, both involving cottage cheese) leaves me with not always healthy choices…and starting to get tired of cottage cheese.
Meal planning references:
- The Modern Family Cookbook, by Meta Given (the copyright of my version is 1961. I think it came from either my grandmother or great-grandmother.)
- American Women Didn’t Get Fat in the 1950s, by Averyl Hill
- Bonomo Hollywood Home Reducing Course, by Joe Bonomo
- The American Women’s Cookbook, by Ruth Burolzheime (coming soon – but recommended on destination1940.blogspot.com)
The first difference I noticed when reading through the cookbooks is that they used a Diet Plan when creating their weekly meal plan. It’s similar to the Food Pyramid, or 4 Food Groups, or Healthy Eating Plate – whichever you may be familiar with and learned about growing up – but a bit more detailed. They recommended daily:
- 1 quart of milk for each child and 1 pint of milk for each adult
- 1 serving of citrus fruit, or tomatoes, or tomato juice
- 1 other fruit, either fresh, canned or dried
- 1 green (preferably leafy) or yellow vegetable, raw or cooked
- 1 other vegetable, either fresh, canned, or dried (aside from potato)
- 1 serving of potato
- Whole grain or enriched cereal – bread, breakfast food, cake, etc.
- 1 serving of meat, fish or cheese. Liver or other meat sundry weekly.
- 1 egg daily if possible; otherwise at least 3 or 4 times weekly
- 3 to 5 tablespoons of butter, or oleomargarine fortified with vitamin A
Though I wouldn’t really recommend the oleomargarine (and counting on cake as your serving of whole grain probably isn’t a wise long-term choice), I do appreciate the encouragement to eat a varied diet, especially fruits and vegetables. The basic idea is to try and incorporate everything from the diet plan, that calories count, and that portion control is important. Every book has emphasized that different family members need different portions, and that depends on age, activity, and gender. (Gone are the days when I should be trying to out eat others, I guess. ;) ) I know I’ve read about and appreciated the ideas behind the paleo diet, but I’m an experiment of one and certainly can’t seem to stick with a strict paleo diet for any length of time. May as well try to see whether this works. I’ve been using lots of measuring cups for the last few weeks as I try to re-train my eye to what a serving really should be.
Breakfast this week varies from an egg, buttered toast and orange juice to oatmeal with milk and orange juice. There were other juice options, but I don’t like tomato juice, and it doesn’t make sense to buy a bunch of different kinds of juice for it to just go bad since a serving is actually only 4 ounces, and I’m the only one who is drinking it.
Lunch this week varies from a sandwich with canned salmon (as an alternate to tuna) and strawberries to leftovers from the previous night’s main course and various types of fruit.
For dinners I’m going to try and theme different days to make my life a little easier:
Monday – Beef
Tuesday – Fish
Wednesday – Chicken
Thursday – Pork
Friday – Lamb or Beef
Saturday – Soup or Casserole
Sunday – Roast Meat
On Sundays, I’d like to bring back the larger Sunday dinner at lunch time and a lighter supper later in the day. We shall see!
So for dinner we end up with meals from a variety of sources but mostly from SavingDinner.com – Rosemary Steak and Arugula, Lemon ‘n’ Pepper Halibut, Baked Chicken Thighs, Pan-Fried Pork Chops with Mushrooms, Rosemary Cumin Lamb Chops, Turkey Casserole, and Pot Roast. The SavingDinner recipes have estimated nutrition information, which makes it easy to pick ones that fit in with my calorie objectives.
So that’s the food plan for this week. I hope this gets easier since I spent most of Sunday working on this – I’ll probably try to repeat breakfasts at least to make it so. After all, I have been eating cottage cheese pretty much every day for the last couple of weeks. I think I can rotate the same weekly menu for a while. Maybe once I have three or four weeks of dinners and lunches under my belt (since they are somewhat linked), I can rotate those as well until the season changes. I’m not sure if you are interested in seeing the actual menu plan – please let me know if you want me to post it. Most likely I’d just upload the excel spreadsheet that I’m using, and you can use or make changes as needed.
(Monday update: Dangit. Lunch packed aaaaaaand left at home. I did, however stay within my calorie allotment – chicken and greens caesar salad from Starbucks FTW.)
As for other planning I am doing – exercise – I’ve planned out this week for that as well. Monday and Wednesday I’ve RSVP’d for Crossfit classes. Thursday or Friday I’ll walk at work on my lunch hour – a three-mile walk with stairs in the middle. That gives me three hour-long fairly strenuous work outs for the week. Aside from variations due to appointments and events, I expect that will be a fairly typical week.
From experience, diet plays the more important part in losing weight. It takes a lot of exercise to work off extra calories…and less work to not eat the extra calories in the first place!
(Monday update: This week isn’t starting out so great plan-wise. I un-RSVP’d to Crossfit since I had to participate in an employee discipline issue that ran late. Crossfit starts at 6:30, and I get off work at 6. If I’m not dressed and out the door by 6:10, it’s not going to happen. I have a lot of errands to run tomorrow, so I’ll try and either get in a walk or try to get in some extra steps.)
Finally, to establish my housekeeping routines and get them on autopilot, I think I’m going to start with daily routines – a morning routine and an evening routine.
- Rise and shine: 6:30am.
- Open windows, top and bottom, for free circulation of air. Especially important in our house during the summer as we don’t have air conditioning. On especially hot days, the plan is to open the house up while it’s cool and then close everything before the temperatures get too high.
- Prepare and eat breakfast. I’m the only one who eats breakfast right now, and I’m up several hours before my husband usually.
- Clear away breakfast dishes and misplaced articles in dining room. Pretty much the only way to make sure that the dining room table stays clear for eating.
- Rinse and put dishes in dishwasher. If time, I will usually quickly wash the non-dishwasher dishes as well. Put away food.
- Get ready for the day.
- Prepare and serve dinner.
- Wash dishes.
- Prepare lunch for next day.
- Put everything needed for next day in one spot.
- Get ready for bed. Bed time: 10:30pm.
I’ll give these a go for a week, then see how it goes.
I’m also going to start by doing each room’s daily cleaning one day a week:
Monday – Living Room/Dining Room
Tuesday – Kitchen
Wednesday – Bathroom
Thursday – Bedroom
Maybe when I get it under control it’ll just be a quick daily touch up for all the rooms? I think that is what was initially intended. As for other upkeep items, my husband does most of the laundry. I usually handle the household laundry (sheets, towels, etc.) and will probably do that Friday evenings or on the weekends. I’d really like to get the ironing done on Tuesdays when I’m working from home, but that would mean getting the sewing room cleaned out a bit more so I can get to the ironing board. A work in progress. So it may be a better idea to just pull the ironing board out for now so I can get to it.
Whew, I think that’s quite a long enough missive for now. I’ll check in with an update in a few days.